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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!