Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Store-Bought Kitchen Staples You Can Easily Make Yourself!

make your own self-rising flour I have a theory and it goes something like this……

My grandparents’ generation was definitely a much more “self-reliant” bunch than my parents’ generation, and likewise, my parents’ generation was a great deal more “self-reliant” compared to MY generation. But as I look back over the years…I feel like we are coming back around to full circle.

More and more OUR generation(s) are looking at the way our parents and grandparents did things and trying to emulate that. I believe people really want to get back to a time where common household essentials were more natural, less costly (in more ways than just financially) and were something to take pride in.

So along that train of thought…I got to thinking about some of the things most of us purchase at the grocery store that I’m almost certain our grandparents (and parents) made from scratch. I decided to compile a list of kitchen staples that over the years I have started making from scratch (that I used to buy at the store) and included a few I hadn’t tried before!

Let’s start with those…..

BROWN SUGAR – Well this is a little embarrassing to admit, but I did NOT know that brown sugar was simply granulated sugar and molasses. Maybe I did…in some dark recess of my mind. I’m not sure. Anyway, this recent revelation had me immediately searching through my pantry to find that bottle of molasses that was hiding somewhere!

 

make your own brown sugar

How to Make Brown Sugar

1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses (add more for a darker brown sugar)

Add sugar and molasses to a bowl and mix together. I used a whisk because it helped to incorporate all the molasses. It takes a few minutes until it’s completely mixed in…but that’s it. You just made your own brown sugar. Umm…it doesn’t get any easier than that people!  For dark brown sugar, add another tablespoon of molasses. Store in an airtight container.

 

make your own brown sugar

 

SELF-RISING FLOUR – Once in a while I will run across a recipe that requires “self-rising flour”. (Many southern cooks won’t use anything else in their biscuits or shortcakes.) I never questioned this. I would just go to the store and buy a bag. Finally, one day I asked the question (to no one in particular), “What exactly IS self-rising flour anyway?” Here is the answer:

 

make your own self-rising flour

To make one cup of self-rising flour:

Sift together-

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Once again, that’s it. Which begs the question…..why would you buy a box or bag of this when you already have everything on hand to make it??  It’s a mystery I tell ya!

 

make your own self-rising flour

 

more kitchen staples:

 

SALAD DRESSING – this is a “gray area” for me. I RARELY buy bottled dressing (ugh! Can’t stand it after I started making my own!)…BUT, more often than not, I use Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing & Seasoning Mix (the dry stuff) and add my own mayonnaise and milk (or buttermilk.) So it’s SORTA homemade.

 

making bread crumbs

BREAD CRUMBS – I started making these more as a CONVENIENCE than anything else. I got sick of having to run to the store to get some if I wanted to make my Parmesan Chicken. Then one day it hit me, I ALWAYS (well, mostly) have BREAD in the house!  Why not just MAKE some! duh.

 

granola bars

GRANOLA/BARS – granola & granola bars have become SO popular during the last decade or so because they are SO handy to keep in your pantry, your purse, your lunch box, your car…for a quick snack that’s fairly healthy. Before this the go-to snacks were mostly candy bars! The thing is, they are expensive when you buy them in boxes all individually wrapped (not to mention wasteful!) and making your own is SO easy!

 

PANCAKES – Somewhere along the way we decided throwing a few different ingredients in a bowl and mixing them up was just TOO much work!  Now we want to simply ADD WATER and have instant pancake batter. This is just plain silliness to me. We need to change this. :-)

 

PANCAKE SYRUP – Sugar, water, maple flavoring, done. Aunt Jemima, isn’t it time you retired? :-)

 

WHIPPED CREAM - Another silliness thing to me. Why would you buy this already made up in plastic tub, or worse, an aerosol can, when it’s so SIMPLE to make at home?

 

OATMEAL - I’ll admit, the little packets are handy…but, again, expensive and wasteful. Making oatmeal the “old-fashioned” way HAS to make a comeback!

