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You should smell my house right now. I just took a batch of chewy blueberry banana oat bars out of the oven, and the incredible aroma of cinnamon, banana, blueberry goodness coming out of my kitchen is almost too much to bear. I just can’t get over how much I love this recipe, and I want to take a closer look at the cost benefit of cooking food from scratch.
One thing that keeps me motivated in making healthy, real food from scratch is the financial savings. I recently read the book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, which included a cost comparison of many different types of foods according to whether they were homemade or store-bought. While a few of the foods cost more to make from scratch, most of them were a lot less expensive to make at home, and the quality is usually much better when food is made from scratch.
One of the new foods in my repertoire is this chewy oat bar recipe that my whole family loves. These bars are not only delicious, but they also cost dramatically less than their store-bought equivalents.
Blueberry Banana Oat Bars Cost Breakdown
- 1 organic banana: $.50
- ½ cup all natural apple sauce: $.25
- 2 cage-free eggs: $.46
- ½ cup rice milk: $.18
- ½ cup maple syrup: $1.40
- 1 tsp. vanilla: $.10
- 2 tsp. baking powder: $.05
- 1 tsp. cinnamon: $.05
- ½ tsp. salt: $.01
- 3 cups rolled oats: $.43
- 1 cup frozen blueberries: $1.00
Yield: 16 bars (1 1/2 inches x 4 1/2 inches)
Total Cost: $4.43
Cost Per Bar: $.28
The closest store-bought comparison to these bars would be a Larabar, which is made from a short list of natural, real food ingredients. Larabars are sold individually in many grocery stores. At our Whole Foods, these bars cost $1.39 each. At Target, they cost $1.25 per bar. Occasionally you can find them on sale for $1.00 per bar, but that’s the cheapest sale price I’ve seen. My bars cost $.28 cents per bar, which is 78 percent less than what a Larabar costs at Target. Sixteen of my bars cost $4.43, while 16 Larabars cost $20 at Target.
Let me say that again.
16 chewy blueberry banana oat bars = $4.43
16 Larabars at Target = $20
It takes me about 15 minutes to make these bars, including clean up time. It is so worth it to me. I love being able to provide a homemade snack to my family knowing it is so financially efficient. And delicious. And nutritious. I just wish they didn’t disappear so fast!