Save money by limiting the expensive or extravagant items you buy. For example, if you love an exotic, organic cake mix but it’s expensive, buy one every other month. Consider it a special treat when you have it, rather than something you must have every week or two.
Or better still, MOO cake mixes, store them in ziplock bags and you can make a cake whenever you feel like it.
MOO Vanilla Cake Mix
4 cups plain flour
4 cups SR flour
6 cups white sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
2 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups unsalted butter*
Combine all the dry ingredients and then cut in the shortening with a pastry knife until it is very fine. Place in a 4 litre airtight container. Store for up to 3 months in the fridge. Bring the cake mix to room temperature to use it.
*Note: Use real butter, do not be tempted to use margarine.
To make a cake:
4-1/2 cups cake mix
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c vegetable oil
2/3 c milk
Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a 33cm x 23cm cake tin. In a large bowl mix eggs, vanilla and oil. Add the cake mix, stir to combine. Then stir in the milk. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
I love the convenience of mixes ready to go. At the moment I have chocolate cupcakes, tea cake, sultana muffins, cranberry muffins, cream of chicken soup, taco seasoning, spaghetti seasoning, pizza dough, doughnuts, instant custard, white sauce mixes all in jars (I love them too) or ziplock bags. I print the ingredients and method either onto a label or straight onto the jar or bag with a Sharpie so anyone can take a mix and make it. Means Wayne or the children can help me with baking or meal prep without my supervision or even input.
Annabel, over at The Bluebirds are Nesting (Blue Wren in the forum) is doing a series on pantry preparedness. She posts a new topic each week and this week it was mixes.
I love mixes. They are a vital component of my pantry, my stockpile and go a long way towards helping to keep our grocery bill to $320 a month.
I can't remember the last time I bought a cake mix. Hannah bought a couple last year and made them, red velvet cupcakes if I remember correctly. We HATED them - they tasted so fake, had a horrible after-taste and left a greasy, thick feeling in our mouths. And they were expensive.
During MOO Month I shared my go-to chocolate cake mix recipe.
A few years ago I put together a small ebook of mixes, called Make Our Own….Mixes. It's one of the more popular downloads in the member's centre, having been downloaded almost 32,000 times since it was first published! That's a lot of people MOOing mixes, or with the knowledge to MOO them.
Annabel was asking for a Bisquick recipe. Bisquick isn't a common ingredient in Australian recipes, but as the Internet makes it so easy for us to find and try recipes from other countries, and as it is a popular product in the USA and Canada, knowing how to MOO it means we can try these recipes, save money on the packets and keep the nasty ingredients out.
This is my Bisquick recipe. I use it to make biscuits, scones (if we are camping, otherwise I make Lemonade Scones), crumble topping, shortcakes, pancakes, pastry, as the base in impossible pies and quiches - it's very versatile.
MOO Bisquick Mix
6 cups plain flour, sifted
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
Step 1. Measure the sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend thoroughly.
Step 2. Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter until thoroughly incorporated. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 months.
This makes 6 cups of mixture. I pack it in 2 cup portions in ziplock bags in the freezer because I don't have room in the fridge.
I keep most of my mixes in the freezer. Why? Well firstly because I don't have the shelf space for them. Secondly, some of them contain butter or oil and need to at least be refrigerated.
They can be used straight from the freezer, if there are any clumps just break them up before you add the wet ingredients.
Here are two of the ways I use it.
MOO Bisquick Scones
2 cups MOO Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk.
Mix to a dough. Gently press out to about 2cm thick. Use a glass or scone cutter dipped in flour to cut into rounds. Place on a baking paper lined scone tray. Bake at 210 degrees Celsius for 12 - 15 minutes or until risen and golden.
MOO Bisquick Banana Nut Bread
This delicious banana bread uses MOO Bisquick as a shortcut. With the addition of cream cheese and walnuts you have one of the easiest and nicest banana breads you've ever tasted.
2 cups MOO Bisquick mix
1 cup sugar
250g cream cheese, softened
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease and line the base of a loaf pan. Beat sugar and cream cheese together until smooth (it's easier if you use the mixer for this step). Add in the mashed bananas and eggs, and beat until well combined. Gently stir in Bisquick and walnuts, until just moist. Spread evenly into the loaf pan and bake for one hour. Cool completely before serving.
