Okay this is how POOR we were growing up and how DUMB and CLUELESS I am even now: I didn't know about box cake mixes until I was about 30! Truly, about five years ago I was in the grocery store and was getting flour and sugar and couldn't turn my cart around so I had to head straight down the aisle and that's where I found cake mix and canned frosting for the first time! I was all "Huh? What's this."
Awesome! This is how poor we were: we just didn't have cake (except Angelfood on birthdays). I made my first box cake in college.