Ask Miserly Moms: Frugal Mixes

by Jonni McCoy

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I am looking for a homemade recipe for Lipton Onion Soup Mix [dry recipe].

A Here it is! Enjoy!

"Lipton's Onion Soup" Recipe

  • 3/4 c. dry minced onion
  • 1/3 c. beef bouillon powder
  • 4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar

Combine all ingredients. Store in tight fitting container. About 5 Tbls. of mix are equal to 1 1.25 oz pkg. To make onion dip, mix 5 Tbls.. with one pint of sour cream.

Q First of all I love your book, Miserly Moms. I have recommended it to families who come to our church for financial/ food assistance. I am in charge of our Church's food pantry and have incorporated the principal of cooking from scratch to stretch our food dollar.

Back to my question. You mention in the book that you made your own baking mix (like Bisquick), but I couldn't find that recipe in your book. Would you share that recipe?
Thank You and God Bless!
Dianna Mason

A Thanks for your nice letter. Below is the easy recipe for making your own Baking Mix (Bisquick). There are also many sites on the internet with baking mix recipes. Some have whole wheat versions of the mix as well. Here's one to try.

Also, try checking out a book at the library called Make a Mix Cookbook. She has several recipes for mixes and their uses.
BTW, all of these recipes will work with any Bisquick recipe that you have.

Baking Mix

  • 8 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/4 Cups Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Shortening

Combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in tightly closed covered container in a cool place (cupboards are fine). Makes about 10 cups.

Q I was wondering if you had any ideas for affordable things for couples to do together on those rare times when you get a sitter (Grandma). Dinner and a movie are so expensive and that's really all my husband and I do when we go out!

A Even married couples need to go on dates. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on these dates - indeed, many can be done for free. Before movie theaters, snow mobiles, ski lifts, or even cars, people had fun.

When my husband and I need some time alone, we can't usually afford the combined cost of a sitter, dinner at a restaurant or movie theater tickets. So, we find a cheaper alternative that is as fun. Some people complain that these aren't as exciting as a dinner out or a movie. That may be true, but focus on why you're going out in the first place - to be together. Romance is all in your point of view.

Below are some of our ideas that we have tried. To add your own to the list, think like a tourist: read the Sunday newspaper's travel section and get ideas, or read the visitor's guide put out by your city.

Inexpen$ive Date Ideas:

  • Pick a handful of wildflowers for your partner.

  • Drive to the tallest place in the city and enjoy the view or drive around the outer limits of the town.

  • Rummage through a flea market.

  • Visit local museums or art galleries. Often there is a free day each month.

  • Visit local zoos or aquariums on their free days.

  • Visit a local art gallery or a local bookstore's poetry reading.

  • Find any free tours available in your area (wineries, breweries, etc.) * Go out for coffee and dessert instead of dinner.

  • Go to a matinee -- they are sometimes half price -- or find the cheap movie theater in your area. They often cost $1 per person.

  • Pull out the music you used to listen to and reminisce.

  • Cook something together.

  • Go square dancing.

Jonni McCoy is the author of "Miserly Moms-Living On One Income In A Two Income Economy" and "Frugal Families-Making The Most Of Your Hard Earned Money!"

Visit the Miserly Moms Website at

There is a new way to learn what Miserly Moms and Frugal Families have to say. Get it on tape! Audio cassette tapes are now available for each. They are recordings of workshops given by Jonni McCoy. Each is 1 hour in length and costs only $5 ! For more details, please visit

The advice given in this column is based upon personal information and experience. For further information on the disclaimer, please visit this address:

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