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I don’t understand the concept. I go the the recipe for pancakes, and it says the ingredients are pancakes? Is there a joke here I’m missing?

That tells you how much it costs to buy pancakes. If you click the pancakes box it'll tell you how much you can save by making them from scratch, and give you instructions.

Some things are cheaper and easier to buy; others are cheaper to make yourself.

Try moving the slider that specifies your time limit.

Click on "Pancakes" in the ingredient list to expand it.

move the "available time" slider

it switches from "1 minute: buy pancakes in store" to "50 weeks: Let your seawater sit in the sun"

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