 

SPAGHETTI SAUCE – I know it’s fun to re-purpose the jars for other fun projects….but that’s about the only reason we should be buying jar after jar after jar of this stuff! At the very LEAST…buy some spaghetti sauce seasoning packets and add tomato paste and water! Better yet, make some on the stove, let it simmer all day long like Grandma used to do. The house will smell wonderful and the TASTE cannot be duplicated in a bottle.

 

CHICKEN STOCK/BROTH -  So many recipes call for chicken stock or broth to add flavor, but since I rarely buy it, I would usually skip those recipes and move on to something that DIDN’T require it. That is until I realized that you can easily substitute chicken bouillon in your recipe. Each bouillon cube, added to 1 cup of water, makes 1 cup of broth. Done. No more lugging home all those cans or cartons.

 

TACO SEASONINGPosted about previously.

 

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN –  Posted.

 

FROSTINGPosted.

 

SALSAPosted.

 

YOGURTPosted.

 

CREAM OF SOMETHING SOUPPosted

 

COLESLAW –  Posted.

 

JAMS –  Posted.

 

BBQ SAUCE –  Posted.

I could keep going….but I will spare you! ;-)  I think I’ve made my point. Hopefully, if nothing else, this post will help you see the “convenience” items you purchase in the grocery store in a different light and realize how EASY (not to mention cheaper and better-tasting!) they are to make yourself at home.

Now it’s YOUR turn!  Tell us what YOU make vs. buy!

 

 

Be sure to check out the new One Good Thing By Jillee FORUM!
Start a conversationmeet a new frienddiscuss an ideaor just hang out!
It’s THE place to be! See ya there!

 




Never miss a good thing!
Receive a daily dose of Jillee + bonus newsletters.

147 thoughts on “Store-Bought Kitchen Staples You Can Easily Make Yourself!

  1. Mari T.

    Brown sugar is not usually white sugar ad molasses. If you buy the kind that´s kinda sticky then it is but there is other kinds too. like cane-sugar which is brown sugar that had not been bleached yet. -sugar is NOT naturally white

    Reply
    1. Tammy

      Brown sugar that you use in most recipes is molasses and white sugar. Every recipient that I’ve ever ran across that calls for the I bleached cane calls for raw sugar…not brown sugar.

      Reply
        1. Dawn

          If you read the wikipedia article on brown sugar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_sugar), you will see that natural brown sugar is indeed partially processed so that some of the molasses remains. However a lot of what you buy as brown sugar is actually refined white sugar with a certain ratio of molasses added back into it. Demerara sugar would be an example of a natural brown sugar. At my local grocery store, the ingredient list on the back of the bag of light brown sugar says: sugar, molasses. I was a little disappointed to find that for years I had been spending more money for something I could easily put together on my own with ingredients on hand. I do keep a bag of demerara sugar on hand, but it doesn’t cook up the same in recipes as the regular brown sugar. But it’s great sprinkled on the top of muffins right before you pop them in the oven. Makes a kind of crystally, crunchy topping like the muffins you buy at the bakery have. Mmmmm!

          Reply
          1. Sarah

            “Real” brown sugar is not just white sugar and molasses. If you buy real quality brown sugar you will not go back to buying the cheap stuff. Just check the ingredients the only ingredient should be brown sugar.

            Reply
  2. Penny Hannah

    DO folk actually BUY whipped cream? – heaven help us! Before I became unable to make things, most of the above list were just what one did as a matter of course. Thank you, mother for teaching me well.

    Reply
      1. Victoria

        And it is soooo delicious! I made some about a month ago. I was blown away by how simple it was and I felt a bit stupid. lol! I will never buy the container of it again.

        Reply
    1. Julie

      Most people I know outside of Utah, don’t know what making whipped cream is. Even most cooks / bakers. They think Cool Whip = whipped cream. They don’t know what they are missing.

      Reply
    2. Gretchen Dietz

      Real whipped cream is sooooooo much better and if you look at the ingredients in cool whip, chances are you’ll never buy it again. It’s just junk, pure and simple.

      Reply
  3. Dawn

    Brown sugar that is labeled “brown sugar” at the store is indeed white sugar and molasses. Unless you find it on sale, it’s more expensive than making your own. I used to mix mine up separately when a recipe called for it. Now I just add the white sugar and molasses to whatever I’m making up and mix it with everything else. It’s a lot easier.

