Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

38 Foods That Are Far Cheaper To Make At Home, As Shared By These Frugal Internet Users

Many families around the world are feeling the squeeze. With many groceries being jaw-droppingly Expensive, people are looking for ways to make every cent go further. Some cut back on eating out. Others focus on buying items only on sale. And then there are the most creative folks who embrace home cooking to an impressive new level.

Redditor u/jeron_gwendolen fired up a very interesting discussion after asking the internet about the foods that are far cheaper to make at home than to buy at stores. Many redditors shared their nuggets of wisdom, and we’ve collected the best ones to share with you. Scroll down to check them out—they might just inspire you to do something new in the kitchen.

We reached out to the author of the viral thread, u/jeron_gwendolen, and they were kind enough to share their personal tips on saving money when it comes to food. You'll find Bored Panda's full interview with them below.

Image credits: jeron_gwendolen


I just made bread for the first time and holy moly it’s so easy and cheap. I’m not a huge bread person or baker hence why I’m in my 40s and never made bread before lol. I was going to make the only cookies that I ever make once a year for work— pumpkin chocolate chip— but bought bread flour instead of AP flour. So I made bread instead!

Image credits: MistakeVisual3733

There are some tiny glimmers of hope that grocery costs—which are already sky-high—might come down in the near future. The BBC reports that in the United Kingdom, food prices dropped by 0.1% in September 2023 compared to August. This was the first monthly drop in over two years. And it’s all because of growing competition between supermarkets.

Obviously, easing grocery inflation is good for customers because they can pay less for food and have more money to save or for other needs. There are also indications that shop price inflation, which fell to 6.2% in September, is easing up. What this means, essentially, is that prices are growing more slowly. This might be good news in the long run, but for many consumers, prices are still exorbitant here and now.


German Pancakes (Dutch Babies). They are so easy to make at home. There are only a few breakfast places that make them and I just checked, $19.59. The basic ingredients only cost $1.18.

Image credits: Human_2468


Omelette. Can be whipped up in a very short amount of time for a fraction of the price that it costs at a restaurant. A restaurant charges $10-15 for what is really about $1 in ingredients since the price of eggs has fallen.

Most breakfast foods are like this.

Image credits: SaraAB87

Meanwhile, the situation seems to be getting slightly better for consumers across the pond, in the United States, as well. Grocery prices rose just 0.2% in August, compared to July. And they rose 0.3% In July, compared to June. CNN noted that grocery prices are up 3% in 2023 compared to 2022; this is far better than a year ago, when they were 13.5% higher than in 2021.

The general trend seems to be that massive price spikes are out of the picture. Hopefully, prices and price growth will continue cooling. However, some food items got far more expensive than others. For instance, in August, bacon prices jumped a shocking 4% in the US. However, even with this increase, bacon prices in August 2023 are still 6.4% cheaper than a year ago. 


Oatmilk. Like $5 at the store and can make it for pennies. Just water, oats, blend and strain! I like to add sweetener like maple syrup and some vanilla, but up to the maker.

Image credits: Suitable-Towel9666


We have a large vegetable garden that gives us plenty to eat for now and to can. A friend just gave us a lot of grapes and we made some jelly

Image credits: Gracie5659


Spaghetti sauce. Instead of buying that expensive name-brand spaghetti sauce, do the following. Get a big can or jar of tomato paste. Add fried onions, garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar. If you want, add ground beef, or textured soy. Options for mushrooms, bell peppers, even seafood, basil, condensed milk, liver, sausage, wine, etc etc.

Make a huge batch and freeze the leftovers.

Much better than the Ragu or Prego c**p you find in the grocery, and a fraction of the cost.

Image credits: casapulapula

Bored Panda was very curious to learn about the inspiration behind the redditor's thread on r/Frugal. The author was happy to shed some light on this. "At that time, I was only around 2 months short of being a university student," they told us.

"Before getting thrown into adulthood head-first, I deemed it important to at least equip myself with some advice from experienced frugality-soaked people," u/jeron_gwendolen opened up that they were looking for some practical advice on saving money.

Meanwhile, we were curious to get the OP's take on saving money on groceries in these economically bizarre times. "First of all, know your town. Go for a price hunt," they advised doing some proper research.

"Visit every single store in the vicinity of your home and make a list of all the groceries you cannot live without. Write down their prices and compare them," they said.


Have you read the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese? It answers this question extensively with a price breakdown on many different foods and even factors find and lack rubric the equation. It’s a great resource.

Image credits: 1n1n1is3



A small 16 oz jar at jewel costs $13. That will last me a week.

For $13 of ingredients I can make 3 60 oz jars that can last me 1-2 months each.

Plus I have my kimchi recipe down to a perfection. *chef's kiss*

Image credits: Busy-Claim6797


Definitely anything related to meat. Where I live for example, a good steak is usually around $40-$80 in a restaurant. Whereas if I buy USDA choice ribeye/New York steaks and reverse sear them, I’m instantly saving a minimum of 50% of the cost and tastes very similar.

