44 Things You’ve Been Buying that You Should Make Instead

Homemade versions of these kitchen staples are cheaper and healthier than their store-bought counterparts-and they taste much better, too.

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Crescent Dinner Rolls

These light, golden rolls have a heavenly homemade flavor and aroma. Mom never hesitates to whip up a batch of these from-scratch rolls, since they're a delightful way to round out a meal. —Debra Falkiner, St. Charles, Missouri
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Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter

Store varieties of chocolate-hazelnut butter just can’t compete with the homemade kind. Slather it on everything from toast and pretzels to banana chunks and shortbread cookies. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Brown Sugar & Banana Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a favorite breakfast food, quick, easy and filling. I came up with this version by using some of the same ingredients from my favorite breakfast smoothie. Add bran cereal for a heartier taste and more fiber. A brown sugar substitute and soy milk also blend in well. —Jessi Rizzi, Odenton, Maryland
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Homemade Tortillas

I usually have to double this flour tortilla recipe because we go through them so quickly. The homemade tortillas are so tender and chewy, you’ll never use store-bought again after learning how to make tortillas. —Kristin Van Dyken, Kennewick, Washington
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Homemade Guacamole

I always judge a Tex-Mex restaurant by its guacamole. And although it's simple to prepare, it can go wrong oh, so easily. I've spent many years perfecting mine, to the point where I think it's better than most restaurants. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

DIY canning spaghetti sauce recipes are a tomato grower's dream come true! Use up your garden bounty and enjoy it later in the year. —Tonya Branham, Mt. Olive, Alabama
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Homemade Pasta Dough

Go for it. It's easier than you think, and once you try homemade pasta, you're hooked! —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cold-Day Chicken Noodle Soup

When I was sick, my mom would make me this heartwarming chicken noodle soup. It was soothing when I had a cold, but this soup is a bowlful of comfort on any chilly day. —Anthony Graham, Ottawa, lllinois
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Crusty Homemade Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cinnamon-Raisin Granola Bars

I make these chewy bars with cinnamon, raisin and maple for quick breakfast and road trip. You can use chocolate chips instead of raisins. —Kristina Miedema, Houghton, New York
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New England Baked Beans

For a potluck or picnic, you can’t beat this classic side that starts with a pound of dried beans. Molasses and maple syrup give it a slight sweetness. —Pat Medeiros, Tiverton, Rhode Island
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Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate

Here's a concentrate that allows you to enjoy a refreshing summer beverage any time of year. Sweet raspberries balance the tartness from lemons. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Enchilada Sauce

This chunky, mild sauce is a great way to use up abundant veggies from the garden. It tastes great on Mexican dishes and scrambled eggs. —Rebecca Schwegman, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
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All-Around Seasoning Mix

I always keep this all-purpose seasoning mixture on hand. It’s good on anything, especially grilled pork, chicken and vegetables. We've developed a taste for heat, and this does supply some. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Canned Blueberry Jam

Summer doesn't feel complete without at least one berry-picking trip and a batch of homemade blueberry jam. Eat atop fresh scones or biscuits for maximum enjoyment! —Marisa McClellan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Buttermilk Pancakes

You just can't beat a basic buttermilk pancake for a down-home country breakfast. Paired with sausage and fresh fruit, these pancakes are just like the ones you get at Cracker Barrel. —Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan
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Roasted Tomato Salsa

Our family's all-time favorite salsa, this recipe is the reason we grow a huge garden every summer. We make gallons of it and share with our neighbors. You might find yourself eating it right out of the bowl with a spoon. —Donna Kelly, Orem, Utah
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Deli-Style Potato Salad

I was inspired by my grandmother to cook, and loved going to her house for Sunday dinner. She passed her cooking skills down, and today my mom and I still make this potato salad. —Sally L. Miner, El Mirage, Arizona
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Herb-Happy Garlic Bread

You'll love the fresh garlic and herbs in this recipe. The mild goat cheese that’s sprinkled on top makes it extra rich and wonderful. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Homemade Pizza Sauce

For years, I had trouble finding a pizza my family liked, so I started making my own. The evening I served it to company and they asked for my recipe, I knew I'd finally gotten it right! When I prepare my sauce, I usually fix enough for three to four pizzas and freeze it. Feel free to spice up the sauce to suit your own taste. —Cheryl Kravik, Spanaway, Washington
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Quick & Easy Honey Mustard

