Granola can be a pretty pricey grocery store item. However, it is very easy to make your own at home. If you can buy the ingredients in bulk and/or on sale, you will further reduce the cost. If maple syrup is out of the budget, you can easily substitute honey.
5 cups rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup powdered nonfat milk
2 teaspoons lemon or orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 F. In very large mixing bowl, combine oates, bran, wheat germ, sesame seeds, salt, and cinnamon. In separate mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, powdered milk, citrus rind, and vanilla. Pour wet mixture over dry and toss to coat evenly. Spread on large cookie sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Crumble according to your preferences and stir in nuts and dried fruit. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy as a breakfast cereal, in yogurt parfaits, or just for snacking.