    Reply
  4. Juliet

    You can always can chicken stock after you make your rotisserie chicken — add some veggies and herbs and water to the bones, boil and simmer. Then pressure can. Time consuming, yes, but most of it is hands-off time, letting the stove do the work for you. Tasty and a low sodium. Turkey stock, beef stock and veggie stock as well. Even corn cob stock, for a taste of summer in your winter soups.

    Reply
    1. Christy

      Juliet…What are the pressure canning details for canning the stock? I love to make chicken stock after I get all the meat off my (rather expensive) organic chicken…so what better thing to do but boil the bones in some water (love the idea of adding some veggies), along with the drippings, and you’ve got some chicken stock. Until now, I have only ever stored it in half-gallon jars in the fridge. If I don’t use it in time, I have to throw it out. I have also frozen it in ice cube trays…but the trays are a pain to clean from all the oil residue that is left on them. I love to can, and my daughter is learning along side me…so I would love to do this! Thanks for the idea.

      Reply
      1. Ayshela

        Or measure one or two cups into freezer zippie bags, label which measure the bag has, and freeze flat. Laying them down so they freeze flat, they thaw really quickly, and if you need it faster you can drop the bag into warm water.

        Reply
    2. Teresa

      Another bonus is that your stock will be free of MSG almost all stock, and bullion has MSG (as well as the ranch packets but that’s another story) A lot of chicken stock says *No Added MSG with a little disclamer that some is “naturally” created in the making process. yuck!

      Reply
  5. Carole May

    Jillee, why not make your Ranch dressing ingredients? There are a million recipes out there and the best part? no preservatives and you control the salt!
    Since I have become “financially challenged” I have really learned lots of tricks! Thanks to you for adding to my education!

    Reply
    1. Mandy

      I mix my own “Ranch” dressing from scratch too. I have a recipe but you can’t go wrong by eyeballing it. Equal parts buttermilk & mayo. Garlic powder, onion salt, black pepper & thyme. Whisk it together. It’s so good! Once you make it yourself, you’ll never be able to use bottled or prepackaged mix again.

      Reply
      1. Yvonne S

        Here is the recipe that I use. The crackers give it the thickness and texture that you need. I use sour cream for dip and milk or cream for dressing. Don’t use mayo with lemon because it makes it too tart.
        Dressing Mix:
        9 Saltines 1 C. parsley flakes
        1 T. dill weed 2 T. salt
        1/4 C. onion powder 1/4 C. garlic powder
        Put crackers through blender or food processor on high speed until powdered. Add parsley, dill weed, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Blend again until powdered.
        Put into container with tight-fitting lid.
        Store dry mix at room temperature for 1 year
        Makes 24 – 1 T. servings
        Salad Dressing:
        1 T. mix 1 C. mayonnaise
        1 C. buttermilk or sour cream
        Yield: 1 pint.

        Reply
    2. lady brett

      also, i’ve started making homemade ranch dressing with ranch flavoring in *yogurt* (with some olive oil to make it smoother and yummier) rather than mayo and milk. it’s delicious!

      it has the slight tangyness of yogurt (which i think is a bonus, but also it isn’t that strong), but otherwise is extremely similar. as an added bonus, you can use as much as you want – other than the salt, you could eat it with a spoon without concern…which is good, ’cause that’s basically the proportions my kids want it in.

      Reply
  6. melissa

    oh man…i never knew what self rising flour was, lol i always avoided those recipes but now that i know what it is and its so darn easy to make myself i can go back an find those biscuit recipes that i wanted to try but never did, thanks jillee

    Reply
  7. Naomi

    I make my own chocolate syrup. Desperately wanted chocolate syrup for ice cream one evening and didn’t want to burn gas to head to the store…lol Checked online, and felt like a dummy when I realized how simple and cheap it is to make your own. 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 cups of sugar, pinch of salt, and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla. What I love about anything you make yourself is that you can tweak it to you and your family’s tastes, and most are much cheaper!

    This syrup makes great chocolate milk also!!

