Try the store brand. Do a blind taste test to see if your family can really tell the difference. They may be requesting foods because of something they saw on TV, or in someone else’s lunchbox.
If your family insists on “instant” cereal, trick them into something healthier and cheaper. Just add sugar, dried fruit or cinnamon to oatmeal and keep it in an airtight container. Check the package label for microwave cooking directions. Use our recipe for making your own instant oatmeal packets.
Prepare rice and noodle side dishes with your own seasonings. Mixes don’t save much time because the cooking time is the same for homemade and mixes.