Everyone has to eat, and food is one of the biggest expenses for every family. While eating at home more often is a great way to save money, why not take things one step further? There are a lot of items that you probably buy packaged and premade that are just as easy (and delicious) to make at home. Here are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to an inflated grocery bill. How to Cut Out Expensive Premade Staples DIY FOODS THAT SAVE MONEY Not only is bottled dressing expensive, but it also comes with added salt and sugar you can easily cut out of your diet. Dressing is a simple formula: oil, plus acid (vinegar or lemon juice), plus other added flavors. Once you get the ratios down, you’ll be shocked at all the tasty creations you can whip up in no time at all. To get started, try this French dressing: two parts olive oil, one part sherry vinegar, a scoop of Dijon mustard, and a clove of garlic. SALAD DRESSING Savings per bottle: $3
GRANOLA Savings per box: $5
It’s a great breakfast option, and one that comes with a steep markup, but homemade granola doesn’t even require cooking. Simply combine oats, dried fruit, and nuts. You can also add a little honey and bake the mixture, and then you have homemade granola bars to put in lunch boxes.
BREADCRUMBS AND CROUTONS Savings per container: $2.50
The price of packaged breadcrumbs is simply outrageous. When your loaf of sourdough goes stale, don’t throw it out. Cube it, toss in some olive oil, and bake it into croutons. Alternately, crush it up and use it to bread meats or make stuffing. You’ll be saving money and reducing waste — a win-win. The next time you’re at the market, ask yourself which items in your basket can just as easily be made at home. Put in the effort to do it yourself, and your checkbook and taste buds will thank you.
HUMMUS Savings per tub: $3.50
Hummus goes great with everything, from bread and vegetables to grilled meats, but it often costs over $5 for a small tub. Canned chickpeas and tahini paste? Well, they are a lot cheaper. And making your own hummus couldn’t be easier. Put one can of chickpeas, the juice of one lemon, ¼ cup of tahini, and two tablespoons of olive oil in a blender. Mix until smooth and add salt to taste.
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