Some foods are super expensive. Enjoy the foods you like and save many dollars by making these foods at home.

Granola - It is just a simple combination of oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Mix in some honey and bake to make granola bars. See the recipe below.

Salsa - I love to make my own salsa. Packaged fresh salsa can run $0.40 per ounce. Shop during tomato season and stock up. You can freeze it. Add peppers of your choice, onions, cilantro, salt, some black pepper and lime and there's your salsa!

Chips - Get a basic mandoline which is used for slicing and can turn just about any root vegetable into thin chips. Use regular potatoes or sweet potatoes and fry or bake. Add the salt you desire. Lay's cost $0.40 per ounce for a bag. Compare that to $0.05 per ounce for russet potatoes, you will save a bundle.

Trail Mix - Store-bought is ridiculously expensive. Get your favorite ingredients and mix your own.

Croutons and Breadcrumbs - Save your stale bread. Dice it up into cubes, add butter then toast it for crispy croutons. Pulverize it in a food processor for homemade breadcrumbs.

Yogurt - All you need is milk and a few tablespoons of good-quality plain yogurt to use as a starter. It takes several hours to prepare, but for most of that time you can leave it be and let the bacteria cultures do all the work. Don't forget to reserve a few tablespoons of your homemade yogurt for the next batch.

Spice Blends - Spices are expensive. Make your own spice blends. Many mixes like Chinese five-spice, pumpkin pie spice (1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg), and Italian seasoning can be made with basic seasonings you probably already have on your spice rack.

Recipes from

Fruit and Oatmeal Bars


  • 6 tablespoons grape seed oil, or other neutral oil, plus extra for brushing the pan
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup mixed seeds (such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (such as cranberries, raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, and pineapple — use at least three kinds and cut large fruits into dime-sized pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon

Directions:  This recipe calls for one teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon, so I used 1/2 teaspoon of each. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a nine-by-nine-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hang over the sides of the pan. Brush with oil. Spread the oats and seeds on another baking pan and toast in the oven until they're golden and fragrant, about six to eight minutes, shaking the pan once during toasting. In a saucepan, combine the oil, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. Transfer the toasted oats and seeds, dried fruit, and cardamom and/or cinnamon to a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the oats, seeds, and dried fruit, and stir until well combined. While the mixture is warm, transfer it to the prepared pan, pressing it into the pan easily with an offset spatula. Bake until brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely. Using the overhanging foil or parchment paper, lift the fruit and oat mixture out of the pan and place on a work surface. Cut into 1-1/2-inch-by-3-inch bars.

Baked Potato Chips


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside.

Put potatoes, oil, 1 tablespoon salt, and the cayenne in a large bowl; season with pepper. Toss to combine.

Arrange potato slices on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1/4 inch apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until potatoes are crisp and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Spread out potatoes on parchment paper; let dry 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Serves 4.