What Do You Make from Scratch?

I’ve been making my own bread lately. Since the price of groceries is going up (and up and up), I’ve been looking for even more ways to cut back. I’m also on something of a health kick lately, and I’m trying to stay away from processed foods.

With that in mind, I’ve been trying to bake from scratch. In the last two weeks, I’ve baked all of our bread. I found a recipe for homemade bread at Money Saving Mom. It looked good, but I don’t have a bread machine, so I followed the link to the original recipe. That one doesn’t require a bread machine.

I have to tell you, making bread isn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and it tastes great! I think I’m ready to branch out to other recipes, though. I like variety.

I also think I’m ready to branch out from bread. Maybe I’ll make some homemade granola or granola bars next. Healthy cookies? (Is there such a thing as a healthy cookie?) Maybe I’ll try some different muffin recipes, so we can move away from the dreaded breakfast cereal. I’m pretty good about making pancakes, waffles, and french toast on most days, but I need something quick and easy for rushed mornings. Muffins in the freezer seem to fit the bill.

So tell me, what do you make from scratch? Do you have any healthy recipes that you’re proud of? If you have a blog, post the recipe on your blog. I’d be happy to add a link to your recipe!

One additional note: Last night I made a loaf of this banana bread, and it was delicious! I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the oat flour, because that’s what I had on hand.

Photo by double.reed.


By , on Apr 25, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Stu:

    we make a lot of things from scratch. bread, yoghurt, cakes, muffins, spag sauce / marinara, baby food, sometimes dog food, stock (both chicken veg), salsa etc.

    I think most of the hard/fear of making bread at home is getting good or at least half decent yeast. making bread is pitifully easy as long as you get conditions in the kitchen right (not too cold, good yeast, moisture in the air).

  2. Salsa
    Pudding: http://naturalmomstalkradio.co.....ng-recipe/
    Cookies, brownies etc
    Oat crackers
    Salad dressings
    Bone broths

  3. Stacy S:

    Just an fyi…I make double batches of pancakes and freeze them on cookies sheets and then transfer them to bags. You can just pop them in the toaster frozen (I have a toaster oven, but I’m sure it works with a regular toaster as long as they’re not thawed at all). It’s an easy, cheap and fast breakfast!
    As for foods from scratch, I recently aquired a bread maker at our second hand store (for $7.50!) and I make various breads and pizza dough all the time. I also make baked goods (I love to bake) and breadsticks. I want to do more, I just need to watch that 1 hour less of t.v. a night when the kids are asleep!

  4. Pancakes are the easiest on rushed mornings! Make a 3X or 4X batch on a weekend morning (Sundays were always pancake days in my house) and freeze them in layers of waxed paper in a ziploc bag. Then put a couple in the toaster, or under a broiler, next time someone wants some.

    I make my own yogurt, spaghetti sauce (italian family recipe), pesto, chicken broth, muffins, almond butter, and dinners in general. Putting a freezer in the garage was our best move, because now I can make big batches and freeze it for later, or distribute them to neighbors in need.

  5. Megan:

    I make my own bread also. I have a wonderful potato bread recipe that my family loves.

    We made the decision to go with homemade bread after deciding to try and avoid high fructose corn syrup. And after reading all of the ingredients in bread…well it was an easy decision.

    I grind our wheat and add it to the bread within minutes. I sweeten with honey. I love to be able to control exactly what is in what we eat. I buy our honey from a local beekeeper. Not only is it local, it is a great deal at $24/gallon.

    We love fresh from the oven bread with homemade black berry freezer jam made last summer.

    That is another easy thing to make. Homemade freezer jam.

    We are fortunate to have many fruit trees and berries around our yard. Once you’ve overcome the initial cost of containers, you can reuse them every year.

    The only cost you will have every year is the cost of pectin and sugar. And you can actually make your own pectin. I just haven’t tried it yet.

  6. A friend gave me her bread machine last Christmas, and since then I’ve been a bread-making maniac. I’ve given it as gifts, brought it to potlucks and to the office, and use it for toast and sandwiches at home. It’s been great (although it does need to be eaten quickly—no preservatives mean that it gets stale in a few days).

