There are lots of things to think about when deciding whether to serve hot cereal or cold “ready-to-eat” cereal. Here’s what a hundred-year-old home economics textbook says:
The ready-to-eat cereals commend themselves to those whose time is money. For the house-mother whose chief business is housekeeping the uncooked cereals will make the greatest return for the money spent. A cent’s worth of oatmeal when cooked is as much as the very heartiest laboring man can eat. A cent’s worth of cornmeal makes a breakfast for him, and there will be some left to fry for supper.
A cent’s worth of a ready-to-eat cereal is less – one shredded wheat biscuit or a dainty dish of corn flakes. The saving all depends upon the value of the cook’s time. For uncooked cereals she expends time in preparation, for the ready-to-eat cereals she expends money.
True economy for one family may be extravagance for another family. The intelligent housewife considers all these facts in order to make a wise decision.
How to Cook and Why by Elizabeth Condit and Jessie A. Long (1914)