Frugal Breakfast From Scratch with a Homemade Pancake Recipe

This post I’d like to focus on making breakfast from scratch. Those of you who don’t have time to make breakfast from scratch in the mornings, keep reading. I have a suggestion for you at the end.

One of my kids’ favorite breakfasts is pancakes. They’d eat pancakes every day, if I’d make them. I used to buy boxes of Bisquick for making pancakes, but I found that a box never lasts that long, not to mention I’d always have really odd amounts of mix left at the end of the box. So I’d either have to buy a new box and combine the mix, or I’d have to toss the extra.

A friend of mine suggested making my own pancakes from scratch. So I tried it, and I’ve never gone back. I use the basic buttermilk pancake recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.

Homemade Pancake Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let sit 5 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup onto hot, lightly greased griddle.
  3. Turn over when top is bubbly and edges are slightly dry.

The recipe makes 8 pancakes.


Making your own pacake mix and mixing everything together in the morning doesn’t take any longer than mixing up the Bisquick mix.

Spice Things Up

And to spice things up, I often add things to my mix. In the past I’ve added blueberries, apples, walnuts, applesauce, pumpkin, and sliced bananas. (Not all at once, of course)

I’ve also been known to vary the flour, depending on what I have on hand. Instead of white flour, sometimes I’ll substitute some whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. I wouldn’t recommend substituting all whole wheat flour for the white flour, or your pancakes will turn out too heavy. But substituting part of the flour works well.

And there you have it. A nutritious breakfast for less money than the boxed alternative. And healthier, too, especially if you add fresh fruit and whole wheat flour.

If you don’t have time to make breakfast on weekday mornings, try making up a batch of pancakes on the weekend and freezing them. They freeze well, and they heat up in the microwave quickly.

Do you have any cheap, healthy breakfast ideas? Please share in the comments!

Photo by RC Stanley.


By , on Jan 22, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Cris Caperon:

    It’s easy to create your own healthy and fluffy homemade Denny’s flapcakes with this easy-to-follow Denny’s flapcake recipe with healthy ingredients, such as Whole Meal Flour and Canola Oil, served with a dollop of cream cheese and pure maple syrup or beloved , or create your own healthy pancake toppings.

  2. I made up a gigantic batch this weekend with the intention of it providing breakfast for most of this week. It worked wonderfully. The kids warmed them up in the toaster. Only problem is they ran out too fast. I guess I need a double gigantic batch!

  3. MichelleH:

    Yumm!! Will this also work for making waffles? I use Krusteaz mix too but this sounds much cheaper.
    Tightwad Tuesday sounds wonderful!

  4. Rob Madrid:

    You asked a few posts back what your readers would like more of and I was going to post not to change anything, I enjoy the blog as it is but I changed my mind. I’d love to see more recipes. I see bloggers often comment about the need to eat less processed foods but they leave it at that. I checked out a few cooking blogs but they tend to like really fancy stuff.

    I mention this because my Wife and I have made the transition from eating only processed foods to making everything ourselves and I’d love more recipes.

    Overall I really enjoy the blog, it’s survived several purges of my reader :)

  5. Steve:

    What more could you want? Cheap and easy, while great and tasty!

  6. Mandy:

    In our house, we have egg and milk allergies. We use a cheap egg substitute (of baking powder, water and oil) and use some sort of milk substitute (rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.) along with a mushy sweet fruit or veggie (pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, or banana). I do use whole wheat flour when I make waffles. I let them cool on a cookie sheet and then freeze them. Everyone loves it when I make the waffles with coconut milk (from when we break open a coconut and blend the flesh of it in the food processor) with chunks of apples and walnuts. I never use a mix because of the egg and milk issue. I just use recipes from google or from my mom’s cookbooks that she NEVER used.

  7. You can also use lemon juice in the milk instead of vinegar to make sour milk. For some reason, I just can’t stomach the thought of vinegar, and I always use lemon juice.
    I made up a mega batch of pancake “mix” and put it in a large tupperware container. But I always make more than we’ll eat and freeze the remainder for my kids for weekday breakfasts.

  8. Brooke:

    I know your recipe was healthy, but our favorite when we were kids was with CHOCOLATE CHIPS! A nice, hot pancake with gooey chocolate chips! Yum. Good idea!

  9. Great post…too bad I am hungry now!

  10. I love it! I’m going to try to do this one day this week and freeze them…Bekah and Katie LOVE pancakes :)

  11. InTheHole:

    Thanks for sharing!! I was just thinking about this topic last weekend. I have been buying boxed mixes for sometime now and I knew that I wanted to make my own mix from scratch in order to be more frugal.

    Now I have a great recipe to follow! :)


  12. Rob Madrid:

    The other day the wife got a hankering for some pancakes, usually it would mean buying a box form the supermarket but being as we live overseas it would mean a trip carry a heavy wallet to Taste of Amercia since I wasn’t willing to do that we did something we’ve never done. googled pancakes and vollia homemade pancakes. Way better than anything I ever had out of a box. I asked the Wife, why in the world did we ever buy boxed pancakes! Never again

  13. I like to add cinnamon and vanilla to mine. I eyeball it but I’d say about a teaspoon each. Sometimes I add 1/4 cup pecans too. Those few spices really add flavor! I’m like you and never gone back to buying mix either. Sometimes, if I’m feeling really organized, I’ll mix all of this up in a tupperware container and have it on hand so all I have to do it measure out the wet ingredients (I use a dry buttermilk milk too so one less wet ingredient). If I buy a carton of it, it always goes bad before I use it up.

  14. I got a waffle maker for Xmas this year and I have been making my own waffles from scratch. Its saved me money because we used to go out to breakfast a lot to get waffles and now we can have them at home for a fraction of the price. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. LJ:

    Sounds great, I think I will be trying to make a large batch and freezing them.
    If you have ever looked at what a box of frozen pancakes or waffles costs, you’d faint! My family loves pancakes, waffles and french toast for breakfast, so any ideas to make that less of a morning hassle are always welcomed!

    Thanks for the tip!

    Take Care


  16. I miss pancakes sometimes. :) I’ll keep this recipe on hand next time I get a hankerin.

  17. heather:

    About freezing them: Freeze them on a tray first then put them in a bag then you don’t have to defrost them first if you like them toasted (mine like them in the toaster.)

  18. I use a big bag of Krusteaz mix that I buy from Costco. I priced it out back when I first started buying it and factoring the cost of eggs and milk and my time, it is a fairly frugal alternative. At least it was then.

  19. Michelle Dawn:

    Mmmm. Thanks. I’ll be trying this recipe on the weekend!

  20. Amy:

    Hurray! I think I’m going to really enjoy “Tightwad Tuesday”! We normally make pancakes at my house once a week so I made a batch of “biscut mix”. I store it in the freezer and make pancakes from that. It doesn’t save me too much time but I like not having to get everything out each time.

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