Small Batch

11 Grocery Store Items You Could Be Making at Home

By • July 25, 2014 • 25 Comments

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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: With eleven easy DIY recipes, you can make headway on your ever-growing grocery list, right from the comfort of your kitchen.

Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Unless you've just survived the Trader Joe's checkout line at 8:30 PM on a Sunday, do not expect to be congratulated on your trip to the grocery store. Unlike your parents and your parents' parents -- those brave souls who harnessed the dinosaurs and rode them to the spice bazaar -- it's easy for you to zip to the supermarket and pick up everything you need. 

But if you're in that mid-summer slump and looking for a reason to self-congratulate, try making a few of the items that normally end up on your ever-growing grocery list from scratch. Not only will the homemade versions save you money, but they'll taste better and be better for you, too.

More: Goodbye, Hidden Valley -- make your own Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing at home.

We know that at this time of year, you'd rather be in the pool than the kitchen, so we've gathered our most hands-off DIY recipes. You'll still feel the thrill of having accomplished something, and you can even add your own fancy labels

Pickled Ginger by molly yeh

Pickled Ginger

 

Sweetened Condensed Milk by stephanie le

Sweetened Condensed Milk

 

Barbecue Sauce by PhoebeLapine

Barbecue Sauce

 

Chocolate Syrup by Cara Eisenpress

Chocolate Syrup

 

Peanut Sauce by PhoebeLapine

Peanut Sauce

 

Pizza Dough by amber wilson | for the love of the south

Pizza Dough

 

Homemade Nutella by Carey Nershi

Homemade Nutella

 

Curry Paste by petitbleu

Curry Paste

 

Vanilla and Lavender Extracts by Trisha Jones

Vanilla and Lavender Extracts

 

French Onion Dip by Sarah Coates

French Onion diP

 

Coconut Milk by Tieghan

What are your favorite grocery store staples to DIY? Tell us in the comments below!

Jump to Comments (25)

Tags: how-to & DIY, small batch, homemade, from scratch, DIY, coconut milk, curry paste, pickled ginger, syrup, condiments, sauces

Comments (25)

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30 days ago SherryMarie

I DID make a pickled ginger that was perfectly serviceable for homemade sushi. Just stir some sugar into a little vinegar (regular or rice). Shave store bought ginger into it. Refrigerate.

Stringio

about 1 month ago Mummierose Rose

Brown sugar

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about 1 month ago Preesi U'Gess

NO, you cannot make homemade PICKLED GINGER! The ginger at the store is NOT the right kind

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about 1 month ago Jane

Carrot Ginger Dressing (Japanese) https://www.blogger.com...

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about 1 month ago Linda

I buy small Roma tomatoes at the produce stand, halve them and roast them. Flavor them with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you prefer. Slow roast on parchment paper, 250 degrees for around 2 hours or until the tomatoes start to dry out. Let cool a bit and put whole cookie sheet of tomatoes in the freezer. When frozen, remove from freezer and put them in a Ziploc freezer bag. Grab a few at a time, to cook with.

Stringio

about 1 month ago David Burnside

We make some of these at home, but never mind all that... Where did those bagels come from?

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about 1 month ago SherryMarie

A great book is 'Make the Bread, Buy the Butter' by Jennifer Reese. It's a hilarious read, as well as very practical as she works through many things that you can make at home and which are worth the time & effort. Her complaint about butter is that unless you have a cow, most of us don't have access to cheap cream, therefore it doesn't make sense to make your own.

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about 1 month ago leslie

Infused oils like chili and rosemary are great to have on hand and very easy to make.

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about 1 month ago Meg in Vermont

Yogurt, yes! (less than half the price, and no plastic containers to recycle or accumulate), granola, bread, mustard, Ketchup, bbq sauce, salad dressing, jam....for a while there we were loving brewing all our own beer.... but with 2 kids and 2 jobs, that seems to be the thing that we just can't manage. but yogurt? yes you can do that!

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about 1 month ago Marcella Hazan

Marcella always made mayonnaise at home. It took her 7 minutes. We never had the kind from a jar except at the home of ill-advised friends.

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about 1 month ago Lisa

And check out Alana Chernila's wonderful book "The Homemade Pantry" for more recipes of things you could be making at home. Check out her site and buy this book. It's changed lives:) http://www.eatingfromthegroundup...

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about 1 month ago Phillippa Cannon

Last weekend I brought homemade basil mayonnaise to a get together at a friend's place. When I told my friends how quick and easy it was to make, the universal reaction was "I am never buying store mayonnaise again."

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about 1 month ago Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's assistant editor.

I didn't think I liked mayonnaise (!!) until I tried homemade versions. Now I am a convert.

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about 1 month ago annemax

Yogurt, granola, mayo, pesto, bacon, croutons, etc, etc.
All so simple and so much tastier!

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about 1 month ago Lazyretirementgirl

Almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk -- but with dried coconut, which takes about 5 minutes, yogurt, bread, barbecue sauce, dried herbs from my garden, granola, iced tea ( don't laugh, I cannot believe people buy iced tea or popcorn premade), roasted sweet peppers. Canning, however, still daunts me --fear of botchulism.

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about 1 month ago M

I never buy ricotta anymore - it's SO easy to make and the taste is infinitely better than the rubbish you get from a store.

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11 days ago Ann

How do you make it?
Amajormom@ yahoo.com

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10 days ago M

I've tried a few recipes, but this smitten kitchen one is by far the best: http://smittenkitchen.com.... It's literally just heating milk, adding lemon & salt, and then letting it strain. SO GOOD!

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about 1 month ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Almond milk . . . Bread . . . Pizza dough . . . . Salad dressing . . . . Pickles . . . . Jams, preserves, marmalade, chutneys (it's been several decades since I've purchased any of these) . . . Crackers . . . . Hummus (Genius Recipe only) . . Cookies (they're a staple, right?) . . . Granola (Genius recipe nearly always) . . Etc.

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about 1 month ago Michael Goodwin

Mayo and pesto. I have a mayo recipe that takes less time to make than to get out the ingredients.

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about 1 month ago Ginger Stark

I make all my own salad dressings and barbecue sauce, pesto, hummus, and pickles
www.starkravingdelicious...

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about 1 month ago Slimfender

How about pesto?

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about 1 month ago susan myers

mayo, spaghetti sauce and yogurt are about the only things I have time to make. simple and quick [yogurt cooks for 6 hrs or more but I don't mess with it during then]