Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas on a Budget, Part 2

Okay, let's talk more about those Easy Bake ovens today.

Have you looked at the prices on the Easy Bake mixes? The cheapest I found online were $0.50 per mix, plus shipping. All of those were already out of stock. They had been discounted from $2.50 a mix!

If your daughter likes to make things from scratch, here's a wonderful resource of recipes for an Easy Bake oven. But if you're just wanting a super-easy way to make some mixes, here's an idea for you. (I got part of the idea from the Budget 101 site.)

I bought a cake mix, brownie mix and cookie mix from the store. I paid $3.81 for all of it.

For brownie mixes, package 1/4 cup of the mix into resealable baggies and decorate the packaging as desired. I made little boxes out of cardboard I've been saving from cereal boxes and what-not. The boxes are about 4x2.5". Here's what they look like, including the baking instructions:

And cake mix is exactly the same, just using the cake mix:

I got 14 cake mixes from one box of cake mix and 16 brownie mixes from one box of brownie mix. That averages out to $0.08 per mix. Not bad!

Cookie mix is pretty much the same, but you only use 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) to make 4 cookies at a time. I used tiny bags and made a hangtag for those with the instructions. Here's the front:

And here's the back, with baking instructions:

I got about 16 mixes out of that one pouch of cookie mix (give or take a few, since I had to experiment to get the recipe just right). That averages out to $0.09 per mix. Again, that's a great price!

Now, scroll back up to that first picture of all the mixes. There are 43 mixes there, and I only paid $3.81. I know a niece who is going to be thrilled to death with this gift! In fact, both of my kids now want an Easy Bake oven ... :)

Of course, you can make it even easier by making your packaging a little less fancy. I just really, really wanted to make those little boxes, even though they took awhile.


angie said...

absolutely amazing! your neice is going to have enough mixes to last the whole year. Ask her to save the boxes and you can refill them for next year!

Sophia said...

Well, knowing my niece, they might last a few months. :) I thought about asking her to save the boxes, especially since my fingers are hurting this morning!

Esther said...

Great idea! I've looked at the Easy Bake ovens as a potential gift for Makayla, but since the appropriate age on the box was something like 8 or 9 I decided to wait. She'll enjoy it just as much then, and probably be a bit more self sufficient than she would be now. It's on my list to buy though.....someday! I'll definitely have to keep these mixes in mind when I do!

Sophia said...

Yes, this is one toy that I would definitely recommend the age limit on the box. I read that they had to recall a really cute version (that looked just like a stove) because some people were giving it to kids under 8 and they were getting burnt putting their fingers inside. Now, if your child is quite mature, that's your call. I think my son could probably handle one in a year or so, but he's one of those ultra-cautious types. :) Glad you like the idea!

Kristen Bieber said...

Such a great idea and so cute as a gift. My daughter got an easybake for her birthday, this will make a great Christmas gift!