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My $0.79, 400-Calorie Vegan Breakfast Hack

Inflation has been out of control, and prices have been rising on nearly everything all over the country. With that in mind, I wanted to share a simple, inexpensive, filling and healthy breakfast that I’ve been making lately.

It costs only $0.79 per serving, yet provides 400 calories of plant-based energy. You can make it in about 2 minutes, and all the ingredients are available at Target.

My Inexpensive Breakfast

Here’s the simple recipe I follow.

First, take a banana and peel it. I get my bananas at Target, which has them at very cheap prices. Even in the pricey Bay Area, a Target banana costs only $0.29. You can even order them online through their Shipt app.

I like to put the banana on a plate. A white plate works, but a darker colored plate will add visual contrast, as we’ll see in the next step.

Now, take a can of coconut milk, open it, and mix up the contents (the coconut cream and the other liquid components often separate.) Cans are generally about 14 ounces, and I get a can of coconut milk at Target for $2.00.

Measure out a quarter of the can (4oz) and pour it over the banana on your plate. Again, a dark plate will contrast nicely with the pure white coconut milk.

Finally, if you want to, shake a Splenda packet over the coconut milk and banana. Eat with a fork, taking slices of the banana and mopping up the coconut milk from the plate as you eat them.

Total Cost and Nutrition

What’s the cost breakfast for this simple breakfast? Let’s review.

  • Banana: $0.29
  • Coconut Milk: 1/4 can @ $2 per can = $0.50
  • Total: $0.79

I’m assuming you can get the Splenda packet for free by taking a few extra the next time you’re at a coffee shop or restaurant.

Surely a breakfast that costs well less than a dollar can’t be that filling, right? Not so!

A banana has around 100 calories, but coconut milk is very calorically dense. Four ounces contain almost 300 calories. That means this simple breakfast packs 400 calories of energy to get your day started.

Some of that is from carbs, but a lot of it is from the plant-based fats in the coconut milk. I’m not vegan, but this breakfast actually is.

If you want to add more protein, you can also throw in a fried or scrambled egg. You should still be able to keep the total cost of the breakfast under a dollar, and you’ll get some more protein from the egg whites.


This breakfast is surprisingly tasty and satisfying to eat. The combo of banana and coconut has a nice tropical feel, and eating it in slices slows you down and makes it feel more substantial.

In these challenging economic times, we should all have as many tricks up our sleeves as possible to save some cash, and this simple, nutritious breakfast is one of them.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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