Cooking your own food has a lot of advantages. First, you control the ingredients and the quality of the food that you’re going to eat. Second, you avoid many of the preservatives and much of the sodium that comes with prepared foods. Third, it’s always cheaper to make it yourself.
Well, not always.
In fact, I can think of three DIY foods that are more expensive to make than to buy. At best they break even, and considering the time it takes to make the food, there aren’t any measurable savings.
So it’s not worth it to make these foods yourself, right?
Who cares about money? You make the foods yourself because they taste so darn good. What foods am I talking about?
Ice cream. Beer. Bread.
Homemade Ice Cream
No question making ice cream by hand is not cheap. You need to buy top-quality ingredients to ensure safety and taste. If the recipe calls for eggs, don’t use eggs that are 80 cents a dozen. Not a good idea unless you want to risk a salmonella episode in your gut. No, you are going to need some farm fresh free-range eggs that are probably more in the $3-$5 a dozen range. And you’ll need some good sweet cream.
But the reward is not in savings with homemade ice cream, friends. It’s with the fact that you can make something that tastes so very good, so very yourself. It’s amazing when that sweet, fresh French vanilla frozen goodness drips down the back of your throat. Your taste buds ignite. Your heart pounds. You are happy. The last thing you care about is the fact that Haagen-Daaz would have been cheaper. So what?
I can’t really vouch for making beer. I only tried once and it was not only expensive, but it tasted terrible. I think the fact that my friend and I were drinking beer when we made beer was part of the problem…
But I’ve also had some homemade beer that tasted great. I mean really. Better than my all-time fave Oberon. And trust me, I lived in Germany (well back then it was West Germany) for over two years and attended two Oktoberfests in Munich. I know a lot about good beer.
So, getting back to homemade beer, I’ve never heard of anyone who claims they can make it cheaper than they can buy it. But that doesn’t mean that making your own beer isn’t a good idea.
Again, you control the ingredients, and therefore control the taste and the quality of the final brew.
Who doesn’t love homemade bread?
It’s fresh and it’s warm (if you eat it right away).
Come on. There is no argument here. Homemade bread rules and the entire human population loves good homemade bread, if they’ve had it.
The problem is, it’s not cheap. You have to buy good-quality flour, yeast (which isn’t exactly super cheap), and all the other ingredients which will make your tasty bread.
There is no way on earth you are going to bake a great loaf of bread cheaper than you could buy a loaf of bread at the store.
But you have to ask yourself. Do you want taste or do you want cheap?
I want taste.
So I encourage my wife to bake her own bread and I’m more than happy to pay for it.
It’s worth every penny. Every time. No question.
Get a bread maker and make some bread. This is the stuff of good living, my friends.
Good Living Ain’t Cheap
So there you have it. Three DIY foods that don’t save you money but are still worth it.
I recommend doing all three yourself, if you never have.
Any other DIY food recommendations out there from our readers?