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Breakfast Cereal Brands - Buyer's Guide & Coupons

Deals & Coupons on Cereal Near You

View Cereal offers in the brochure now!

View Cereal offers in the brochure now!

View Cereal offers in the brochure now!

 Interesting Facts on Cereal

granola cereal mix with fruits

Americans spend more than $6 million a year on ready-to-eat cereal, the eighth-most popular item purchased in grocery stores.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for many busy people that means pouring a quick bowl of cereal in the morning. Why?  Along with its convenience and taste, cereal supplies many vitamins, minerals,  and nutrients needed to jumpstart your morning and get you on your way.

What exactly is cereal?

Cereal was one of the first “health foods” invented in the U.S.  During the Civil War era, chronic digestion problems were common because most people's diets included too much protein from meat.  One doctor trying to remedy this situation was Dr. James Caleb Jackson, who first mixed water with graham flour and baked it, creating the first ready-to-eat cereal. The early 1900s saw more cereal development from entrepreneurs such as Kellogg and Post in Battle Creek, Michigan--still the capital of U.S. cereal production.

Secrets to Saving Money on Cereal

  • Mix coupons with in-store promotions. Double up on savings by paying attention to cereal coupons. When there is a deal for two boxes for $5, you’re making out like a bandit if you also have a coupon on top of the store deal.  With the free Out of Milk app on your phone, you’ll never miss a coupon or discount on cereals at the stores you already shop.
  • Stock up. When your cereals go on sale, stock up on several boxes at a time. Cereal will keep for many months unopened.
  • Make your own cereal. DIY your cereal at home with just a few simple ingredients such as oats, cinnamon, dried fruits, and nuts!
  • Try only eating the serving size. Most of us don’t measure out our cereal, but maybe we should?  Check out the serving suggestion on the box and try eating that. You will waste less cereal and your intake will be inline with the nutrition info on the side of the box.

Ways to Eat Cereal

A bowl of cereal is all the better with the right accompaniment. Milk, or milk alternatives such a rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, or lactose-free milk are great options.  You can also get an extra burst of healthy protein and helpful bacterias by throwing some yogurt in your bowl instead of milk.  Dry cereal is also delicious--or try cooking up a bowl of quick oats for a hearty warm start to the day. 

Common Cereal Grains

The most common grains used in cereal production in the U.S. are maize (corn), rice, wheat, and oats.  The natural form of cereal is what we call “whole grains”. As whole grains, cereals are rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. But, the more refined or processed these grains are, the more they lose their nutritional components.  With the removal of bran and germ, mostly only carbohydrate particles are left.

Decoding The Cereal Box For “Whole Grains”

To be sure you’re actually getting whole grains, look for “100% whole grain” on the box, or the Whole Grain Stamp. If the words “whole grain” appear with no other information, it could mean that only a tiny amount of whole grains are present.

wheat grains

Healthy Cereal

Healthy cereals are those that are less refined, and contain more of their raw form. These are also by nature, low carb cereals--as long as there is no added sugar.  Bran cereal, oatmeal, granola, and kashi cereal are all healthy cereals options, again depending on how much sugar you spoon into them.  Life cereal has been a popular choice in America since the 1970s.  At first for its popular television ad, but the cereal has endured through the decades, even despite multiple new flavors that have since been discontinued. The original Life cereal persists as one of America’s most beloved cereals. According to the Quaker Oats website, Life cereal is an excellent source of B-vitamins and contains 20 grams of whole grains per serving.

Too Much Choice

Each grocery store can carry a hundred or more cereals, all with bright boxes and healthy claims. Where do you begin?  Pay attention to three key factors: Salt, sugar, and fiber.

  • Fiber is your friend:  Few people get enough fiber, which helps lower blood pressure, and cuts cholesterol. Look for “Dietary Fiber” -- at least 3 grams per serving.
  • So long, sodium: Many cereals contain around 200 mg of sodium per serving. Milk can add another 100 mg per cup.  Look for cereals with a sodium content under 240 mg per serving.
  • Shrug off sugar: A healthy cereal will have sugar toward the end of the ingredient list, but sugar takes many forms, such as “fruit juice concentrate” and “evaporated cane juice”.  Look for less than 7 grams per serving of the sweet stuff. 

These cereals hit all the right notes when it comes to fiber, salt, and sugar:

  • Barbara’s Puffins (Original or Cinnamon)
  • Uncle Sam Strawberry Cereal (or other varieties)
  • Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat
  • Post Bran Flakes
  • Cheerios
  • All-Bran
  • Kix
  • Familia Swiss Müesli (No Added Sugar)
  • Bear Naked Granola

Gluten Free Cereal

Those with an allergy to gluten, can still enjoy cereal by looking for “gluten free” on the box at the store. Walmart carries a large selection of gluten free cereals. A few popular gluten free cereal choices today include:

  • Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax With Chia
  • General Mills Rice Chex
  • Barbara's Honey Rice Puffins
  • Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat Flakes
  • EnviroKidz Lightly Frosted Amazon Flakes
  • Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes
  • Paleo Coconut Flakes
  • Nature's Path Whole O's Cereal

How to Keep Cereal Fresh

To keep cereal from going stale, always release the air out of the bag and seal the top tightly with a large clip or rubber band. You might also try storing it in an airtight container instead of the original box. 

Out of Milk helps you find the best deals and savings on your favorite cereals from the stores you already shop.