Make Your Own Convenience Food
Make Your Own Mixes, Save 50%
The Cost of Convenience
When Should You Throw Out Spices?
I use mix-your-own mixes in place of store brought chili mix, biscuit mix, and bread mix. What's your favorite make-your-own mix?
I started searching for seasoning mix recipes when I was told to reduce my salt intake. (Most commercial mixes are loaded with salt.) These have worked very well for me and my family likes them as well as or better than the commercial ones. Literally everyone who's eaten the salad dressing at my house has asked for the recipe.
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce (I use "no salt added")
Add these ingredients to a pound of lean ground beef (which has been browned for about 10 minutes with a medium chopped onion and two cloves of minced or pressed garlic and then drained); stir and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.
2 tablespoons of toasted dried onion
2 envelopes HerbOx bouillon (I use the "no salt" variety)
Stir into a half pint of sour cream or plain yogurt. (I put the onion on foil in the toaster oven and watch it carefully as it browns quickly.)
3 T flour
4 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
2 T oil
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)
2 cans water
Combine dry ingredients, mix, add oil and stir well. Add sauce and water, mix, heat to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Makes about 4 cups.
2 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic (pressed if you are not using a blender)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
freshly ground pepper to taste
Put this in a blender with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 cup olive oil and blend until smooth. Makes about 1-1/2 cups. (This is tart, so some people prefer 1/3 cup vinegar.)
Unfortunately, I can't give credit where it's due because I've been using these long enough to have forgotten where I got them.
Easy, Homemade Hamburger HelperŪ Alternative
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
16 oz pasta (we use whole wheat), cooked according to package directions
Drain pasta and combine with ground beef, then add:
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans of condensed tomato soup
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
Cook on low heat until heated through. As an option, add six to eight strips of cooked, crumbled bacon.
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1 cup thin spaghetti, broken into 1/2" pieces
3 T. butter
2 3/4 cups water
1 T. beef, chicken, or vegetable bouillon powder or granules
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 T. parsley
1/4 tsp. dried thyme or poultry seasoning
1/8 t. black pepper
Melt butter in medium saucepan or skillet, add uncooked rice and pasta pieces, and stir about five minutes until pasta is lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not lift lid. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let steam an additional 5-10 minutes.
3-1/2 cups unseasoned bread cubes
3 tablespoons dried celery flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
To prepare stuffing, in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring water, butter and seasonings to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add bread cubes and mix gently. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss with a fork before serving. This equals one box.
editor's note: For more ways to replace store-bought seasoning mixes with homemade alternatives or to add a few of your own ideas, please click here.
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