Retro Rural Parenting in a Modern World

Kid-Friendly Trash Mix from Pantry Leftovers

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      My pantry is stuffed with open packages of junk food and snacks my two kids never seem to finish. Today, I decided to declutter it. But instead of tossing everything in the trash, I made sweet and savory Trash Mix with leftovers. The results were pretty tasty. The price: FREE! And, my pantry is clear. Doing my happy dance here!

     Here’s my very unscientific recipe.

Step 1: Dump all the savory tidbits you find in a mixing bowl

I wound up with about 3 cups of

  • Cheetos
  • Pretzels
  • Apple Sticks
  • 4 Peanut Butter Cracker Sandwiches broken into quarters
  • Cheese Nips
  • White Cheddar Popcorn

Step 2: Make a Savory Sauce

Check your fridge and spice rack. My search yielded

  • ½ stick of salted butter
  • 8 tbsp margarine (because it didn’t look like I had enough butter)
  • ½ bottle of Worcestershire Sauce (because that emptied the bottle)
  • 2 tbsp powdered garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • Dash of chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt

Melt butter and margarine in microwave. Stir in remaining ingredients.  This ended up being wayyy too much liquid to coat my dry ingredients, so I reserved half.

Pour ½ of mixture over dry ingredients and toss lightly.  Cover the remainder and store in the refrigerator. (I’ll tell you what to do with that in a few days.)

Step 3: Bake

Arrange in a thin layer on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Bake at 225 degrees for 3-4 hours (or until ingredients appear crisp and dry.) 

Stir mixture every 30 minutes to check progress.

Set aside to cool.

Step 4: Mix in all the sweet ingredients you discovered

I found about 3 cups of

  • Cinnamon Raisin Granola
  • 1 Honey Nut Granola Bar broken into pieces
  • Strawberry Granola
  • Fruit Loops
  • Boo Berry Cereal
  • 1 Snack Pack of Chex Muddy Buddies
  • 1 Snack Pack of Teddy Grahams
  • 5 Nilla Wafers broken into quarters
  • Dried Apricots
  • 1 package Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks
  • Raisins
  • A handful of White Chocolate Chips
  • Random individually wrapped candies from Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter

Step 5: Store in an airtight container 

My pantry foraging yielded about 6 cups of sweet and savory trash mix….  But it is considerably less now that my kids have been munching on it.


Try making trash mix in your kitchen. Let me know how it turned out.

Watch for my next blog post.  I’ll tell you what to do with the other half of that Savory Sauce mixture that’s hanging out in your fridge now.