Can cookie & brownie mixes be frugal?
I don't do a lot of cooking or baking.
Part of me knows that I should. It would save money on premade snacks. But we don't have a mixer and my arms tend to get tired easily. And I just don't really like cooking or baking all that much. Which is actually the real driving factor.
But, in an effort to save a bit on junk food, I have been trying to stick more to things I can make at home. This is where mixes come in. They're fast, they're easy and... Well, actually, that's pretty much the whole selling point.
Part of me hopes I can work my way up to cooking from scratch. The other part of me is based in reality. Either way, at least this seems to be cheaper than buying cookies in the grocery store. The stores have a pretty decent number of sales on these things.
You can get Betty Crocker cake mixes on sale for about a dollar. The icing sometimes goes on sale, and it's always sold pretty cheaply at Grocery Outlet. With a recent sale, I tried some of BC's brownie mix. Very tasty. And for a dollar, who can argue? (Although, the price goes up a tad if, like me, you like to add chocolate chips to the mixes. Mom has also had success adding pudding mix to the cake for extra moistness.)
Tim and I also quite like Betty Crocker's cornbread mix, though for a 9" by 9" pan, I find two packets work best. Considering you can get them on sale for 50 cents, it's really quite a fabulous deal!
This week, Safeway is having a sale where you save $5 if you buy 10 sale products. Tim and I loaded up on BBQ sauce, since we had finally run out from last time. (His chili recipe calls for it.) So we bought 8 BBQ sauces for an end price of 70 cents each, and 2 Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie dough mixes, end price $1.50.
Is this cheaper than homemade? If you stock up on sales, probably not. Flour comes in pretty good-sized packages. Sugar goes on sale quite often. Eggs can be gotten for about $1/dozen if you watch sales closely. Vanilla is pricey but goes a long way.... You get the idea.
Still, I'd say the price difference is within 50 cents to a dollar of homemade. So, as usual, my frugality may not quite reach the ideal, but it still gets pretty close. And a heck of a lot better than the alternatives: ready-made cookie dough for $3-4, brownies for $3-4, (decorated) cakes for around $7.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make up some chocolate chip cookie dough. Heck, I might even bake some of it!
Random thought: Has anyone ever tried to make their own chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream? It seems like it would be messy and/or difficult. Still, let me know!