Homemade vs. Storebought Food

When it comes to what foods I make at home and what foods I buy from the store, there are just some things I cannot imagine ever buying again, but there’s also certain things that I’m not daring enough to try. And a lot of those things I can’t make because I don’t have the equipment and tools necessary to make them with. But my families health always comes first, so that’s another reason why there are certain items that I wouldn’t dare buy from the store, for fear of preservatives, additives, and food dyes.

Homemade vs. Storebought Food | Ten at the Table | http://tenatthetable.com

So today I’m going to share with you my list of foods to make and buy to help give you some insight on when it’s necessary to make things from scratch.


Bread is definitely on the make list for me. I don’t use a bread maker but have in the past and you can save money by letting your hands do the kneading instead of a machine, which can save electricity and ultimately money. Another reason why bread is on my make list is because the bread from the store costs four times as much money as it would take to make your own bread!

Answer: Make


While many people make butter at home, since I don’t have unlimited access to a dairy cow, making butter is out of the question. Sure there are plenty of recipes out there that call for heavy whipping cream, but when you do the math, buying four boxes of butter from Sam’s Club for $8 is a pretty good deal.

Answer: Buy


I’ve made crackers in the past, but I don’t have time to make crackers in order to keep up with how fast my family eats them. I’ve been able to purchase some for very little cost if I buy them in bulk, which helps a lot! To me, making crackers is a pain in the neck and I would much rather avoid the risk of burnt crackers.

Answer: Buy


I used to buy yogurt in the individual cups thinking I was saving money but boy was I wrong! They were so overpriced, so we switched to the quart containers of yogurt. Granted, we were saving money by purchasing it in larger portions, but when we found out how much money we could save making our own, we never went back. Homemade yogurt tastes way better than store bought in my opinion.

Answer: Make


My family doesn’t use ketchup often enough for me to make it in large portions, so ketchup is something that I buy in bulk from Sam’s Club. I may have made ketchup once or twice in the past and it wasn’t that difficult, but I don’t remember it tasting exceptionally delicious either.

Answer: Buy


Buying tortillas from a wholesale store is a great deal, but sometimes if I want the extra quality or just feel like making tortillas from scratch, I’ll go the extra mile and make ’em.

Answer: Buy or Make

Sour Cream

Like I said about the butter, even though it would be incredibly nice, I don’t have access to a dairy cow and therefore buying items like butter, sour cream, and cheese are just a little more realistic (or frugal!). A giant tub of Daisy Sour Cream will do for my family.

Answer: Buy


I like to buy real mayonnaise from Sam’s Club in bulk, but I don’t buy the big ol’ gallon of the stuff. I don’t have room in my fridge for that. But occasionally I’ll make mayo from scratch if I’m out of it, since it isn’t that hard to make.

Answer: Buy or Make



I’m not one to buy 3 bags of apples and turn them into applesauce, so this is for sure a buy food item for my family. Motts Natural unsweetened applesauce cost less from a wholesale store, but if you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree or can get your hands on a bunch of ’em during some big sale, by all means, make it.

Tip: When purchasing applesauce, make sure the only ingredients are apples, water, ascorbic acid, and maybe some cinnamon.

Answer: Buy


I make pizza at home, although it didn’t always used to be that way. We used to buy frozen pizzas and order Papa John’s, but after seeing how much we save making them at home, we’re never going back. There are tons of pizza dough recipes out there as well. The kids love to top their own personal pizzas and you can’t beat the flavor or savings.

Answer: Make


There was a day when I bought Thomas bagels, but nowadays we don’t eat bagels very often, and when we do they’re of the homemade sort. Making bagels takes a little planning ahead, but believe me…it’s so worth it!

Answer: Make


What items do you make versus buy?

9 Thoughts on “Homemade vs. Storebought Food

  1. Matt on July 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm said:

    From tomatoes: pizza sauce, pasta sauce, salsa, juice, quartered (use in chili, etc). (Fresh tomatoes are $5.00/bushel when in season)

    From apples: sauce, juice, butter, hard cider. (We glean from already-picked orchards, usually getting 5-7 bushels)

    From cucumbers: pickles, relish, dill chips for burgers & sandwiches (grow your own cukes)

    All jellies, either freezer or traditional.

    Beer, wine, ginger ale.

    Broth – Meat (from chicken or turkey carcasses). Vegetable (keep all your veggie trimmings in a gallon freezer bag. When it’s full, pull it out of the freezer, throw it in a pot with salt and a bay leaf or two and boil for an hour. Freeze it in ice cube trays for use when making rice or quinoa; or in larger containers as a soup base).

    We’re still buying cheese, butter, etc., because like you we don’t have a fresh milk source. We do make yogurt, since we can have a gallon of Greek yogurt ($7.00/qt) for the price of a gallon of milk.

  2. This is a thoughtful list. Since I started working part-time, I don’t seem to make as much.

  3. patricia on April 5, 2015 at 7:39 am said:

    I need a reliable make at home bread recipe like your photo. Do you freeze it or does it have to be made weekly?

  4. Joan J on May 21, 2015 at 8:39 am said:

    I love to garden and start my own seeds for tomatoes and peppers. We make tons of salsa (52 quarts one year!) spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, and canned tomatoes.
    We make our own apple sauce, apple butter and apple pie filling from our apple tree. There’s always a sweet corn patch close by, so we freeze lots of sweet corn.
    Growing my own herbs is something I’m finally starting to master. Pesto from basil is so delicious in the dead of winter! I love drying herbs too; store bought herbs and spices are ridiculously expensive and aren’t near as flavorful as my own.
    We usually have canned peaches in the pantry also. The peaches are pricey, but they are so good that it’s worth the splurge!
    I’ve made pickle relish at the end of the summer from cucumbers and peppers, hot pepper jelly, fruit jams…
    My mother was always canning something, so this is the norm for me and my family. Buy a Ball Blue Book and dig in! It’s so rewarding to can your produce (even if you have to buy some of it.) I love going down to my pantry in the winter and grabbing a jar of something I had canned in the summer time!

  5. Vickie on July 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm said:

    I found your bagel recipe on the Prairie Homestead site. I would love to try them. They would be perfect for my husband to take to work with him. Can they be frozen after they are baked?

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