Basic Foods You’re Better Off Making at Home


Southwestern Taco Salad with Skinny Chipotle DressingMany simple foods are not only easy to make at home, the results are cheaper, healthier and much tastier than the store-bought varieties.

From cheese to peanut butter, here are 10 delicious DIY food projects.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract, for all your baking needs, is pretty simple to make yourself: all you need is some vanilla bean and a small amount of alcohol.


You probably had no idea that you could make cream cheese and ricotta cheese at home. Aside from the freshness, you’ll be able to add in your own flavors.


Buttermilk is an acquired taste, but also useful for baking recipes. Buying a large amount in the store usually ends in throwing out most of the leftovers. By adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to milk you can make just as much as you want, by yourself.

Spice mixes

Spices are some of the most expensive items in the supermarket. Save on the “mixed” spice varieties you can buy there by using the main ingredients of these mixes that you already have.


Making chicken or beef stock at home is easy and will use up a lot of scraps that you’ll throw away in any case. You can freeze any extra and use it for tons of recipes later on.

Nut milks

Soy, almond and other kinds of alternative milks can all be made DIY, for much cheaper than retail prices.


It’s not a secret that freshly-baked bread is the best kind. You can make your own right at home, with minimal prep time. While there are many kinds of bread and levels of difficulty in baking, the simplest kinds of bread can even be made on the stovetop!

Peanut butter

DIY peanut butter will introduce you to a new, delicious taste that will keep you from buying the factory-made version ever again. All you need to make it yourself is some roasted peanuts and a food processor.

Salad dressing

There is a ridiculously simple recipe for a salad dressing base that can then be altered and customized in a million ways. It uses some very simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, like mayonnaise, oil, salt and pepper. There’s no need to buy commercial dressings ever again.