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There's at least folk wisdom that says that cake and brownie mixes are actually cheaper than the ingredients but I don't know. I know that my memories of helping my mother can tomatoes are not very pleasant so I'd never do it. When I was in college, I lived on less than poverty level for food(recording it was an easy project for Rural Poverty in an Urban Society) and I wasn't making anything from scratch. I usually make pudding from mixes for school lunches because it's much cheaper than buying those prepackaged things. I'm not sure I save much more going down to scratch. It's that old choice and balance thing.
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