  7. FranticWoman:

    I make granola bars from scratch – I recommend it! I got several good recipes off the Food Network site. Once you have practiced a few times it is easy to make up your own. My faves right now are mostly nuts with dried cranberries, but I started with oats and mini choc. chips.

    I make enchilada sauce from scratch (much better than canned) and a great homemade pico de gallo.

    I support ‘nothing processed’ whole heartedly – BUT I often find that is much more expensive than buying things processed boohoo. (ex. my ench sauce and mac&cheese cost 3-4 times what the processed stuff costs). I do believed it is healthier though and definitely keeps the weight down so I keep on doing it.

  8. Karen:


    I make my own bread as well…it is very therapeutic, and I’m going to teach my grandchildren how to do it also. I also make my own meatloaves, which can be frozen and cooked when things get crazy. I just discovered how to make picante sauce (salsa), and I can’t believe how much better it tastes than the jars you buy in the stores. I tend to stay away from processed foods, lately. I make my own mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, soups, stews, and gravy. I make my own brownie mix also…very easy and much cheaper.

  9. Christian:

    I make my own cakes, and soups. I will never buy store soup again, it is such a rip off and full of stuff you don’t need! I buy the deli chickens, and egg noodles out of the bulk section. the soup is delicious and i can put whatever i want in there.

  10. I try to make just about everything from scratch. I’ve posted recipes for home-made yogurt (originally from the Tightwad Gazette) and biscuits on my blog so far; but I make bread, buns, tortillas, taco shells (w/whole wheat flour and fresh-ground corn — we have a wheat grinder). My mom makes bagels and pita bread occasionally and I helped her when I still lived at home, but I’ve never actually made them myself. Also pizza, enchiladas, lasagna….

    I get mac n cheese from a box (my kids actually don’t like the home-made stuff; and this is my “crutch” quick meal other than PBJs), and have some canned soups and such for quick fixes, but I try to cook everything from scratch. Not only is it cheaper and healthier, but both I and my husband prefer it that way.

  11. I have been trying to make homemade bread for months and still can’t get the hang of it. The recipes i’ve been using ask for AP flour but I think the trick is to use bread flour, so I’ll try that next time. I have quite a few recipes on my blog, but the 2 that I love because they are healthier than the alternative are my recipes for homemade hamburger helper and mexican corn soup. The mexican corn soup I make quite a bit and I love to share that recipe a lot. Its a low fat recipe, so everyone loves that aspect and after they make it, they can’t believe that its low fat. Pair either of those recipes with a side salad and you’ve got a cheap and healthy meal.

  12. Kristen:

    I started making my own tortilla chips. You can buy a 4 pound bag of corn tortillas for less than the cost of one bag of pre-made chips. I use a pizza cutter to make them into triangles, and bake them at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, just until they’re crisp. Usually I spray the baking sheet with a little Pam, and sometimes I sprinkle a little salt on the chips. The homemade version is a lot lower in fat and calories than most of what you buy in the store, and I think they taste better, too! They can be used as a snack with salsa, or we crumble them on taco salads to add some crunch and flavor.

  13. Erin:

    I make most baked goods from scratch….bread, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pizza crust. When I first started baking I thought that it would be really time consuming, but it’s not. And it is a cheaper, healthier alternative then buying.

  14. Hillbilly Housewife has a great granola recipe that you should try.


  15. Diana:

    Check out the Banana Breakfast Cookies at
    heartheathlyonline.com. Really good, fast and easy.
    My 16 month old granddaughter loves them. I do
    everything from scratch also. It’s fun to hear young
    families going back to this way.