This fast, easy mustard with rice vinegar and honey has more flavor than any other honey mustard dressing I've ever tried. —Sharon Rehm, New Blaine, Arkansas
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Homemade Corn Muffins with Honey Butter

I turn classic corn bread muffins into something special by serving them with a honey butter. They're gone in a flash! —Suzanne McKinley, Lyons, Georgia
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Spinach-Basil Pesto

Toss this rich, garlicky pesto with pasta or use as a spread. It also freezes well for fresh flavor over the winter. —Jaye Beeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce

I've never cared that much for store bought barbecue sauce. I just like to make things myself from scratch including this spicy, deep red-brown sauce. You'll find it clings well when you slather it on grilled meat. —Helena Georgette Mann, Sacramento, California
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Refrigerator Jalapeno Dill Pickles

I’m passionate about making pickles. My husband is passionate about eating them. He's too impatient to let them cure on the shelf, so I found this quick recipe to make him happy. Add hotter peppers if you like. —Annie Jensen, Roseau, Minnesota
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Sweet Tea Concentrate

Sweet iced tea is a southern classic, and this is a fabulous recipe for tea lovers or for a party. The concentrate will make 20 servings. —Natalie Bremson, Plantation, Florida
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Hurry-Up Biscuits

When I was young, my mom would make these biscuits with fresh cream she got from a local farmer. I don't go to those lengths, but the family recipe is still a real treat. —Beverly Sprague, Baltimore, Maryland
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Classic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These make-ahead mashed potatoes save me a ton of time on Christmas Day. No more frantically whipping the potatoes while hungry family and guests hang around the kitchen! —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington
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Spicy Refried Beans

Need a quick appetizer? All you need is a can of refried beans, jalapeno pepper, seasonings and cheese. Serve with tortilla chips on the side for scooping. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Roasted Chicken

This tender chicken is a real time-saver on a busy weekend. A simple blend of seasonings makes it a snap to prepare, and it smells heavenly as it roasts. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington
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Homemade Chicken Stock

Peppercorns and a handful of herbs add the perfect seasoning to this low-sodium stock developed here at
  • Taste of Home.
  • Browning the chicken and sauteeing the veggies gives it more flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

    This is exactly what you can find in store-bought chicken stock.

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    Quick and Easy Strawberry Jam

    This is an easy and tasty way to use up a freshly picked quarts of summer strawberries. It makes about seven half-pints, so there's enough to share. —Ball Brand and Kerr Brand home canning products
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    Delicious Chocolate Sauce

    Dressing up a dish of ice cream is especially easy with this sauce. It mixes together in a matter of minutes! The sauce serves another purpose, too. One batch yields so much, I have plenty extra to pour into pint jars and give out as gifts. —Dorothy Anderson, Ottawa, Kansas
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    Frozen Berry & Yogurt Swirls

    I enjoy these frozen yogurt pops because they double as a healthy snack and a cool, creamy sweet treat. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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    Homemade Croutons

    You can change up these basic homemade croutons recipe by substituting your favorite herbs and spices. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix

    Give this versatile mix in a decorative jar with instructions for making dip or dressing. Then tuck it into a gift basket along with a pretty serving bowl and snack crackers or chips. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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    Honey Bagels

    Who has time to make from-scratch bagels? You do, with this easy recipe! The chewy golden bagels offer a hint of honey and will win over even the pickiest eaters. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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    Homemade Peanut Butter

    We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. My homemade version is easier on my wallet, and I know what ingredients are in it. It's also a lot tastier! —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska
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    Spicy Ketchup

    When this homemade ketchup is bubbling on the stove, the aroma takes me back to childhood. One taste and I’m home again. —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii
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    Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce

    Here's a comforting, home-style treat that never loses its appeal. Dish up big bowlfuls and wait for the smiles! —Marilee Cardinal, Burlington, New Jersey
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    Homemade Vanilla Extract

    Homemade vanilla is fun to give in decorative bottles with attractive labels. Share it with special friends who like to cook or bake. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
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    Vanilla Coffee Creamer

    Flavored coffee creamer drives my husband nuts. Even so, I still make this classic vanilla one all the time. It’s better (and cheaper) than store-bought—and I know exactly what’s in it! —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California
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    Homemade Chicken Potpie

    Why look for potpie in the frozen food aisle when this easy version tastes much better? The chicken pot pie's crust is so tender and flaky, and underneath you'll find the ultimate comfort food for kids and adults. —Amy Briggs, Gove, Kansas