What will you never buy since you learned to cook? What can you cook but still buy from the store?

th1nr Posts: 44 Member
I never buy canned soups like this: ProgressoSoup.jpg
because they are just expensive leftovers. I can make a better soup without much more trouble by just throwing some frozen veggies, leftover rice, canned beans, tomato paste, and spices in a pot.

I know how to bake quickbreads, muffins, and cookies but only every buy them from the store for convenience and because I never seem to have milk, eggs, and butter in the house at the same time.

What about you guys? What is worth it to cook from scratch?


  • bgh707
    bgh707 Posts: 164 Member
    I make my own ghee. It's far less expensive than buying and tastes much better. I also make my own nut butter -- pecan butter is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.
  • fitmama282
    fitmama282 Posts: 36 Member
    bgh707 wrote: »
    I make my own ghee. It's far less expensive than buying and tastes much better. I also make my own nut butter -- pecan butter is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.

    How do you make pecan butter?
  • schwest76
    schwest76 Posts: 77 Member
    Soup. In a pinch I'll get some but I like to make my own, the store bought is too salty. I don't tend to buy the frozen dinners for my work lunches anymore either.
  • zdyb23456
    zdyb23456 Posts: 1,706 Member
    edited January 2017
    I make my own desserts unless I can get it free with coupons.

    I make my own strawberry jelly (I've done peach and blueberry, but my family prefers strawberry).

    I make my own pancake mix, a million times better than the packaged stuff.

    I make 2 loaves sandwich bread at least once a week.

    I make my own soup too.
    I make my own pickles, cucumber (dill) and jalapeño.

    That's all I can think of for now.
  • CafeRacer808
    CafeRacer808 Posts: 2,396 Member
    Definitely soups. Also bread, almond milk, guacamole, salsa, and beef jerky (although I still buy it from a jerky-specific store from time to time).
  • williams969
    williams969 Posts: 2,528 Member
    I can't roast a chicken. At all. It always turns out terrible. I buy hot rotisserie chickens from the deli. Worth the extra expense.

    I make my own dressings (mayo, vinaigrettes, and ranch). Worth the time and effort. Actually, it's pretty simple with a stick/immersion blender.
  • MelanieCN77
    MelanieCN77 Posts: 4,053 Member
    Most soup for sure. The lighter calorie canned soups taste like nothing at all, anyway. I would never buy pre-cooked meat like chicken breast or whatever.
  • bgh707
    bgh707 Posts: 164 Member
    fitmama282 wrote: »
    bgh707 wrote: »
    I make my own ghee. It's far less expensive than buying and tastes much better. I also make my own nut butter -- pecan butter is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.

    How do you make pecan butter?

    If you have a decent blender or food processor, basically buy pre-toasted pecans or toast them yourself and mix them with oil (ideally a form of fat that's solid at room temperature, but I often use avocado oil or ghee), a tiny bit of honey (since I like sweet/salty), and salt. So easy, and you can adjust to your taste.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Soup, pasta sauce, salad dressing, most sweets.

    What do I buy? cheese, dried pasta, ice cream.

    I don't really like mayo that much, but when I need it (for a pasta/chicken salad or something) I make it, it's easy. I've also started making my own cashew milk although unlike the store bought it is not low cal.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    I cook beans of all kinds, chili, stews, hummus, pancakes, and roasts. All easy and all much cheaper from scratch. Oh, I also cut my own apple, pineapple, and watermelon for the same reason. Is a knife and a ziplock that hard?

    Very hard from scratch so I let the industrio-transportation complex do all the work are butters, yogurt, breads, pasta and cheese.

    But I'm working on my breads.
  • giovanna8830
    giovanna8830 Posts: 80 Member
    Now i Cook them: tiramisu, sausage biscuits, bolognese sauce, sponge cake, grilled chicken, Lasagna, roasted shrimp. ...Stil buy: ice cream :p:)
  • giovanna8830
    giovanna8830 Posts: 80 Member
    AA.. :p still buy kefir :D
  • williams969
    williams969 Posts: 2,528 Member
    Now i Cook them: tiramisu, sausage biscuits, bolognese sauce, sponge cake, grilled chicken, Lasagna, roasted shrimp. ...Stil buy: ice cream :p:)

    That reminds me of another. I learned how to make my own marinara. Not even difficult, and so good. I will never buy jarred sauce again. I still buy pre-made pasta, I'm not into making my own, yet.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,456 Member
    There's an awful lot of stuff I can make that I still buy for convenience at times, some as the default option (like dried pasta, frozen pierogie, apple sauce, crackers, tortillas, salsa, and bagels -- I have made all of these from scratch but I usually just go with the store-bought options), some that I keep stocked but often or usually prefer to make myself from whole foods (canned beans, canned and frozen veggies, canned soup, canned chili, tomato/spaghetti sauce, microwave popcorn), some that I buy occasionally or rarely instead of making myself (bread, baked desserts, prepared meats such as barbecue pork in sauce, salad dressing -- I might buy bottled salad dressing once every two or three years, when I spy something that sounds and looks tasty, and I generally regret it, and it sits in the fridge for a year or so barely touched until I toss it, because it never tastes remotely as good as dressing I make fresh).

