Run out of a regular ingredient or what you might consider grocery essentials? In many cases that pantry staple may be one you can make yourself! Try one of these pantry staples recipes to save time, money, and another trip to the store.
Once in awhile you may find yourself running out of ingredients that you normally keep on hand, the pantry staples that you use on a regular basis. You could run to the store, but what if you really want to stick to your grocery budget this month or just don’t have the time or inclination to go shopping?
You’ll be happy to know that there are a number of traditional pantry staples that you can make yourself. Spaghetti sauce? Enchilada sauce? Chicken stock? Yep. All those pantry staples — and more! — can be made easily (and often better and more cheaply) at home.
Why Do This
You’ll save money making your own pantry staples. There’s a lot of mark-up on commercially produced foods versus raw ingredients. You can save more than a few pennies if you learn to make your own pantry staples.
You can make it tastier. While I still love a boxed mac and cheese on occasion, I’ve realized that making this pantry staple myself with real cheese is so much more delicious!
Making your own pantry staples can save you time. If running to the store becomes a big production, hauling the kids out in the weather or simply spending time waiting in line, you can cut that out by mixing the thing up yourself at home.
Not only that, but when we make things ourselves, we gain a sense of satisfaction and appreciation for the process in prepping pantry staples. Plus, we get a little independence from Big Food.
Whether you make it from scratch for economical reasons or just for fun, it doesn’t matter. Prepping pantry staples can be a delicious way to enjoy great food at home.
Consider these delicious pantry staples you can make yourself:
There’s scratch baking and then there’s assembly baking. There’s a time and place for both, but if you find that you’ve run out of eggs, breadcrumbs, frosting, pie crust, or even different sugars, rest assured you can easily and cheaply make these pantry staples yourself.
- Graham Cracker Pie Crust Recipe
- Easy Homemade Pie Crust
- Flaxseed Meal Egg Substitute: How to Bake Without Eggs
- How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs in the Food Processor
- Homemade Buttercream Frosting (33 cents/serving)
- Easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – Better than the Can
- How to Make Powdered Sugar (12 cents/cup)
- How to Make Brown Sugar (36 cents/cup!)
You might not have time to bake all your bread on a regular basis, but if you keep a few regular baking ingredients on hand, you can easily bake up some substitutes yourself. If you find yourself regularly buying tortillas, garlic bread, pita bread, or bread mixes, consider making these pantry staples from scratch:
- How to Make Frozen Garlic Bread (20 cents/serving)
- Sourdough Rye Bread
- Honey Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread
- Milk and Honey Cornbread
- Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine
- Easy Garlic Breadsticks Recipe
- Homebaked Pita Bread – Something You Must Bake At Least Once
- Homemade Corn Tortillas that Will Rock Your Taco Night
Commercial foods can save a lot of time at the morning meal, but you can save both time and money when you learn to make pancakes, waffles, oatmeal packets, and biscuits yourself!
Run out of buttermilk, ice cream, yogurt, or flavored cream cheese? Depending on what other dairy products you have on hand, you may be able to make it yourself homemade!
Stocks and broths, canned beans, and boxed rice and pasta dishes can help speed along dinner from time to time, but you’ll up the flavor and clean up the ingredient list if you make some of these pantry staples yourself.
- How to Make Chicken Stock (Slow Cooker or Stovetop)
- How to Make Beef Stock
- How to Make Vegetable Broth in the Slow Cooker
- Seasoned Rice Pilaf (38 cents/serving)
- Instant Pot Refried Beans (17 cents/cup)
- How To Cook Pinto Beans (Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, & Stovetop Directions)
- Easy Instant Pot Black Beans [VIDEO]
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese – No Need for a Box!
Sauces & Spreads
There’s no end to the sauces and spreads you can make yourself! Everything from a white sauce, red sauce, yogurt sauce, tartar sauce, you name it sauce, you can make it!
- Mushroom and Onion Gravy Recipe for the Freezer
- Garlic Yogurt Sauce (Tzatziki)
- How to Make a White Sauce or Bechamel (79 cents/batch)
- Easy Red Enchilada Sauce
- Greek Yogurt Tartar Sauce (75 cents/batch)
- Marinara Sauce Simple Enough for Everyday
- How to Make Foolproof Homemade Mayonnaise
- Last-Minute No Cook Pizza Sauce (50 cents/cup)
- How to Make Garlic Butter
- Easy Guacamole Recipe
- Small Batch English Pickle Recipe for American Kitchens
- Naturally Sweetened Apricot BBQ Sauce
Seasoning & Spices
One of the benefits of making your own seasonings and spice blends is that you get control, control of both the ingredients as well as the quantity. No need to buy a big tub of something. Make just as much as you need, as spicy as you like it!
Snack foods can cost a pretty penny, but you can save on these pantry staples by learning to make your own. Chances are the homemade version will taste better and cost less. That’s a win-win!
- Cheddar Coins – aka Homemade Cheez Its
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Homemade Croutons for Salad or Soup (18 cents/cup)
- Slow Cooker Applesauce (only 65 cents/cup!)
- Homemade Chocolate Pudding (33 cents/serving)
- Nut-Free Homemade Trail Mix (15 cent/serving)
- Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels (16 cents/each)
- Mamabars (aka DIY Larabar Recipe)
- Cocoa Brownies
- Jalapeno Cheese Dip
- Coconut-Millet Snack Bars
- Wholesome Energy Bars
While canned soups are handy pantry staples to keep on hand, sometimes you want something with a little more flavor and less cost. You can make almost any soup pretty easily at home, including those cream of soups you use in cooking.
- Homemade Dry Onion Soup Mix to Replace the Packets
- Easy Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup for Cooking
- Homemade Cream of Celery Soup (96 cents/batch)
- Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- Alphabet Soup (43 cents/cup)
- Smoky Bean Soup
- Chicken Gumbo Soup – Better Than the Can
- Quickest Chili in the West – Slow Cooker or Stovetop
This post was originally published on January 8, 2015. It has been updated for content and clarity.