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“How to make budget-friendly (and often healthier) versions of your favorite convenience foods in minutes. I found this in Ladies' Home Journal magazine. I have not tried these recipe, but I'm posting them for safe keeping.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pancake Mix: Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs, and vegetable oil into milk. Add liquid to dry mixture and whisk. Don't overmix; batter should be lumpy. Makes 10-12 pancakes.
  2. Chocolate Syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together water, light corn syrup, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and vanilla extract. Stir constantly until just boiling. Cool and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
  3. Bacon Bits: Finely chop leftover cooked bacon and place in a zip-top bag, pressing out all the air when you seal it. Form into a flat, thin layer and freeze; simply break off a few pieces and crumble them when you need bacon bits. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Pre-Chopped Garlic: Chop a handful of peeled garlic cloves in a food processor; place in a sealable container and cover with olive oil. Store chilled airtight up to 2 weeks. Once the garlic is gone, use oil to flavor pasta or salad dressing.
  5. Fresh Buttermilk: For 1 cup buttermilk to use in baking, mix white vinegar or lemon juice with milk; let sit 5 minutes and use. Combining 3/4 c plain yogurt and 1/4 cup milk works, too.
  6. Packaged Croutons: Cut any type of bread into cubes and coat them lightly in oil, then sprinkle with salt and garlic salt. (Add even more flavor by tossing in oil-and-vinegar salad dressing or dry herbs). Toast on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally, in a 350 oven until just golden.
  7. Jarred Spaghetti Sauce: Saute 1/2 a chopped onion, minced garlic clove, and olive oil in a medium saucepan until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, diced or chopped, kosher salt, and dry oregano and simmer 20 minutes. Season with ground black pepper.
  8. Taco Seasoning Packet: Stir together chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika, dry oregano, sugar, and salt. Use 2 tablespoons to season 1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey.
  9. Packaged Bread Crumbs: In a 300 oven, dry slices or cubes of any type of bread about 15 minutes. Crush in a food processor or with the bottom of a pan. For seasoned bread crumbs, add dry herbs like oregano or thyme (a little garlic powder tastes great, too). To make flaky panko-like crumbs, mince fresh bread by pulsing it in a food processor, then dry the crumbs in a 250 oven.

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