52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Mixes {Week 6}

Make-Your-Own-Homemade-Mixes-red

At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

Save Over $100 Per Year By Making Your Own Homemade Mixes

Making your own homemade mixes is such a simple thing, but the majority of families who don’t cook and bake completely from scratch would likely save at least $8-$10 per month by making their own mixes instead of buying them pre-made.

Of course, if you typically get boxed cake mixes for pennies with coupons, you’re likely not going to save too much. But if you’re routinely paying for cookie mix, biscuit mix, pancake mix, taco seasoning packets, and more, you’ll save quite a bit. And every little bit adds up.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Not only are homemade mixes themselves much more economical than buying them pre-made at the store, but they can also save you money by encouraging you to eat at home. If you have pancake mix already made or pizza dough in the freezer, you have fewer excuses to go out for breakfast or order pizza.

Homemade Mixes Can Save You Time

Take a little time on the weekend or some evening to mix together the dry ingredients for your favorite homemade cakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, or pancakes. Doing this ahead of time will cut your prep time in half or more — and make cooking and baking from scratch a breeze!

Homemade Mixes Are Healthier

Aside from the time and money saved, one of the big benefits of making homemade mixes is that you have full control of what you put into the mixes. You don’t have to worry about chemicals or other unwanted ingredients. This is also a huge plus if you are dealing with food allergies at your house.

Freezer-Friendly Pizza Dough

How to Get Started Making Your Own Homemade Mixes

If you’re new to cooking and baking from scratch, don’t try to make everything from scratch. Just pick a few recipes that you think you’ll love and start with those. If they don’t work or you don’t like them, move on to another recipe.

Pinterest is a loaded with homemade mix recipe ideas. You could even create a board specifically to pin homemade mix ideas on as you find them. You can see a few of my favorite tried and true recipes below.

As you find recipes that work well, keep making them and slowly add new ones. Eventually, you’ll hopefully get into a nice rhythm of always having a good supply of mixes and doughs made ahead of time and waiting in your freezer.

Homemade Baking Mix

Be Sure to Label Your Mixes!

Make sure to label your mixes clearly, though, so you don’t end up having the disaster I had when trying to make rolls for guests with what I thought was flour, but was actually pancake mix!

Recommended Homemade Mix Recipes

Freezer-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Homemade Baking Mix

Freezer-Friendly Pizza Dough

Knock-Off Betty Crocker Brownie Mix

Homemade Pancake Mix

Glazed Cinnamon Scones (I’ve made the dry ingredients as a mix, or made the scone dough and frozen it.)

Freezer-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What are you favorite homemade mix recipes? I’d love to have you share them in the comments so I could consider trying them myself!

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Other posts in the 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year series

  1. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Bake Your Own Bread (Week #1)
  2. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Make Your Own Coffee at Home (Week #2)
  3. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Cable Package {Week 3}
  4. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Order Prescription Glasses Online {Week 4}
  5. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners {Week 5}
  6. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Mixes {Week 6}
  7. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become a One-Car Family {Week 7}
  8. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Surround Yourself With Frugal Friends {Week 8}
  9. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Eliminate Disposable Products {Week 9}
  10. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Cut Your Own Hair {Week 10}
  11. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Use Cloth Diapers {Week 11}
  12. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become Best Friends With Your Freezer {Week 12}
  13. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Rent Movies for FREE {Week 13}
  14. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Ask for a Discount {Week 14}
  15. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cancel Your Gym Membership {Week 15}
  16. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Get the Best Bang for Your Buck at Yard Sales {Week 16}
  17. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Grow Some Of Your Food {Week 17}
  18. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cut Back on the Soda Pop Habit {Week 18}
  19. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Buy in Bulk {Week 19}
  20. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Price-Match at Walmart {Week 20}
  21. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Landline {Week 21}
  22. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Refinance Your Mortgage {Week 22}
  23. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Follow a Local Deal Blogger {Week 23}
  24. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Coupon Database {Week 24}
  25. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Plan a Weekly Menu {Week 25}
  26. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Strategically Use Daily Deal Sites {Week 26}
  27. 52 Different Ways to Save At Least $100 Per Year: Shop at Aldi {Week 27}
  28. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Books {Week 28)
  29. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Clothing {Week 29}
  30. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop With Cash {Week 30}
  31. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat Less Meat {Week 31}
  32. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Is this really a good deal? {Week 32}
  33. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: 3 Ways to Save on Online Orders {Week 33}
  34. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Turn Your Clutter Into Cash {Week 34}
  35. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get Organized {Week 35}
  36. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Have an All-Cash Christmas {Week 36}
  37. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Sign Up for Swagbucks {Week 37}
  38. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Cut Your Fuel Costs {Week 38}
  39. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Frequent the Library {Week 39}
  40. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Simplify Birthday Parties {Week 40}
  41. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Brown Bag It {Week 41}
  42. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Snacks {Week 42}
  43. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Programmable Thermostat {Week 43}
  44. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Limit Eating Out {Week 44}
  45. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get a Bang for Your Buck on Travel Expenses {Week 45}
  46. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Don't Pay For Pre-Made Baby Food {Week 46}
  47. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat More Beans {Week 47}
  48. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Homemade Cards {Week 48}
  49. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop At More Than One Store {Week 49}
  50. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat From the Pantry {Week 50}
  51. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Stay Home More {Week 51}
  52. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Develop Contentment {Week 52}

