For today’s installment of Thrifty Tuesday, I’m advocating making everything from scratch.  Maybe you already do, but consider what you define as a convenience item.

Bread purchased in a store is a convenience item.  So are canned beans, quick-cooking rice and even alternative milks.  There is a true argument to be made about the value of your time, yes, but it does not cost $2.75 – $3.00 to make 900 mls of homemade rice milk (which is the current price in store).  What do you currently buy that you could make, given the time or talent?

Here are some great places to save:

Make your own mixes – pancake, bread, cookies, cake
You can mix them ahead and put in jars, label with the contents (and recipe if you are slightly anal, like me) and then it is as simple as dump, add liquid ingredients and bake.

Soup/Stew – the ultimate money waster in my opinion is canned soup.  I can make a giant pot of soup with leftovers, slightly questionable vegetables, especially the broccoli stems that no one will eat otherwise, and other odds and ends for less.   Plus it is low in salt, high in flavour and doesn’t have any question about cross contamination.

Sweets – make your own.  There is no good reason to buy a store-bought cookie if you can make your own.  I never liked buying Gluten-filled cookies either, mine are just better.  Apparently homemade ice cream is easy – I’ve never tried it – but lots of people swear by it.

So, the next time you reach for something that is not a “whole food”, consider whether you can make it, cheaper, easier or better.