Foods That You Should Stop Buying and Make On Your Own

Foods That You Should Stop Buying and Make On Your Own
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Foods That You Should Stop Buying and Make On Your Own

From homemade bread to popsicles, learn which products you can skip at the grocery store and make on your own for less.

Don't Buy: Popsicles

A 12-pack of popsicles from the store can cost you about $3 and are packed with sugar and sometimes unnatural flavors. By making popsicles yourself, you not only save money, but can make more nutritious popsicles in which you can add fruit, control sugar levels and get creative with flavors.

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Try This Recipe Instead: Minted Watermelon Popsicles

These popsicles are a great because they are fat-free and made with lots of naturally sweet watermelon and only a little sugar. They can be frozen in special popsicle molds or in standard ice cube trays (three cubes equals one serving).

Get the Recipe: Minted Watermelon Popsicles

Don't Buy: Spaghetti Sauce

Making tomato sauce can be very cheap, especially if you can use tomatoes from your garden! Plus, you have the added bonus of making it as chunky, smooth, spicy or basil-packed as you'd like.

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Try This Recipe Instead: Garden Tomato Sauce

This garden-fresh tomato sauce is a delicious way to use summer-ripe tomatoes. Or freeze whole tomatoes and make this sauce later on in the winter. Just remove the cores and freeze them whole. Then, turn your frozen tomatoes into a garden-fresh sauce any time of the year.

Get the Recipe: Garden Tomato Sauce

Don't Buy: Jam

You might want to consider avoiding buying jam at the store since the best jams will cost you! While you can get low-quality versions for less, the high-quality jams (of equal quality to homemade jams) can cost you more than $10 for a jar.

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Try This Recipe Instead: Concord Grape Jam

Concord grape skins paired with the subtlest hint of orange and lemon make a wow of a jam. Its flavor is intensely grape-y, and its bright purple color is entrancing. Unlike familiar store-bought grape jelly, this jam is bursting with fruit, and it has just enough sugar to balance its flavor.

Get the Recipe: Concord Grape Jam

Don't Buy: Granola Bars

With granola bars, many of us end up paying for a product that isn't just what we are looking for. We give in to a bar with almonds, because it has strawberries or we'll reach for a brand because it features chocolate, even though we may not like its texture.

By making bars yourself, you not only avoid high taxes on this trendy product, but also get to make it just how you like it.

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Try This Recipe Instead: Almond-Honey Power Bar

Golden roasted nuts, seeds and oats are enveloped by flavorful almond butter in these delectably chewy, no-fuss energy bars. Unrefined turbinado sugar adds a deep caramelly undertone. Feel free to use light brown sugar instead. Bars stored at room temperature will be softer than those that are refrigerated.

Get the Recipe: Almond-Honey Power Bar

Don't Buy: Bread

When it comes to selecting which foods to make from scratch versus buy at the store, bread should be at the top of your list. Not only does homemade bread taste amazing, but it lacks preservatives found in store brands. Additionally, bread is easy to make and will cost you very little! Most of the ingredients you'll need (think flour, egg, baking soda, baking powder), you already have in your kitchen!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Try This Recipe Instead: Honey Oat Quick Bread

This bread has a pleasant flavor and divinely moist, tender crumb. It goes well with almost any soup or chowder. Plus, the recipe requires minimal mixing and cleanup, calls for ingredients usually stocked in the pantry, and is tasty yet healthful.

Get the Recipe: Honey Oat Quick Bread


In 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average American spent nearly $6,500 a year on food, which accounts for around 13 percent of the average annual household income. More than half of that is spent in the grocery store, often on prepared, packaged products.

Rather than throw away income on overpriced products, consider saving money by preparing them yourself. Making some of your favorite foods is not only financially beneficial, but healthier as well. Cooking at home is an easy way to avoid unhealthy ingredients like certain additives, preservatives and other unwelcome chemicals.

From homemade granola bars to popsicles, we show you which products you can leave at the grocery store and make at home instead.

Check out the slideshow to learn which products aren't worth your money and how you can easily make them at home!

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