Frugal Cooking: Make Ahead Mixes

I love to cook and bake from scratch. It tastes so much better than store bought baked goods or mixes. And I think it’s healthier, usually. But the convenience of a mix is hard to beat. On the flip side, however, mixes generally cost a lot more that the bare ingredients.

I get the best of both worlds when I make my own mixes. I label several quart-size freezer bags with the name of the mix, the wet ingredients that need to be added, and the baking instructions. Then I line up several bags open on the counter and, assembly line-style, measure in the dry ingredients. I do this for pancakes, waffles, scones, muffins, and corn bread. Then I store the filled bags in the freezer so that everything stays real fresh. When I’m ready to bake I just pull out the bag, dump it into a bowl, add the wet ingredients and bake away. This is also great to do for a camping trip.

For more frugal tips, visit Crystal’s blog every Friday.

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  1. what a great idea!


  2. Briana Almengor says:

    I’ve never thought to do this! I make waffles and pancakes from scratch almost every week. And, sometimes a quick bread. I’ll have to try this. What a great tip. Thanks.

  3. I like to do this too. It saves so much time. Thanks for sharing.

  4. THAT is a fabulous idea.

  5. BarbaraLee says:

    I have a mix that I use for muffins, biscuits & pancakes. I put in a big container. It taste better then Bisquik.

  6. Sharmista says:

    I tried this recently and it works SO well!

  7. good idea!

  8. The Joys of having Boys says:

    That is an awesome idea, I am new to your site and have enjoyed the great posts.

  9. I agree! I have found several recipes for bulk mixes that then make 3 or 4 different recipes. I have a son with allergies, and all of the store bought mixes are off limits for him. I keep a snack cake mix, oatmeal mix (for muffins, pancakes or cobbler), and a cookie mix in the pantry.

  10. Mrs. Pear says:

    I love this idea! I am starting to get ideas ready to have the freezer full when baby arrives, and this idea is going to the top of the list!

  11. Deal Mama Belle says:

    Wow! I love that idea!!!

  12. I love this idea!!!

    Where would you recommend looking for the recipes for the mixes?

  13. FishMama says:

    Lauren, you don’t have to have a special recipe. Any all-purpose cookbook will have basic recipes for pancakes, waffles, muffins. You’ll put in the bag only the dry, non-perishable ingredients. Later, you will add the wet ingredients and any mix-ins, like berries.

    There are special “Mix Cookbooks” out there. But, they either have you mix in shortening (which I don’t like) or they just give you “a recipe” for what I’m already telling you to do: put the dry ingredients in a bag.

  14. Thank you…I had looked at the mix cookbooks, but didn’t know if I would get enough use out of them. Guess it’s time to pull out the Better Homes & Gardens, huh?

    I love to cook, but I haven’t done much baking from scratch at all. This would be a great start!

  15. I love this idea!!! I bake a great deal.. but I do detest the time it takes.. between two kids..grr… I am going to try this. Thanks soo much!!!!

  16. Mary Ann says:

    I used to do this a lot but then stopped due to rodents eating through the ziploc bags.(Ewww!!) I sometimes use jars or Tupperware containers though. I hadn’t thought about putting them in the freezer, so this is a light bulb moment for me!:-)

  17. I don’t how I missed this the first time around. What a great idea! I will need to do this.

  18. oh, great idea. I am off to use this!!

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