How Much Money Can You Save by Making Food Yourself?

Life can get hectic, I get that.  There are lots of foods that are easier to buy than to make from scratch.  But it’s amazing how much money you can save by making food yourself.  Many people are used to making homemade dinners, but snack foods, condiments, and bread often find their way into people’s grocery carts.  I’ve gotten into the habit of making most of these items from scratch for two reasons.  First, I can control what goes into our food and make sure I’m sticking to real food ingredients.  Second, I can save a lot of money.

Below are pictures of 10 foods that people often buy at the store.  I make them at home, and I’ve done the math to find out how much money I save by making each recipe myself.  Under the picture of each item, you’ll see the cost of the homemade version as well as the grocery store price of a comparable product.  In many cases, there is nothing I can buy in the store that reaches the same quality as the homemade version, but I did my best to find a comparable product for each item.  By making just these 10 foods at home over the course of a month, I save nearly $100.  These foods are snacks and condiments, so this barely scratches the surface of how much you can save by making breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home.  It’s not all about the money, either.  Homemade foods almost always taste better than their store-bought counterparts.

Total Cost of Homemade Items:  $42.59
Total Cost of Store-Bought Versions:  $137.77
Difference:  A Savings of $95.18

Raspberry Jam (3 cups): $3.48
Stonewall Kitchen Jam: $15.90

Greek Yogurt (2 cups): $.96
Chobani Greek Yogurt: $3.49

Corn Salsa (4 cups): $4.39
Stonewall Kitchen Corn Salsa: $11.98

Honey Whole Wheat Bread (2 loaves): $3.50
Great Harvest: $9.90

Pickles (6 cups): $2.90
Root Cellar Pickles: $17.97

Ghee (7.5 ounces): $1.50
Purity Farms Ghee: $5.99

Chewy Blueberry Banana Oat Bars (16 bars): $4.43
Store-Bought Larabars: $20.00

chocolate larabars

Homemade Larabars (24 bars): $11.54
Store-Bought Larabars: $30.00

Raspberry Jam Bars (15 bars): $4.13
Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish Twist: $12.58

Ice Cream Sandwiches (12 sandwiches): $5.76
Julie’s Organic: $9.96

Linking to Make Your Own Monday, Monday Mania, Traditional Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Frugal “I Did It” Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Keep it Real Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, DIY Thrifty Thursday, Eat Make Grow, Frugal Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Show and Tell Saturday, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Pennywise Platter Thursday.


  1. I tried the corn salsa… very good. Thanks for sharing the reipe :) It was cheeper as I was given the corn and had most of the other ingriedants in my garden. I have also canned some on my tomatoes, fruit, and squash all free from my garden :) I agree canning will pay off :) I also make my own garnola bars and am anxious to try your recipe :)

  2. I love this! I make a ton of homemade stuff, and I love seeing that I really am saving money. Great post!

  3. I have a question about your yogurt. Is it as thick as the store bought stuff? Every recipe I’ve come across says that the yogurt doesn’t get very thick…and I like my yogurt THICK! It really is the only thing that keeps me from making it. : (

  4. Wow, that is a huge savings!! I’m thinking of making your honey whole wheat bread (we love the one at GH, but it’s hard to stomach the price)…do you think it would come out okay if I used half all purpose and half whole wheat flour?

  5. One of these days I must sit down and do a similar exercise – once I get my daughter to understand that mummy’s cakes really do taste nicer!

  6. Wow…very impressive!

  7. Great post! Just wondering where you get your white whole wheat flour?

    • Thanks, Julie. I get my white whole wheat flour at Trader Joe’s, which has the best price around at $2.99 for 5 lbs. I have found it at Target for a little more (it just went up from $3.29 to $3.69), and Stop and Shop and Whole Foods both sell it for over $4 for 5 lbs.

  8. Wonderful post! Thanks for linking up to “I Did It!” Tuesday. :)

  9. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  10. debrafromskadd says:

    Do you have a recipe for those homemade ice cream sandwiches? They look amazing. That is one of the few convenience foods I have not been able to replicate at home.

    Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2day Wednesaday. Hope to see you back next Wednesday.

  11. I just saw your post again on a blog hop and came back to it. I haven’t done cost breakdowns for us, because I’m not sure how to go about it. However, for $125 worth of seed, we have a huge garden that has been supplying several families. We haven’t been to the grocery store for two weeks, I’ve been freezing enough veg to get through the winter and there is much more to come. We do spend more money in the end to buy good local fruit from farmers (to freeze) but it tastes so much better and we know where it came from.

    • It’s so worth it to buy the good fruit, especially when you’re saving money on the home-grown vegetables. It’s great to hear how much you’re getting from your garden. I love playing with the numbers. You could divide $125 by the number of families your garden is feeding (e.g. 5 families = $25 per family). Look at your garden’s yield for one week and check out what those vegetables would cost at the grocery store. You may find that what you’d pay $25 for at the grocery store would cover your family for about a week, while the seeds in your garden are feeding you for 20 weeks (or more)!

  12. I found your site on EAT MAKE GROW, I’m so glad I did, I’m bookmarking and pinning your site right now.

  13. Great ideas! You’ve been featured on DIY Thrifty Thursday at
    Hope to see you again this week!

  14. Hi! I found your blog from a link in a comment on “100 days of real food”. So happy I did!!! Can’t wait to read more of your blog!


  1. [...] Welcome to week 81 of Frugal Tuesday Tip! The Frugal Tuesday Tip is a linky blog hop, dedicated to encouraging the frugal lifestyle. Did you read all the great submissions last week? My favorite was How Much Money Can You Save by Making Food Yourself?  [...]

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