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      I just recently started making my own chocolate syrup. Now my children do not want me to purchase it again. They tell me how much better it is, and I agree. It mixes into the milk so much better. At a recent trip to a science museum, we noted that store-bought chocolate syrup has a form of petroleum in it. YUCK! So glad to get back to the basics! Thanks for your posts, Jillee!

      Reply
    2. Landon

      Does it need refrigeration? I haven’t bought chocolate syrup in years, and didn’t realize it was so easy to make. Just this week my daughter said she wished we had some to make chocolate milk.

      Reply
      1. Naomi

        I do refrigerate mine, and it can be good for a couple of months….not that it lasts that long!! After you combine everything and heat it up a bit so that the sugar dissolves and everything gets mixed together, I just pour it into a canning jar, pop a top on it, and throw it into the fridge.

        Reply
      1. Rebekah

        Rumford brand cornstarch is aluminum free (clearly labeled on the front of the container). If you don’t see it in the baking aisle at your store, check the natural section.

        Reply
  8. Jennifer

    Spaghetti sauce and salad dressing are my main make vs. buy items. They’re so easy to make and the taste is SO much better than store bought, its just silly to buy it in jars! I also “make” my own buttermilk for recipes that require it because I rarely remember to buy it. By “make”, I mean that I add about 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. I think you can also use lemon juice.

    Reply
  9. Krista

    I can my own spaghetti sauce from my garden, beef stew, and turkey soup with the leftover turkey and homemade stock after Thanksgiving! I’ve never tried making my own dry-mix ranch flavor, but I do take those little HVR packets and mix them into my homemade yogurt for a healthier, lighter-tasting ranch dressing. I also can my own applesauce and apple butter, and tomatoes for different recipes. There are always more things I would like to do, but those are my kitchen staples that I like to keep around homemade!

    Reply
  10. Melanie Brownsberger

    YES! please go on! I want to learn more! :) I could not get the link to the whipped cream open. could you give me the link? or tell me how to make it!

    Reply
    1. Sierra

      Buy heavy cream and whip it (this can be done by hand but I use a hand mixer). Add powdered sugar to taste. The great part is you can make as much or little as you want.

      Reply
      1. lady brett

        if you are making a small batch you can just pour it into a jar or tupperware (only about 1/4 full) and shake it. this is particularly awesome as a job for small children. unless they are overzealous (aren’t they always?) and you fail to monitor the process, in which case they might make you butter instead of whipped cream – which, hey, as a worst case scenario, homemade butter ain’t bad!

        Reply
  11. Shanade

    Thanks for this great post. I couldn’t agree with you more. I grew up in a home where my mom cooked from scratch and I’ve always tried to do that myself… no frozen lasagnas for me, unless of course I made it and froze it myself. Lately though I tried to go beyond cooking from scratch to making my own mixes and staples. This list certainly helps with that. Thanks again!

    Reply
  12. Mary

    When I had my first child, I was determined to make everything from scratch and I did….until I had my second child :( then the pressures of having a 5 year old, a baby, keeping a house, maintaining a good marriage, and working full time became too much. I bought more convenience crap than I ever thought I would. My #1 embarassment was buying muffins they are so expensive and so full of preservatives! Definately better to make at home and the time committment isn’t that much….

    Now that my “baby” is almost 3, I have started coming back to making things from scratch. So much better!!! I make my breadcrumbs from the ends and crusts of bread. My kids will not eat the ends or the crust on bread, so I just toss them in the freezer and once the container is full, I grind them all down with my food processor. I still keep a bag of brown sugar in the house, but for most recipes I just blend up the sugar and molassas before adding the oil/butter and eggs. I love adding a bit more molassas in cookies, it gives them a great chew!

    I have not tried to attempt maple syrup. That will definately be added to my “to do” list :)

    Reply
  13. Georgann G

    When I have cooked chicken, I save the bones in the freezer in a plastic zipper bag. I wait until I get about three or four chickens worth, then make a huge pot of stock. Great for soups and now I’ll have to freeze a few one cup protions for recipes. I pick a day when I’m home all day, and let it simmer away. My favorite winter meal is homemade soup- so satisfying.

