Using Ziploc Bags for DIY Oatmeal Packets

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Have you ever gone to the grocery store and seen those boxes of instant oatmeal packets? Next time you are in the cereal isle, I encourage you to check them out. Look at the price compared to a large tub of plain oatmeal. Flip over the package and take a look at the ingredients. Do you know what all of those ingredients really are? Making your own homemade oatmeal packets is a great way to save money and eat healthier. I decided to put together a few of these DIY oatmeal packets for my husband to take to work with him. He gets bored with plain old oatmeal every morning so I stocked up on a variety of ingredients to include.

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Ingredients for DIY Oatmeal Packets2
DIY Oatmeal Packet Ingredients

The great thing about these DIY oatmeal packets (besides being cheaper and healthier than store bought!) is that YOU get to choose which flavors to include. Choose an assortment of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and assorted flavors. Here is the basic recipe for making your own oatmeal packets:

For each serving, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 TBSP dried fruit
  • 2 TBSP chopped nuts
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBSP ‘add-ins’
  • 1 TBSP powdered milk (if desired)

I found that putting the ingredients directly into each plastic Ziploc® bag made it easier for me to make a wide variety of flavor choices. While cinnamon and raisins are delicious, I don’t want to eat them in my oatmeal EVERY morning! I used the  Ziploc® brand Snack Bags for this project since they hold the perfect amount of oatmeal and other ingredients for one serving.

Using ziploc bags for DIY oatmeal packets 2

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When you are making your own oatmeal packets the flavor possibilities are just about endless. Here are a few of my favorite flavor suggestions:

  • Tropical Fruit
  • Blueberries and cream
  • Cranberries and walnuts
  • Dried strawberries and slivered almonds
  • Golden raisins and cinnamon with ground flax seeds

DIY Oatmeal Packet Collage

To make your bowl of oatmeal in the morning, just dump the contents of one plastic Ziploc®bag into a bowl with 1 cup of water. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is tender. You can top your bowl of oatmeal with a dollop of yogurt or a bit of milk or cream if you want.

Ziploc® Recycling

Once you are done with your packet of oatmeal you can rinse the Ziploc® bag and reuse. However, eventually, you will need to invest in a new collection of Ziploc® bags since they don’t last forever. Did you know that you can actually recycle your old Ziploc® bags? Up until recently, I did not know this and I consider myself quite the guru when it comes to recycling! Ziploc® bags, when clean and dry, are recyclable at more than 18,000 retail locations – including Target and Walmart. With more than 1 billion Ziploc®bags purchased each year, recycling is an easy way to live a more sustainable lifestyle! If you want to recycle your Ziploc® bags, they go into the same bins as those plastic shopping bags. They are usually located at the front of the store but if you don’t see them available just ask the manager!

Ziploc Bag Recycling

The majority of recycled plastic bags become composite lumber. Composite lumber is used for fences, benches, decks, door and window frames, and even playground equipment. The process of recycling actually uses less energy than manufacturing with brand new raw materials. It also helps reduce pollution and help prevent landfills from filling up. So, once you are done using your Ziploc® bags, please remember to recycle them! To learn more about recycling plastic bags, visit:

How To Make Instant Oatmeal Packets

To learn more about SC Johnson and their sustainability efforts, follow them on Twitter. To find out more creative ways to use Ziploc® bags, check them out on Facebook. Remember, if everyone who used plastic bags recycled them even occasionally, it would divert a lot of waste from landfills and be a huge improvement in our environment!


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44 thoughts on “Using Ziploc Bags for DIY Oatmeal Packets”

    • Agreed! It is a very simple ‘dump in bowl and microwave’ kind of breakfast! And great that you are going to get the kids involved!

  1. How I didn’t know I could recycle ziploc bags is beyond me! I love this oatmeal packets idea too! Ill be putting it to use!

      • Those are also a good choice, although they take up a bit more room in the pantry. Also not great for traveling if you choose to throw one of these in your purse for a hotel breakfast. But, yes, I have many of the snap ‘n seal containers too.

  2. The thing is you can use and reuse the bags until they are warn out before you recycle them. Just keep them in a box or something-each time you empty one put it in there and when they are empty refill with more oatmeal packets.

    • Oh I certainly wash and reuse as I can. Eventually they get a bit tired and need to be replaced so knowing I can eventually recycle them is good!

  3. Why not use reusable ziplock storage bowls instead they are dishwasher safe and stackable with screw on lids…

    • you could do that too but for traveling these bags really come in handy. They take up a bit less room in a crowded pantry too. But they would work!

    • They are just anything you want to add for flavor or health…chia seeds, flax seeds, wheat germ….the list is endless!

  4. Great idea to make these up for breakfast while camping. Good hearty meal before a hike. I think I would make sure they are instant oats though no matter what.

  5. Quick question in the first picture of this article there is a white ingredient. It looks similar to tapioca. What is it?

    Thanks for the great article,

    • Its powdered milk! For some reason it was a bit clumpy…probably the humidity down here in Georgia! Makes a nice creamy oatmeal!

  6. What an excellent idea……………….except for cooking it in the microwave. Please, just a minute on the stove and you aren’t subjecting you and your family to the rays of the microwave. I just don’t think it is safe. Much better cooked on top of the stove.

    • I try not to stand in front of it when it is on but I admit, I do love my microwave. You are right though that you could do this on the stove just as easily!

    • Thank you! I was looking for a response about the microwave danger! Its not just standing in front of it!! It takes all the nutrients out of your food!
      I got rid of mine years ago and am sure we are all healthier and getting all our nutrients 🙂

      • I try not to microwave too much stuff….I can’t completely ditch it though or I would be drinking cold coffee all day!

  7. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!!! I like to make “fresh” oatmeal, and found some dried apricots in the cupboard! yummmmm!

  8. If you use a blender or magic bullet and grind a little oatmeal into a flour and add it, is super creamy like the store bought packets. Ever notice that dust in the bottom. Yum!

  9. I like this idea. I love the flavored oat meal from the store and I think this could save money. If prep ahead of time is not an issue could fresh fruit be used instead of dried and would it have to be cooked with the oats or added after? And another question in the recipe you have two tsp of regular sugar and then the extra, I like brown sugar oatmeal so would I use the brown sugar as the extra and use the regular sugar too or replace the regular sugar with the brown sugar and use a different extra like cinnamon?

    • I would say replace the regular sugar with brown sugar unless you like it pretty sweet. The recipe is very flexible though!

  10. I’m definitely going to try this with brown sugar, dried cranberries, and walnuts. It sounds so good, ecomomical, and healthy.

  11. we like strawberries and peaches in ours, One mom I know uses a teaspoon of preserves for her kids”. We also like some homemade chunky applesauce in ours.

  12. Publix also has a recycle bin outside of their store for plastic bags. Also, a separate bin for styrofoam cartons such as egg cartons, take out food cartons, etc.

  13. I feel like a ditz for asking but what do you mean by “add ins”… i see the little mound of black looking stuff… what is that and is that your add ins or do you simply mean to just add in spices of your choice? Thanks! I love this idea! 🙂


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