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Friday, July 2, 2021

A Patriotic Salad for the 4th of July

4th of July Jello salad from 2 years ago

I went to WinCo yesterday to do some grocery shopping and pick up a few items for the 4th of July cook-out. On my shopping list was 1 package of red jello and 1 package of blue jello, hoping for store brands. My plan is to make a red, white, and blue jello salad for the 4th (using whipping cream for the white layer). Well, they had small boxes of store brand cherry jello for 47 cents each (not too bad), but only Jello brand blue jello (Berry Blue) in the big boxes at $1.53 per box (more than I wanted to spend). 

I thought about buying both, then I happened to pass the Kool-Aid display. Kool-Aid was priced at 18 cents a packet and there are both red flavors and blue flavors. So, using my plain gelatin (that I already have), my own sugar, and the Kool-Aid packets, I'll be making my own red and blue gelatin for my 4th of July salad.

I wanted to cost this out so I could compare making my own to the boxes of flavored gelatin. I have plain gelatin that I purchased in a large container a couple of years ago. But if I had to buy unflavored gelatin, Walmart sells a 4-pack of unflavored gelatin for 89 cents. Each packet makes 2 cups of set liquid, the same amount as the small boxes of flavored gelatin desserts. The unflavored gelatin part, then, would cost 22 cents.  Most online recipes call for 1/2 cup of sugar to sweeten 2 cups of gelatin. So, my 1/2 cup sugar will cost about 8 or 9 cents. The same recipes suggest using 1/2 of a Kool-Aid packet to make 2 cups of flavored gelatin. 1/2 packet would cost me 9 cents. I may go over the 1/2 packet to get a stronger flavor, so I'll round that up to about 12 cents. (I'll make popsicles out of the rest of the Kool-Aid packet.) My total cost for making my own flavored jello that is equivalent to the small box at the store, then is about 42 or 43 cents, about 5 cents less than the store brand small boxes. That doesn't sound like much of a savings. But wait, the real savings is in making flavors/colors that are only available in the name brand, such as the blue Jello. WinCo only sold the large boxes of Berry Blue Jello (sets 4 cups of liquid). In theory, I could make an equivalent amount of blue jello using Kool-Aid, gelatin, sugar for 84 to 86 cents. That's 67 to 69 cents less than Jello brand at WinCo. I guess what I'm saying is that if you're after an unusual flavor or color of jello that is only carried by the more expensive name brand, then making it from Kool-Aid, sugar, and unflavored gelatin is a saver. 

I checked a couple of other stores online for Berry Blue Jello, to compare cost. I found it at Walmart for $1.22 for the big box and 98 cents in the small box. Making my own blue jello with Kool-Aid will still save me 36 to 38 cents over Walmart's cost for the large box or 55 to 56 cents for the small box.

I would have spent $2.00 at WinCo on boxed gelatin mixes. Instead, by buying Kool-Aid packets and using my own sugar and gelatin, I spent about 84 cents for the red and blue portions of my red, white, and blue gelatin salad. 

Wishing you a happy 4th!


  1. I wonder if you will be able to find blue jello on clearance after the 4th? We don't eat much jello around here, so I've never really price shopped it, but good to know that I can make it from Kool-Aid, etc.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I'll be watching for blue jello on clearance, but I'm not counting on it. I just don't shop as often as I used to. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I gotta admit, I would never have thought to do that. Very clever of you!

    Enjoy the weekend!

  3. That looks festive! We don't have any particular plans for the weekend (I'm working for the next several days except for the fourth itself) although I know my husband will be grilling our meals and making homemade ice cream. We should probably put our mini-flags into the pots of flowers on the front porch.

    1. Hi Kris,
      How very summer-y -- flags in flower pots, homemade ice cream, and grilling!
      Have a wonderful 4th!

  4. I love the way you think outside the box!

    1. Thank you, Ruthie!
      Have a happy 4th of July!


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