That D.I.Y. idea percolated through my brain the other morning as I prepared The Saturday Pancakes. Realizing that we were out of instant mix, I saw an opportunity to “build from scratch” and compare time-and cost-effectiveness.
We paid $7 for a 10-pound bag of pancake mix back in August or September, so that works out to 70 cents per pound…I am now taking a moment to be slightly troubled by my computer keyboard’s not having a ‘cent’ key…one moment please…okay, we can proceed. That mix takes maybe a minute to prepare: 3 cups mix, 2 cups water, stir, cook. I’ll get 16 pancakes from that; 3 per person, plus a spare. Add in some sausage that we got on clearance for 99 cents per 12-oz. package and it’s a great day-off breakfast. Just for ultra-convenience, 3 cups of mix weigh 1 pound, so 1 pancake = 1 ounce, and at 70c./pound, 1 pancake = 4c.
How does the scratch mix stand up? Well, it took me 10 minutes to find a recipe, check for ingredients, and get everything ready to mix; I had to use whole wheat flour, so I sifted everything to keep it fairly light. It then took me 5 minutes to make a batch of batter with the dry mix, adding eggs and oil. That puts it well behind the package mix; even if I amortize the 10-minute prep time out over the other batches I make, I won’t catch up on a 2-pound quantity of dry mix. At any rate, the pancakes came out very well.
As for cost…(sigh)…it’s not looking good. I came up with a cost of $1.31 per pound, which rounds off to 8c. per pancake. That’s twice as expensive, and much more time-consuming. Who knew? At least I’ve got something to tide us over until I can get out to the store where the package mix is cheaper, because close to home it’s $8 or $9 for the big bag. It’s a good thing I’m checking into this stuff, eh?