Nifty Thrifty Week: Day #1 with Crystal Paine

Whoo-hoo! It is Nifty Thrifty Week!!!!

Welcome to those who hopped over from my Proverbs 31 devotion The Boomerang of Blessing about how God took care of our young family financially when times were t-i-g-h-t! Please click here to read it.

(And if you feel a heart tug to give financially to a young family in need, please click here for the amazing story of a newlywed couple in our life who are serving God through a traumatic brain injury and in whose honor two of our friends are running the Boston Marathon TODAY!)

Now, all week long I am going to be featuring some of my favorite money-savvy, live-on-faith, save-so-you-can-give bloggers sharing ideas and really fabulous giveaways. (If you don’t want to miss a thing, please sign up to get my post automatically emailed to you by clicking here.)

We’ll start off the week with the ever-thrifty Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom.  I don’t remember how I first crossed paths with Crystal in the blogging world but we have done some online ministry together and I finally got to meet her in person this past January. She is a wealth of money-saving information and ideas whose passion is to help other women save too.

Here today she is giving us oodles of recipes for making homemade mixes  AND giving away a $100 Baking Ingredients Kit from This prize will be staple ingredients plus some fun goodies to help you get started making your own mixes. (If you comment on this post you will be entered to win her prize. Winner will be drawn randomly and all of the week’s winner’s will be announced next Monday)

Okay fellow saving-wanabees… is Crystal!

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 your favorite homemade mix recipes? I’d love to have you share them in the comments so I could consider trying them myself! Or, if you’ve never tried any before, tell us that too. All comments will be entered in the drawing for my giveaway. :)

NOTE:  The winner of the Lead Like Jesus giveaway is AMY: comment left April 12 at 7:31 am. Please send your home address to [email protected] so she can get you your prize!



  1. i have been wanting to try your oatmeal packets, my family eats a lot of oatmeal and this will help with the budget. Plus I like making things myself, no preservatives, additives. I know what I’m putting in it. It’s healthier for you. Thank you for these recipes, your awesome!


  2. I haven’t tried making my own mixes, but would like to. I have lots of them saved on Pintrest but haven’t taken the time to put them together.

  3. I LOVE your blog, Crystal and have tried many of your recipes. You inspired me to start faithfully using my bread maker (which I happened to find at the thrift store for $10!) and I appreciate all of your helpful money saving tips. I would love to win the giveaway…it sure would be helpful in feeding my family of 8.

  4. I make my own taco seasoning mix, and tuscan spice mix(it is awesome as a rub for meat). I also cook and bake gluten free and make most of my recipe mixes like pancake and muffin mixes up ahead of time and freeze for later use.

  5. I actually have been following your blog for quite some time and use a lot of your recipes :) thank you so much for your blog and sharing with us!!

  6. Favorite mix I’ve made up is taco seasoning. One of the people that we occasionally have over is allergic to yeast (and the yeast extract that is in several packaged varieties).

  7. My favorite homemade mix is fajita and taco seasoning. I feel like I’m cooking healthier just by simply using my spice ingredients because there are no preservatives.

  8. It is helpful that things can be prepared ahead shortening pre-dinner cooking time. Great when we need a quick meal before a baseball game. Two boys means lots of rushing out the door.

  9. THANK YOU…this post (and series) is coming at a very perfect time in my families life. I am so excited to try each and every recipe…I am all about trying to save money right now…What a good way to start with these mixes and this prize. May you be blessed because you are already a blessing to me.
    Smiles, Robin :)

  10. I would LOVE to get started on making my own mixes. I’ve always thought about doing it, but haven’t taken the time to actually do it.

  11. Just started financial peace university last night and looking for ways to cut back costs. This post came at a PERFECT time in our lives. I would love to win that kit!

  12. I have been wanting to do this so thanks for all the mix recipes, now it’s much simpler and really motivates me!

  13. Thank you for sharing your recipes and tips. I visted your site and signed up for your email updates. Thank you, Karen for hosting this great week of topics!

  14. Would love to win this. My husband had a Quad bypass in August and a stroke a week later. One of the things that has changed is that we are doing things like this not just to save money but also to stop eating mixes, boxed food, etc. He has lost 42 lbs and doing great! Truly a miracle!

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