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Comments

  1. says

    One of my favorite cookbooks deals with mixes! It is Make-a-Mix Cookery: How to Make Your Own Mixes and More Make-a-Mix Cookery by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, Madeline Westover I have an old version that is over 20 years old and I love it. I think they have a newer cookbook out. But I love premade mixes!! I look forward to trying out your mixes too!

  2. Nicole says

    Ever since you first posted the brownie mix, I’ve been making it and we love it! It’s so great to be able to make brownies when ever you want with what you already have on hand! Thank you! I also love the oatmeal pancake mix from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. One mix lasts forever and it’s yummy and good for you!

  3. Sandy says

    I too, have made chocolate chip cookie dough, rolled it into balls and freeze. I also like to make Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin cookie dough (it’s the recipe on the lid of the quick cooking oatmeal) but, I add 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Oh my gosh…super delish! They come out golden brown, has a little something more to it and it makes your house smell fabulous when baked. I always liked having both the oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie frozen dough on hand. You can bake some of both at the same time.

    I also like making gingerbread waffles to put in the freezer. Buy the gingerbread cake mixes after Christmas when they clearance out. Prepare just as you would to bake a cake, but add 1 T. vegetable oil to the mix. Top with powdered sugar (less expensive than maple syrup yet all the sweetness).

  4. AD says

    Doesn’t the coconut oil get rock hard in the freezer? I’ve made the homemade baking mix several times, but we have the hardest time getting out just the amount we need because it’s ROCK HARD. I have to defrost the whole batch some in order to measure out what I need. Does anyone have a solution??

    • says

      I had the same problem but I noticed if I keep it in the fridge it doesn’t do this. I don’t think it will last quite as long but it will last several weeks in the fridge.

    • Bailey says

      I haven’t actually made any of these mixes, but it seems like you could just make a big batch and freeze it in smaller batches (possibly varying sizes). That way you would have the perfect size serving on hand. :)

  5. Kim says

    Thanks so much for this series!!:):) I do whole grain pancakes, Ezekiel bread, & taco seasoning. I’ve been considering doing oatmeal packets & trying biscuit or corn bread mixes.

  6. Luba says

    What a great idea! When I was younger, I used to bake from boxes often. When my dad looked at the ingredients, he said to bake everything from scratch from then on! It definitely is healthier and less expensive. :)

  7. Jessie says

    I have just recently had to go on a gluten free and dairy free diet. I would love to know if anyone knows of some good homemade mixes that don’t have gluten or dairy. Thanks in advanced! :)

    • Sandra says

      I watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen-Cook’s Country where Christopher Kimball discussed the use of gluten-free flour in cakes, cookies and pie crust. Only the cake made with gluten free flour actually worked out. Perhaps you could try a cake recipe using both gluten-free flour AND substitute each egg in the recipe with either 1/4 c. applesauce with 1/2 tsp. baking soda OR 1/2 ripe banana with 1/2 tsp. baking soda OR 1/4 c. silken tofu.

  8. says

    I’m going to have to check out some of the recipes. I never buy mixes, so the savings is not there! But I could use some shortcuts in the kitchen. :)

  9. chelsea says

    After you’ve got into the habit of making all your mixes from scratch, the store-bought stuff just doesn’t taste good anymore.

  10. Abra says

    Thanks for more great ideas! I plan to make up a variety of mixes to give as gifts to my girlfriends (along with the recipes) this year.

  11. Christina says

    I’ve made homemade mixes before, but one thing I cannot get over is how the mixes absorb surrounding flavors and smells. For example, when I make a batch of instant oatmeal mixes and store them in my pantry ziploc bags, they’ll take on the smell of my pantry (gravy mix, taco spices, etc). I can taste the off flavor when I make the oatmeal. Anyone have a solution for this?

