Super-Express Portable Porridge, 9p.


After last weeks porridge experiment, several of my readers got in touch to tell me that they do something similar, but with dried skimmed milk. Well, I rushed to the supermarket to pick up a bag, to solve another household problem.  So Thankyou dear readers for this ingenious idea – I’ve made a Super Express Portable Porridge pot from a clip-lock container from the 99p store, a pen, and a minutes work. And I’m pretty chuffed – as it almost halves the cost of the predecessor porridge! Wahey!

All prices are Sainsburys Basics, I have it on good authority that Tesco and Morrisons have 1kg of oats for 75p, so if you live near one, go get em and make me “well jel”, as we say here in Essex…

Ingredients (makes around 30 portions):

1kg oats, £1.19
400g dried skimmed milk, £1.01
250g sultanas, 42p (84p/500g)

(Add sugar, cinnamon or vanilla as required – or a smashed up bar of Basics chocolate, 31p, for a super indulgent treat).

Add all ingredients to a very large container with a lid. Shake well to distribute.

To make the ‘super express portable porridge pot’…

Find a cup or container that measures out your ‘perfect’ porridge portion – mine is a 90ml espresso cup. I use a ratio of 1:3 porridge to water, so measured one cup of water (pretending it was porridge) into the container, and drew the first line to indicate where to fill the porridge to.


I added another three cups of water to make four (one’s posing as porridge, remember) and drew the second line.


Add instructions as necessary 😉

Go on – you know you want to! And if you don’t have a microwave at work, boil the kettle, fill to the line, put the lid on and leave for a few minutes to swell up. Stir well before eating!

Jack. Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Facebook:


  1. I have proved myself to be a complete porridge moron in the past few days. For years I’ve measured all ingredients by feel, and moaned at the amount of milk it has taken to do four portions of porridge. The second I use measuring cups and cut rhe milk with water, I’m making grey, thin gruel or stodge. Bah. Will work on it. *Scheens*

  2. Reblogged this on Loz's Little Crochets and commented:
    Im goingbto try this for sure, love porridge at work for brekkie and hate paying for the sachets ! plus mrans i can have exactly the kind of poridge i want 🙂 Thank you to you and your readers

  3. Had an Asda order delivered today with three pks of 75p porridge. But bought 1, yes 1, aubergine in Sainsbugs for £1 to make my daughter some ratatouille. So although I got some well priced porridge, I also got an expensive aubergine. Well, expensive compared to your three for £1.60 at any rate, so I was well jell of that.
    Win some, lose some 😉

  4. I make porridge with half milk, half apple juice and a sprinkling of raisins (added before cooking so they plump up). It is delish and needs no extra sugar adding.

  5. Hiya, seeing this reminded of something we used to do in the armed forces……in the ration packs you got a pack of instant porridge oats you simply poured boiling water on and eat…..we added extra sugar but also added the packet of hot chocolate powder aswell!!! Honestly dont know if thats any help to anyone but thought i would share it!!!

  6. Lovely idea! We use sticky tape to secure letters drawn on lunch boxes etc.. might come in handy with your porridge- and water-line.
    Love your blog btw and spreading your word in the Netherlands… your work is so important and you’re doing a hell of a job!

  7. Awesome! A really poke in the idea for the porridge-money-thieves who rely on our ignorance/laziness to sell their over priced psuedo crap…

    Not that I feel strongly about this or anything.

  8. You HAVE checked that it’s a micro-wave safe plastic that’s been used to make your container haven’t you? There’s all sorts of nasty chemicals in cheap plastic…
    I love the porridge idea, though!

  9. Thought I’d share my emergency portable hot lunch with you. Emergencies include the following: only cooking facility is a kettle; ran out of time; ran out of money; no fridge/freezer to store emergency lunches in. They’re not “proper” food, but I figure they’re only once-in-a-while things, and still better than the junk I would resort to otherwise. I buy a pack of the supermarket’s own brand, basic range cuppa soups (usually 20-25p for 4 sachets) and 4 (or however many sachets come in the soup pack) own basic brand instant noodles (10-15p each) – it doesn’t matter what the flavour is of those as you’ll bin the little sachet in favour of your cuppa soup. Crunch up the noodles; place into a large-ish mug; add cuppa soup powder; top up with boiling water; stir thoroughly; leave for a couple of minutes; guzzle. No need to cook the noodles any more than that despite what the pack instructions may say. I find these emergency lunches can sit (pre-rehydration) in a drawer/bag/car almost indefinitely.

  10. Also works with home assembled salad mixes, using small container of salad dressing to add at meal time.

  11. Amazing idea! I just had a microwave porridge disaster that took far more washing up than it was worth. Returned to hob top porridge but think I will give this a crack.

  12. Maybe I’m a freak but I quite like porridge oats and milk uncooked. Add in raisins, any spare fresh fruit, it’s muesli without the crunchy bits…

    • Not at all – hate fighting with chewy bits for breakfast. In the same way, I pre-mix my kilo of oats in a huge plastic canister with whatever seeds (sunflower, sesame, linseed, … whatever takes your fancy &/or is cheap) & some sultanas, etc. I am led to believe (oh gullible idiot) that by soaking overnight, the seeds start to germinate, giving you lots of good-for-you extra enzymes. Recently I started using water for soaking, then pouring some soya-milk or prune juice on top in the morning, cos by then it’s thickened.

      Love the blog!

