Feeling the pinch of higher food prices? Here are a dozen items to make from scratch. You’ll save money and avoid food waste!
I can’t be the only one who has recently stood in a grocery store aisle, done a double-take on a price, and blurted out “Are you kidding me?!?”
Grocery prices are up–by more than 10 percent over last year, according to government statistics.
Though that price hike has probably changed what and how much you buy each week, unfortunately it hasn’t changed your family’s appetites.
They still want to be fed. All. The. Time.
So what can you make from scratch?
It may seem like a no-brainer that making more things from scratch could ease the pain of higher prices.
But which items actually save you real money?
To find out, Real Mom Nutrition team member Cheryll crunched allll the numbers, figuring out the costs down to the spices and seasonings.
Some items we figured would be slam-dunk money-savers actually weren’t (hello, homemade salad dressing).
Others were way cheaper than even we thought (we’re looking at you, DIY sushi rolls and Starbucks copy cat drink!).
Below are the ones that came out on top, along with price comparisons.
It goes without saying, but…
- Costs for ingredients are based on local prices, and those may vary by region.
- You have a life away from the kitchen and your time has value too. Some from-scratch items will feel worth it to you, but some won’t. And that’s okay!
Make From Scratch: Money Savers
These sandwiches are freezer heroes. They’re energizing morning meals and hearty after-school snacks, and they can even pinch-hit for dinner on busy nights. Not to mention, they’re easy to assemble and hold up well in the deep freeze. Get the complete how-to: Make-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
I promise it’s easier than you think to make your own soft, chewy homemade bagels. They’re so much better than store-bought–and so much cheaper than the bakery. Add the toppings your gang likes best. I have an easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipe, including a short-cut if you have a bread machine.
This guacamole recipe couldn’t be easier with just four simple ingredients, but it almost always gets compliments when I bring it to a party. I think that’s because the simple, fresh flavors really shine through. One of my son’s friends even called it “better than Chipotle’s”. Get the recipe: No-Fuss Guacamole
All you need are three ingredients to make a batch of homemade baked tortilla chips. They’re so much crunchier and heartier than the bagged kind, which now seem flimsy and inadequate next to these substantial wedges, especially delicious when served warm and fresh. Get the recipe: Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips
Yes, sports drinks are overused, especially in typical youth rec sports. But some young athletes do need what a sports drink provides, especially if they’re exercising for long periods of time. Avoid the synthetic food dyes, artificial flavors, stabilizers, and other stuff in commercial sports drinks by making your own lemon-flavored electrolyte beverage with just a few simple ingredients. Get the recipe: Homemade Sports Drink
The Starbucks Vanilla Steamer is one of my favorite cold-weather splurges. It’s also a drink young kids can enjoy, since it’s coffee-free and caffeine-free. I started making these a few years ago when it occurred to me that I could treat myself (for a lot less money) at home. Get the recipe: Copy Cat Starbucks Vanilla Steamer
Make From Scratch: Waste Busters
Do you get a rush when you repurpose odds and ends from the fridge and pantry instead of wasting them? Me too. These recipes are just what we all need to feel like kitchen magicians.
It’s the perfect way to clear out the fruit drawer, especially when items are nearing past-their-prime status. Instead of wasting that fruit, whirl it in a blender with a touch of honey to make homemade ice pops (the honey keeps them sort of slushy). Pour them into these fun ice pop pouches or these reusable molds. Get the recipe: 2-Ingredient Fruit Popsicles
If you’ve got some instant oats and tasty mix-ins, you can make your own healthy instant oatmeal packets in about 10 minutes. Pack it up in baggies, jars, or other containers. Here’s a simple how-to: Healthy Instant Oatmeal Packets