I used to spend money on pancake mix. In fact, because of my now-cured issues with blood sugar, I'd search out the foofy pancake mix that didn't have any sugar in it (because the pure maple syrup never bugged my blood sugar but the sugar might be). I understand that you can even get pancake mix in a spray can now.
These are all obscene kitchen creations.
Pretty much, all you get when you buy Pancake mix is sugar, flour, and baking powder and probably some other weird ingredients that you'd rather not know about. And then you have to mix in milk and eggs.
On the other hand, it takes about 30 seconds more to measure out flour, baking powder, sugar, and spices. If you are doing any amount of cooking in the kitchen, you need all of those things anyway and they don't go bad... so you'll have less stuff in the kitchen. And I mean it about the 30 seconds. You need to find a teaspoon as well as a measuring cup. You use the same number of bowls.
For reference, my pancake recipe (from memory, I might add) is:
And the trick is generally to mix it as gently as possible. It's OK if there's small clumps. If you try to get it fully combined into an even batter, you'll activate more of the gluten and it'll be tough instead of light and fluffy.
You cook it on a greased skillet on medium heat.
You can adjust the recipe all you want. Want it even fluffier? Add more egg white and less yolk. Want it thinner? Add a little more milk. You can make it buckwheat flour or whole wheat flour or whatever else you desire. You can add walnuts or chocolate chips or blueberries.
I can guarantee that, after pancake mix, real pancakes that take a mere 30 seconds more to measure out will seem positively ambrosial.