Frugal Cooking – Mountain Man’s Pancake and Waffle Mix

pancakes from pancake mix

Picture by leestilltaolcom – Pixabay

With the economy what it is, many people are really struggling to make ends meet. At times, it can seem to come down to a choice between paying the bills and buying food. It seems a little strange, then, that people would pay substantially more for a packaged mix that they can make for themselves easily, unless they simply don’t realize how cheap and easy it is to make the mix. This is the case with pancake mix.

Like many people, when it comes time to make pancakes or waffles, I don’t want to take the extra time to mix everything up from scratch, as easy as it is to do. However, the powdered pancake mix is so easy to make that there is no reason not to make a bunch up ahead of time. It is way cheaper than store-bought, it tastes better and this mix can also be used to make biscuits or waffles and as a batter for batter-fried vegetables or even fish. We take a container of this every time we go camping and the camping box doubles as our emergency food box, so it is good for emergencies and evacuations, too.

Most household kitchens will have all of these ingredients on hand already, as well. This means that it is likely that nothing extra will need to be purchased. This recipe is superb for people who are diabetic or who can’t eat wheat or gluten, too. Simply use the kind of flour you can eat, such as rice flour or gluten-free flour. That way, you’ll still be able to enjoy pancakes, waffles, biscuits or batter-fried foods without getting anything special and more expensive at the store.

Pancake Mix Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar (or Stevia in the Raw)
1 teaspoon salt

Pancake Mix Instructions:

Blend all the ingredients well and store the mix in a container that has a tight fitting lid, such as a clean plastic or metal coffee can. Be sure to label the container so you know what is in it. This makes a little over a pound of mix.

To make pancake batter, mix together:

1 cup of the mix
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon Canola oil

For a wonderful yeasty flavor, use 1 cup of beer, fresh or flat, instead of the milk. You can adjust the thickness of the batter by adding a little more or a little less of the milk/beer. Using the beer to make homemade onion rings is a hit everywhere I’ve made it.

The beer batter is also excellent when used to coat fish filets prior to deep frying. Shrimp or prawns can also be deep fried in this batter.

For waffles, add an extra egg and a little less of the fluid so the batter is thicker. For biscuits, cut the fluid even more to produce a dough, rather than a batter.

Are you ready for a price comparison? Currently, a pound of Aunt Jemima brand pancake mix costs about $8.75 on Amazon and about $3.00 at Walmart. The homemade pancake mix costs roughly 65 cents to make. You’d save $2.36 – $8.10 by making it yourself! The total time to make this mix is also about five minutes and since you can double, triple or quadruple this recipe with ease, you can make a huge batch without spending appreciably more time.

Naturally, if you don’t have five minutes to spare and have the extra money to spend to make money for someone else, by all means, buy the package mix, additives and all. If you are watching your budget closely and don’t have a lot of money to work with, this is probably the recipe for you.


    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      Yes, and it is terrific to save money at the same time. I really enjoy the flavor of this very simple pancake mix. Come to think of it, since I don’t eat breakfast, perhaps I’ll make pancakes for dinner!

  1. Tania K Cowling

    Oh, I love this recipe. So easy and convenient to have this homemade mix in the pantry. I’m saving this recipe and putting it in my recipe box.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      It sounds like you’re like me. I love simple, easy and inexpensive. 🙂 I’ve even used a version that used powdered eggs and powdered milk in it. All a person needs to add is water. Powdered eggs can be expensive, though, unless a person makes their own.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      No. The heat evaporates the alcohol and in any event, there isn’t much alcohol in beer, plus We’re only talking about 1 cupful. All that would do is add flavor and the B vitamins.

  2. Gina M. Menorca

    I know how to make a pancake. It is so simple and cheap. My children love it. During summer, my daughter cooks and sells pancake in our neighborhood to save money for school supplies.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      In the states, pancakes are an extremely common breakfast food item, usually served with eggs and either sausage, ham or bacon. However, Americans tend to be lazy and usually buy the packaged mix at the store, so all they have to add is milk, eggs and oil. They will pay three times more for the mix, rather than taking the tiny time it takes to mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. 🙂

      I’m glad that your daughter is selling them in the neighborhood to make money for school! That is a really neat idea and I bet that everyone loves the pancakes she makes!

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      Next time I get a bunch of low-cost eggs, I’m going to make my own dried, powdered eggs. Once I do that, I will make some pancake mix with powdered eggs and instant milk. Then it will just need water to make the pancakes and they should still taste good.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      That sounds like a plan to me. We frequently make breakfast for dinner. 🙂

    2. Sandy KS

      My family does to. As it cheaper that way. Pancakes are the go to meal. Along with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon or turkey sausage.

    3. Rex Trulove Post author

      Having breakfast for dinner is the only way that I get to have breakfast, since I eat one meal a day. I love pancakes, waffles, biscuits, sausage, bacon, eggs, French toast, etc, so if we don’t have that stuff for dinner, I don’t get any. 🙂

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      Well, you wouldn’t get drunk, but it does give it a wonderful yeasty taste that isn’t greatly different than sourdough. It also makes everything puff up nice when it is cooking. When I make beer batter for onion rings, I always have to make about 3 times more than I’d think we’d eat. There is never leftovers.

  3. Vickie Ewell

    Gluten-free cooking requires a combination of flours, starches, and vegetable gum to imitate the properties of gluten, so mixes are always a great time saver. Most homemade pancake recipes I’ve run into don’t have enough baking powder, even for wheat flour. Yours will be a nice recipe to try.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      A person can add more baking powder if they wish, too. However, using beer will make the pancake rise nice and thick. A couple things I learned when working at Sambo’s Restaurant is that people also tend to add too much water to the mix and they tend to mix it too much, though. The pancakes at the restaurant were extremely popular, but to be honest, we simply didn’t mix too much water in and didn’t over blend it. If there is too much water and it is over mixed, the pancakes may not rise properly and often have a rubbery consistency.

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