Mother and daughter preparing dough

12 Foods Moms Can Make at Home to Avoid Costly Convenience Fees

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Eating out occasionally saves you cooking time and gives you the much-needed rest, but it doesn’t always give you better-tasting food. In fact, there are many dishes that you can make at home that are not only cheaper but also tastier than their restaurant counterparts. Even in grocery stores, certain items are much better to make from scratch at home to avoid convenience fees.

In addition to better flavor, you’ll know exactly what ingredients are used in your meals and can adjust them to your liking. That means fewer preservatives and oils, healthier options, and accommodating any dietary restrictions or allergies. Plus, cooking at home is a great way to bond with family and friends over shared meals.

These are foods people tend to buy or eat out but are cheaper and tastier to make at home. They are also surprisingly easy to make, so give them a try and impress yourself and your loved ones!

1. Spaghetti Sauce

girl eating noodles
Photo Credit:

Spaghetti is a classic go-to meal for many people, especially younger ones. When you consider the cost of the ingredients (noodles and sauce), the price paid at a restaurant is often a large markup.

The store-bought sauce can also be expensive and often contains added sugars and preservatives. What’s the solution?

To make spaghetti sauce at home, you’ll need canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomato paste, and spices. All you have to do is sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil, add the canned tomatoes and paste, and simmer for about 20 minutes while adding your desired spices, and voila! You have a delicious, flavorful sauce at a fraction of the cost.

2. Steak

Woman cooking and grilled meat at home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

A good steak in a restaurant will cost you a pretty penny, but when you learn to make it well, you may never buy steak again. A genuinely good cut of fresh meat only needs a simple seasoning of salt and pepper to bring out its natural flavors. Plus, with the right cooking techniques, you can achieve a perfect medium-rare steak that will rival any restaurant’s version.

The key is to purchase high-quality meat from a trusted butcher or supplier. You can even buy nicer cuts of meat for the home that’ll taste way better and still save money. You can also save money by buying larger cuts of meat and portioning them out for multiple meals.

3. Pancakes

Portrait of a mother and her son eating pancakes for breakfast
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Pancakes are a popular breakfast food to grab at a diner for breakfast or brunch. While they are often one of the cheaper options on a menu, they can easily become an expensive habit if you regularly buy them at restaurants. Plus, they are often made with cheap pre-made mixes that only require adding water (which is ridiculously easy to make at home).

Making pancakes at home is incredibly easy and much cheaper. You only need a few basic pantry staples, like flour, eggs, milk, and butter. If you want to make them healthier, you can experiment with whole wheat flour or add fruit or nuts for added nutrients and flavor.

If you don’t have the time or patience to make pancakes from scratch, you can grab a bag of premade mix that most restaurants use anyway and make them at home for a fraction of the cost.

4. Oat Milk

Cute little girl with milk and healthy breakfast at table in kitchen
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Oat milk has become a trendy dairy-free alternative for coffee and lattes. At some coffee shops, it can add an extra dollar or more to your drink. The good news is that it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to make at home (along with all of your coffee habits). You can grab oat milk from the store or make your own for literally pennies on the dollar.

All you need is rolled oats, water, a blender, and some cheesecloth. Soak the oats in water for about 30 minutes, blend them until creamy, strain through cheesecloth, and voila! You have fresh oat milk ready to use. You can even add some flavorings like vanilla or maple syrup for added taste.

5. Bread

mom and daughter laughing cooking having fun
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

According to some people, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make bread at home. It can initially feel intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to return to store-bought bread.

All you need is flour, yeast, salt, and water (allowing you to skip all the preservatives). Countless recipes are available online for different types of bread, from traditional loaves to artisanal sourdough. Making your own bread allows you to customize it with different herbs, spices, and mix-ins to create unique flavors.

6. Pizza

Mother and daughter baked a pizza
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

There’s no valid explanation for why pizza should cost the way it does, and it’s excellent that you can make even better pizza at home. You can even make your own dough (similar to bread-making) or opt for the store-bought version for convenience. Either way, you’re likely saving a significant amount of money by not ordering delivery.

Making pizza at home is cheaper and allows you to customize it with all your favorite toppings without any extra charges. Plus, it’s a fun and easy meal to make with friends or family, adding to the overall experience.

7. Chicken Wings

Woman cooking chicken wings in frying pan on stove
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

A good plate of chicken wings tastes heavenly, and the prices for a plate of good chicken wings are also in the heavens. Instead of going out, making chicken wings at home can be a more budget-friendly option.