    I make pistachio butter occasionally because I can't find it in the store. I'll make hummus when I want it and I don't have any in the house. I almost always make my guacamole myself, because I like the way it tastes.

    Some convenience things I buy to have in my desk at work, like microwaveable soup, rice, mac and cheese, shelf-stable "TV-dinner" style meals, packets of hot cereal (preferably unsweetened, because then they double as savory grains for lunch), tuna/salmon in a pouch, crackers, individual containers of applesauce, granola bars, Pop Tarts (!).

    Hmmm, what else? I buy bread cubes when I make stuffing, rather than cut up my own, because I don't usually have store-bought bread in the house, so I would be buying it fresh when I need it to be a little stale for stuffing, and I'm not going to bake a loaf from scratch just to let it go a little stale to make stuffing. But I generally only make stuffing a couple of times a year at most -- it's just on my mind because we're just coming out of stuffing season :smile:

    I'm cooking for one most of the time, so if I decide I want meat for sandwiches, I'll more likely buy a small amount from the deli rather than cook a beef/pork/lamb roast, a ham, a chicken, or a turkey from scratch and then have to freeze most of it -- but I do take the latter approach a few times a year. I'm still eating the leftovers from the small ham portion I cooked at Christmas for two people (heated some in a pan with a couple of fried eggs today for breakfast), and there's part of a turkey breast in the freezer that I'll pull out when the ham is done. I'm thinking of seeing how much I could use up in a large pot pie.

    And there's lots of stuff that could be made at home (butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, wine, beer, cured meats, sauerkraut, balsamic or flavored vinegars, bottled fruit juices, dried fruit, preserves, peanut butter, potato chips, tortilla chips) that I don't ever do, because they're time-consuming (at least in the sense of being long-term projects, even if a lot of the time just involves waiting), space-intensive, and/or cry out for specialized equipment, in some cases are inefficient to make in the very small batches that would match my personal consumption levels, and I have my doubts that my home-made results would taste better or even as good as the products I can buy.

    And then there's stuff I can't imagine making in a home kitchen, like cold cereal (shredded wheat, corn flakes, oatmeal squares, raisin bran), canned fish, chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, powdered cheese, olive and other oils ...
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    I rarely/never buy these things.
    Soup, cakes, cookies, canned beans, cheese sauce, gravy mix, hummus, pita bread, potato salad, pasta salad

    I buy these things regularly even though I could make them.
    Bread, pasta, spaghetti sauce, ice cream, tortilla chips, salsa, salad dressings, cheese
  • bebeisfit
    bebeisfit Posts: 951 Member
    Chicken broth. Mine tastes 10 times better than a can or box. And my soup is pretty awesome too. I was sick over the holidays and a friend brought me a can of chicken noodle soup. terrible stuff.

    I do buy canned beans.. I've never gotten the hang of cooking them - they always seem too hard no matter how long they soak and cook.

    I also make my own salad dressing - bottled doesn't compare.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 1,742 Member
    I've always cooked from scratch, but not like my parents. We came out from Hungary during the revolution so they made everything from scratch. Pasta, sausages etc. What I do use tho is cream of mushroom soup, I try different kinds of cooking sauses & dry flavorings to use in my home made dishes. Beans are easy to cook, my son gave me his recipe he likes....Bring to a hard boil, turn off heat & let them sit for 1 hour, drain, add chicken broth & same amount of vegetables as there are bean(we use pinto), cook for 1 hour then get your stick blender or regular & blend in batches, it's really yummy, no fat. You can add bacon, ham etc if you want but don't need to
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    I make my own soup stock and seitan. (I haven't been able to find kosher-certified seitan where I live and didn't want to miss out on some recipes). I also make my own non-dairy ice cream and sorbets. I prefer to make my own hummus, but on rare occasions, I'll pick some up.
  • pebble4321
    pebble4321 Posts: 1,132 Member
    I don't often buy soup, stock, sauces, herb/spice mixes (curry powder, taco mix etc), salad dressing, those are all very easy to make myself.

    I can make pasta, cakes, biscuits, desserts, bread, risotto, lasagne, roast chicken, paneer, jam, rice, mayo etc but sometimes I'm in a hurry or it's more convenient/cost effective to buy them ready made if I only want a certain quantity or don't want to buy ingredients I won't use often.

    I usually buy beans canned rather than dry (but not lentils), stock powder to use as seasoning, tinned tomatoes as a convenient base for soup or casserole ..... probably more the stuff I use as ingredients rather than finished meals.

    I'm intrigued by the person who said they cut their own fruit... it rarely occurs to me to buy fruit any other way. I mean, I might buy quarter of watermelon or half a pineapple because a whole one is too big, but i can't imagine buying something like apple already sliced. In fact, I don't think that's an option here except I think it comes as an option at McDonalds.