Tuesday Frugal tip of the week!

It's Tuesday, and its time for the frugal tip of the week.  This is hosted by Learning the Frugal Life.  I am proud to be able to post this week. 

My tip of the week this week, is to use substitutions in the kitchen.  Many items that we feel we "need".  We are able to make in our own kitchen.  Here is a list of items I make often and use weekly.

Taco Seasoning:

1 cup dried minced onion

1/3 cup chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin (I actually add an extra tablespoon—we love cumin)

4 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

4 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

Combine all ingredients and store in a cool, dry place.

When you’re using for Mexican dishes, use about 1 tablespoon or so per 1 pound ground beef, or chicken or beans. More if you like the extra flavor.

Noodle Mix

1 cup instant nonfat dry milk

2 tablespoons grated romano cheese

1/4 cup dried minced onion

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Combine ingredients and store in a sealable container or zipper topped plastic bag. This will keep for 2 months in the pantry, however, I would personally store in the fridge because of the cheese; plus it will last longer. Mark the date on the zipper topped bag with your Sharpie pen. This recipe doubles and triples well.

To Use: combine 1/4 cup mix with 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup milk. Toss with 8 ounces pasta (cooked).

Homemade Shake and Bake

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and store in a sealable container or zipper topped plastic bag. This will keep up to 4 months in the pantry, depending on the humidity (you may just want to keep it in the freezer). This recipe will also double or triple well.

To Use: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place one cup mix in a plastic bag.

In a bowl, mix an egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Dip chicken pieces one at a time in the milk mixture, then shake one at a time in the plastic bag.

Place on a baking pan and bake for appropriate time (depending on the chicken you’re using—as a little as 20 minutes or up to an hour for bigger, bone-in pieces).

Homemade Flavored Rice Mixes

4 cups uncooked rice (I always use brown rice)

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients together and store in a zipper topped plastic bag or sealable container. This will keep up to 4 months if stored in a cool, dark and dry place. With brown rice, you may want to keep it in the freezer.

To Use: Mix 1 cup mix with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, place lid on rice and simmer till liquid is completely absorbed, about 20 minutes or more. Check if you need to.  (I would add an extra half cup liquid for the brown rice)

Variations: to make Vegetable Rice Mix, substitute an envelope of vegetable soup mix.

To make Spanish Rice Mix, substitute 1/2 cup Taco Seasoning (see recipe above) for envelope of onion soup.


  1. Great post! Happy to find the recipe for the homemade taco mix. Thanks for linking up this week!

  2. I think I just fell in love with you! Thanks for this! :)