Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


Image by ArtCoreStudios from Pixabay

Having a nutritious breakfast gets your day off to a great start. However, finding time to make it can be tough when your mornings are busy. You don’t have to gather a ton of ingredients or set aside a lot of time to prepare a good breakfast. Keep the following easy and healthy breakfast ideas in mind for hectic mornings. 

Yogurt & Fruit Parfait

You can get a solid helping of nutrients from this simple breakfast parfait recipe, and you only need about 10 minutes to make it. You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe:

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup grapes chopped in half
  • 3 strawberries cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds
  • To make this recipe, start by whisking the Greek yogurt, peanut butter or almond butter and honey in a bowl. When you have a smooth mixture, add some of it to a glass. Put a layer of strawberries, grapes and almonds on top, then add another layer of yogurt mixture. Place a layer of strawberries, grapes and almonds on the yogurt mixture, then enjoy your healthy morning parfait.

    Cheesy Eggs in a Mug

    When you’re in the mood for eggs for breakfast and don’t have time to cook on the stove, give this recipe a try. You’ll get a good serving of protein along with vitamin C and a few other important nutrients. You’ll need these ingredients for this egg recipe:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli 
  • 1 tsp water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp low-fat or skim milk
  • 1 tbsp chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • For this recipe, you’ll need to use non-stick cooking spray on the inside of a microwavable mug. After coating the mug, add the broccoli and water, and microwave for a minute or two on full power. Add the eggs, sliced onion, red pepper pieces and milk to the mug, and use a fork to beat the egg mixture. Microwave the egg and broccoli mixture for 45 seconds, then stir and microwave for about 30 seconds. Remove the mug from the microwave, and top the egg mixture with the shredded cheese. Cover the mug with foil to let the cheese melt for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper for seasoning. 

    Oat Banana Pancakes

    Pancakes only take a few minutes to prepare and a few minutes to cook, making them an ideal choice for busy mornings. With this recipe, you can skip the flour entirely and use oats instead for some extra fiber. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup quick-cook oats 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • To make these pancakes, mash the bananas in a bowl, then add eggs and vanilla. Mix these together, then add the cinnamon and oats and mix again. Add a scoop of pancake batter to a heated skillet, then cook for about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake, and cook for about a minute or two. Repeat until you have a stack of golden brown pancakes.


    If you live a busy work and home life, finding time to cook nutritious and filling meals can be difficult. As a result, many people find themselves ordering out for lunch during the work week and settling for low-effort dinners during the week.

    One economical and time-saving solution to this problem is meal prep. You pick one day during the week, usually Sunday, and devote an hour or two to preparing meals for the week.

    Not only does it take away the concern of not knowing what to cook for dinner each night, but it also helps you save a ton of money while eating healthy.

    In this article, we’re going to give you some tips for preparing your meals in bulk, and a few examples of meals that are easily prepared at home in advance.

    Expert advice on meal prepping

    One of the first issues people face when they start prepping meals is storage. Our best advice is to look for rugged, microwavable and freezable containers.

    It’s good to have a variety of sizes, but if you have stray pieces to sets of Tupperware it can make it difficult to find the right sizes. So, we suggest starting from scratch and buying a set of three-compartment and a set one-compartment containers.

    Find out the volume of the containers you buy. Doing so will help you keep track of the portions of your meals and make it easier to prepare the right amount to avoid waste.

    Planning meals

    Many poor eating decisions happen when you’re in a pinch and need to come up with something quickly. It can seem like the cheapest option at the moment is to stop at a fast food restaurant, but you can likely prepare 3 or 4 meals for the price of one trip to the drive-through.

    The key is proper planning. Sit down and make your menu for the week. An easy way to start is to think about your favorite lunch items and figure out how you can make them in bulk.

    Make sure your shopping list reflects the portions you need to buy, and you’re good to head to the store.

    Once you’re home and have started cooking, remember that you needn’t freeze all of your meals. Refrigerate items that you’ll eat over the next 2-3 days and freeze the rest. If you’re worried about losing your meals in your crowded freezer and finding them months from now, use some masking tape to label and date them.

    Easy meals to prepare in advance

    You can usually find a way to prepare most meals in advance. However, some are easier than others. A good place to start is with rice and grain bowls and stir fries. These tend to be cheap (around $1.50 per serving) and simple to prepare. To add protein, you can include boiled eggs, beans, chicken or beef.

    Along the same line, make some brown rice and stir fry black beans, peppers, and onions. Add your favorite southwest seasonings, and buy a large bag of tortilla chips. You can scoop the rice and beans onto your chips for a nutritious and cheap lunch.

    For dinner items, you can make your favorites like shepherd’s pie or lasagna in advance and slice and freeze them in portions.