Image credits: duma_kebs

"It's not always the case that a store that's considered to be 'the cheapest' offers a better deal than 'the most expensive.' Also, avoid buying fruit and veggies at big stores that come in plastic bags and boxes. It's virtually always a ripoff. Get them in bulk instead," Reddit user u/jeron_gwendolen suggested what everyone should keep in mind if they want to save some money while shopping for food.

The author of the thread also shared their advice on starting to cook at home and gaining confidence in the kitchen. "Start with something simple. Fry an egg, throw in some bacon," they advised everyone who's completely new to making food at home.

"When you get bored of that, whip up something as simple as pancakes, no more than 3-5 ingredients. You'll warm into it, trust me. There's nothing rocket sciency about cooking. It doesn't require any talent, just a hungry stomach."


It seems like everything nowadays ?. I’ve recently learned how to make our own bread, pickles, pickled banana peppers, mayonnaise, taco seasoning, and tortillas. We grew a ton of cherry tomatoes and are gonna make pasta sauce and then ketchup. Just small things, but I think it really makes a difference! Sure you have to buy some ingredients, but if I can use them to make multiple batches of something, it’s really worth it.

Image credits: little_ginger1216


Soda pop. I was gifted a soda stream but discovered, since I don't care for the fizzies anyway, I just use the syrup and make my pop. What else is nice, made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (which causes additional sweet cravings) and is less calories overall, even with using the amount they claim in directions.

Image credits: OhNoNotAgain1532


Came here because I learned this year 1. How fast basil grows and 2. How expensive pesto is lol. I buy all the other ingredients then once a week when my basil plant is uncontrollably growing I get fresh pesto sauce. This is one of my favorite meals and never fails to make me smile. A very small jar of pesto can be 10-20$.

Image credits: simpgod420

Saving money comes down to reevaluating your priorities. The first step when curbing spending is to create a proper budget. Look at your income, make a list of all of your expenses (down to the tiniest details), and search for areas where you can cut back. For example, if you’re a fan of dining out, you could reduce how often you do it, choosing to cook at home instead.

The same goes for getting take-out. There are tons of free online resources and recipes that can help you cook your favorite meals at home. This means that you end up saving cash and that you can actually eat more healthily: you’re in control of what you put into the meal. Naturally, this means that you’ll have to spend more time in the kitchen. Cooking can be an incredibly fun activity, but it means that if you have no skills to speak of, you’ll have to put in the effort to develop them slowly over time.


Martinis and gin & tonics.

Image credits: Butt-Guyome


Corn bread and tater tots.

When I was younger I always thought these were delicacies because they charged so much for them when eating out. As an adult I was gobsmacked when I saw how cheap and easy to prepare they actually are. It pretty much started my habit of eating out as little as possible after I realized how overpriced everything is and how much healthier it is to cook at home.

Image credits: GamingGems


Creme Fraiche. They want $6 for a tiny jar in the store. Take a cup of cream or half and half, stir in a tablespoon of buttermilk and let it sit on the counter overnight. Delicious magic.

Image credits: CedarHill601

Other things to cut back on include red meat which is very expensive. You can find cheaper protein alternatives if money is tight. It also helps to buy food items on sale, so you can freeze them for future use.

If you cooperate with your family, friends, and neighbors, you can save even more by buying some groceries in bulk. And if you decide to start baking your own bread, then more power to you! As evidenced in this list, it’s definitely worth giving a go.


Salad dressing. It’s so much better tasting than bottled dressing, it’s cheap, and can be made from items I already have on hand.

I will say that sometimes I buy the Italian dressing mixes. They’re cheap, quick, and tasty.

Image credits: eejm


Flavored water kefir- it's a hobby I got into during the pandemic and I've been at it for about 3 years now. I see bottles sold at the local farmer's market for an arm and a leg and I love that I can make it at home in the flavors I love for a fraction of the cost.

Image credits: ILikeYourHotdog


most food is much cheaper at home. I can cook a lot of basic asian foods and its easily 1/4 to 1/3 the cost for some dishes. I wouldn't bother with something that takes hours to make like ramen broth (and I doubt it'd be as good). But something like japanese oyakodon costs $15 in a restaurant, and might take 15 min to make for $3.

I've noticed a lot of chinese restaurants charging $5 for ... plain white rice around me. Rice that you can make 5x the quantity of for $5. Just have to be smart about stuff like that.

Image credits: sleepyguy007


Perhaps I misunderstand your question, but there are so many things - in fact, I believe that *almost* everything you could buy premade from a store would be cheaper than buying it at a store. Examples include:

* Tuna salad from the deli - this is so easy to make yourself. I use an immersion blender to get it as finely textured as the deli
* Just about any "frozen entree" (but some are so much easier to buy premade. For me, I like breaded fish filets, and I can get them pretty cheap and prefer to do so versus making them myself
* Frozen vegetables
* Baked goods
* Pies

Some exceptions include:

* Yogurt - I tried making my own. It cost more.
* Ice cream - It is so cheap to buy, and I didn't much like what I made (adapter fora kitchenaid mixer - a waste of money)

Image credits: joesperrazza



Image credits: rps1rai


My partner and I just started making homemade pan pizzas in cast iron and calzones. So insanely good. And anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 of the cost, even buying from Trader Joe's (expensive dairy there) and premade dough

Image credits: woketinydog


Espresso, if you ignore the sunk cost of the espresso machine.

