10 Foods Worth Doing Homemade

What’s not worth doing homemade?  This question was posed last week on a blog I was reading. Their “Worth It” items were marinades, rubs, spice mixes, soup, baked goods, dips, and dressings.

Their “Not Worth It” items were pasta, crackers, and bread.

In between were pasta sauce, chicken stock, and salsa.

. . . .and I had great fun reading all the comments on the subject too.

My Two Cents

I found myself in pretty close agreement with their take on the subject. The common thread that came through in most of the comments was the amount of time spent versus the quality of the finished product. I know for me, I’ll spend the time to make homemade cookies because nothing else quite compares to a warm chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven. But homemade crackers and pasta can be a lot of work and often don’t live up to our hopes. They’re kind of fun to experiment with, but hard to stick with in the long run.

I think the “worth it” items all shared a common feature too. They’re all mix-it-and-go type of recipes. Homemade dips, marinades, and dressings are usually a matter of measuring and stirring. My kind of recipes! And many folks felt if something could be made in a large enough batch and some could be frozen, then it was worth it too.

The most debate centered around bread. Some folks with bread machines thought it was sooo worth it. Others (like me) felt they just didn’t eat enough bread to go to the trouble.

10 Favorite “Worth Its” from my Blog

Here are 10 recipes from the Make Your Own Zone that I think fall into the “worth it” category. They all have minimal preparation and are simple enough for beginner cooks.  Most of them save money too! (You can click on the links for the full recipes)

1. Seafood Cocktail Sauce – An easy stir together recipe

2. Taco Meat Seasoning – Quick to do with spices you probably already have on hand

3. BBQ Sauce for Meatballs – A simple sauce you can use with purchased or homemade meatballs

4. Iced Tea – A wonderful homemade alternative to the powdered mixes

5. Pancakes from Scratch – Whole wheat flour makes this tastier than the ready made pancake mix

6. Alfredo Sauce – A block of cream cheese is the base of this sauce

7. Salsa from Canned Tomatoes –  For those who don’t have time to chop up tomatoes

8. Spinach Dip – Dips are indeed a quick and easy homemade item

9. Granola Bars – A tasty alternative to store bought granola bars

10. Flavored Rice – There’s no need for a mix from the store

How About You?

Do you have any favorite “Worth It” homemade foods, or reasons why you think some foods are just “Not Worth It” ? I’d love to hear your comments!

Need a few more bright ideas?
Sign up for the monthly email newsletter to learn about my latest content and tips for frugal homemade living.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

15 Comments

  1. I love making bread and hamburger buns. Which reminds me, I should do some baking this weekend. I just need to get a muffin top pan for use with my hamburger buns! That would keep them effortlessly even. (I don’t own a Kitchenaid or a bread machine, by the way. My version of a Kitchenaid is a bamboo paddle and a bowl. Good for arm strength.)

    1. Well if you don’t have a Kitchenaid, a bamboo paddle and a bowl is one way to make your own! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. My family loves all their baked goods to be homemade. Bread is easier with a bread machine but at this time I don't have one. So some of the time I buy it, if I don't have the time. But all cookies, doughnuts, pancakes, desserts, etc, are all homemade. We barely eat any pasta so I would not consider making that. I started making salad dressings just so I would not have so many empty plastic bottles to deal with on garbage day. It seems once you make something homemade, you realize what you were missing in the store bought versions, not to mention the bad stuff in it too.

  3. My family loves all their baked goods to be homemade. Bread is easier with a bread machine but at this time I don't have one. So some of the time I buy it, if I don't have the time. But all cookies, doughnuts, pancakes, desserts, etc, are all homemade.

    We barely eat any pasta so I would not consider making that. I started making salad dressings just so I would not have so many empty plastic bottles to deal with on garbage day. It seems once you make something homemade, you realize what you were missing in the store bought versions, not to mention the bad stuff in it too.

  4. Thanks for sharing,Tristan. Your comment reminded me of something my sister-in-law said about baking bread. She said that it wasn't so much a “time” thing, as a “learning curve” thing. Once you've done it for a while, you get better at it and it doesn't seem like such an insurmountable task anymore. But sometimes that learning curve can sure be intimidating!

  5. I agree with several on your list and also couldn't get by without freshly made cookies. There is no replacing that, is there?

    At my house making bread is essential, simply because we go through tons! Of course, the fact that I have six children so far has a lot to do with that. One meal wipes out a whole loaf, more sometimes. I grind my own wheat and make it from scratch using kitchen servants like my Bosch mixer to do the hard work, then I toss it in pans, rise, and bake. I can knead 4+ loaves at once in the mixer, so in 10 minutes the work part is done.

    There are times I don't bake bread. Honestly, right after baby #6 I took a hiatus for a month or so (he's 3 1/2 mos now). We homeschool too, so there is always something to be doing around here. ๐Ÿ™‚ THnakfully, my oldest is 9 and she's able to make bread if we really need it and I can't.

    I'm new to your blog, by the way, looking forward to exploring it more!

  6. Bread is definitely worth it IMO. And if you use a bread machine to make the dough and just bake it yourself instead of in the machine, it's really not that much trouble. I even grind my own wheat when I have the time ๐Ÿ™‚

    We also make our own pasta sometimes, but I use the KitchenAid.

    I guess my point is, if you use tricks, you can really enjoy making just about anything. And the health benefits are a big plus. Not to mention that most of it tastes way better. We even make our own Ranch dressing ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. My better homemade items are salsa and pizza sauce. My mom's are delicious and I'm looking forward to making more this summer. I'm even planning on growing my own tomatoes :).

  8. I love the Bread too! I think if you look at the ingredients on the back of your store bought package of bread you will want to start making your own. I love bread though and I love my bread machine. I put it and the crock pot to work often, this way dinner is cooking while I am doing something else!

  9. I do like the smell of bread baking on a cold afternoon. I wish it was something I could accomplish from start to finish in about 20 minutes though ๐Ÿ™‚