One of the easiest ways to reduce your grocery budget is simply to buy less food at the grocery store! But that doesn’t mean you have to go without your favorite foods. Instead, make them yourself! Many of your favorite packaged goods can be easily made at home with ingredients you already have, or with ingredients that overall cost less than the commercial food product they’re replacing. Take a look at these 20 Foods to Stop Buying (and Make Yourself) if You Want to Save Money!
20 Foods to Stop Buying (and Make Yourself) if You Want to Save Money
1. Salad Dressings and Marinades – Do you know how easy it is to make your own salad dressings and marinades? Technically you can make Thousand Island dressing with just three ingredients (mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish)!
2. Spice Mixes – Spice mixes are just that – a mixture of spices. Rather than pay for a company to mix the spices together for you, why not just mix them together yourself?
3. Microwave Popcorn – It’s easy to make popcorn from kernels on the stovetop, or in an inexpensive air popper (which doesn’t use oil, making the popcorn healthier). On top of that, kernels cost less than boxed popcorn.
4. Desserts – Cookies, cakes, brownies, etc. all taste better when they’re homemade from scratch. Baking desserts from scratch also lets you try healthier versions and healthy substitutions as well!
5. Pre-made Soups – Soup is actually really easy to make from scratch. All you need is some chicken broth or vegetable broth as a base, then add in whatever you want and season it to your tastes!
6. Broth/Stock – Having said that, you should also try making your own broths/stocks. You can even make super healthy bone broth at home (check places like Whole Foods for grass-fed beef bones to use). A couple of bones can make a lot of broth!
7. Pre-made Salads – Bagged salad kits are definitely one of the foods to stop buying if you want to save money! It only takes a minute to chop your own onion and carrots to add to a cheaper tub of salad greens.
8. Pancake/Waffle Mix – Do you use a pancake/waffle mix or Bisquick to make your family’s breakfast? Then you’re missing out! Pancakes and waffles are so easy to make from scratch, and taste so much better when homemade!
9. Frozen Breakfasts – Frozen breakfast sandwiches, waffles, breakfast burritos, and French toast sticks are all foods you should cut from your grocery budget. Instead, one weekend make a big batch of your family’s favorite breakfast foods from scratch, then freeze them.
10. Guacamole – If you think guacamole tastes bland, then you’ve probably only eaten store-bought guacamole. Made from scratch, guacamole is full of flavor!
11. Fries – Why pay for frozen fries when you can easily make your own at home? You can even make sweet potato fries from scratch!
12. Pre-cut Fruit and Veggies – Some other foods to stop buying to reduce your grocery bill are pre-cut fruits or vegetables. It really only takes a few minutes to cut an apple or honeydew melon, but when you buy them pre-cut in the store you’re paying for a store employee to do it for you. On top of that, most fruits and veggies last much longer when they’re not cut.
13. Tortillas – You should also consider making your own tortillas! They only take a few ingredients, and taste so much better than commercial ones!
14. Bread – Another one of the foods to stop buying in order to save money is bread. Bread is really easy to make from scratch. While a bread machine helps, it’s definitely not required. If you usually buy gluten-free bread, which is often expensive, making your own bread can save you a lot of money!
15. Tomato Sauces – Pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and marinara sauce are all really similar in terms of ingredients. They’re also equally easy and inexpensive to make from scratch!
16. Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are just what their name says – crumbs of bread. All you have to do is crush up some stale bread or toasted fresh bread.
17. Flavored Water – You don’t need to pay for fancy flavored water or a water infuser bottle. Just put some slices of fruit in a pitcher, let it sit for few hours, then take the fruit out and enjoy your DIY flavored water!
18. Baby Food – Baby food is essentially pureed fruits and veggies, so why not make your own with a food processor?
19. Mashed Potatoes – Stop making mashed potatoes from dehydrated flakes! While making them from scratch takes a bit longer, they taste so much better!
20. Pizza Dough/Crust – If you usually get pizza dough/crust from the store, it probably costs more than it should, and includes unnecessary additives. Save money and be healthy by making your own!
Do you already make some of these yourself? What other foods do you find that save you money when made from scratch?