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45 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.

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

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

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

Homemade Tortillas

I usually have to double this flour tortilla recipe because we go through these so quickly. The tortillas are so tender, chewy and simple, you’ll never use store-bought again. —Kristin Van Dyken, West Richland, Washington

Homemade Guacamole

Ever wonder how to make guacamole? Get the most delicious guacamole with this recipe! Just whip together this recipe for easy guacamole with your favorite ingredients.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Classic Hummus

We love hummus, and this version is really amazing. If you have a pressure cooker, this is an easy, tasty reason to pull it out! We pair hummus with fresh veggies for a meal or snack. —Monica and David Eichler, Lawrence, Kansas

Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

This DIY spaghetti sauce is a tomato-grower's dream come true! Use up your garden bounty and enjoy it later in the year. —Tonya Branham, Mt. Olive, Alabama

Homemade Pasta Dough

Go for it. Once you try homemade pasta, you're hooked. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

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

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

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

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

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

All-Around Seasoning Mix

I always keep this mixture on hand; it’s good on anything, especially grilled pork, chicken and vegetables. Kenneth has developed a taste for heat, and this does supply some.—Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas

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

Buttermilk Pancakes

You just can't beat a basic buttermilk pancake recipe for a down-home hearty breakfast. Pair it with sausage and fresh fruit for a mouthwatering morning meal. —Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan

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

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

Herb-Happy Garlic Bread

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

Homemade Pizza Sauce

For years, I had trouble finding a pizza my family likes, so I started making my own. The evening I served it to company and they asked for my recipe, I thought, I finally got 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 family's tastes. —Cheryl Kravik, Spanaway, Washington

Quick & Easy Honey Mustard

This fast, easy mustard with rice vinegar and honey has more flavor than any other honey-mustard dressing I have ever tried. —Sharon Rehm, New Blaine, Arkansas

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

Spinach-Basil Pesto

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

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

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

Sweet Tea Concentrate

Sweet iced tea is a Southern classic and this is a fabulous recipes for those tea lovers or for a party. The concentrate will make 20 servings.—Natalie Bremson, Plantation, Florida

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

Creamy Turkey Gravy

With my easy recipe, even someone who has never made homemade gravy before can be assured of success. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas.

Classic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

This light holiday staple saves time on Christmas day. No more frantically whipping the potatoes while hungry family and guests hang around the kitchen! —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington

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

Roasted Chicken

This moist and 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

Homemade Chicken Stock

Peppercorns and a handful of herbs add the perfect seasoning to this low-sodium stock developed by our Test Kitchen home economists. To give it even more flavor, they first browned the chicken and sauteed the veggies. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

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

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

Homemade Croutons

You can change up this basic crouton recipe by substituting your favorite herbs and spices. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

Honey Bagels

Who has time to make from-scratch bagels? You do with this easy recipe from our Test Kitchen staff. The chewy golden bagels offer a hint of honey and are sure to impress the pickiest of palates. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Homemade Peanut Butter

We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. I checked the price of peanut butter up here against the cost of making my own and found mine to be much cheaper, with the added value of knowing what goes into it! Not to mention it's a whole lot tastier. —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska

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

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

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract is a fun gift to give in decorative bottles with attractive labels, for those special friends who like to cook or bake. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington

Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Flavored coffee creamer drives my husband nuts—he calls it "lady coffee." Even so, I make this classic vanilla one all the time. Check out my blog, shaunasever.com, for ways to spice it up. —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California

Homemade Chicken Potpie

Why look for potpie in the frozen food aisle when this easy homemade version tastes much better? Under its golden-brown crust, you'll find the ultimate comfort food for kids and adults. —Amy Briggs, Gove, Kansas

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