    For better or for worse, the kitchen is the most fragrant area of the house. It’s where we cook and store our food, but it’s also where we throw away our garbage.

     In this winter months, people do most of their cooking indoors, which can lead to an increase in grease splatter. In the summer, the high temperatures in the kitchen can cause garbage to smell and fruit to become overripe more quickly.

     Regardless of the time of year, we can all use some help when it comes to reducing kitchen odors. In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to do just that.

     Read on for tips on eliminating odors in your kitchen.

    Air quality

    The odors in your kitchen, both the good and the bad, come in the form of tiny particles floating in the air. So, it follows that one of the ways to remove lingering odors would be to remove them from the air in your kitchen.

    One way to do this is with the use of an air purifier. These appliances come in a number of different sizes and can vary in price from under $100 to several hundreds of dollars. Depending on the size and layout of your home, you’ll want to search for a purifier that can safely handle the number of square feet that you’ll need to purify.

    One benefit of using an air purifier is that it can also help you remove dust and other allergies from the air while removing unpleasant odors. However, keep in mind that most air purifiers run 24/7, so expect a few extra dollars added to your electric bill each month.

    Cooking surfaces

    One of the most common causes of kitchen odors are the surfaces of your counters, oven, and appliances. There are a few ways to handle this problem, but the best solution is to take preemptive measures.

    When cooking items with grease, oil or butter, use a splatter screen. This will help you keep most of the grease inside the pan and off your surfaces where they will later emit a smell.

    It’s important to frequently wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and clean them with a degreaser. If you don’t have kitchen tile or some other form of easy to clean surface around your cooking surfaces, consider installing one.

    Dishes and garbage

    We get it, after working all day, cooking dinner, and finally sitting down to relax no one wants to clean dishes. However, leaving dishes in the sink is one of the leading causes of kitchen odors. This is also true for people who don’t run their dishwasher frequently.

    Speaking of dishwashers, be sure to check the drain at the bottom for debris, which can cause your dishwasher to smell badly.

    When it comes to garbage, it’s often better to have a small garbage can that you empty more frequently than a larger one that will start to smell. Try to find a smaller can that has a cover, and consider scented bags to help mask any odors that do find their way out of the garbage can.


    With grocery prices on the rise, many of us are cutting corners any way we can at the supermarket. Some people cut coupons, others have switched to wholesale grocery stores where they can buy in bulk to save. However, there are many ways you can be more frugal just by switching to some more cost-effective recipes. Here are some frugal cooking ideas that will help you save each week at the register.

    Smart lunches

    Preparing lunches can seem like a chore that no one has time for. Many people find themselves grabbing a can of soup while they run out the door. Others go out for fast food on their lunch break spending money on food and gas. There’s a solution to this problem that will save you money on lunches and save you time in the morning—bulk cooking.

    Pick one or two lunches that you’d like to eat throughout the week and prepare them all Sunday morning. You could buy ingredients for a couple types of tacos to avoid getting sick of the same ones every day of the week.

    Aside from tacos, other good lunch meals to cook in bulk include pizzas, stir fry meals, burritos, and pasta dishes.

    Cook with the staple foods

    You can save a huge amount of money at the grocery store by planning out meals that involve staples like rice, beans, pasta, and frozen vegetables. When bought in larger portions, you’ll save at the register but won’t sacrifice nutritional content because these food staples are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients.

    Omit the meat on occasion

    We eat a lot of animal products in America. The beef industry alone leaves a larger carbon footprint on the environment that the auto industry! Is your family the type that has some form of meat with every meal of the week? If so, you’re probably spending a lot more at the grocery store than need be. Vegetarian and vegan meal options are usually cheaper and just as healthy (if not healthier) than meals that have meat. If you’re worried about not feeling full from a vegetarian meal, try making recipes with hearty ingredients and plant-based proteins (beans, nuts, grains, etc.). A good example would be a burrito packed with rice, beans, and grilled vegetables.

    Plan before you shop

    Many people have a hard time saving money at the grocery sure because they’re just not sure what to cook. They arrive at the store with only a vague idea of what they want to eat and then fill their cart with all the possibilities. Plan out a weekly menu of your meals and snacks for the week and only buy those items you’ll need for your recipes.

    Invest in a good frugal cook book

    There are thousands of cook books out there. Many expert chefs have realized that the average person is just looking for some good meals to try that won’t break their wallet. Some even boast cookbooks that will feed your family for just a couple dollars per person per meal.

    Now that you know some good frugal eating tips it’s time to turn them into habits. Start with just one tip for now and add the others as you become more comfortable. Soon you’ll be saving money and finding new favorite foods at the same time.