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

 Save over $100 per year by making your own homemade baking mixes!! Check out these tips and tricks plus get easy recipes!

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

13 Easy Homemade Bread Recipes (Freezer & Budget Friendly!)

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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  • Looks like some great recipes!

  • Jenny in UT 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!

  • Ruth says:

    Homemade Bisquick! I can use it so many different recipes.

  • Your pic of cookie dough links to pizza crust. 🙂

  • 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!

  • Darla says:

    The chocolate chip cookie dough link goes to the pizza dough recipe

  • 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).

  • 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??

    • Victoria 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. 🙂

  • I make up a mix for waffles. All I have to do is add milk, and they’re ready to go! Love having such a quick breakfast that the kids think is so great! Here’s the link:

  • 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.

  • 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. 🙂

  • Lydia says:

    Can’t wait to try out some of the recipes above! I love making my own things and recently experimented with several things including Homemade Onion Soup mix.

    We really like my Homemade Shake and Bake. Here’s the recipe:

  • 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.

  • Tammy 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. 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sara Mann says:

    I am so glad I happend upon your page. I love it!! Keep your wonderful ideas coming. And I just want to say a big THANK YOU for sharing.

  • Michelle says:

    Has anyone tried the pancake mix? Do they turn out fluffy?

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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:)

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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!

  • Charlene says:

    Anyone have a recipe that could be used for a packet of onion soup mix?

    • Kim says:

      Homemade Onion Soup Mix
      Kim @, adapted from Heavenly Homemakers

      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

      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).

  • Kate says:

    Ah these seem so obvious but you just don’t think about it!

  • Stephanie 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 🙂

    • Crystal 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!

      • Stephanie 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.


  • JeninCanada 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.

  • Mary Ellen 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • Lauren says:

    About how long do the dry mixes stay good? I am planning to make some for Christmas. We always use ours up pretty much right away. However, I would like to put an expiration date on the mixes. Thanks!

  • catherine says:

    This is such a great post. I was particularly fond of the baking mix, carefully (and anal retentively) labeled HOME MADE baking mix…like what, you might mistake it for store bought? That’s the kind of thing that I would do and it tickled me to see someone else who is OCD about these things being labeled PROPERLY. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Andrea says:

    This book has so many good recipes for mixes.
    My favorite is the muffins. They are super easy and totally customizable. I’m having fun making mixes now!

  • Brandi says:

    Could you come up with a list of homemade mixed that use only whole wheat flour? We grind our own and it’s too time consuming to sift large quantities.

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