    Reply
  14. Rebecca

    Some comments —

    If you are trying to stay MSG free, the Hidden Valley Ranch mix is LOADED with MSG and other poisons, so I do not recommend that.

    Whipped cream — the TUB (cool whip) is WAY worse for your health than the spray can…

    Bouillon cubes — I have yet to find any bouillon cubes that do not have MSG or any derivative in it… (i.e. autolyzed or hydrolyzed anything, maltodextrin, etc) It is better to make your own broth or stock with marrow bones.

    There are good alternatives to these… I am very lucky I have access to healthy, raw milk from Jersey cows so I can make real cream and butter, and I have a ton of marrow bones in my freezer just waiting to be made into stock… I even made my own beef tallow to replace lard in my recipes… makes the most DELICIOUS homemade tortillas!!

    Reply
        1. Rebecca

          Yes, there is totally MSG in them… Autolyzed Yeast Extract and Hydrolyzed something or the other… anyone who is sensitive to chemical MSG (vs. naturally free glutamates) will know that it has MSG in it…

          I totally WISH it was MSG free. Life would be so much easier flavoring things in the kitchen!! :)

          Reply
  15. Landon

    I find that the older I get the more simple I want everything from kitchen to cleaning. Making whatever I can myself is not only much cheaper, but in a lot of cases much healthier. Some of these I already do myself, but you gave some great ideas that get the creative juices going to make more. Thanks for another great GOOD thing. :)

    Reply
  16. Lindsy

    Wow I am feeling pretty good now!! I make everything on yojr list except the syrup but thats just because we have a pure maple syrup farm down The road and we just buy it from there. I did just start making the rotisserie chickens in the crock pot myself. Yum! Great post!

    Reply
  17. Valerie Cowger

    I have a special folder in my email to keep all of your updates so that I know where I can find them when needed lol. As for what I don’t buy anymore, but make from scratch.. the list is short now, but I am working on making it longer, which it will be thanks to the brown sugar and self-rising flour tips. I never buy chili seasoning or taco seasoning, there was only one thing missing in my spice rack to make these work (Cumin-yum!) and when I realized that, I haven’t looked back! And I get picky about my cumin… I do not like McCormicks brand, it is too sweet. Believe it or not, I prefer the Aldi’s brand, besides the fact that it is .99 for a decent size container, it has the perfect smokiness. As for my chicken stock, I dont use too many recipes that call for it, but my guy likes rice cooked in it, and I was always running out. That was until I tried just adding powdered bullion to the water, the taste is still there, and I can adjust how strong I want it.

    Reply
    1. Becky

      For cheap and simple and the most flavorful cumin, buy a packet of cumin seeds in the ethnic section of your grocery store. Toast them in a dry skillet until lightly toasted then grind in a spice grinder. Yum! So easy. So flavorful!

      Reply
  18. Jenn

    Since being diagnosed with multiple reproductive problems in the past year, I have really been looking into a more natural way of life. Everything from making my own cleaners to getting away from processed food. Thanks Jillee for this list and for all your other posts! I have made so many things that you have blogged on and I appreciate you so very much!

    Reply
  19. Catherine's not naturally crafty

    Hi Jillee, love your blog. I can often find the canned spaghetti sauces on sale for a ridiculously cheap amount and they make a great starter point for really good spaghetti sauce, usually much cheaper than I can make from scratch. You just start with the can, add canned or fresh diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, whatever you want. And as always, I double or triple up and then freeze in serving portions the leftovers. I find that using a kitchen scale, quart size freezer bags, and one of those large plastic freeebe cups from the convenience store or restaurant is ideal. Put the bag in the cup and roll the edges down over the sides of the cup. put the cup in the scale and zero it out. Carefully lades in the sauce (soup, beans, whatever) until you reach the oz weight for your favorite canned product. 24 oz for spaghetti sauce, 15 oz for beans, etc.

    The key is freezing the bags flat and the weight the same as the pre-packaged products you use. Most recipies call for a can of this or a can of that so you know a bag equals a can and that’s all you have to pull and thaw. Also, freezing flat makes it easier to thaw quickly.

