Getting more equity out of food-making sweat
August 10, 2012 5:50 AM Subscribe
Which foods are actually
cheaper to make at home using store-bought ingredients?
posted by Shepherd to Food & Drink (42 answers total) 114 users marked this as a favorite
Setting aside things like satisfaction, lack of additives, and quality/ingredient control -- which I know are important, but I want to put those in the corner for a second -- what canned/processed foods would it be cheaper for my spouse and I to make using purchased raw ingredients, rather than buy?
Good juicer (Breville 800)
Cuisinart food processor with the chopping disc, cutting blade and bread "blade"
Kitchenaid stand mixer with no special attachments
Pressure canner (stovetop) and lotsa mason jars
Olllld crock pot
Olllld immersion blender
Things we've tried recently:
Orange juice: far more expensive to juice oranges than buy juice
Peanut butter: slightly more expensive to grind nuts than buy all-natural peanut butter
Fancy nut butter: with Costco bulk nuts, a bit cheaper to make
Bread: way cheaper to make than to buy
Pizza dough: way cheaper to make than to buy
Cookies: surprisingly a wash if you're making anything with ingredients beyond basic sugar or oatmeal cookies
Tomato sauce/paste: cheaper to buy than to make from raw 'maters
Strawberry jam: cheaper to make when you can get pick-your-own berries at a reasonable price; cheaper to buy jam in the off season
Canned beans: probably cheaper to can from dried, but dried beans are surprisingly expensive... possibly a wash vs. stocking up when there's a good sale on
We love making our own food, and preserves, and will keep doing it regardless of whether or not we come out "ahead," but I've been a bit surprised at the lack of thrift I'm finding in the process. I can find a 800 mL can of diced tomatoes on sale for $0.99 on a regular basis, for instance -- about 1.75 pounds of tomato, and the very best you can ever buy tomatoes for around here is $0.99/pound. So store-buying tomatoes to can, rather than buying canned tomatoes, is a money-loser.
What are your tried-and-true money-savers when it comes to making your own food/preserves? Where are the real savings in homecrafting your food?