  12. says

    Great idea! I never thought of this before but the cost of packets of taco seasoning in particular has always bugged me. I’ll definitely use that recipe, and maybe some of the others too! Thanks!

    • Jen says

      The price of those packets is not only ridiculous, but take a look at the ingredients sometime. Yikes! I hardly recognized anything. My homemade taco seasoning is 100% real herbs and spices and tastes great. You can also make your own chili powder blend.

  13. Ivy Berres says

    I also keep a pancake/waffle mix in my cupboard as well as a basic muffin mix. I add the wet ingredients and any add in’s and cook up a batch or two:) I can’t wait to try the scone and baking mix!!!

    Thanks for all the helpful tips and ideas, they sure help out this single mama on a very tight budget:)

  14. says

    I used to routinely buy Taco Seasoning Packets, but then I discovered it was super easy to make. Now I only pick the packets up if they are free. I use spices that I pick up for 99 cents a jar at Aldis to make the Taco Seasoning. You just need mainly Chili, Paprika, and Cumin.

    Not only is it less expensive, but you know exactly what is going into your mix. That way your sodium count isn’t extremely high.

  15. Frances says

    The Knock Off Betty Crocker brownie mix is AMAZING! I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 dish (used 3/4 c oil and 1/4 c water as recommended). I used M X M’s because they expired first (instead of chocolate chips).

  16. Marcia says

    FYI: The chocolate chip cookie recipe does not link up. It keeps leading me to the pizza dough recipe instead. Can you fix that? My mouth has been watering to try those chocolate chip cookies!

    • Kim says

      Homemade Onion Soup Mix
      Author/Source:
      Kim @ Onceamonthmom.com, adapted from Heavenly Homemakers
      Ingredients:

      0.66 cups dried minced onion
      3 teaspoons parsley flakes
      2 teaspoons onion powder
      2 teaspoons tumeric
      1 teaspoon sea salt
      1 teaspoon celery salt
      1 teaspoons sucanat or sugar (optional)
      0.5 teaspoons black pepper

      Directions:
      Place ingredients in a lidded container and shake together or in small mixing bowl and whisk together. Use 4 Tablespoons of mixture when a recipe calls for one package of onion soup mix (or use to taste in your own recipes).

  17. says

    Thanks for the post, Crystal! I definitely need to try the brownie and pancake mixes. I buy lots of Bisquick! Do you ever do your pizza dough in your bread maker? That’s actually what I make most often in my bread maker, and I was surprised to read that you knead it by hand since you’re such a fan of your bread maker! I make enough dough for two crusts in mine. I use one and freeze the other :)

    • says

      I’ve not had as great of success making it in the bread machine — the dough just doesn’t seem to be as light and fluffy as it does when I make it by hand. Plus, it literally takes me minutes to do, so it’s not like kneading for 10 minutes like some bread recipes are.

      However, I’d love to find a bread machine dough recipe that I loved for pizza, so if you have a link for yours, please do share it!

      • says

        My recipe isn’t too different from yours. I often mix the dough in the morning/midday and just let it sit in there all day. For some reason, it seems to taste better the longer it sits and the warmer it is in the house :)

        My recipe is:

        1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
        2 tablespoons olive oil
        2 teaspoons salt
        4 1/4 cups flour
        2 teaspoons sugar
        2 teaspoons yeast

        Put ingredients in bread maker in order listed. This makes 2 crusts and can be frozen.

        :)

  18. says

    Oh, this is a great idea! Sometimes I totally want to bake but don’t have the time. Being able to open the freezer, grab the dough already made and pop it in the oven and bingo! Cookies! is wonderful.

  19. says

    In regards to pricing – I’m not sure about you, but spices in general are high. I have calculated making my own chocolate syrup and other items and if you use quality ingredients, then I’m barely breaking even. I do it because the ingredients in the boxed items are not healthy.

    • Pat says

      check the prices for spices in the mexican part of the grocery store. I was shocked to find them at least 50% cheaper. I also go to Winco that has spices in bulk. They do enough business that the spices are always fresh and I only buy what I need.

  20. Rachel K says

    I love this series and look for it every week but did I miss a week? I thought this was week 7.

  21. Kristin says

    I tried the brownie mix and it is awesome! I love the taste and ease of making boxed brownies, but not all the extra junk they put in them, so I’m SOOOOOO glad to have this recipe. I also love boxed cake mixes and jar frosting…would love to see a homemade recipe on those soon, please!!!

  22. Marie says

    I missed the start of your weekly post to saving money 52 weeks is there a way to go back and read them. I always read and reread your emails, I was without a coupon since Xmas.