This is a very moist banana bread, it doesn't rise to a high loaf, and it's just great for using up brown or black bananas. It also makes a great Gift in a Jar - just pack the dry ingredients in layers in a jar, add a label with the ingredients needed and the method. Add a pretty jar topper and a ribbon and it's ready to go.
Mixes are great. MOO mixes are even greater. If you haven't tried to save money, time and energy with MOO mixes, give them a go. I'm sure you'll love the convenience and the cost.
Boxed (or packet) cake mixes are convenient - to a point. You still need to add the wet ingredients, usually egg, water or milk, butter or oil, so what you're paying up to $9 for is basically flour, sugar, a rising agent, flavouring of some kind and then a whole lot of things you can't pronounce and really shouldn't be eating.
That cake mix convenience ends up costing you up to $11!
If you make a cake from scratch you'll use flour, sugar, butter or oil, milk or water, an egg or two, flavouring of some kind and if you didn't use self-raising flour, a rising agent (baking powder or bicarb soda, depending on the recipe). And your cake will cost you under $2!
Now cake mixes are supposed to be convenient time savers because you just dump the contents into the mixer, add the wet stuff and beat for 3 minutes.
If your recipe is a one-bowl mix, like the I've shared below, you do the same thing - dump all the ingredients into the mixer and beat for 3 minutes.
It may take you a minute to measure out the flour, sugar and flavourings so a from scratch cake will take you 1 or 2 minutes longer to get to the baking stage. At a saving of up to $9 a minute or two is nothing.
And they will both take about the same time to cook too, so no saving there.
If you really love cake mixes, and I confess I do, you can quite easily make your own.
When I'm baking a cake I get out a half a dozen ziplock bags and measure out the dry ingredients for 7 cakes, the one I'm baking and 6 to put in the cupboard. The bags are labelled with the type of cake the ingredients will make - chocolate, coffee, butter, sultana, cherry or whatever, a list of wet ingredients and the instructions. I do this a lot so I have marked the bags with a Sharpie. Once the mix has been used the bag is washed and dried and put away ready to use again - and the instructions are already written on it.
This is a quick chocolate cake I make into MOO Cake Mixes.
Quick Chocolate Cake
3 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
You can double, triple, quadruple the quantities (I measure out 7 lots at a time). Put the dry ingredients into ziplock bags and seal. Label the bag and add a list of the wet ingredients and the instructions.
To make a cake add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
One quantity will make 2 dozen cupcakes or two 20cm square cakes. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 - 30 minutes for 20cm cake (or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean). Bake for 12 - 15 minutes for cupcakes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
MOO Celery Salt!
Use those Celery Leaves! I love celery salt and use it a lot. Instead of discarding the leaves, place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in a gentle oven for a few minutes until the leaves are dry and crumbly. When cool mix thoroughly into a small pot of salt. You can use a mortar and pestle if rock salt, or a small grinder if you prefer.
From the Tip Store: Cooking: Ingredients
I've just been browsing the Coles catalogue for this week and notice that condensed milk is on sale for $2.50, save 70 cents. I was gobsmacked! It's obviously been a while since I bought condensed milk because the last time (I just checked my notes) it was $1.69!
I do use condensed milk quite often, in baking and to make Russian caramels, but I can assure you I wouldn't be if I had to pay $2.50, let alone $3.20, a can (and those cans are about 30g smaller than they were when they were $1.69!).
MOO condensed milk has been a staple in my pantry for years. It's easy to make, tastes and works exactly like the tinned version and costs less than $2 to make more than double the quantity you'd be paing $3.20 for.
Here's my go to condensed milk recipe - and don't worry about being able to store it before it goes yellow. It will keep in the fridge for at least a week, longer if you turn the container upside down. But it freezes! Yes, put any extra in the freezer until you're ready to use it in another recipe.
MOO Condensed Milk
1 cup hot water
2 cups skim milk powder
2 cups white sugar
6 tbsp butter or margarine
Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix for about 3 minutes. The mixture will be quite thin, but thickens on standing for about an hour. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week. Can be frozen, thaw before use.
Makes 3 cups.
Seriously, it is so quick and easy to make and so cheap - why would you ever spend your hard earned dollars on tinned condensed milk?
Shared from Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing