Sunday Favorite

Hi everyone! It's Sunday and that means party at Chari's place which of course is Happy to Design. This party is where we revisit a past post.

The post I am revisiting is from early May of this year. This post is about making your own "Dinner in a box" sort of thing. First of all, it is convenient and it is cheap. Two of my favorite things! LOL

Oh, and make sure to stop by Monday to sign up for my giveaway!

Welcome to Thrifty Thursday! Today's post is all about making your own dried side dishes and seasoning packets.

Now, don't get me wrong, when those prepackaged side dishes (noodle-roni type things) go on sale and I have coupons, I will stock up as much as I can. If I can get them for .50 cents and under, I stock up. Otherwise, I make them myself.

I started making them several years ago when money was beyond tight around here. I remember one time sitting at the dining room table after I had gathered all the loose change I could find and tried to figure out what to buy for grocery that week with $5.32. I will never forget that number. That was when I started really searching out how to make-it-yourself things.

I really like to have a stock of these packet foods ready at all time. Time is always an issue, so these packets make dinner prep a lot quicker. I usually make them up for a month at a time. This is one area I really look for good coupons and sales on the quality zip lock type of bags. I like to keep all "like" packets together. I use a large shoe box and I have a plastic box with a lid about the same size that I keep all my mixes in.

I make sure I write on the bag what it is and I generally write with a marker what wet ingredients are to be added. You could just tape a recipe card to the bag if you wanted to. I reuse these bags over and over so, the recipe is always with it. Here are some of my favorite Packet Food recipes:

** Alfredo Mix
1 cup of nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup of dried minced onions (I have used onion powder as well)
1 t. of garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Combine. When ready to use combine: 1/4 cup of the dry mix + 2 Tbs butter + 1/4 cup of milk (can use the powdered milk that is made up in the fridge) and noodles

** Chicken Flavored Rice
4 cups of uncooked rice (I like long grain)
4 T of instant chicken bouillon
2 tsp of dried tarragon (we grow this in our herb garden)
2 tsp of dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp of pepper
Combine. When ready to make a dish of it take out about 1 & 1/3 cups of mix and add about a pint of water. cook

** Lemon Dill Rice
4 cups of rice, uncooked
5 tsp dried grated lemon peel (I have also used that "True Lemon" powdered lemon)
4 tsp Dried Dill (also in from our garden)
8 tsp Instant chicken bouillon
Combine. To use: 1 & 1/2 cup of mix, 2 cups of cold water and 1 T of butter

That is just 3 examples of side dishes. there are tons of combinations you can try. You can also do searches online for "Make yourself dry mixes" and get a lot of recipes.

Now here are some seasoning mixes to make ahead of time and have on hand. With the exception of finding seasoning mixes at dollar store or Big Lots, it just amazes me how expensive these packets are at the grocery store!

** BBQ spice mix
1/2 cup of chili powder
1/4 cup of hickory salt
3 T onion powder
2 T cumin
1 T paprika
1 T garlic
1 t cayenne pepper
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t dry lemon zest

** Dry Onion soup Mix
4 tsp beef bouillon
8 tsp dried minced onions
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper

** Meatloaf Seasoning
2 tsp dried mustard
2 tsp paprika
1 & 1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 & 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp onion powder

**Sloppy Joe Seasoning
1 cup dried minced onions
4 tsp salt
3 T cornstarch
4 tsp dried minced garlic
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp celery seed (or powder)
2 tsp chili powder
To use add 3 T of mix + 1 lb hamburger + 1/2 cup water + 1 cup of tomato sauce

Some tips are:
Look at dollar stores for spices. Grow your own herb garden and dry your herbs at the end of the season. Try different blends.

Some great recipe site for this :


Just recipes

And don't forget....EXPERIMENT!!!

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  1. Hi Diann...

    My friend...what a fabulous post! I love, love, LOVE this idea of making up your own dried side dishes! I already make a few of my own seasonings and always keep them on hand but I've never thought about doing the dried side dishes! GRAND idea! Not only would it save a few pennies but you could really customize some of these side dishes to your own liking!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing some of your great recipes with us! My honey loves anything "alfredo" I'm going to give that recipe a try! My friend, your frugal ideas just amaze me! I also remember a time...when my children were still at home...of having such a budget! Sure makes one creative...that's for sure! But it can be done!!!

    Loved this post!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us for Sunday Favorites this week, my friend!!!

    Have a super Sunday!

  2. Diann,
    These are great recipes for the dry mixes!! Thanks for posting. I am going to print this and keep it handy in the kitchen.
    I love all of your thrifty tips!

  3. This is sure a yummy post...

    Happy Sunday..

  4. Yummo! I have been wanting to make a few of these on my own since I have cut down on processed foods. Thanks a bunch!

  5. Just found you I am so excited to try the rice mix and the Alfredo. Thanks so much!


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)