My Favorite Frugal Cookies: Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip)

Growing up, if we had cookies, 90% of the time if I didn’t scrape something out of an interesting cookbook and make them myself, they were usually this cookie. Occasionally we had other cookies; I can vaguely remember tries at molasses cookies and gingersnaps.

The more I bake, though, the more I realize that these cookies, beyond being my ABSOLUTE favorite cookie, are actually much cheaper than just about any other cookie I make. These are not a typical cinnamon raisin oatmeal cookie. They are more of a sugar cookie turned oatmeal, with the sometimes (and optional) chocolate chips which make them my favorite chocolate chip cookie.

This recipe costs similarly to most 1 dozen yield cookies, but can yield 7-8 dozen if cooked promptly and thus don’t run into issues with eating cookie dough out of the freezer or microwaving a cup of dough for a quick cookie lump. I nearly always freeze the dough after making the first dozen, I probably eat about 2 dozen of the recipe as frozen dough, and in the winter will microwave frozen dough and top with milk.

This is difficult to make without a stand mixer, but I have done it with a spoon/fork/knife before in college, and it is possible. My family growing up didn’t have a stand mixer either. I cheat and do it the easy way now. If you have a regular size stand mixer, you’ll have to push the sides down toward the end as it tends to want to overflow.

  • 2C shortening (usually margarine)
  • 1C brown sugar
  • 3C white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2t vanilla
  • 3C flour
  • 2t baking soda
  • 2t salt
  • 6C oatmeal
  • 6oz to 1lb chocolate chips (fully optional)

First, cream the shortening and sugars. Then add the eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Mix the baking soda and salt into some of the flour, then add all the flour slowly while mixing. Slowly add the oatmeal, and last fold in the chocolate chips.



As a child we wrapped this as logs in wax paper to freeze; lately I’ve used ziploc bags. Probably anything you want could work, just enough layers to keep it from picking up other freezer flavors.


I form the dough into walnut size balls and cook at 365 degrees (rather, somewhere in the middle between 350 and 375 on my oven) for 11-12 minutes. The time is a balancing act. Longer and they will be crunchy, shorter and they will be softer. Cooling them on a rack makes them keep better, but they can be softer and stay warm if put directly on a plate, if they will be immediately consumed.


Mmmmmm tasty. =)


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