19 Foods That Are Cheaper and Healthier to Make at Home

Written By Babatunde Sanni

Buying food at restaurants or street stalls is convenient. But you will do your health and pocket a great favor when you start cooking at home. If you don’t know where to start, here are 19 foods that come with huge benefits when homemade.


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Making bread at home brings a massive, healthy change to your diet, especially when you opt for high-fiber ingredients like whole oats and grain flour. By doing this, you don’t just get fresher loaves, but you also avoid the high sugar content as well as the preservatives typically found in bread you buy from stores.

Salad Dressings

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Salads aren’t the same without dressings, but opting for store-bought options can be unhealthy for you. HuffPost shares that this is especially true if they contain ingredients like palm oil, sugar, salt, and coconut oil. Making your salad dressings at home allows you to control what you put in them, and these can be whipped up within minutes, too.


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Like an NPR story shares, it’s always a good idea to make homemade yogurt, as not only is it cheaper, but it’s also easy to make and is one food item with an almost endless variety of recipes. You easily avoid the artificial sweeteners and flavors common with store-bought counterparts without compromising on taste or quality.


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Creating your own granola at home is a fantastic way to save money and eat healthier. Store-bought granolas often have hidden sugars and unhealthy fats, and by mixing oats, nuts, and a touch of honey or maple syrup yourself, you can enjoy a nutritious and customizable breakfast that is both cost-effective and delightful.


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Homemade soup is not only economical but also allows you to control the salt and fat content common with packaged alternatives. By making soup at home using fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, you get yourself a hearty, healthy meal every time. You additionally avoid the often excessive preservatives in store-bought soups.


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Making hummus at home also allows you to avoid store-bought alternatives, which can be pricey and often contain unhealthy amounts of added oils and preservatives. You could use just chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and garlic to create a fresh and flavorful hummus that is more nutritious and free from unnecessary additives.

Pasta Sauce

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Homemade pasta sauce is a cost-effective and healthier alternative to the popular jarred varieties. And since they’re easy to make, it’ll cost you nothing to abandon store-bought sauces that are often laden with added sugars and preservatives. All you need is some fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices, and you can make a delicious and nutritious sauce that perfectly complements any pasta dish.

Energy Bars

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Yes, you can make homemade energy bars to save money and avoid the unhealthy additives found in commercial bars too. To create these nutritious snacks and provide yourself with some cheap, sustainable energy, you’ll typically only need commonly available ingredients like oats, nuts, dried fruits, and natural sweeteners—without preservatives.


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Making pizza at home isn’t just cost-effective and healthier; it can also provide some fun for the family. Store-bought and delivery pizzas only expose you to high amounts of unhealthy fats, salt, and preservatives, and by making your own dough and using fresh toppings, you can create a delicious and nutritious pizza tailored specifically to your preferences.

Nut Butters

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Even your favorite peanut butter can be made at home. And as many commercial nut butters contain added sugars, oils, and preservatives, these homemade options provide more significant benefits for your health and finances. Although blending nuts at home might seem time-consuming, getting specialized devices allows you to create a pure, wholesome spread rich in healthy fats and nutrients with little effort.

Ice Cream

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Homemade ice cream is a delightful treat that The Spruce says can be more delicious than store-bought varieties when made right. It’s easy to make, especially when you use fruits for yours. Homemade ice cream, with simple ingredients like milk, cream, and other natural flavors, is a creamy dessert void of harmful artificial coloring, thickeners, and stabilizers.


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Smoothies from the store can be expensive and often contain added sugars. By just buying and blending your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy add-ins like yogurt or protein powder, you can enjoy a nutritious and delicious drink that is free from unnecessary, unhealthy additives.


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As store-bought crackers often contain preservatives and unhealthy fats, you can also bake crackers at home to protect your health and pockets. By using whole grains and seeds, you cook up a crunchy, nutritious snack that is perfect for pairing with cheese or hummus and has enough fibrous content to keep you filled.


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Homemade salsa is cheaper and fresher than store-bought varieties, and they’re even more desirable, as commercial salsas can be loaded with excessive sodium and preservatives that are bad for your heart. You only need to chop fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro to create a vibrant and flavorful salsa that enhances any dish and offers more nutritional benefits.


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Making pickles at home is one of the easiest ways to cut out harmful preservatives and artificial additives from your diet. All you need is some cucumber, water, vinegar, and appropriate seasoning, as well as a jar to store your pickles in. Just refrigerate the mix and eat from the jar whenever you want without worrying about freshness.


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Homemade pancakes are both economical and healthier than pre-made mixes, and Food Network reveals that you can make a batch of four servings within just 30 minutes. The alternative store-bought mixes only expose you to preservatives and artificial flavors, and by just mixing flour, eggs, milk, and a touch of sugar, you can create fluffy, delicious pancakes without these worries.


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Guacamole from the store is also known to include preservatives and artificial ingredients that harm your health in the long run. The homemade alternatives, made by mashing fresh avocados with lime, garlic, and cilantro, will give you a creamy, flavorful dip that is perfect for any occasion and free from unnecessary additives.

Fruit Roll-Ups

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Fruit roll-ups, like pizza, are also fun and surprisingly easy to make, which makes the alternatives available at the store an unnecessary waste of money. To avoid high sugar and artificial flavors, all you need to do is make time to puree fresh fruits, dry them in the oven, and roll them up as needed.

Spice Blends

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To avoid excessive salts and fillers, you also shouldn’t go to the grocery store to get spices for your many home-cooked recipes. And, if you’re watching your weight, you can even use your homemade spice blends to replace dressings, sauces, and oils, as they often contain fewer calories.

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