Image credits: ignescentOne


Greek yogurt. Exponentially.

Image credits: aeraen



Image credits: Elitsila


Tallow and bone broth are almost free to make at home, but so expensive at the store! Very simple to make, very little effort or processing time, and you're using what you might normally throw away!

If you eat beef or chicken, save the bones in the freezer. Once you have enough to fill up a crock pot, toss them in with some vinegar and a little salt. Let it go between 12-24 hours and then strain through cheese cloth. Now you've got bone broth.

Put that in the fridge and let the fat solidify. Use a butter knife to pull the fat off the top. That's the tallow. You'll want to add water, heat, strain again, cool again, discard the water and gently scrape anything discolored(I usually immediately put that stuff on toast, lol). Now you've got clean tallow to cook with, and it is incredible.

Image credits: 64557175


pretty much most foods, honestly tho there are some things by the time I buy all the stuff it is way more practical to just go eat out. Like one time I was determined to make my own pho and all the time and effort it was cheaper just to go to the restraunt and buy it. Brisket is kinda the same way like unless I wanna have a lot of it, its better to just go buy it at my local rundown bbq joint. Other than those specific cases I cook everything at home now tho.

Image credits: orientbambino


Cake is stupid cheap and easy to make homemade, and lived ones will appreciate the effort that went into it.

Image credits: Ookami_Unleashed


Nearly everything. But I’d say pasta, soup and salads are way cheaper to make yourself at home. Pasta is like $2.00 a box and it makes a lot, making homemade sauce might be $10 for a pot full. If you go out for it, you’ll pay maybe $15-20 for a plate. Same with soup, make it at home for a couple dollars a serving or pay $8-10 a bowl. Salad? No doubt it’s way cheaper at home. $10 and up for someone to chop up a couple veggies and add a couple ingredients.

Image credits: SensibleFriend


Making clarified butter (ghee) rather than store bought.

Image credits: techaggresso


Cold brew concentrate. Bought one of those amazon coldbrew makers (basically a pitcher with a fine mesh sieve inside) and a bag of lavazza beans. Makes about a quart. Must have saved myself almost $1000 this summer not buying bottles of Grady’s coldbrew every week.

Also, ESPRESSO. I was gifted an espresso maker. Not a super expensive one (I think I saw it on amazon for $300) I can’t even fathom how much money it’s saved me on espresso shots over the last couple of years.

Image credits: preezyfabreezy


I make a pretty good deli meat sandwich. Subway is so expensive these days. I shouldn't have to pay $20 for a sandwich.

Image credits: Colorless82



Image credits: PROfessorShred


Air fryer chicken wings. Omg these things are bomb! You have to do some experimenting at first with temps and such but once you nail it down how you want, it’s the best!

My recommendation is get the frozen Tyson chicken wings from Sam’s club (it’s like a 20lb bag for like $25.) totally worth. Now I can focus on Making the wings how I want, when I want, and then all I need to do is find a side to pair with it.

Image credits: Zomnx


Everything from food, to home repairs, mow and fertilize your own lawn, auto repairs, hair cuts, manicuriing your own nails,etc

Obviously if you eliminate someone else from doing or preparing something you eliminate their cost

Image credits: Retirednypd


depending where you are, most food are cheaper when made at home. exceptions do exist however.

supermarket rotisserie chicken. chances are you can't get an uncooked bird under 5 dollars, let alone a fully cooked one. these are often sold as loss leaders so no surprises there.

fruit pie. again, during holiday season fruits can be exceedingly expensive. i've seen apples go up to 5 dollars per pound, which makes the costco apple pie very much the better bargain at 12 dollars.

beef jerky. they are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as it would be if you had to go buy raw beef yourself in this economy. if you're making jerky at home it's about quality and novelty rather than the savings, unless you butcher a whole animal or have venison.

alcohol. cheap liquor can be very inexpensive, whereas please don't go making your own moonshine unless you've invested thousands in the hobby of home brewing already. you can make some cider here and there if you want specific tastes but reality is brewing, like many other hobbies, does not save money at the end of the day. the break point is very very far down the road of alcoholism and commercialization.

Image credits: distortedsymbol


Most American food and Italian food:

Breakfast (omelet, pancakes, potatoes), sandwiches, burgers, coffee and pasta.

Basically stuff I never buy outside my house because any simpleton can make the above foods.

They don't require much kitchen skill to make plus since I live in the US, cheap ingredients can be found everywhere.

Image credits: JahMusicMan


I found making chicken piccata at home is loads cheaper than getting it at a restaurant. I also found doing a mock of costco's quinoa salad is cheaper as well.

Image credits: lumberlady72415


Iced Coffee.

Image credits: Famous_Requirement56

This post first appeared on How Movie Actors Look Without Their Makeup And Costume, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

38 Foods That Are Far Cheaper To Make At Home, As Shared By These Frugal Internet Users


Subscribe to How Movie Actors Look Without Their Makeup And Costume

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription