Monday, October 17, 2022


 I am old.  I am not fond of change.  But this Recession we are in that seems headed toward a Depression has me rethinking my options.

I like convenience foods.  And I have occasionally been buying premade mixes.  Not so much for the flavor and certainly not for the health aspects.  It is mostly because those of us who have joints that don't work very well any more tend to go for 'easy and quick' as opposed to time consuming 'from scratch' foods.  If I can microwave something instead of standing for a length of time stirring a pot on the stove, I will do it.  Or if I can just add water or milk to a mix instead of mixing from scratch, I will do that, too.  It hurts less.

So this afternoon I have been putting together some of my favorite homemade mixes.  Not only do I know what is in each one, but I find it is much less expensive to make than to buy. 

Swiss Mocha Mix (from the YouTube Channel, "Little Village Homestead.") 

1/2 C. instant coffee  -  2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 C. sugar - or to taste  -  1/4 tsp. vanila

1 C. powdered milk

Blend well.  To use:  2 large Tbsp. in a mug of hot water.

Hot Cocoa Mix (from the YouTube Channel "katzcradul")

5 C. dry milk  -  3 C. powdered sugar

1 1/2 C. cocoa powder  -  1 C. Creamora

pinch salt

Mix well.  Add to hot water in a mug, to taste.  (Note:  This tastes less like Swiss Miss and more like the old fashioned cocoa Mom used to make.  It is also really good if one bottle of malt powder is added.)

Gravy Mixes (from "Suttons Daze" YouTube Channel)

Chicken or Beef Gravy

3/4 C. flour  -  1 tsp. pepper

3 Tbsp. either beef or chicken bouillon

Country Gravy

3/4 C. flour  -  1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. pepper  -  1 tsp. onion powder

To use:  Melt 1 Tbsp. fat (butter, margarine, bacon grease, etc.)  Stir in 2 Tbsp. mix.  Whisk in 1 C. water.  Whisk until thick to make 1 C. gravy.

Brownie Mix  ( Don't remember where I found this.)

4 C. flour  -  4 1/2 C. sugar

1 C. cocoa powder  -  1 1/2 C. dry milk powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder  -  1 1/2 tsp. salt

Sift together 3 times.

To use:  Combine 1 3/4 C. mix, 1/4 C. warm water, 1/4 C. oil, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 egg.  Beat well.  Pour into a greased 9-inch pan.  Bake 20 miutes or until done - 350 degrees. 

I expect to be adding more convenience type mixes this fall.  I highly doubt that prices are going to drop.  I can add to my food storage this way while saving a bit on the already outrageous grocery bill.

We need to keep stacking to the rafters however we can.  And most important, keep praying.  We need all the non governmental help we can get.


  1. Thanks for these, Vicki. "Most important, keep praying. " Amen to that.
    You all be safe and God bless.

    1. LindaG...Just am hoping this might help someone else who is trying to stretch the grocery budget. Take care and God bless.

  2. Vicki~ I think many people will be going Old School on food preparations. Simple ingredients, multiple uses, ways to stretch the groceries. We make 90% of our baked goods from scratch. Even make our corn and flour tortillas. Red

  3. Red...I think you are right. I find myself looking over my grocery bill and trying to figure out what I can make at home to lower that bill. And I am trying to remember the ways my mother could stretch a pound of hamburger to feed our family. I highly doubt things will get better any time soon. We had better know how to do these things if we want to survive.

  4. thank-you so much!! I love it when I start to read a post and immediately grab a notepad and start taking notes. Cheers, SJ from California

    1. Yes, SJ...Me too. I am always looking for ideas to either stretch my food storage or make it have more variety. And sometimes it is just fun to try something different.

  5. Thank you for the recipes, Vicki. When I get a second, I’ll add the mocha mix recipe I got from my Mom and Grandma. Old school is definitely the way to go, both to stretch the supplies and for health reasons. You know and control exactly what’s in the food you eat, which is hard to do with store bought items. I’m not a cook, by nature, having had my nose in a book instead of watching my Grandma cook. However, I’m learning!

    Good bless.
    Lucy and Tigers Mom

    1. LTM...I completely agree that old school will serve us best, especially during hard times. Being the oldest child in my family and having a mother who suffered from arthritis, I was taught to cook and preserve food at a young age, out of necessity. I just wish I had paid better attention, for now I struggle to remember all she taught me. And by the way, I completely understand having ones nose in a book. Been there - done that. :)

  6. Finally caught a good for here sale -- whole chicken for $1.49/lb. Bought one this morning and its cooking in my Instant Pot as I type. Will freeze the meat and will make broth with the bones. Cheers, SJ now in California

    1. SJ...Good for you in finding a sale on any kind of meat. Sales seem to be few and far between here. Seems like stores want to sell every kind of processed food - if it is even food - instead of basics.

  7. Thanks, Vicki, for the handy recipes. I will add that I consider my canned food to be the ultimate convenience food (though the preparation and then canning itself is not too convenient, haha).

    1. You are welcome, chipmunk...Hope you will find them useful. I completely agree that our home canned food is the ultimate convenience food. Open a jar - heat - eat. I have 18 lbs. of hamburger and 15 lbs. of apples to can this weekend. I would rather do the work now and have the food ready later than not have it when needed.