20 pantry staples you can make at home that are way better than store-bought!
When it comes to saving money on groceries, one of the best things you can do is to make things yourself! Not only are homemade pantry staples a great way to save money, but they also taste way better than store-bought. And because you control the ingredients, you can also make them healthier, too!
About six years ago, my family was in a pretty tight spot financially. I was staying home with a new baby and a four year old, and my husband was working full time for basically peanuts, and trying to get through school. We’ve both always loved food, and when our food budget shrank to a tiny fraction of what it had been before, and eating out or buying treats was out of the question, I realized that the only way to have good food was to make it myself. I taught myself to make pretty much anything I wanted to eat from scratch, and we ate like kings on a shoestring budget! That super tight period only lasted about a year and a half, thankfully, and eventually I was able to find a nursing job that I loved and our family had a little more breathing room in our budget. These days, my husband has a great job and I’m able to contribute to our family with my blog, but I still make a lot of our food from scratch, because I love it so much. Everything tastes better when it’s homemade!
I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes below for pantry staples you can make yourself. Even if you’re not concerned about saving money, they are totally worth checking out, because they taste so much better!
I love this apple pie filling because I can make a big batch when the apples are in season, and then we can have easy and tasty apple pies all year long. It’s also great for making apple crisp, or even stirring into oatmeal. Yum!
These chocolate chip cookie granola bars are perfect for lunch boxes and after school snacks. My kids love them!
Ditch the Jello and Kozy Shack, and make your own chocolate pudding at home! It tastes so much richer and better than store-bought pudding, and it’s super easy to make!
You can use this homemade chocolate syrup any way that you would use Hershey’s syrup – it’s awesome on ice cream, pancakes, and for making chocolate milk!
Homemade pizza dough is so quick and easy to make, and tastes amazing! We make pizza at least twice a month using this recipe, and the whole family loves it!
This is the best french bread ever. It’s just as soft as store-bought bread, but the flavor is amazing!
Making your own pesto is simple and quick! I like to buy basil plants at Trader Joe’s (they’re usually under $3) and make pesto several times from the same plant. It’s an awesome money saver!
This homemade buttermilk syrup is heavenly! We love it on pancakes, waffles, french toast, and even ice cream. Yum!
Homemade corn tortillas are easier than you think! It helps to have a tortilla press, but you can definitely make them with a rolling pin, too.
Not only is this homemade cranberry sauce way more delicious than canned sauce, you can also make it in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to serve. It’s so good that I eat it with a spoon!
These flour tortillas are a staple in our family and I make them all. the. time. They’re perfect for tacos or enchiladas, and I love serving them alongside chicken tortilla soup!
Cooking with dried beans is a great way to save money, and it’s way easier than you think! I like to cook a big batch, save them in the freezer in two-cup portions, and then pull them out whenever I need a can of beans for a recipe.
Homemade croutons are so delicious and so easy to make! They’re great for serving with soups and salads, and have the perfect amount of crunch.
These homemade instant oatmeal packets are easy to customize with whatever fruits and nuts you like, and they’re way better for you than store-bought packets. My kids like them better than store-bought!
We go through a crazy amount of applesauce at our house because my kids love it so much, and it’s so easy to make at home!
Fresh homemade jam is my favorite! I love to use the low-sugar recipe so I can get more of that fruit flavor coming through. We canned a bunch of jam during the summer when berries were at their peak, and I’m loving that we can enjoy those sweet berries all year round!
This marinara sauce has the best flavor and is super easy to make. I love to use it for chicken parmigiana or spaghetti. It also freezes well, so I can make a big batch and save some of it for another day.
This is seriously the best pie crust recipe in the world. It’s incredibly easy to make and always comes out perfect! It also tastes way better than store-bought pie crust.
Who knew that homemade salad dressing was so easy to make? This strawberry poppyseed vinaigrette is super delicious and perfect for dressing those summer salads!
This sandwich bread is probably my favorite bread that I make! I make a batch at least once a month, and freeze the extra loaves for later. We’ve actually replaced 90% of the store-bought bread that we buy with this bread, and it’s always a win. My kids like it better than store-bought bread, and it makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches!
Making your own pantry staples is a fun and delicious way to save money. Homemade is always better!