  16. Bellen:

    Well – bread, rolls, pastry, pie, cake, cookies, salad dressings, lasagna & egg noodles, yoghurt sometimes, mac & cheese, cream sauce mix & cream of soups from that, pancakes & waffles, tortillas, granola,pizza dough, soup and stock, chili. We also grow our own tomatoes, onions, swiss chard, romaine, chives, basil, sage, mint, Bahama tea (a citrusy flavored shrub), parsley, carrots & use tops in salad, thyme. I grind my own flour. Actually, we make everything from scratch except spaghetti & spaghetti sauce, even after 40 years of marriage can’t make something my husband will eat,and we use some frozen veggies. Our meat/fish/poultry and a bag of produce we buy monthly from SHARE.

    I cook lunch and dinner, breakfast is granola or toast with peanut butter. I probably spend 1-2 hours daily cooking, but that includes time for bread, etc. We are in our early 60s, in good health with low blood pressure, no medications, walk or swim daily, have all our own teeth, we do our own repairs on both home & vehicle, garden in containers (can’t have an in-ground garden), volunteer within our community and maybe eat out once a month (many within our 55 community eat out 3 times a day – I watch them coming and going from my kitchen). Do I think cooking from scratch makes a difference? You bet I do – and we’ve been doing it for the 40 years of our marriage, with 3 boys, working full-time and everything else a family has to do(in my case no dryer or dishwasher by choice and circumstance).

    So, from a an old sage – make it from scratch. Try one thing a week if you’re a newby. Work it into your schedule – bet you really can miss an hour of TV.

  17. Hey! My whole blog is about healthy food that you can make easily, from scratch. One of my favorite recipes is an apple muffin recipe – they are moist and delicious and very healthy.

    I also have a bread recipe that doesn’t need a bread machine, I do menu plans every Monday, and I try to post several new recipes each week. Enjoy!

  18. Lynnae:

    Thanks for the ideas & links so far, everyone! I’ll definitely check them out!

  19. conedude13:

    Scrambled eggs! :P

    I just don’t have a lot of room for a lot of big machines on the counter. i live in a condo that is too tiny.

  20. Unfortunately, not much! I’m not a great cook, and even worse preparing things from scratch. I do plan to make some homemade salsa (recipe from J.D. @Get Rich Slowly) when my veggies start coming in. Maybe some homemade strawberry jam, too. Other than that – I’m not much help in this department!

  21. Anthoney Grigsby:

    Pancakes (well, just about any breakfast food), Meatloaf, muffins, a couple of other things that I can’t think of at the moment (hehe).

    Does rice count, I make a mean shrimp fried rice?

  22. Sara:

    More with Less” is a great cookbook for making things from scratch. You might have already heard of it because it’s been around for 25 years now, sorry if I’m being redundant. There are great homemade bread recipes and tips and I’ve tried the granola and it was wonderful. I’m really hoping to try to make yogurt from scratch. The recipe allows you to use dry milk.
    I also love the pancake and baking mixes it includes and the recipe I’ve gotten the most use out of is for homemade “can” of cream of mushroom/celery/chicken soup. I never realized how easy, cheap, and flavorful it was to just make it yourself.

  23. Funny–I just wrote a post about this today for Owlhaven’s Frugal Cookin’ Carnival. http://untraditionalhome.com/?p=369
    I also make crackers, cheese crackers, pizzas, soymilk (occasionally), plus pretty much anything else non-meat that is possible to make from scratch. With my oldest daughter’s food issues (no preservatives, no dyes, no hormones, etc) it saves us at least double our grocery spending, plus it saves trips out since I just need the basic ingredients.

  24. We make whipped cream “from scratch”, and my wife makes a killer pie crust.

    It’s a toss up as to what is best… her pie crust, or her homemade tortillas. I grew up eating tortillas out of the grocery store bag. Bland. No flavor.

    Then I married my wife. Who knew tortillas could have flavor!

  25. Mmmm, I love homemade bread. I’m a teacher, so in the summer I really ramp up my made-from-scratch rotation. I make bread, crackers, hamburger buns, salsa, salad dressings, jam, and can and freeze as much as I can. We just ate the last of last summer’s corn. I can’t believe the difference in taste. Once you get into the habit and are comfortable with a few good recipes, it’s not hard at all!

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