This post idea came from my mother. We, along with several of my friends, have always been obsessed with making things at home, instead of buying them from the store. I really started researching this when we first got married. (Seven years ago!) Pinterest was my best source of finding recipes. I stumbled across several great blogs and recipes. Then about five years ago, our pastor’s wife, Elizabeth, introduced us to Trim Healthy Mama. (www.trimhealthymama.com) Since then, THM cookbooks have been my constant companion in the kitchen! I really learned how to cook from reading and researching their recipes. They made it fun and healthy! And since then, it’s inspired me to experiment and come up with my own recipes. I know I’m not alone in this, there’s a huge community of THM’s out there that would say the exact same thing!
Some of these ideas came from Trim Healthy Mama, others just from myself and my mother, or friends. I love not having to buy these kitchen staples! I also love that they are healthy and not full of preservatives and MSG. And they’re so easy!!
1. Ranch dressing mix/Salad dressing
If you read the ingredients in a store-bought Ranch, you will find some very questionable things… MSG being one of them. Yuck! It costs pennies to make your own.
I like to use an original THM recipe called Rohnda’s Ranch Dressing from The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.
But my mama has put a spin on it. I’ll share her version.
Joy’s Ranch Dressing
½ c. buttermilk
¼ c. yogurt
¼ c mayo
1 tbsp homemade pesto or 1 cube of pesto (frozen in ice cube trays)
Salt and pepper
(Bonus points for making your own buttermilk and yogurt, or mayo!)
Greek Feta Version:
Same base of buttermilk, yogurt, and mayo
Dill, oregano, minced garlic (instead of pesto)
Feta cheese (mashed up with a fork)
(For both of these recipes, if you don’t have buttermilk, just increase the mayo and yogurt.)
2. Taco Seasoning
Why buy preservative laden taco seasoning when you have all the ingredients sitting in your cabinet? It’s just as easy and doesn’t take much time at all. I will just be honest and say I never measure my taco seasonings! I will brown the meat, then add these spices. When it smells right, it’s perfect! I listed them from greatest quantities to least.
Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
This smoked paprika is the best I have ever found. Please try this and your seasoning world will be forever changed! (I receive a small commission from Amazon if you order through any highlighted links on my site.)
3. Spaghetti Sauce
We always have so many tomatoes from our garden. I always can a huge amount of whole tomatoes. I usually like to make at least two runs of spaghetti sauce. This lasts me the whole year. I like to make a very bland base sauce. (I found this particular recipe in a canning book called Put Em Up, by Sheri Brooks Vinton, which I highly recommend for beginning canners. Then when I’m cooking spaghetti, I can spice it up however I like, and it’s not always the same!
I will give all the jelly credit to my Mamaw Janice. Every year she makes muscadine jelly. It has been years since I’ve bought any from the store! She takes care of us big time. I will go ahead and confess something. I cannot make jelly. I’ve tried several times. It might be a patience thing? But I ruin it every time! So thank goodness I have my Mamaw. She even gave me the recipe one time, but somehow I messed it up. Anyone could easily buy some fruit and follow a jelly recipe to avoid having to buy it, though.
See blog post about this! It deserves a whole story to itself. I will never buy it from the store for two reasons. One, it costs money. Two, homemade is infinitely better.
It is obvious why I don’t buy eggs. We have 20-some odd chickens.
These six things I will definitely never ever buy from the store again! What are your “never buy again” staples?