All you need is some chicken wings (which are cheap), flour, spices, and oil for frying. You can even make healthier versions by baking the wings instead of frying them. And with different sauces and seasonings, you can create endless flavor combinations to satisfy your cravings.

The secret to making your own chicken wings is getting the temperatures right; once you achieve that, you may never buy chicken wings again.

8. Kimchi

Woman preparing kimchi at home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This traditional Korean dish is a favorite of many, and did you know you can make it at home for way less than you’d get at your local store or restaurant. While a small jar at a specialty store can cost over $10, you could literally make a massive batch at home for the same price.

You only need cabbage, chili flakes, garlic, and other seasonings. It does take some time to ferment properly, but the wait is worth it when you have delicious homemade kimchi ready to add some flavor and health benefits to your meals.

9. Omelets

Little boy eating breakfast eggs and looking at the camera
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Omelets are a classic breakfast dish that is often found on restaurant menus. But why spend money on something you can easily make at home with just a few ingredients?

All you need are eggs, milk, salt, and pepper (plus any additional fillings like cheese, veggies, or meat). Omelets are also a great way to use up leftovers in your fridge, reducing food waste and saving money.

Making an omelet may seem simple, but mastering the technique can elevate your cooking skills and impress your friends and family at breakfast or brunch gatherings. This skill allows you to make a tasty dish for a dollar or two rather than $15 or more at a typical restaurant.

10. Corn Bread 

Mother showing small daughter how to stir eggs
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Cornbread is a delicacy loved by many, and, unfortunately, it’s pricey in most eateries. However, making it at home is not only cheaper but also allows you to customize it to your liking.

You can use a basic cornbread mix from the store or make your own with simple ingredients like cornmeal, flour, sugar, and butter. You can even add in some jalapenos or bacon for an extra kick of flavor.

Plus, cornbread is a versatile side dish that pairs well with many main dishes, making it a valuable skill to have in your cooking repertoire. So next time you’re craving cornbread, save some money and make it at home instead.

11. Hummus

Close up Healthy Young Woman Cooking Blowing Food Wooden Spoon Kitchen
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Hummus, a popular Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, is another dish that can be made at home for much cheaper than store-bought versions. It will likely come with a hefty price tag if it is available as an appetizer at a restaurant.

You can have creamy and delicious hummus ready in minutes with just a few simple ingredients: chickpeas (dried or canned), tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Plus, making hummus at home allows you to customize the flavor and texture to your liking. You can add different herbs, spices, or roasted vegetables to create unique variations of this classic dip.

Hummus is a tasty snack and a healthy one, packed with protein and nutrients. By making it at home, you can save money while indulging in this delicious and versatile dish.

12. Granola

Two sisters preparing granola together
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Granola is a popular breakfast food that can also be enjoyed as a snack or topping for yogurt or smoothie bowls. However, store-bought versions are often expensive and filled with added sugars and preservatives.

Making granola at home is more affordable and allows you to control the ingredients and add in your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or spices. It’s a simple process of mixing oats, honey, oil, and desired mix-ins before baking it in the oven until crispy.

With homemade granola, you can have a nutritious and delicious breakfast option that is much more budget-friendly than its store-bought counterpart. Plus, you can make large batches at once to last you for several meals, saving even more money in the long run.


Genius or Gross- 12 Unique Food Pairings People Love

Woman disgusted with stinky meal on stove
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Certain food pairings are hailed as matches made in culinary heaven, celebrated universally for their perfection. While unconventional pairings may not be the norm, they can surprise you with their astonishing synergy. Many individuals have chanced upon unexpected food combinations that are delightful surprises for the palate.

Genius or Gross- 12 Unique Food Pairings People Love

13 Common Kid Foods That Are Total Junk

Cute little toddler child, eating homemade plum pie at home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

At some point, society decided that kids like bland processed foods rather than flavorful “adult” food and fresh products. Of course, some kids—just like adults—lean toward these types of foods, but the overarching assumption isn’t doing our kids any favors.

In fact, traditional kids’ foods, which you often find in the frozen section, on lunch cafeteria options, and at restaurants on the kid’s menu, are not always the healthiest options for children.

13 Common Kid Foods That Are Total Junk

Author: Mercy Kambura

Title: Writer

Expertise: Language, literacy, motherhood

Mercy Kambura is a Creative Non-fiction Writer, Content Writer, and Blogger with a Degree in Language and Literary Studies.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *