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Cooking in College: Simplifying snacking and saving

Homemade Chex Mix. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Copy Chief

Homemade Chex Mix. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Copy Chief

Speaking with full disclosure, Chex Mix is one of my all-time favorite snacks, but I haven’t bothered buying a bag of it in over a year. Instead, I bake it myself. I can make it in bulk, and it’s fairly cheaper than buying bags of premade Chex Mix.

Making snack mixes from scratch rather than buying them premade in bags offers you — the soon-to-be-satisfied consumer — ultimate customization of your snacking experience. Are you a peanut person? Throw some into the mixture. A fan of candy-coated chocolate orbs? M&M’s can join the fray (although I suggest adding them after baking).

I personally gravitate toward the simplicity of Chex cereal and some pretzels, occasionally throwing in some M&M’s if I’m feeling like having something sweet. But don’t let the simplicity of the featured recipe limit your own creativity, because that’s the beauty of recipes like this: many things can make special guest appearances, such as Cheetos, Goldfish Crackers or even raisins.

Making your own Chex Mix is cheaper than buying bags of Chex Mix in the long run. When buying all the ingredients for the first time, it will be more expensive than just buying a bag or two of Chex Mix, but consider that a lot of the ingredients don’t have to be bought again when you want to make more.

For example, seasoned salt, garlic powder and onion powder tend to last a while before you’ll need to buy them anew, and a pack of four sticks of butter will let you make this recipe five times if you dedicate all of it to the recipe. A bag of pretzels can last multiple rounds of this recipe as well.

When making recurring batches of Chex Mix, Chex cereal and worcestershire sauce will be the two ingredients that might need to be replaced most often, but even then, between all the batches, you’ll be coming out with more Chex Mix at a cheaper price than just buying it in the bag.

On average, the recipe produces about three times the amount of Chex Mix found in the average 15-ounce bag, which costs a little more than $4. Buying all the ingredients from the start will cost nearly $16, but generally, you’ll have enough to make two batches (or six times the snack mix). Six 15-ounce bags of Chex Mix would cost you around $24.

After making those two batches, you’ll more than likely need to buy more Chex crackers and possibly more worcestershire sauce, which should cost you no more than another $10, and with your leftover ingredients, that’s enough to make another batch of Chex Mix worth $24.

So for around $26, you can make 48 dollars’ worth of Chex Mix. With that, I leave you with the recipe.



Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 1 hour

Servings: 10 or so

9 cups Chex cereal

2 cups pretzels

3/4 stick butter

1/2 cup worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the top of a large baking tray with wax or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, place the Chex cereal and pretzels. Feel free to mix and match rice, corn or wheat as you please.

Using a rubber spatula, shuffle the cereal and pretzels around to properly mix them up.

In a small bowl, melt the butter by using the microwave. When properly melted, add the worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder and onion powder, and use a whisk to beat the mixture until the texture is fairly even.

Pour half the butter mixture over the Chex and pretzels, and use the rubber spatula to shuffle the ingredients around. Pour the rest of the butter mixture in, using the rubber spatula to help evenly coat the Chex and pretzels as much as possible.

Slowly pour the Chex and pretzels onto the baking tray, spreading it as evenly as possible to cover the entire surface.

Place the tray in the now heated oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take the tray out and shuffle the snacks around to make sure none stick to the tray. Repeat this step three more times so the snack mix has had nearly one hour of time to bake in the oven.

Let the snacks sit out to cool off. Store the Chex mix in sealable plastic bags (or eat them all right then and there).

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