Saving on Groceries Part 3: Cooking from Scratch

I really love cooking from scratch. There are so many things that, when made at home, taste much better and save tons of money. It all started when I looked at my grocery list with one question in mind:

Wait, can I make this at home?

me, realizing I could have been saving money!

Generally, my grocery list consists of one-ingredient items. Theoretically, any item with more than one ingredient can be made at home! I’ve worked my way up to this point over a couple of years, and it’s really been an exciting process to learn how to make new things.

There are very few things on my list that I don’t make at home, ever. I have found that certain things

a) just aren’t possible to make at home

b) cost more than buying the premade version, although this is rare

c) would go bad if homemade, but won’t if bought from the store (thanks to preservatives) or

d) are a little too labor-intensive for me to do on a regular basis (I hate rolling out dough!).

I never make any of these things:

*condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayo (don’t use them quickly enough, so I need those preservatives!)

*Asian condiments, like hoisin, fish, or soy (because they require months of fermenting)

*a few convenience foods, like ramen noodles, saltine crackers, and boxed mac & cheese (too labor intensive for things meant to save time)

One thing that I love about cooking from scratch is that it guarantees healthier eating, which is also the cheapest way to go. Some of the shortest advice on healthy eating is also the best I’ve seen:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Michael Pollan

If you don’t currently cook from scratch, I urge you to try it! If you have a well-stocked pantry, the sky’s the limit with what you can create. Once you’ve mastered dishes from your favorite restaurants, I promise that you won’t miss eating out. Eating at home will be even more tasty and a lot cheaper.

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