Tag Archives: money saving ideas

Home Made Biscuit/Baking mix

***Update 2-12-17 Now I have been using this recipe for several years and have found that anything that I make with it comes out lighter and much more delicious than anything I ever made with store bought Bisquick so it has become something I always have on hand and have made some changes to the recipe to improve it.

So, I was thinking, what else in my kitchen, that I use  quite a bit, can I make myself?  I was looking around on Pinterest, and saw numerous recipes for home made baking mix to take the place of store bought Bisquick.  I have always had Bisquick around and my mom always did too.  I figured the ingredients are pretty simple and if I make it myself not only will it be less expensive but also healthier since there won’t be any preservatives or chemicals that I can’t pronounce. This recipe costs me even less to make, all told, it takes approximately $5 worth of ingredients and in bulk it replaces about 3 boxes of Bisquick.

After some test runs, this is the best and my own bulk version of this recipe:

5lb bag of flour

3/4 c baking powder

1/4 c sugar

3 Tablespoons salt

3 cups butter flavored shortening

Mix it all in a very large bowl, I have a big stainless steel bowl that I also use for bread making.  I used a potato masher instead of a pastry blender to mix it and it blended it perfectly, keep blending by turning the bowl and pushing the masher down the sides of the bowl until it has a crumbly appearance. Like this:

finished baking mix in the canister

finished baking mix in the canister

This mix can be stored for 8 weeks or so in an airtight container, longer in the refridgerator which is where I keep it. I am using a large cereal storage container, it can also be kept in the freezer and it will last for 6 months. I have also written down the most commonly used recipes (biscuits, coffee cake and pancakes) and used packing tape to attach to the side of the container so we don’t have to go looking for recipes.

I use this often in my house, my son loves to make pancakes, we like biscuits, coffee cake on sunday mornings or holidays as well as a coating for chicken when mixed with spices and there is a pot pie recipe you can make with it that is delicious! If you don’t use baking mix often you can cut the recipe down by half or thirds. This mix substitutes for Bisquick in any recipe that calls for it.  follow this link for Bisquick recipes:  http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/product-recipes/bisquick-recipes

Try it and let me know how yours turns out or if you come up with a new idea for something to make with it!  as always, thanks for reading 🙂


Make your Own Taco Seasoning

**UPDATED 1-12-17

Making your own taco seasoning  not only saves money but it tastes so much better than the packaged taco seasonings and doesn’t have all the chemicals and preservatives that the store bought packets have, and which by the way include silica (You know those packets that come with shoes and bags, etc that says “do not eat”  and is actually what sand is made of …..yepper!  that is an ingredient in commercial taco seasoning!)  This was yet another Pinterest idea that I tested and I can say it worked out really well although I have also made some changes to the ingredients as an improvement. I have been making my own for several years now and have no plans to go back to store-bought much like with the home-made baking mix, soooo much better and less expensive than bisquick!  If you haven’t seen that post, follow this link https://syrinxasylum.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/home-made-biscuitbaking-mix/


I have started keeping and washing some empty containers of different types to store all of these new home made products in, recycling at its finest!

******I store this taco seasoning in an empty parmesan cheese shaker container, the benefit to this is that not only can you measure the heaping 1/8 cup that you need to make tacos out of one side but you can also use the sprinkle side to treat it like a condiment to add zing to other foods, this version could be classified as medium as far as level of heat, to make it hotter just add more cayenne and red pepper flakes to your liking or to make mild use a little less. I store the excess in an empty mayonnaise jar to refill the sprinkling container and because we use it a lot and it’s easier to mix up a bunch at one time to save time later. We use this in chili, add it to rice while its cooking to make Mexican rice and on so many other things just like you would use salt but we are a family of Mexican flavor lovers.

I make this in large batches and since I buy my spices at a discount all the time (for instance the $1 and even .50 spices that is at walmart and even big lots.  I am sure that making this quantity is saving us money, and we know for sure what the ingredients are so is also healthier i.e. no additives or preservatives.

mixstorage ingredients

Ingredients (on the left are the amounts for regular size batch which makes about 1-2 taco dinners ****on the right in parentheses is the amount for a large batch)

3 Tablespoons Chili powder (1 cup)

2 teaspoons paprika (1/2 cup)

2 teaspoons onion powder (1/2 cup)

1 heaping tsp salt (2tablespoons)

1 teaspoon garlic powder (1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon cumin (1/4 cup)

(this believe it or not is what makes it have that “taco” scent, who knew?…well, YOU will as soon as you open the container 🙂  )

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (1 tablespoon)

optional depending on how much heat you like:

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon)

pinch red pepper flakes (2 teaspoons)

Measure all your ingredients into a bowl, mix slightly, use a small funnel to pour from the bowl into your storage container, then shake well before each use to make sure they stay well mixed right before you use it.  and that is all there is to that, see?  couldn’t be easier!

******Here is another Pinterest recipe from my blog for Taco Pasta bake that use this seasoning for.  We love this so much we make it almost every week now! follow this link for that recipe:  https://syrinxasylum.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/taco-pasta-bake/

taco pasta bake

Homemade Drain cleaner, This is too good not to share!

Okay so this is yet another idea from pinterest, I was very skeptical about how this could work but when the super drain-o costs nearly $6 I decided to try it on our incredibly slow bath tub drain.  All it is is

1 c baking soda, 1 c. white vinegar and a teakettle full of very hot but not boiling water.  Pour the baking soda then the vinegar down the slow drain, it will be like a little volcano, cover with an old cloth for 30 min.  While you wait, put on a full kettle of water and let it heat to almost boiling.  After 30 min, remove the cloth and pour the entire ketllefull down the drain.  It’s

This worked like a miracle.  2 weeks ago I used a bottle of the store bought “drain snake” liquid and it did nothing for this drain, after this simple recipe, my drain works like perfectly new, so this is one more idea that I will continue to use and never buy commercial drain cleaning products again, can’t beat the price and more importantly cannot beat results like this!!!!

Making Household Cleaners out of Common Ingredients Instead of Buying them

I have been on Pinterest a good bit lately and seeing a lot of recipes for making your own household cleaners.  We have been on a very strict budget at my house for well over a year now and I am always looking for ways to save money.  At this point it’s become a challenge to me to see how inexpensively 3 of us can live.  I clip, download and even buy grocery coupons on Ebay but so far am not an extreme couponer, the most I have saved in a week was $15 I think but still that was $15 still in my pocket and not spent on groceries.  Now that I see these cleaning product recipes, it made me think about how much we probably spend on household cleaning products.  I have found recipes for laundry and dishwasher detergents, general household cleaners and even deodorizing cubes.  Most of these cleaners are made with vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, borax and hydrogen peroxide in some combination and all of these ingredients are pretty inexpensive compared to prepared laundry and dish detergents.  I have decided to pick some of these to try myself and share the results with you here.  I will make sure I post pictures and complete instructions.  This will be another fun challenge.  Can we make our own cleaning products and have them be as good as the ones we pay a lot of money for.  Stay tuned………………………..