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!



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  2. Thanks for all the recipes. One of the easiest homemade recipes I have used and made for gifts is homemade hand scrub. Use sugar and dawn hand renewal dish soap (pomegranate) mixed together to the consistency you want in whatever container you choose. Rub over fingers and hands and rinse with warm water. Feels and smells great!

  3. I would love to win the baking ingredients! I don’t know much about coupons & def don’t have access to mega quantities of them, so making my own mixes appeals to me. Plus I love to make food with the most natural ingredients possible. :)

  4. Love all your money saving ideas for both myself (retired) and my son and daughter-in-law (newlyweds). Thanks for a great website. Would love to win your baking kit!

  5. A Biscuick knock-off {which tasted just as good} made in a pinch saved the day recently…I love the thought of replacing these store-bought mixes with economical home-made ones! Thanks for all the great info!

  6. Gonna try homemeade taco seasoning mix. I love your blog! I make homemade energy bites on a pretty regular basis. Took them to a Zumbathon, and they were a hit.

  7. I have never made anything from scratch. : ( but I am looking forward to trying these recipes out with my children. Thanks so much for sharing

  8. You have so many great ideas! The only thing I’ve done is to put extra cookie dough in the freezer so I’m excited to try these mixes. Thanks so much!

  9. I love the idea of making my own homemade mixes. I’ve never actually done it before, but just recently bought the ingredients to try my own version of Bisquick. Thank you for all these awesome ideas! Can’t wait to start making my own!

  10. Thank you for all of the great ideas! I am looking forward to trying some of these ideas this summer with my daughters!

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