Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saving money by cooking at home

One of my New Year's goals is to save more money this year. I've been doing pretty good with price-matching, couponing and rebates but in order to save even more I know it's best when I cook from scratch. I recently saw that a 10lb. bag of pancake mix at the grocery store sells for $7. This homemade version below costs a fraction of that and it's a little healthier too because it has wheat in it. I store this in my fridge and try to use it at least once a week when we have pancakes or muffins.

Homemade Bisquick Mix:
In a LARGE mixing bowl combine 5 cups whole wheat flour, 5 cups white flour (you can adjust this however you want to get your family used to it). Add 1/3 cup baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon salt then stir around really well. Add 2 cups butter flavored shortening and use a pastry blender till crumbly (you'll get a nice arm workout). Store in airtight container in your fridge for up to 6 months.

"Now what do I do with it?" you ask.

In mixing bowl combine 2 cups mix, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla. This works well with powdered eggs as well and no one will know the difference! Cook on a hot griddle like you normally would. I like mine with a thin smear of peanut butter and some syrup. Other times I like a thick layer of applesauce and powdered sugar on top. Add some turkey bacon for a side and everybody's happy.

Blueberry Muffins:
In mixing bowl combine 2 cups mix, 2/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons oil, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 mashed banana to make it moist and after mixing it all fold in 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen). Pour into a regular muffin tin (greased or use the paper liners) and cook in preheated 400 degree oven for 13-18 minutes. 425 degrees for high altitude but you'll want to check it and possibly cover it with aluminum foil the last 5 minutes so as not to over-brown the tops. Is that even a word? Oh well, you won't care once you're eating them. I like serving them with hard-boiled eggs. Kids LOVE cracking eggs.

There are few things more rewarding than being able to say, "I made that". As women we love to create and share. Cooking is a great way to do that. Now go get on your apron and try these new recipes!

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