How much do you really spend on little jars and packets of spice mixes at the grocery store? Let me show YOU how to make your own spice mixes and save you a few bucks while we are at it!

Being a frugal person all of my life, I choose to make as many things that I can to save money and whatever I cannot make, I buy or barter. Probably the very first salad dressing I and many of you, have learned to make is thousand island dressing. Nothing fancy, just mix up ketchup, mayo and chopped pickles or a spoonful of relish. Done. Cost next to nothing.

Times have changed and hopefully I have evolved a bit to make a few fancy dressings by now even though I tend to go back to that thousand island dressing every so often!

How about a recipe for Taco Seasoning or Ranch Seasoning & Dressing or a Curry mix? Soon you will have canning jars just filled with all of these colorful mixes and if you wish, those jars could double duty as decor.

Why not??

First a little housekeeping on supplies and stuff. If you are going to go through the steps to make your own ___________(insert whatever you like), you may as well get all of the ingredients at a decent price. Start with what you have to use it all up and then visit some of the bulk online herb stores or a local bulk farmers market. All of my herbs are sourced organically so I know nothing has been sprayed with lord knows what or irradiated.

Dressing & Seasoning Mixes:

My favorite Ranch – I have been making this for over 14 years ever since I read the Complete Tightwad Gazette. 

A slight change to her recipe, due to the fact I have to sneak more greenies in e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, is that I add Stinging Nettle in addition to parsley. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is high in iron, protein, magnesium, calcium, chlorophyl and manganese so yeah, we need it.

RANCH DRESSING adapted from the Tightwad Gazette

  • 1 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoons dried stinging nettle
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all of the above into 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of mayonnaise(not the fake stuff either, make sure there are only a few ingredients. Hellmann’s is my fave!) Make 1 pint. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 7-8 days. IF you do not have buttermilk, use regular milk but only 1/2-3/4 cup.

****The recipe above can be easy tripled, quadrupled to make a jar full . Once you fill a jar with just the spice mix, use 2 Tablespoons to make the dressing.

Taco/Mexican Seasoning Mix

Taco Seasoning


  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup onion granules
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup flour ***if you wish, any kind


  1. Mix all in a large bowl until blended well or you could mix it in a blender if you want it powdery. 

  2. Store in airtight container for up to six months. Make enough to equal 5 mixes.

  3. To use: 3 Tablespoons of this mix equal 1 package of store bought taco seasoning mix. 

pic by Denise Harden

Curry Seasoning & Dressing Mix


  • 3 tsp coriander seeds ground
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds ground
  • 3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp black mustard seed ground
  • 1.5 tsp chili pepper ground
  • 1.5 tsp fennel seed ground
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger


  1. Mix everything in a bowl with a whisk. Fill a glass jar. Make approximately 15 teaspoons of mix. This will keep for six months.

  2. To use: Mix 1-2 teaspoons of this mix into rice dishes, over vegetables with a bit of olive oil and roast or mix into chicken salad

You could also try adding 1-2 teaspoons of the curry mix to an oil(1/4 cup) and vinegar(1/8 cup) salad dressing. Play around with the amount but most folks use a 2 part olive oil to a 1 part vinegar, apple cider vinegar is great with this recipe!!

More recipes:

Alfredo Noodle Mix

Beef Gravy Mix

Mixes for everything!

BBQ Spice Mix

Here is a GIANT resource of homemade everything – Budget 101 and I do mean GIGANTIC – there are hundreds of recipes in each catagory. This link takes you to 400+ convenience mixes alone.

Have a beautiful day my friend,


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Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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