We all can’t be a little Martha Stewart and make everything we eat from scratch. With time being a precious commodity in our culture, it’s just not realistic. I’ve made homemade yogurt in the Crockpot and while it was delicious, I’m not able to spend a whole day tending to it. There are a few items, however, that won’t suck up all your time and are worth the saved cost of buying pre-made.
Do you have a food processor? It takes minutes to whip up a batch because all you do is hold the “grind” button until your peanuts turn into peanut butter. So simple! Check the unit price of both peanut butter and peanuts next time you’re at the grocery store. You’ll learn what unit price is a good deal and you can stock up on peanuts when they’re on sale. You can enjoy your own natural peanut butter without all the preservatives. Roasting only takes 10 minutes if you want that additional flavor.
I’ve got a recipe for my mom’s pizza crust and a whole wheat crust for your choosing. Pizza crust is already cheap when you buy it pre-made but making your own doesn’t take long, you get to skip the extra preservatives, and in my opinion fresh baked dough tastes much better and you can add your own herbs & spices in for more flavor!
This is such an easy process: Cut up apples, throw in crock pot, turn crock pot on… that’s it! Sometimes I get fancy and add a couple cinnamon sticks. Make a big batch and freeze extra portions for later. No need to spend extra on individual serving portions.
Read the ingredient list next time you are in the grocery store. It doesn’t matter if they use organic brown rice syrup… it’s still syrup! Why do we need syrup to hold a bar together when dried fruit works just as well? Don’t be fooled by fancy language used for ingredients. Granola bars sound healthy but most of the time it’s just a lot of sugar holding together a little bit of food. Did you know you can make your own granola bars for WAY less than what you’re paying? Again, all you need is a food processor. My favorite brand of granola bars is Larabar because they only use real food for ingredients. The ingredients for their “cashew cookie” bar: dates and cashews. The “coconut cream pie” bar: unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut oil, cashews, almonds, dates. Why would you spend $1.50 per bar when you can make them for less than $0.50 a bar? I wrote down the ingredients for some of my favorite bars and made my own homemade Larabars with success, even with winging the amount of each ingredient.
In this case you can go halfsies on homemade. I won’t tell on you. I take one jar of commercial spaghetti sauce and add my own fixings to stretch it out: mushrooms, ground meat, canned stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, etc. Your batch of spaghetti sauce will go further for the cost and you can freeze what you don’t use for another dinner occasion that calls for sauce.
Other easy-to-make items you can enjoy include hummus, salad dressing, croutons, tortillas, pancake mix, guacamole, salsa… the list goes on! There are a lot of food items you can make from scratch but I weigh in the time it takes to make the item so it doesn’t outweigh the cost I’m saving. Making the above items from scratch can save your wallet, your waist, and won’t eat up all of your time!
What food items do you make from scratch?
This has been a guest post from Jessica. She is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness, and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget For Health.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.