Author Topic: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make  (Read 19909 times)

Schaefer Light

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2017, 09:53:22 AM »
Has anyone tried making kombucha tea?  It's usually $3.50 per 16-oz. bottle in the grocery stores around here.

Noodle

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2017, 11:01:04 AM »
The one that always shocks me is fairly simple baked goods (brownies, cookies, simple cupcakes) as sold at the grocery store bakery. I don't mind at all paying for complicated pastries like croissants, but I can put together the simple stuff at home and it will taste better and cost a lot less. Even using mixes will taste as good and cost less than the bakery stuff.

JanF

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2017, 12:35:17 PM »
Quote
fried potatoes ("chips" in a skillet or "fries" in the oven), especially with sweet potatoes or Yukon gold. My roommates buy frozen cut-up potatoes... WTF??
I am ashamed to admit that I buy frozen fries. I don't know what's wrong with me but I never get them crispy and yummy with regular potatoes!

homemade jerky! I probably save 50%-75% off of "retail" price and get better quality jerky
bacon: I will never go back to store bought bacon ever again
salsa: probably cost me $5-7 to make a huge batch of it vs $5 bottles from the store
bread: I just started trying Jim's simple bread recipe and it's ok so far...I'm probably only going to use this for pizza dough

SunshineAZ

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #53 on: August 21, 2017, 12:51:44 PM »
I have a recipe for making lemon curd in the microwave.  (Those tiny jars you get in the grocery store are barely enough to make anything and they cost like $3.00.)  I make a big batch one day and then the next day or two make a lemon cake and fill it with the lemon curd, then put a few tablespoons in some stabilized whipped cream to make lemon whipped cream frosting.  It stays good in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so I can usually make something else with it the following week.  I don't make it very often, but I get a craving for lemon cake once or twice a year. 

sparkytheop

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #54 on: August 21, 2017, 05:47:56 PM »
Has anyone tried making kombucha tea?  It's usually $3.50 per 16-oz. bottle in the grocery stores around here.

We've been making it for the last year (my ex was making it 20 years ago).  It's simple and easy, you just need a scoby to get started.

GreenSheep

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2017, 06:48:11 PM »
I am ashamed to admit that I buy frozen fries. I don't know what's wrong with me but I never get them crispy and yummy with regular potatoes!

If you haven't tried this already, turn up your oven temp. I can't get anything crispy unless it's at least 400 degrees, and I usually go with about 425. Also, leave some space between the potato slices. If the moisture they're releasing can't evaporate, they'll just stay mushy. The more impatient you are, the thinner your slices should be. :-) Just try to keep them uniform so they'll all cook at the same rate, so you won't have some burned ones and some soggy ones, or burned tips and soggy middles.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2017, 05:36:05 AM »
Has anyone tried making kombucha tea?  It's usually $3.50 per 16-oz. bottle in the grocery stores around here.

We've been making it for the last year (my ex was making it 20 years ago).  It's simple and easy, you just need a scoby to get started.

Sounds simple enough.  I may have to give it a shot.

horsepoor

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2017, 03:25:38 PM »
Today I made tahini and coconut butter.  Both require a high speed blender (I have a Blendtec), but that machine makes it dead easy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2017, 03:50:00 PM »
Hummus is ridiculously easy to make.  We do large batches every few months and freeze them.  (It freezes very well too).

BTW - don't skin chickpeas to make smooth hummus, that takes forever . . . stick your chickpeas in the food processor while they're still hot from boiling and the hummus will come out very smooth and yummy.

SnackDog

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2017, 05:22:20 PM »
I can not think of any prepared food which is not tastier, healthier and cheaper to make from scratch.  Come to think of it, that's why we only buy meat, produce, dairy, and grains at the grocery.  We skip anything with more than a couple items on the ingredient list including just about anything boxed, canned or frozen.  Sounds fanatical but it has just sort of evolved that we are not into the taste of processed foods.  My one indulgence is pickled cherry peppers but I really should grow and pickle my own.

ambimammular

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2017, 06:24:33 PM »
roasted coffee beans

You can buy them green online (shout out to sweetmarias.com), roast them yourself, and get amazing fresh roasted coffee at a fraction of the cost. We've been doing it for 12 years now.

It's hard to spend dollars for the burnt acidic stuff at Starbucks when you know yours tastes better at home.

life_travel

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #61 on: September 03, 2017, 06:52:18 AM »
Thank you for ideas about green coffee beans ! I had to google sites for Australia and I may need to roast and on sell some of it as they come in 1kg bags and I drink coffee on weekends only . But I may end up with our coffee free that way ;)

NatalieMarie

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #62 on: September 03, 2017, 08:20:39 AM »
Has anyone tried making kombucha tea?  It's usually $3.50 per 16-oz. bottle in the grocery stores around here.
Yes! So inexpensive to make! You can make the Scoby starter yourself out of one store bought bottle. Then all it takes is sugar, tea bags, and water! And whatever flavoring you want to add, small amounts of fruit or fruit juice or honey.


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ambimammular

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2017, 12:20:15 PM »
For a while DH and I talked about getting the next-size-up roaster and selling fresh beans in our local community, as a nice little side gig. But decided to wait until we're retired.

If you ask me the Sweet Maria's guy has the dream job, traveling the world, helping small farmer businesses, drinking coffee. If I didn't have small kids and a cat, I could be persuaded...

galliver

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2017, 01:27:23 PM »
Do you need any special equipment to roast coffee? How many batches do you screw up while learning? How long does it take?

sparkytheop

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Re: Foods that are expensive in the store but cheap and easy to make
« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2017, 04:54:15 PM »
Do you need any special equipment to roast coffee? How many batches do you screw up while learning? How long does it take?

My brother has been roasting his own coffee for a long time and has given me several tips, etc. 

Currently, I use a stainless steel "Whirly Pop" (yes, the popcorn popper) to make mine.  He started with a heavy stainless steel broiler pan in the oven (that I bought for him when I was around 18--at his request!  He still loves it 20 years later, probably the most use out of a gift that I've given, anyway...)  I've heard some people use air poppers (again, popcorn popper), but that many don't get hot enough if you want a darker roast.  My brother has some really nice (over $300) coffee roasters.  But, there are many ways to do it, and many cheap ways to do it (even just using a pan you already have and stirring constantly, or a baking sheet, etc).  I'm not sure I'll spend the money on the roaster ("happiness curve"), but I do look forward to when I really figure out exactly what I want (a good espresso coffee).

With the Whirly Pop, I stir constantly, and if I start with 1 cup (by volume, close to 5 oz weight), it takes me about 12 minutes.  If I start with 2 cups, it the time about doubles.

Start with small batches and play a little to see what you like.  By my fourth batch, I had it pretty well sighted in (until I doubled the amount I made...) as far as temp, time, color, etc.

Even so, my first batch was good, and I was able to reduce the amount of sugar I used in my coffee.  I'm not at my brother's level yet (he can make it so good that I can drink it black), but he has years of experience on me.

I got the tips from him, and then watched some youtube videos.