I've never been a fan of mixes—pancake mix, cake mix, etc. I don't do them. I prefer to make things on my own. Yes, they take a little longer, but they always taste better.
One thing I'm infamous for doing the hard way is pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is quite pricey (roughly £2 per can here in the UK) and it doesn't even keep as long as frozen pumpkin keeps! Every year, I buy a couple pumpkins, cut them, bake them, purée them, bag them, and freeze them.
I bought 4 pumpkins this year [so far!] and have done this process to 3 of them as of yesterday! And you'd be very impressed with how much pumpkin purée I have now! 30 cups! Usually, a can of pumpkin contains 15 ounces which is the equivalent of roughly 1.8 cups. From 3 pumpkins, I have the equivalent of about 16 cans of pumpkin....that would have cost me £32....but it only cost me £4.50! Woohoo!
Moral of the story: Homemade is always better and always cheaper! :)