    When summer rolls around I always volunteer to take the friends and neighbors tomato bounty. You just have to be prepared to get them skinned and either frozen or cooked up quickly as they are usually riper then store bought tomatoes and need to be converted to sauce asap. A crock pot on high with the lid off is fantastic for safely and easily reducing tomatoes to a lovely deep rich sauce. Or broth, or…well, it’s great for reducing anything that isn’t creamy.

    Reply
  20. JR

    Jillee–One thing that always puzzled me I guess because of the way I was raised, is using fake potatoes when its so much better just to cook your own! Peel, boil, mash and eat! Even if you don’t want to peel them, then just cook them with the skins on and use a fork to mash! However you do it, it is SO worth it! No chemicals that you can’t even pronounce! Another no brainer is peanut butter! How long does it take? Two minutes?
    Anyway, these are just a couple of additional ones I use. I use about half of the ones you named but am ashamed to admit, I have been buying brown sugar!!! What a dope!

    Do you know what I wish you (Jillee) would consider doing? How about compiling all these wonderful “Good Things” and putting them in a book?!!! I would buy several copies! I could just keep all of your good things on my kitchen shelf and have it ready to go when I needed to make something! Just a thought! PLEEEZE? :)
    Thanks for your great ideas!
    JR

    Reply
    1. Speas

      I completely agree with you! If there was a “Good Things” book I would buy at least 1 copy for myself and probably 10 copies for my close family/friends who are always asking where I get “my” great ideas from (I always tell them to go to your website Jillee!) My opinion – you really should think about it – I bet you would make a killing! :)

      Good call JR!

      Reply
      1. Jillee Post author

        JR and Speas…..thanks for asking! We actually are feverishly working on a book right now! Stay tuned and I’ll be sure to let you know the MINUTE I know how and when you can order. :-) Thanks for being such loyal readers and sharing the good word!

        By the way JR…duh on the instant potatoes…I definitely should have added that one. ;-) I’m thinking after all these great comments that have been shared I really need to do a Part TWO to this post!

        Thanks again you two!

        Reply
    2. Trish

      I agree with the “real” mashed potatoes comment…they taste so much better! However, instant can be used for a quick potato soup or thickener. Also, when I make “real” mashed potatoes, my kids and I fry the skins in a cast iron pan for a tasty fried potato skin appetizer while the potatoes are cooking.

      Reply
    3. ex-army girl

      JR, I agree with you on the mashed potatoes–to a point. Since the hub and I are on retired pensions, our new favorite pasttime is making our family meals cost–used to be $3–now with the “economic upturn & ‘NO’ inflation”, $5 per meal, with leftovers, for the whole family.

      I make him come with me for our grocery shopping & because of that, unlike several frineds of mine, I don’t have to hear whining & crying about the amount of the grocery bill. We still weep over the price of things, but do not get into the fights of other couples I know.

      Anyway, we started to do the math & it turns out that the Idohan brand of mashed potato flakes, 5 lbs for less than $6.00 at sams. When made, you cannot even tell the difference between them & the fresh potatoes mashed. That one bag makes 76 servings or so. You aint getting that many servings out of a 10 lb bag of russets (or any other kind of potatoes) & that 10 lb bag costs more than $6.00 around here. If you still have a bit of problem with the flavor of the “faker” potatoes, add 2-4 ounces of cream cheese & that problem is solved. I even add a few tablespoons of garlic powder to my potatoes now & then. Yummy!!

      Reply
  21. Patti Ottem

    Several people in my husband’s family (including husband and 1 daughter) can always taste baking powder. It is very bitter to them, so we make our own. It is : 2 T. cream of tartar, 1 T. cornstarch, 1 T. baking soda. My MIL told me the recipe originally came from Dr. Price, grandfather of the old time scary actor, Vincent Price.

    Reply
  22. Davi

    Oh, also, I recently learned how to make my own bagels and english muffins. Not exactly a pantry staple, but so much cheaper homemade. Flour tortillas are also easy to make.

    Reply
    1. Rebecca

      Davi — I just made my own beef tallow from suet I got when my siblings and I split a cow (our first purchase of one, now I will never go back!)

