Now that my boys are 15 and 16 years old, they need protein in the morning, and cereal and toast isn't going to get them through until lunch.
Ever since I worked at McDonald's as a teenager, my favorite meal was the Egg McMuffin and hashbrown - so I set about to make a cheaper, healthier version minus the grease. I also wanted to pull this off on weekday mornings - so it needed to be quick.
Some mornings my kids have time to sit and eat, sometimes they're eating on the run, so I like that this meal is easily transported.
This breakfast is a weekly favorite, so I stock up on the ingredients when I see a good sale.
I pick up the english muffins at Superstore when they go on sale for $1 for six.
While I prefer my egg sandwich with real cheese, my kids still like the processed cheese. When that's on sale at $2.99 or less for 500g, then I stock up.
The bacon I am now buying at Costco, in a resealable bag. It's already cooked and I just need to heat 4 pieces in the microwave. I have also done these sandwiches with turkey bacon or pieces of ham.
There are 2 options for hashbrowns. The large ones that look like the McDonald's version, I get at Walmart, the Great value brand, is $3.50 for 20.
You can also buy the smaller bite size ones made by McCains. The smaller ones have an onion flavoring and I like them for the younger kids, who usually can't eat a whole sandwich plus a large hashbrown. A bag of 35 of the McCains brand, I bought on sale for $2.47.
The longest part of this process is cooking the hashbrowns, so I get these started first in the toaster oven. They need about 20 minutes and I flip them halfway through the cooking time.
The eggs, I cook in a egg poaching pan on the stove. Make sure to spray the cups with oil before dropping your eggs in. These cook fast, about 5-6 minutes.
Once I split open the English muffins, I lay them on a grill pan to crisp in the oven.
The ready made bacon is ready to go after 60 seconds in the microwave.
Once the english muffins are crisp, I butter them and put a slice of cheese on one side and then a cooked egg on top. On the other side I fold one slice of bacon in a "V" and then assemble them. If your watching calories, you can eliminate the butter and use turkey bacon.
If the kids are in a hurry, I wrap the sandwiches in foil and a hashbrown in a paper towel and line them up on the table. They just grab their breakfast as they walk out the door. They also then have a paper towel for drips.
Like most households, our mornings are busy and there is usually a clothing crisis or two, with girls in the house!
I have this process down to 15 minutes, not including the bake time on the hashbrowns.
Here is the cost per meal:
Large Hash browns $.18 cents each
English Muffins $.16 cents each
Eggs $.17 cents each
Cheese $.12 cents
Bacon $.26 cents
Total: $.89 cents for one egg sandwich and large hashbrown