More Bang For Your Buck Part 5: Get Out Of The Box

Welcome back to Part 5!  Today we’re going to talk about getting rid of those box mixes we’ve been trained to depend on.  You know, those “helping hand” things that really only help themselves to your bank account.  I mean, let’s get real here.  Have you ever really taken a look at how much is actually in those boxes?  A tiny package of seasoning mix, maybe a cup of dried pasta and you STILL have to add at least milk to the mix.  And then it will only feed 4 not-so-hungry people.  Really?! For that price?! Surely there’s a better way.

Good news!  There is!

What if I told you I had found a recipe that would recreate that “helping hand” with it’s crazy price tag and list of unpronounceable ingredients with real ingredients that could be packaged up ahead of time and would feed at least 6 hungry people? Oh yeah, and for the same or cheaper price tag?  Well look no further, there really is such a thing and I will direct you to it at the end of this post.

But those aren’t the only box items that we think are cheap and convenient that really aren’t.  What about those side dish potato boxes with their powdered cheese and dried potatoes?  Or those stuffing mixes? Or those San Francisco rice mixes?  Sound familiar? Would I find any of those in your pantry?  Don’t worry, I’ve been-there-done-that.

But they save time!  Do they?  Really?  Ok, I’ll give you that recreating the potato box mixes will take some pre-planning, but most of the box mixes really don’t save any time at all, and even when they do they’re still not worth the price tag attached to that time-savings.  Or all the chemicals included for that price opposed to real food ingredients.

For instance, the San Francisco rice mixes require you to first brown the rice/pasta and then add water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-18 minutes.  Hmmm……white rice cooks in 20 minutes.  No real time savings there.  And one of those boxes only feeds 3 people.

I can show you a recipe for San Francisco rice that can be pre-made and stored on your pantry shelf and you get to control how many people it feeds for the same price or less.  Yep.

I love sailing past all those colorful boxes and snapping up real food ingredients for less.  Sure, it’s not glamorous to buy bags of rice or potatoes or pasta.  And, ok it can be difficult to find coupons for real food.  But, seriously I save money without using coupons.  And I still have more food on my shelves for less money.

Ok, I’ll be quiet now and give you the links for the recipes.  Just remember, these are just to get you started.  Be creative!  Use these recipes as a starting point and branch out.  Do you have a mix you want to recreate that isn’t covered here?  Google it.  Experiment.

Hamburger Helper Mixes

Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Rice-A-Roni Mix

Stove-top Stuffing

Betty Crocker Augratin/Scalloped Potatoes

Linking up with:http://newlifeonahomestead.com/, www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com, http://www.aboverubies.net/, http://www.growinghomeblog.com/, http://www.deeprootsathome.com/, http://www.raisingarrows.net/, www.oursimplefarm.com, http://raisinghomemakers.com/

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