Many commonly bought food items can be made at home fairly easily. Here are 6 you can start with today!
Whatever your reason may be, most families are looking for ways to save money on groceries these days. One of the best ways to do this is to start making things for yourself instead of buying them. If this is something you might want to do, these six things you can make at home that will save you big are a great place to start.
Bread is a staple in most homes, but a good quality loaf of bread will cost you several dollars each. Not only is it expensive, but it can be rather tasteless as well. Homemade bread, however, is not only cheaper per loaf, but also has a flavor and freshness that store bought bread can not match.
Kneading bread and allowing it to rise can be a labor intensive process though, so if you’re lazy like I am – you may want to invest in a bread machine. Many are actually quite affordable and although it will be a small initial investment, over time it will more than pay for itself.
If your family has a pizza night each week or month, you know how expensive take out or even store bought frozen pizzas can be.
For a far cheaper option, buy pizza pans and make them at home. All you need is a good pizza dough recipe (or you can buy pre-made just add water pizza dough mix at Target for about $1), a good pizza sauce recipe and whatever toppings your family loves. You’ll end with a pizza that rivals anything else you have ever tasted.
A time saving shortcut to this is to buy pre-made pizza crusts from your local dollar store! Ours has this 3 medium sized thin crusts to a package for just $1.99 and they are quite good.
Making homemade pasta can be work, but ounce to ounce, it is cheaper to make your own than it is to purchase it. This is especially true if you eat gluten free pasta instead of regular. For those new to making homemade pasta, it can be helpful to purchase a traditional hand crank pasta machine and a pasta drying rack until you learn how to cut it properly and dry it without those items. Yes, you will be paying for tools to help, but you will earn the cost of those tools back in savings.
For the even lazier person like me, I bought this Philips Pasta Maker a couple years ago and it is easily one of the most used appliances in our kitchen. Just add water, egg and flour (for standard pasta) and you’ll have fresh noodles within about 10 minutes. It’s so easy that I put my son in charge of making noodles when he was 9 and they turned out perfect every time. It does EVERYTHING for you and it reminds me of playing with a Play Doh extruder.
I like to drop in some powdered garlic and dried basil when we are feeling fancy. Even better is that fresh pasta cooks much faster than store bought dry – in only about 2 minutes!
These are a great way to surprise your family the next time you have Mexican food or Tex-Mex. They’ll never believe the tortillas are homemade!
Pasta sauce can be bought fairly cheap, but it is even cheaper (and tastes better!) when you make it at home. Per ounce, your cost of making homemade pasta sauce is often significantly cheaper than the stuff in the jars.
As you begin to make your own sauces, it may take you a few batches to really find a recipe your family loves. However, keep trying because eventually you will find one that is a great fit. You can start off super simple with just crushed/pureed tomatoes and adding in some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
If you like it to be more flavorful, saute some onions and garlic in the beginning and add in some fresh basil from your herb garden at the end. Like meat? Add some ground hamburger or turkey with the onions and garlic or cubes of chicken breast.
For a unique burst of flavor, add in some balsamic vinegar and red wine – I promise your family will wonder why they can’t stop eating it.
The best part of making your own sauce from scratch is that you really don’t even need a recipe and you can use whatever you have in the garden, fridge or cupboard that day.
If you have a vegetable garden (or want to start one), tomatoes are one of the easiest and most prolific foods you can grow. You don’t even need a yard because they can be grown in containers on your patio too!
Plant as many as you can care for in the spring and can or freeze what you don’t use. You could go almost the full year on your tomato harvest and never have to buy tomatoes at the store again.
Canned soups at the store are a pure waste of money for most families since homemade soups are so much more economical (and healthier for you too!). If you need small batches of your favorite soups, make big batches of your favorite soup recipes and then freeze them in individual serving sizes.
You can freeze them using small soup containers made for the freezer or in simple freezer bags. Either way, it will save you a fairly decent amount of money on food if you buy canned soups on a regular basis. It’s also convenient to have for those busy nights when you just don’t have time to make dinner.