Is It Cost-Effective To Make Pantry Staples Yourself?

We love offering DIY recipes — recipes for things like butter, instant oatmeal, chocolate pudding, yellow cake, crackers and jam. You can see a huge list of all our DIY recipes here. But is it more economical to bake your own bread and churn your own butter? If you make your own yogurt, like the kefir pictured above, are you saving money? When is it cost-effective to make your pantry staples at home? The online magazine Slate decided to find out.

Jennifer Reese, the author, points out that while most packaged foods are not nearly as good as homemade, they can also be "spectacularly inexpensive." Grain subsidies, bulk food manufacturing, and the modern economy mean that it may be much less expensive to buy your bagels than to make them yourself.

So Reese goes on an investigative trip to really compare costs between homemade and storebought bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, crackers, jam, and granola. Her findings are fascinating, and she always evaluates taste as well as cost. Sometimes it's worth it to spend a little more and make it at home.

But mostly the price breakdown comes out in the cook's favor; we were surprised at how much cheaper it can be to make your own yogurt, for instance. You can see the whole list and read the article here:

Read it: Scratch That: How cost-effective is it to make homemade pantry staples? at Slate

Have you ever priced out your homemade kitchen staples? What DIY products do you prefer to make at home?

Related: DIY Recipes From the Kitchen

(Image: Flickr member licensed for use under Creative Commons)