    • The porridge you are referring to is called Bircher Muesli, which is of Swiss origin. It is really popular.

      1 cup uncooked large flake oats,
      2 cups milk, 1/2 cup yoghurt.
      sweeten with honey
      flavour with grated apple / toasted nuts / frozen berries / chocolate nibs / chopped dried fruit

      If you leave it to stand a bit, the oats suck up the milk and become a little less crunchy. Adjust the consistency by varying the milk content.

      It can be made the night before and travels very well.

  13. I love prepacked MOO (make our own) things , and try and get them down to the cheapest amount. I also pre pack them in ziplock bags rather than sending in a container, that way you can use whatever container is on hand at work and just add water, plus you can make them in bulk on the weekend or in school holidays. I also bag up Anzac biscuit mix and other baking packs and write the ‘just add…’ on the white bit on the front. You can re use the bags as they haven’t had meat in. I might adapt the pot noodle recipe zola used to MOO cream of anything soup and whatever veges need to be used up next year when the weather gets cold enough for hot lunches.

    • I used to buy powdered almond and powdered goats milk from independent health food shops years ago, no idea if you still can but worth looking for! At a push (but not a cheap option…) soy baby formula works the same as milk powder.

    • I have seen this, non-dairy powdered milk, in health food shops. It is more expensive than dairy, but it does exist 🙂

  14. love your recipe always willing to try recipe I am 72 years old and on a small budget so any help in the food area is a bonus

  15. How about a homemade – and much tastier – version of a pot noodle for lunch?
    I buy veg you can stirfry when it’s cheap, finely slice, bag and freeze….then in the morning pop some in a sealable pot with noodles, shake over a few herbs, spices (and a grate of the ginger i keep in the freezer), seal jar then at lunchtime, just add hot water and leave for a few mins before eating. Squirt of soy sauce (donated by a colleague who regularly gets packaged sushi) and you’ve got a really quick healthy hot lunch!

  16. I have ‘cold’ porridge for breakfast. The night before, put 30g of oats into a pot, add some yogurt and milk, you can put frozen fruit in at this stage if you would like. A teaspoon of maple syrup and/or chia seeds optional. Put this in the fridge and in the morning the oats have soaked into the milk and yogurt. It is delicious!

  17. Hi, intrigued by the salad dressing suggestion. Is that salad dressing with noodles to make noodle salad or salad dressing with water porridge/gruel to make savoury porridge? My mum used to add a stock cube to water & oats when she was on a diet (!), but wanted something warming, filling & low calorie.

  18. My brother and I used to mix oats (about 5 tbsp), cocoa (1 tbsps) and sugar (1/2`tbsp) with half milk,half water. We loved it, despite (or because of) calling it primeval slime …

  19. If you are referring to porridge oats here, it should be even quicker to make if the oats (before beginning the recipe) are blitzed making them into a ready break style result (but with a miles better taste). Might need to adjust your recipe though.

  20. Can some one here enlighten us from New Mexico, the land of christmas chile ( red or green for those who do not know ) what well jell means? Sorry, can not figure it out.

    Be well


  21. If this gets posted twice I apologize.
    Can any one here enlighten us in New Mexico, the land of christmas chile ( red or green if you do not know ), what well jell means? Can not figure it out.

    Be well,


  22. I used to never be able to eat before heading to work so I would mix equal parts apple sauce and uncooked oats, a splash of water and any fruit I had lying around. By the time I drove to work and got hungry this was ready to eat. No heating needed, it was soft and yummy and edible.

  23. This is fantastic! I’m endlessly frustrated by those little instant pots of porridge, both in terms of price and because they always have dairy milk in them. I can make this up with soy milk powder instead, saving myself a fortune in the process. Genius!

    • Ooh, what powdered soya milk do you use and is it the same sort of quantities?? My daughter is switching to a dairy free land and this would be a nice change for her

  24. Ooh look, two Claires in a row!
    Was reminded of this yesterday – at work I have a kettle but no microwave which got me thinking… you can buy soup in a squeezy sachet which you stir into boiling water. Would this idea work with a small amount of thickened soup in the pot instead of the oats?

  25. I have just made up a whole batch. Had some this morning and loved it. I added two chopped up dried apple rings and some cinnamon before microwaving – delicious, much better than the pre packaged expensive portions I had been buying and much cheaper – win, win all round 🙂

  26. Thank you Jack for another great simple recipe!
    I love porridge on these cold winter mornings, really warms you and fills you up. I add a bag of oats to one of those big plastic cereal containers, and mix in a bag of dried fruit. Then just warm up a bowlful in the microwave with milk and water, and stir in some honey when it’s done.

  27. sounds a great recipe but is it a special pot? I only ask because you say to replace the lid before microwaving and I’m wondering why it doesn’t blow off as it would do usually with no air hole in it

    • I think that by ‘replace the lid’ she means to gently balance the lid on top of the pot but without pressing it down to seal. this way the steam can escape so it wont explode, but if there are any splashes, they will be caught on the lid rather than making a mess of the microwave. I think you can buy fancy pots like this which have special vents you can open when microwaving, but any normal tub suitable for microwave use will be grand.

  28. When I was volunteering abroad we did something similar- just pour however much we wanted of oats, powdered milk, sugar and raisins, added some hot water and stirred. We got to know our preffered ratios by looking! This was what got me eating porridge every day 🙂

Leave a Reply