Friday, January 16, 2009

Frugal Living Friday: Homemade Mixes

Welcome to Frugal Living Friday! Each week I will feature a tip that can help us stretch our budget and live more frugally! If you have a tip that you want shared on Frugal Living Friday, let me know and you could become a guest blogger for a day.

Sometimes convenience is worth it when it comes to baking, don't you agree? Making everything from scratch can be time consuming and just plain tiring sometimes. However, did you know you can make your own homemade convenience mixes to keep on hand? The majority of the time it would be more economical and healthier to use homemade mixes than boxes from the store.

Many times you can find box mixes on great sales where they are super cheap. But just remember: They are processed. They have hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, etc. You skip all this by spending a few extra minutes making homemade mixes yourself. It really doesn't take long. Yesterday I made a homemade brownie mix, and it took me about 15 minutes. It will keep for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place.

Brownie Mix

8 cups sugar (I do less, but that is just me)

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

4 tsp. salt

2 1/2 c. baking cocoa

2 cups shortening

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, like this:

Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. I put mine in Tupperware, label it like so and stick it in my fridge in the garage. Yield: 18 cups.

I got this recipe from Quick Cooking magazine a few years ago and clipped it. With this brownie mix, you can make fudge sauce, walnut brownies, brownie snack cake, and brownie crinkle cookies. Pretty nifty! I took a photo of the page, hopefully you can click on the picture and it will be large enough for you to see the recipes and photos.

With one recipe of this homemade mix, I figure it is like having about 4-5 box mixes from the store. You can make several batches of things with one mix recipe. I made the brownie crinkle cookies yesterday and got 3 dozen cookies. With the cost of the ingredients figured in, I estimate the cost for a batch of brownies with this mix to be approximately about .30 cents . Not too bad, eh?

Plus, like I said before you are getting the satisfaction of knowing you are making something that you feel good about. You know what goes in there. There is so much crap in those box mixes, so much stuff that is really bad for us.

Here are some websites with ideas for making your own homemade mixes.

Recipe Gold Mine Homemade Mixes

Cyber Kitchen Homemade Mixes

Hillbilly Housewife Homemade Convenience Foods

My friend Holly's Mix Recipes

Do you make your own mixes? Do you have any recipes to share? Oh, and don't forget to do THIS with your pancake mixes! :)

(I did a post on cooking from scratch awhile ago you may want to look at)



gd said...

Just wanted to let you know you left the cocoa out of your recipe. I saw it on the photo, but not on your list.

Kellie said...

I wanted to make brownies today and here ya go...thanks for reading my mind ;) I try to make my own Bisquick mix as well...I will have to find the recipe and share it. I will be making these brownies today! Thanks again!

Marne said...

Thanks gd! I will fix it. I was really tired last night as I did this. :)

Sanders Clan said...

What an awesome website!!! I stumbled upon it on one of my friends blogs I was stalking. I have wanted to start using coupons, but wasn't quite sure the best way to get started, and you have helped me tons! Thanks for the great ideas and the brownie recipe sounds great. I will for sure be spreading the word about this site and I will definatly be back soon!

Tiffani said...

I use a pancake master mix that I love because it is made mostly with whole wheat flour. Check out the recipe on

Holly said...

Thanks for the shout out! I need to add to my mix recipes.

A happy heart at home said...

Thanks for sharing!


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