6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make from Scratch to Save Money

Estimated Monthly Savings: $200

Let’s face it: for many families, the grocery bill is one of the most important line items in the budget–and the one that takes up the biggest chunk of each paycheck (other than, perhaps, your mortgage). You want to eat well and enjoy it, but you’d also like to save some money! These six items can be made from scratch to help you save a little money on your grocery budget without sacrificing the flavors you love.

1. Brownie Mix

You don’t have to pick up brownie mix at the store to enjoy the convenience! For the price of one round of ingredients–not much more than two boxes of high-quality brownies–,you can make several batches of brownie mix to store in your cupboard for those days when you’re simply craving an easy batch of brownies.

2. Canned Soup

Canning soup in canning jars–which can be reused over and over again throughout the year for a variety of tasks–is a great way to create a soup that you can eat anytime. If you aren’t comfortable with canning or you’re worried that you won’t do it right, consider freezing soup in individual serving containers, instead. From your favorite chicken noodle to a savory beef stew, you can cook up a variety of soups to warm up cold winter days.

3. Lunchables

Kids love their Lunchables–and the truth is, you do, too! It’s so easy to just drop a complete meal in your child’s lunchbox as you rush them out the door in the morning. Unfortunately, the cost of those little meals adds up fast. Instead, try making your own! Invest in a Bento-style box with divided compartments or simply use individual serving containers from your local dollar store to hold meat, cheese, and crackers, or put together a pizza Lunchable with pepperoni, cheese, a little jar of sauce, and some toasted bread for the crust.

4. Bread

Do you use sandwich bread every single day? Worse, do you use it rarely, but feel that you always have to have a loaf on hand? If you have a bread machine, you can make your own bread for pennies on the dollar compared to the price of purchasing loaves of bread at the store, especially if you prefer whole-grain alternatives.

5. Rotisserie Chicken

Grabbing that chicken at the grocery store is an incredibly convenient way to bring dinner home with you, especially if you’re already in a rush. Unfortunately, it’s also pricey: the birds are often small and usually overpriced. Instead, try fixing your own in the slow cooker for a juicy recipe the whole family will love.

6. Salsa

If you’re a chips-and-salsa kind of family, you’re probably familiar with how fast it can add up. By making your own salsa, you can get around 24 ounces of salsa for the price of fresh ingredients–around the same as a small jar.

Cooking from scratch is a great way to reduce your grocery spending and increase the food your family has on hand. Not only that, it makes it easier to avoid unhealthy ingredients and increases your ability to provide for your family. What recipes have you made from scratch recently?