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Better and cheaper if you make it yourself


Fat Guy
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But if you have a bread machine, fresh bread is really really easy, even if you bake it in the oven.  I made a freeform cheddar loaf yesterday with a total of 5 minutes of active involvment.  I've not purchased a cheese bread I like better, and it's definately cheaper.

You don't even need the breadmaker if you have a heavy-duty mixer.

Ease is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I can make bread in my sleep. Stovetop rice? For the life of me, I can't get it right. (Well, now I can, thanks to a rice cooker!)

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Ricotta Cheese.  Easy.  MUCH cheaper than you buy.  Definitely tastier.

Hmm. I'm not sure about this. Of course, I live in New York City and have access to amazing quality ricotta -- way better than I've had homemade -- at places like Fairway. I'd also argue against homemade being much cheaper than bought. A half-gallon of milk is going to run around 2 bucks, and at best will result in something like 2 cups of curd cheese (homemade "ricotta" isn't actually real ricotta cheese). So, we're talking about something like another buck fifty for an equivalent amount of much better ricotta. And it's a pretty big pain in the butt to make for what you get.

I might feel differently if all I could get were Polly-O.

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I'm definitely in the condiment/dressing camp for easier and faster.

-Hummus

-Tzatziki

-Salad dressing

-Honey mustard

Some others:

-Tomato Sauce

-Pancakes (they sell pre-made batter over here and I just don't get it)

-Mashed potatoes (again, they sell dehydrated stuff as "convenience food" and there's just no reason for it)

-vanilla sugar

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While we're on the subject of bread machines, for those who have one, homemade bagels!

I made my first batch of homemade bagels last week and wonder what took me so long to get around to them! Easier than pie, and much cheaper and tastier than storebought bagels.

I just threw all the ingredients in the bread machine, let it knead and rise on "dough" setting, took out the dough -- which was smooth, warm, and easy to work with -- shaped it into balls, flattened the bagels a little, poked a hole in each center, boiled them 1 minute, then transferred them to a baking sheet to bake for about 30 minutes.

SuzySushi

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I'd think that  tomato sauce, as discussed in this thread in Cooking, might qualify.

Though since I haven't priced Prego in years, I'm not sure about the "cheaper."  I think "easy" & "better" are pretty much indisputable, but there's always the question of "easy for whom"?

Jar of sauce 2.99 needs to be tweaked with herbs and garlic...(nasty)

Can of tomato "product" .50 to .80 needs to be cooked with herbs and garlic

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That does it. I'm in the market for a cheap (USED?) bread machine. Bread is always cheaper to make yourself, and if a doofus like me can make decent loaf, anyone can. But, bagels? Count me IN!

More Than Salt

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What recipes do you guys have for ketchup, the Joy of Cooking recipe that's supposed to be the standard? I'm planting a bunch of tomato plants this year, so I might be up for a run at ketchup.

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

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bread crumbs

croutons

so easy. better, especially if you make your own bread, but even bakery bread makes these better and certainly cheaper to use your end of loaf left overs.

Judith Love

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I grew up thinking I didn't like pancakes because my mother only made the original Aunt Jemima in the red box. Even the thought of the texture all these years later nauseates me. I can have delicious blueberry buttermilk pancakes on the table 20 minutes after taking the flour out of the cabinet. Just as easy and sooo much better.

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lovebenton0 is so right. Croutons especially. We save the heels of bread, just for croutons!

Also, I didn't grow up eating it, so never learned until this year, but bread stuffing.

Sheesh, it was soo easy! My sister's kids worship the stuff in the red canister, but my #1boy is a Florida cracker at heart, and his mother gave me her recipe, which of course, as a meddling girlfriend, I tweaked. Still, SO easy and cheap, and wow, it's good!

More Than Salt

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Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

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Along the lines of toast, don't forget the premade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with the crust already cut off.

Waffles.

Pizza is easier for me to order or buy, simply for the convenience. Though if I could find a good quality frozen pizza dough, that would probably change.

And iced tea in a jug I think is bought more for the fact that it is already in a jug, just put it in the fridge and you are good to go. I often buy a local brand here just to bring to bring to pot lucks and such. I can make gallons of the stuff no sweat, but the lack of transportable containers, and the lack of space to store those empty containers for re-use means that the premium for the convenience is worth it.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Stocks. Fish. Chicken. Beef. And especially vegetable.

Some work in the skimming, but how hard is it to have a big pot of water handy to through the odds and sods into? Then you leave it alone to cool, and bung it into the freezer in a bottle for later?

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Cooked dried beans. It's far easier for me to have a bunch of dried ones in the pantry than a bunch of cans, and the canned ones aren't as good or satisfying to make. If you don't have time to slow cook them and you use the boil for a minute, let 'em sit for an hour, drain and simmer method, they're still better than the canned ones.

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i'm brand spankin' new to egullet and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!! i was suffering with major eye strain yesterday after reading zillions of posts. anyway, a resounding yes to homemade salad dressing, particularly any bleu cheese variety. also, haven't purchased sore bought ice cream in years.

Leslie Crowell

it will all be fine in the end. if it isn't fine, it isn't the end.

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Spotted another one today at the liquor store: bottled sugar syrup. Why does this product exist? What could be simpler than simple syrup?

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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Not least: bottled water.

This confuses me a little... I buy water bottles because a) they are easy to carry around and not worrisome to lose, and b) the water tastes better. What's wrong with that?

Edited by enurmi (log)

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Spotted another one today at the liquor store: bottled sugar syrup.  Why does this product exist?  What could be simpler than simple syrup?

How many bars have kitchens? How many bars would pass health inspections with something made at home in a mason jar?

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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