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5 awesome ingredients you can make from scratch

Here are five amazing DIY ingredients that making from scratch will save you a fortune! Oh and did we mention that some of them are delicious as well?

1. Yoghurt


Natural yoghurt costs about £1.50 for 500g (Yeo Valley), and organic Greek-style yoghurt £1.80 for 500g (Rachel’s). Making your own pot of 750g, using Claire Thompson’s get ahead recipe, involves buying a small one (50p, Yeo Valley) to use as a starter for four batches, and a litre of whole milk per batch (£1.10, Yeo Valley). The cost works out at 80p for 500g – not an inconsiderable saving. Go the extra mile to turn your batch into Greek style, which simply involves straining the yoghurt – your yield will be lower, but the overall cost will still make it worth your while.

You save: 14p per 100g for plain yoghurt

2. Granolashutterstock_328119719

This breakfast staple is endlessly adaptable to your pocket. Using the excellent ratio of eight cups of dry ingredients (5 of oats, 3 of nuts/seeds/dried fruit) to 1 cup wet ingredients (¼ oil, ¾ sweetener), something similar to Dorset Cereal’s honey granola (69p per 100g) would cost you about 50p per 100g. Look out for good deals at health food shops (the “penny sale” at Holland and Barrett, for example) and bulk-buy dried fruit and nuts from Asian and Turkish supermarkets to bring that cost down even further.

You save: 19p per 100g

3. Rye bread


Producing a loaf as good as an artisanal baker’s loaf is no mean feat. But rye bread is a good place to start: accessible, delicious and long-lasting. Tim Hayward’s quick recipe will take a few hours and cost £2.50 to cook a loaf about 1.5kg in weight. By comparison, Ocado sells 1kg rye loaves for £5.50, which is already much cheaper than the prices you’ll see in independent bakeries for much smaller loaves.

You save: 39p per 100g
4. Pestoshutterstock_298034351

Generally made with basil, pine nut, and parmesan, this famous paste can be made with pretty much any flavourful green leaf making it another thrifty basic. Replace parmesan with grana padano or pecorino, walnuts with almonds or pumpkin seeds, and kale with veg tops (celery leaves, beetroot, carrot or turnip tops) and you can bring that cost down to 50p. When you consider that fresh pesto from deli counters can cost as much as £1.30 per 100g, this is a considerable saving. 

You save: 80p per 100g

5. Nut milks and butters


Good-quality nut milks and butters taste like their worth their own weight in gold sometimes. However, a litre of homemade almond milk will cost you £1.44, plus the 20p or so for whichever flavouring you go for. By comparison, Rude Health’s almond milk costs £2 a litre. Mixing it with seeds or oats will bring down your cost. Oatly plain organic oat milk costs £1.40 a litre; making your own with organic oats will cost little more than 20p.

Homemade almond butter made following GKS’s basic recipe will cost £1.02 per 100g; cashew butter £1.25 per 100g, give or take a few extra pennies if you like your nut butters salted. That’s half the cost of Meridian’s almond butter (£2.32 per 100g) and 40p less than their cashew butter (£1.65 per 100g).

You save: 3p per 100ml of nut milk and £1.30 per 100g of almond butter

Before you make some of these yourself, use mySupermarket to get the best deals on ingredients from 13 different retailers.

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