Our grandparents made nearly everything they ate or used in cooking from scratch, either out of necessity or because store-bought alternatives were too expensive. Today, while most of us do have access to affordable store-bought foods and ingredients, that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to leave the old ways behind!
In fact, I believe there are several good reasons to make your own food items and pantry staples at home. Not only is it usually cheaper to make something from scratch than it is to buy it, but it could save you the time, money, and gas you’d spend on an unnecessary trip to the grocery store.
To help you experience those benefits for yourself, today I’ll show you how to make 10 common pantry staples at home. Whether you make use of them now or later, I’m certain there will come a time when you’ll be very glad you learned these “recipes”!
10 Pantry Staples You Can Easily Make At Home
1. Brown Sugar
Out of brown sugar? Make your own by mixing 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses (or use slightly more for dark brown sugar.)
When stored in an airtight container, molasses will stay fresh for a year or more. So as long as you have sugar and molasses on hand, you can mix up your own brown sugar whenever you need it! :-)
2. Self-Rising Flour
Self-rising flour sounds complicated, but it couldn’t be easier to make. Just mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together.
Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe as needed to make enough self-rising flour for your baking project.
3. Bread Crumbs
As long as you have any sort of bread on hand, you should never have to buy store-bought bread crumbs! Just toast a few slices, blitz them in your blender or food processor, you’ll end up with perfectly crispy bread crumbs.
To make seasoned bread crumbs, add the following spices to your food processor along with the toasted bread:
- 1/2 teaspoon each of dried parsley flakes, garlic powder, kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon each of dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, and ground black pepper
4. Powdered Sugar
Frankly, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that I didn’t know you could actually make powdered sugar at home until a few years ago! And as it turns out, it’s actually really easy to do!
Just pour 1 cup of granulated sugar into your blender or food processor, then pulse until the sugar gets light and fluffy. Sift your powdered sugar through a fine mesh sieve before using.
5. Seasoning Mixes
You can make a homemade version of almost any seasoning mix you can imagine! I like the flavor of homemade spice mixes much more than the store-bought ones, and I think you will too!
Check out this blog post to find recipes for taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, onion soup mix, brown gravy mix, country gravy mix, and more! That post also includes a handy shopping list with everything you need to make all of the featured spice mixes.
6. S.O.S. Mix (Cream Soup Substitute)
S.O.S. Mix (AKA Soup or Sauce Mix) is one of the more useful items you can keep in your pantry, in my humble opinion! Just add water to make an easy substitute for any “cream of” soup in your favorite recipes.
You can also use S.O.S. Mix as a creamy base for delicious soups. Get the recipe and all the details here!
7. Instant Oatmeal
Anyone can divvy oats up into individual bags and call them “oatmeal packets.” But there’s a simple secret to replicating the thick and creamy texture of store-bought oatmeal packets—adding blended oats!
This simple addition makes homemade oatmeal every bit as creamy and satisfying as the store-bought stuff. Get full instructions on how to make your own instant oatmeal packets here.
Barring any dietary restrictions, I think everyone should give homemade mayo a try at least once. It has a freshness that is completely different from store-bought mayo, and it’s surprisingly easy to make too!
9. Pancake Syrup
While you can’t really replicate true maple syrup at home, you can make a classic pancake syrup that the whole family will love! I still use the same recipe my mom used when she made this for us back when we were kids. It has a nostalgic flavor that is sure to take you back!
10. Pancake Mix
What would pancake syrup be without a big stack of pancakes to pour it over? :-) You can easily replicate those convenient “shake and pour” pancake mixes in your own kitchen.
It’s a great option for making pancakes anytime, but it could be especially convenient for camping and other outings! Get the recipe for homemade “shake and pour” pancake mix here.
Want Even More Homemade Pantry Staples?
- For 9 more convenient and delicious homemade pantry staples, check out Part Two here!
Do you make any of your own pantry staples at home?