How Much Money Can You Save by Making Food Yourself?

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How much money can you save by making food yourself? A ton! Homemade food is almost always cheaper than the store-bought version.

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. And second, I can save a lot of money.

Below are pictures of 10 foods that people often buy at the store. I like to 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.

How Much You Can Save by Making Food Yourself

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

Raspberry Jam
Raspberry Jam (3 cups): $3.48 vs. Stonewall Kitchen Jam: $15.90
homemade yogurt
Greek Yogurt (2 cups): $.96 vs. Chobani Greek Yogurt: $3.49
Corn Salsa
Corn Salsa (4 cups): $4.39 vs. Stonewall Kitchen Salsa: $11.98
honey whole wheat bread featured
Honey Whole Wheat Bread (2 loaves): $3.50 vs. Great Harvest: $9.90
Homemade pickles are so easy to make with fresh cucumbers from the farmers market.
Pickles (6 cups): $2.90 vs. Root Cellar Pickles: $17.97
how to make ghee
Ghee (7.5 ounces): $1.50 vs. Purity Farms Ghee: $5.99
blueberry banana oat bars
Chewy Blueberry Banana Oat Bars (16 bars): $4.43 vs. Store-Bought Larabars: $20.00
Homemade Larabars (24 bars): $11.54 vs. Store-Bought Larabars: $30.00
raspberry jam bars
Raspberry Jam Bars (15 bars): $4.13 vs. Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish Twist: $12.58
Ice Cream Sandwiches (12 sandwiches): $5.76 vs. Julie’s Organic: $9.96

Check out these 10 dinners on the go and 10 real food popsicle recipes to save even more money. And if you have children, don’t miss out on the benefits of cooking classes for kids.


  1. 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!

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

  3. 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.

    1. 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)!

  4. 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.

    1. You can click on the photo of the ice cream sandwiches to go to the recipe. They are delicious!

    1. 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.

  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!

    1. It can be tricky for children to make the adjustment to homemade food, but it’s worth the effort.

  6. 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?

    1. I’m sure you could add in some all-purpose flour, but you do get a good texture with white whole wheat (as opposed to whole wheat).

  7. 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. : (

    1. Great question! I’ve seen that comment in a lot of recipes, too, and I don’t think runny yogurt sounds very appealing. My yogurt is thick because I strain out some of the whey through cheesecloth. I left a batch straining longer than usual last week and it came out thicker than any yogurt I’ve ever bought. You should try it!

    1. Thank you, Jill. Sometimes I get tired of being in the kitchen so much, but this keeps me motivated.

  8. 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 🙂

      1. I didn’t at first, but 4 years later it is still getting bigger and better each year 🙂 If you have the space increasing it a little each year is very managable 🙂

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