      Tomorrow or Saturday I plan on making homemade tortillas with the beef tallow… I always liked lard better than shortening, it makes a way better flavor for the tortillas… YUM! I can’t wait. I have only tried it with lard before, (from pig) vs. tallow (from beef). But this is grassfed organic beef so it is filled with tons of HEALTHY fats and good nutrients. I am going to split half whole wheat and half white flour… so they will be healthy…

      Reply
  23. Christine Mann

    I make my own chicken stock from scratch too! It’s SUPER easy and has NO PRESERVATIVES or MSG! Nothing tops it in taste either, and you can add in your own amount of salt :) Let me know if you would like the recipe, you’ll never go back! ;)

    Reply
    1. Stephanie West

      Christine Mann,

      I would love to have your recipie for chicken stock. My husband wont eat chicken but I buy lots of chicken broth for recipies so I would like to stop buying it and make myself.

      Reply
  24. Paula

    Thank you for all the time that you spend on you blog making our lives a little simpler! I regularly make many of the items on your list, as well as any breads we use. I also make the crackers my kids like (wheat thins, cheese-its, grahams, saltines), we make marshmallows for roasting and also fig newtons. In my continued effort to provide a simpler and healthier life (not to mention reducing our grocery budget!), it’s one of the ways my family sees how much I love them!

    Reply
    1. FarmGirl

      Paula I would LOVE to have your recipes f0r wheat thins, cheese-its, and fig newtons! I make so much of our food from scratch, but the convience cracker type snack items still make their way into the grocery cart. =)

      Reply
    2. Becca Cox

      I would love your crackers recipes–alll of them!:) I love crackers but haven’t had much success at making my own. I hate buying the ones at the store with all the junk in them.

      Reply
  25. Christy

    All you ladies are GREAT! I love reading through these comments and getting ideas for even more kitchen staples! Jillee…Your funny in so much that you do in your posting…but that is what makes you a gem! Even though I am well aware of many of these DIY recipes already, I haven’t been taking the time to really do them…imagine the lessons in the kitchen my daughter (and son) can learn from mommy making things from scratch…and you have shown us all just how truly simple, not to mention a NO-BRAINer, it all really is! You take things we already know we can do and show us how “easy” it all really is, and for that I say thank you! Thanks for all you do Jillee!

    I was one of those who “bought” whip cream in the aerosol can!!! I admit it!! But not anymore! I am starting my New Years Resolution early…maybe that means it will be a “habit” by the time New Years actually gets here, huh!?! LOL :-)

    Reply
    1. CTY

      The kids will pick up on all of it. Both my boys have my attitude when cooking. When my younger son was on his mission and managing a food budget for the first time– he bought from the farmer’s market instead of grocery store. Broccoli in bulk- took it back to his apt, blanched it and froze it. It lasted him a month. My heart skipped a beat. My other son has the same attitude, makes his on rubs, salsas, sauces you name it.

      Reply
  26. Candace

    Thank you Jillee for all you do!! Here’s my homemade contribution: Grandma’s Applesauce: In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan add peeled, cored and sliced apples of your choice. Period. Cook on LOW heat stirring occasionally until desired consistency. Depending on the juiciness of the apples this could take an hour or so. Remove from heat and add cinnamon to taste (optional). You can add sugar to taste while cooking but I NEVER DO! Enjoy!

    Reply
      1. Sassy

        My husband throws apples (cored and sliced or chunked), a bit of water, some brown sugar (if the apples are tart) and sometimes raisins and cinnamon into a crockpot and sets it for low — it’s a wonderful wintery smell to come home to.

        Reply
  27. CTY

    Am proud to say I make my own low fat cream cheese– put yogurt (I use homemade but store bought works) in a sieve lined with a coffee filter, resting in a bowl & drain off the whey (1 1/2 days) in the refrigerator.
    DIY hamburger helper.
    Marshmallows.
    Also onion soup mix. Since day one of my cooking (30+years now) I have hated spending so much money for those little packet mixes–companies are making millions and substituting more & more chemicals in the product. Recently the prices have skyrocketed (because people are dependent on them).
    Had to laugh because the cashier said–”you eat so healthy” little did she know I turn it into cookies, snacks, & jean splitting desserts/munchies.

