Buying certain foods at the store can definitely save time, but it can also get expensive, not to mention it isn't always the healthiest option. The good news is there are definitely store-bought foods you can make at home to help cut weekly costs and give you way more control over what's going in your body.
In an article for Forbes, certified coach and financial planner Mindy Crary said when she works with clients, time and time again food is the single easiest and most significant way they can save money, as well as a way to maximize personal satisfaction out of what they eat. She noted that there is just a certain positive feeling we get when eating foods we prepared ourselves.
I'm someone who admittedly doesn't love to cook — or more accurately, I don't love the idea of cooking. But when I actually get myself to the store to buy ingredients and reserve some time on my Sunday for a cooking or baking project, I always end up totally enjoying myself and am super glad I did it.
So if you're a store-bought food junky looking to make a change, here are nine recipe hacks for meals and snacks you can absolutely make just as delicious at home.
According to this how-to video from YouTuber and Hip2Save founder Colin Morgan, you can spend $1,000 a year just on lattes if you buy one every day (and I just did a quick calculation: it actually amounts to way more if I were to buy one every day at the coffee place by my house). Luckily, you can actually make a pretty decent one at home that will fool the average Starbucks lover.
Most people don't even realize you can make hummus super easily at home, and it usually tastes even better than store-bought brands because you can tailor the recipe to your specific taste (more or less lemon juice, garlic, pepper, etc). And even though a jar of tahini may seem like a big upfront cost, it lasts forever.
3. Mac And Cheese
That's right! Macaroni and cheese doesn't have to come bright orange and out of a box! Plus, when you make your own at home, you can experiment with all kinds of different cheese mixes, like gouda and mozzarella.
4. Granola Bars
Homemade granola bars are awesome to have on hand for a snack on the go, and you have total control over how much sugar and other ingredients go into them when you make them yourself. And if granola isn't your thing, you can always opt for breakfast muffins for a similar on-the-go snack.
5. Cheesy Crackers
I make these for holiday parties and I promise — they are amazing. They taste so much better than store-bought cheesy crackers, and everyone is always incredibly impressed when they find out they're homemade.
6. Fruit Snacks
These are an awesome alternative to the fruit snacks you buy at the store, and you can make a huge batch to last you weeks and weeks. And if you don't feel like investing in special molds, just use ice cube trays.
7. Peanut Butter Cups
Not only are these super fun to make, but this particular recipe from fitness expert Danette May is actually good for you and packed with nutritious ingredients. And you can perfectly tailor the chocolate to peanut butter ratio to your liking.
8. Fruit Roll-Ups
This isn't only a super fun DIY project, but it's a way to easily get your fruit serving for the day as well. And you can make yours as sweet or as tart as you'd like!
OK, I admittedly have not tried this recipe yet, but now that I know about it I seriously can not wait to make it. My favorite thing about it is that you can use the fruits that are in season for super fresh and seasonal options, and you're actually getting a dose of fiber since you're using the whole fruit.
You should never have to forgo your favorite foods just because you're trying to limit your budget or feel like they'll undermine your health goals. There are creative and genuinely fun-to-make alternatives of almost every one of your store-bought favorites. So enjoy!