Cookie and brownie mixes probably rank at the top of the convenience-food favorites list. A typical package at the store, which yields about a dozen brownies, costs about $2.80. The following mix costs about $2.06 and makes enough for two batches of one dozen brownies or six dozen cookies.
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.