Is It A Better Buy To Get Instant Oatmeal Or A Canister Of Quick Oats?

Last Updated on May 24th, 2023

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Oats have taken the food world by becoming known as a healthy breakfast option that takes little effort to make. As children, we all enjoyed the sugary and fruity instant oatmeal that parents used to buy so we could make our breakfast.

As adults, more experimentation is involved. For example, overnight oats and oatmeal bars are high in protein and low in fat, but regular oatmeal is also a yummy meal option. So should you get instant oatmeal or quick oats? Today, we’ll compare the two.

Oats in a bowl - Is It A Better Buy To Get Instant Oatmeal Or A Canister Of Quick Oats?

Which One Has Better Nutritional Value?

It depends on which instant oatmeal you decide to buy. There are many different flavors, from apple cinnamon to brown sugar, even ones with little dino eggs inside!

Unfortunately, all these are full of sugar, making them infinitely worse than the quick oats you can flavor at home.

However, if you want to buy unflavored instant oatmeal, there’s only a tiny difference between the two. The most significant difference is that instant oatmeal has higher sodium but can also have higher amounts of vitamin A, calcium, and iron levels than quick oats.


Which One Lasts Longer?

Quick oats contain natural oils that go rancid over time. Instant oats are typically steamed and flattened to stabilize the oils so they last longer. Both oats can last anywhere from 6-24 months, and when stored properly, they can last 25 years or more.

Be sure to pack your oats in a way that keeps pests and bugs out of them. You also want to keep them away from moisture and oxygen. You can store oats in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and keep them in a cool room to maximize the time they’ll keep.


Is the Price the Same?

At Publix, you can find different brands of oats and oatmeals, but for this comparison, I used Quaker Oats. One box of unflavored instant oatmeal costs $5.30 for twelve 1oz bags. Comparatively, one tin containing 18 oz of quick oats was only $5.00.

So technically, you’re saving 30 cents, but you’re getting about 6oz more, meaning the quick oats takes the prize this time. Remember that you will miss out on those extra vitamins, but it could be worth it if you get them in order.


What is the Biggest Difference Between These Two?

Honestly, the two are very similar. Quick oats are designed to take about a minute to cook, but instant oatmeal is meant to be even faster than that.

A big difference is that instant oatmeal comes packaged in pre portioned sizes, while you have to measure out the quick oats.

Another difference is that quick oats are designed to cook on a stovetop rather than a microwave, like instant oatmeal, so you’ll be adding more time if your stove takes a while to heat up. They’re also milled a little differently, with instant oatmeal being smaller.


Which One Has a Better Taste?

If you follow the liquid content described on the packaging, instant oatmeal tends to be a runnier consistency than quick oats, and you can fix that by adjusting how much liquid you add to it. Quick oats also tend to retain their nutty flavor better than instant oats as well.

As for which one has the better taste, it’s up to personal preference. For example, many people think instant oatmeal tastes better because of all the flavors, but flavoring your oatmeal at home can help enhance the flavor of quick oats and make it healthier.


Final Thoughts Is it a Better Buy to get Instant Oatmeal or a Canister of Quick Oats

When comparing quick oats and instant oatmeal, there are a few things to consider. In terms of nutrition, flavored instant oatmeal is full of sugar, but if you get unflavored, it’s very similar to quick oats.

In addition, they’ll last over 25 years if stored correctly, making them a staple in the pantry.

Quick oats are only 30 cents cheaper than instant oatmeal, but you’re getting 6oz more for your money. Quick oats can also taste as good as flavored instant oatmeal if you use ingredients from home. However, remember that they’re meant to be cooked on the stove.