Frugal Guide to Making Dry Gravy Mix

gravy on beef

Picture by Meditations – Pixabay

Arguably the best gravy is made from the drippings in the pan that meat was cooked in. However, there are times when you may just want to mix up a fast gravy and don’t want to do it from scratch. Perhaps there was no meat in dinner or it was in a form that doesn’t leave drippings. For that matter, you might want something besides just chicken gravy or beef gravy. The problem is that you are usually limited when you get gravy mixes at the store and for what you get, they are quite cost prohibitive. Spending a dollar for a package that makes a cup of gravy is ridiculous when there is a much cheaper and easier way to do it.

The base for the following gravy mixes is flour. However, you can use gluten free flour if you are trying to avoid gluten, or rice flour if you are diabetic. Other diabetic flours can also be used. The differences in flavor aren’t great enough to mean much, so you can use whichever flour is best for any particular diet you are on.

These recipes are very similar to one another and this is a good thing, because it makes it simple to vary the recipes to create your own masterpiece. In each case, making the gravy from the mix is done in the same way; mix 3 tablespoons of gravy mix to a cup of cold water and heat this to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until the gravy is to the consistency that you want. Also, for thinner gravy, you can add a little more water and for thicker gravy, add a little more of the mix. Real butter can be added to make richer gravy and to make country style gravy, use milk instead of water. Always start with cold water, though, to help prevent the flour from clumping up.

In fact, if possible, put the water and gravy mix in a jar with a tight fitting lid, the shake the dickens out of it until there are no lumps. Pour this into a small sauce pan and proceed as usual to make the gravy as mentioned above.

The savings is mostly from the fact that flour is usually fairly inexpensive and a surprisingly small amount of flavoring is needed to make the gravy. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has made gravy from the meager drippings in a frying pan after cooking, for instance, chicken. Note, however, that each of these recipes makes a lot of the mix; nearly a quart, so it is a good idea to have jars with lids ready to store the gravy in, before you even begin. Without further ado:

Chicken Gravy Mix

In a blender or food processor, put the following:

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons granulated chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

Blend until smooth and thoroughly mixed together.

Beef Gravy Mix

In a blender or food processor, put the following:

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons granulated beef bouillon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Blend until smooth and thoroughly mixed together.

Brown Gravy Mix

To make brown gravy mix, follow the recipe for beef gravy mix, except omit the black pepper and add 2 heaping teaspoons of instant coffee.

Mushroom Gravy Mix

Blend together:

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons dried mushrooms

Blend until smooth and thoroughly mixed together. Add another 3 tablespoons dried mushrooms and blend just enough that the mushrooms are in small pieces, but not powdered.

Onion Gravy Mix

Blend together:

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons dried onion flakes or onion soup mix

Blend until smooth and thoroughly mixed together. Note that you can also make this with onion powder, but since onion powder is already in concentrated form, cut the amount of onions by half; 3 tablespoons.

Vegetable Gravy Mix

You can get inventive with this one and either use vegetable bouillon granules or dried vegetables of your choice. The amount is the same; 3 cups of flour to 6 tablespoons dried vegetables or vegetable bouillon, except that the addition of a teaspoon of salt helps to bring out the flavor of the vegetables.

If these gravy mixes are kept in jars that have tight lids and stored in a dry, dark place, they should keep for several months. We’ve made gravy out of 6-month-old mix with no problems at all. The mix simply must be kept dry, or it can mold.

The mixes are so handy that we like taking some with us when we go out camping, for a fast gravy without the hassle of making it from scratch. The savings in money is undeniable, though. As previously stated, these recipes make almost a quart. The packets you can buy in the store contain roughly 3-4 tablespoons of mix. This is about 1/4 cup of mix. This means that one batch of the homemade gravy mix equals approximately 12 packets of store bought gravy mix. If you get a good deal on the store-bought variety, you might get away with paying only 79 cents a packet. This means that to buy the equivalent amount at the store, you’d pay $9.48. And yet, one batch of the homemade mix usually costs less than a dollar. You’d be saving nearly 90% by making it yourself.

You also have more control over what goes into it and it contains no additives. You aren’t even generating any garbage, since the packaging isn’t needed, so this gravy is actually environmentally friendly.

Making the gravy from the mix is quite simple and easy. Making the mix isn’t any more difficult, though. The savings is tremendous, so the food budget can be stretched substantially. Yes, there is time involved in making the mix, but probably no more time than you’d use in going to the store and buying packaged mix. In other words, there really isn’t a downside to making your own gravy mixes.


  1. Andria Perry

    You know I am taking notes for those! I love to save and if making it at home with the stuff I usually have I will do it !

    I stumbled this article!

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      The first time I made some of this, I was stunned by how easy it was, and the fact that I had the ingredients already, as you said. Incidentally, a person can even increase the bouillon to flour ratio if they want it to taste more strongly of beef, chicken, mushrooms, onions or what have you.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      I have a feeling that you’ll love how easy it is to make them, all while saving money.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      Basically that is all gravy is; flour with something to flavor it and enough fluids (usually water, milk or grease) to get the consistency right.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      It really is and it is very easy. I occasionally also like to make this gravy and pour it over rice, to make a dinner go farther. It is especially good when guests show up unexpectedly, because it takes very little time to make it.

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