    Reply
  28. Christine

    Lol, I always buy the rotisserie chickens! The raw chickens in our stores are more expensive than the already cooked ones. I am all for having someone else do the work while still paying less. I make broth from the bones and either use if for “gravy” over my dogs’ food or freeze if I don’t use it right away. To freeze I put in small ziploc containers then pop them out and store in freezer bags once they’re frozen. BIG cubes :)
    I also make my own gluten free bread. Its about half the price over store bought and tastes way better.

    Reply
    1. KimH

      If you’re gluten free, you might want to reconsider those store bought rotisserie chickens or at least check them out more thoroughly. 2 of the stores I was buying mine from use a rub that had flour in them… I make my own these days.

      Reply
  29. judy

    I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!!!!!!!!! I’M I SHOUTING, YES I AM BECAUSE I LOVE IT……..I LOVE THE REVISED DISHWASHER SOAP.. I can’t wait to try more stuff……Jillee I too am in recovery, by the grace of God…….
    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR BLOG
    Judy

    Reply
  30. mimib

    I learned how to make honey-mustard dressing a while back and it is the best! We will never buy bottled again!
    —–
    1/2 cup mayo
    2 tbsp mustard (i use dijon)
    2 tbsp honey
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    Put all ingredients in a jar and shake like crazy till it’s mixed.

    Reply
  31. Forgetful Mom

    I recently started making more staples too, mainly because I like trying new things and says that I did it! :-) I have been meaning to try making our own pancake syrup for awhile but it just seems easier to buy it. Maybe once our current bottles is gone I’ll give your recipe a try.

    Reply
  32. Brunella Brunet

    Paula, I too would like your recipes for the wheat thins, fig newtons, marshallows, cheese-its, grahams and saltines. please post or send via e-mail to me. Thanks And Jilee, I have learned so much from your site. I love all of your posts. Thanks for making our lives and our families lives a little bit better and healthier.

    Reply
  33. Ana

    I read somewhere a few years ago that if you HAVE to go to the Supermarket, to only buy things placed on the perimeter of the store and avoid all the isles like a plague.
    It is not always possible, toilet paper is usually placed on the isles. without going to extremes the less you buy from all the processed stuff they have on the shelves, the better off you, your waist, and your pocket will be.

    Reply
  34. Donna R.

    Jillee I love all your MYO recipes!!! Such time, gas and money savers. I have become a convert with your refills for foaming soap pumps (Purchased the hand lover Sam’s version of Dawn, it’s awesome!). I have been using recipes from Reader’s Digest Make Your Own book and love their French Bread recipe; no kneading and it produces fresh good quality french bread, which we love b/c it goes stale so fast otherwise. I’
    m finding I really only have to load up on basic ingredients instead of packaged goods. Keep the recipes coming!!! You are the one good thing!

    Reply
    1. Debbe

      Donna R, you are so right:
      Jillee is the ONE GOOD THING!

      Jillee, Love you, Love your site, keep ‘em coming! Would even like to hear about some of the things you try that don’t work out so well. Just so we know you’re really human. ;)

      Reply
  35. Missie

    Anyone have a home made version og Flipsides, (cracker on one side, pretzel on the other) we’ve become quite fond of them but I hate, hate, hate buying packeged snacks.

    Reply
  36. Jasi

    Love your blog for so many reasons. Really useful info, concise info, good pictures, great voice and story-telling. You seem really authentic. Also, wow you put out a lot of content! Please keep writing.

    Reply
  37. KimH

    I already do all on your list except the brown sugar.. Well just slap me stupid! ;) Haha.. Its a good thing to know.
    My grandparents were all very self sufficient country people and were wise and lived well.. Though they’re long gone, they sure left a great legacy that I’ve always tried to carry on & share with my own kids who are all grown now. Hopefully, they’ll remember a few of these Good things too..
    And now Im going to send them the link to your blog.. & encourage them to follow it. ;)

    PS.. I’ll be buying a few of your books too!! Waiting in the wings… patiently… :)

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *