This post contains affiliate links.
Oatmeal is a favorite in my house when we want an easy, semi-filling breakfast. One of my kids even likes to pack oatmeal in her thermos for school lunches. I sometimes make homemade oatmeal on the stovetop using oats, milk, a pinch of salt, and a little cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla. It makes for a very healthy breakfast. When I don’t have time for making it from scratch, I keep a box of instant oatmeal packets — which admittedly have a lot more sugar than the homemade variety — in the pantry.
I often buy instant oatmeal from Aldi, and we really like their organic oats and flax instant oatmeal. When I was shopping at Dollar General recently, I noticed they also carry their own line of instant oatmeal under the DG Clover Valley private label.
I found instant oatmeal at DG in two different varieties or flavors: maple and brown sugar or fruit and cream. The fruit and cream oatmeal includes two packets each of strawberries and cream, peaches and cream, and bananas and cream.
Clover Valley Instant Oatmeal cost $1.85 at the time of publication for a box containing six individual serving packets. That comes out to about 31 cents per serving. That’s a little more than the Aldi oats and flax oatmeal, which comes out to about 29 cents per serving. It’s also a lot more money than Great Value Walmart brand instant oatmeal packets, which cost about 17 cents per serving whether you buy a small box or a larger value pack at the time of writing. Name brand Quaker instant oatmeal cost about 39 cents per serving if you purchase a large box of 20 packets at Walmart.
That makes the Dollar General instant oatmeal a good deal compared to name brands, but it costs more than other store brands.
This Clover Valley Instant Oatmeal is distributed by Old East Main Co., which is the company behind Dollar General private label products.
The boxes have directions for making the oatmeal either with hot water or in the microwave.
To make the oatmeal with hot water, empty one packet into a bowl. Add up to 1/2 cup of boiling water if making the maple and brown sugar oatmeal, or up to 1/3 cup of water if making the fruit and cream oatmeal. Stir. For best results, let stand for 1-2 minutes before serving.
To make the oatmeal in the microwave, empty one packet into a microwave-safe bowl. Add up to 2/3 cup of water or milk if making the maple and brown sugar oatmeal, or up to 1/2 cup of water or milk if making the fruit and cream oatmeal. Stir. Microwave uncovered on high for 1-2 minutes or until oatmeal begins to thicken. Carefully remove the hot bowl from the microwave. Stir and serve.
The main ingredient in these oatmeal packets is whole grain rolled oats, followed by sugar. The fruit and cream oatmeal also has real fruit pieces. These oatmeal packets also contain a few processed ingredients such as natural flavor or artificial flavor and/or various gums, maltodextrin, etc.
If you’re looking out for allergens, the fruit and cream oatmeal contains milk.
These are like a lot of instant oatmeal packets and contain a fair amount of added sugar. The maple and brown sugar oatmeal has 12 grams of added sugar per serving, while the fruit and cream oatmeal flavors each have 10 grams of added sugars. These also have between 26 and 32 grams of total carbohydrates, 170-260 mg of sodium, and 2-3 grams of dietary fiber.
I made these oatmeal packets in my microwave using milk instead of water, as I usually do when I make instant oatmeal. This oatmeal comes out a little on the runny side, so I’ve experimented with adding less milk so I get a thicker finished product.
When I made the strawberry instant oatmeal pictured above, I filled my measuring cup with milk so it was halfway between the 1/3 and 1/2 cup markings. That made a thinner oatmeal.
When I made the maple and brown sugar oatmeal pictured below, I filled the measuring cup to the 1/3 cup mark, and it made a thicker oatmeal.
I usually cook most instant oatmeal for 1 minute in the microwave, but I’ve been cooking these for more like 1 minute and 15 to 30 seconds to also help cook off some liquid. Just keep in mind that after the 1-minute mark, you’re more likely to get boil overs, so keep a close eye on your oatmeal in the microwave.
In terms of taste, these are practically identical to other instant oatmeal brands I’ve eaten. They’re very sweet, and the fruit and cream oatmeal has small chunks of dried/rehydrated fruit. The strawberries and cream oatmeal also turns out very pink in color.
While admittedly not the healthiest because of all the sugar, these have worked fine for quick and easy breakfasts. My child who likes taking oatmeal to school in a thermos has been requesting these as well. I’ve been sprinkling a small amount of ground flaxseed on top of the cooked oatmeal to make it a little healthier.
Clover Valley Instant Oatmeal is sold at Dollar General and comes in maple and brown sugar or fruit and cream varieties. The fruit and cream oatmeal includes strawberries and cream, peaches and cream, and bananas and cream. I make these with milk in my microwave. Less milk seems to be better or they come out pretty runny. Otherwise, these taste identical to other instant oatmeals my family has eaten. These cost less than name brand oatmeal, but you can find other store brands that cost less.