Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (2024)

Swap these easy cooking recipes for your favorite supermarket shortcuts. You don’t have to resort to box cooking. Make your family’s favorite foods at home!

On a budget? Try some of our favorite bean recipes.

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (1)

I’m no stranger to convenience foods. Or packaged snacks. I grew up in the era of Jell-O pudding and Cap’n Crunch, for goodness sake. Even so, a recent stroll through my local grocery store left me shaking my head at the sheer audacity of corporate food mongers to make us think that homemade recipes are just too hard to make at home.

Five minute roasted potatoes – too good to be true?

The real kicker for me, though? Something called Potato Jazz, a plastic tray filled with one pound of “real” potatoes that will be ready in five minutes in your microwave. Imagine a young person with no cooking experience whatsoever spotting this gem.Five minute roasted potatoes, he might think. Making roasted potatoes must be hard, he might think. And thus we have indoctrinated another person into believing that cooking real food is too much of an inconvenience.

The Handcrafted Pantry

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (2)

Ready to DIY your pantry with more wholesome ingredients? Check out my ebook, The Handcrafted Pantry! Filled with delicious recipes for some of your favorite condiments, snacks, and toppings, it’s the guide you need to start skipping packaged products and embrace homemade.

These easy recipes make cooking a breeze

I’m no Cordon Bleu chef, but I cook from scratch (almost) nightly and nobody here is complaining. You can too.Check out some of the “food” products on offer at my local grocery store, along with homemade versions from some of my blogger friends.

Let them show you how to do homemade! Cooking recipes from scratch is almost always going to be less expensive and healthier — not to mention the fact that it generates much less packaging.

5 Easy Steps to Transform Your Pantry!

Ready to switch from store bought to homemade? Let me help you make some changes! Grab my FREE five-part guide to getting started.

Get the Guide!

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (3)

Hash Browns

Hungry Jack hashbrown potatoes contain:Idaho® potatoes (dry), salt, dextrose. Freshness preserved with sodium bisufite and bht. Contains sulfite ingredients.

Hungry Jack cheesy hashbrown potatoes contain:Idaho® potato (dry), canola oil, (preserved with citric acid and bht), salt, contains 2% or less of: cheddar cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, enzymes), nonfat dry milk, onion, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed soy protein, natural flavor, garlic, sugar, butter (cream), spice, yeast extract, disodium phosphate, extractives of annatto. Freshness preserved with sodium bisulfite and bht. Contains milk, soy and sulfite ingredients.

A one pound package costs $5, about the same as an entire 15 pound bag of fresh russet potatoes.Do the math!

Recipes to replace store bought hashbrowns:

(There is no consensus on proper spelling of hashbrown hash brown.)

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (4)


Bring home these magical potatoes and you’ll also be bringing home a plastic tray that you don’t need.A Potato Jazz package has one pound of potatoes and costs about $6. An entire 15 pound bag of fresh russet potatoes costs about $5. Roast your own potatoes?Hello big savings!

Recipes to replace packaged potatoes:

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (5)


It simply is not that hard to pour a few ingredients into a bowl. And that’s about all it takes to make pancakes from scratch. This Shake ‘n Pour plastic container is meant to be used once and tossed away. Plus, you’ll pay $4-$6 for a dozen or so pancakes with this product. Cost will vary depending on the type of ingredients you choose for a homemade version — but cooking these pancake recipes at home will result it a healthier and less wasteful breakfast.


Do you quote the “l’eggo my eggo” waffle advertisem*nts as you lift a hot, ready-made waffle out of the toaster? What if I told you that homemade waffles are not hard to make? And you can freeze them yourself for a fast breakfast??

Recipes to replace ready-made waffles:

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Chicken for Sandwiches (or Meals)

Maybe (maybe) this is a better option than pressed lunch meat. But for the cost of this six-ounce package of pre-cooked chicken bits you could buy an entire chicken (conventional, not GMO free), roast it, and net three or four meals and less packaging.

Recipes to replace packaged chicken:

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Flavorful Rice

Oh Rice-a-Roni. The San Francisco treat. Couldn’t you have just stuck with the cardboard box?Do we really need more cups-o-food in our world?? Admittedly, there is a bit of a learning curve to cooking rice just right, but bulk rice is an inexpensive addition to your pantry — unlike these silly conveniences that cost more than $2 a pop. Not to mention the trash generated.

Recipes to replace instant rice:

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Hot Oatmeal or Porridge for Breakfast

Everybody loves the Quaker Oats guy, but recently he seems to have lost his way. Sure, he’s still offering quasi-wholesome food for people who eat grains, but individual serving cups? Really? The basic recipe for cooking porridge is oats + water. Flavors optional. He’s added convenience to a food that’s already pretty darned convenient.

Recipes to replace instant oats:

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (9)

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese in a box isn’t hard to make, but Kraft felt the need to get in on the cup-o-food action. I say we should take our cue from Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord, authors of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese. We can cook it at home. It’s easy and it will taste better.

Recipes to replace boxed mac and cheese:

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (10)

Homemade Pizza Crust

Pizza is surely one of the most beloved foods in the whole entire world, no? We can get it fresh from restaurants and cafes, as takeout fare, from the frozen food section, and now, from the Pillsbury Doughboy. But there’s no need to settle when it comes to pizza dough. Cooking your own is simple with these recipes. Really.

Recipes to replace canned pizza dough:

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (11)

Related:Ridiculous Supermarket Products You Can Make at Home

Breading and Breadcrumbs

You know, you can buy a cardboard can of bread crumbs at the store and dredge your chicken, pork, fish, or veggies in it. But Kraft decided it would be an even better idea to provide consumers with a plastic bag, pre-filled with a breading mix for cooking breaded recipes. Let me assure you: You don’t need no stinkin’ mix. Make your own breadcrumbs or breading mix.Easy, peasy.

Recipes to replace pre-made breadcrumbs:

Related:Supermarket Products You Can Make at Home, Holiday Version

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Flavored Water

Bottled water is the second largest commercial beverage category by volume in the United States.But you know. It’s kinda boring. So we should totally add ingredients likePotassium Citrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Polysorbate 60, Red 40,Potassium BenzoateandPotassium Sorbate to make it taste better, dontcha think?? (What is wrong with us??)

Recipes to replace fake water flavors:

This post was originally published on 12/13/2013; it has been updated.

Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products (2024)


What foods can I make at home instead of buying? ›

7 Foods to Make From Scratch
  • Stock. If you only take one thing from this article, keep a container of veggie scraps in your freezer. ...
  • Bread. This one can be as easy or as complicated as you want, depending on what you are trying to make. ...
  • Hummus. ...
  • Salad Dressing. ...
  • Pasta Sauce. ...
  • Pickles. ...
  • Granola, Bars & Bites.
May 17, 2020

What food is cheaper to make than buy? ›

Never purchase these food staples again – you can easily make most if not all of them at home from scratch.
  • powdered sugar. This will literally take a few seconds to make. ...
  • brown sugar. ...
  • tomato sauce. ...
  • peanut butter. ...
  • bread. ...
  • ketchup. ...
  • mustard. ...
  • apple cider vinegar.
Sep 14, 2022

What is the cheapest meal you can make at home? ›

Budget dinner recipes
  • Sardine pasta with crunchy parsley crumbs. ...
  • Miso lentil & cabbage soup. ...
  • Air-fryer meatballs. ...
  • Black bean & tortilla soup. ...
  • App onlyOne-pan hot honey & mustard parsnips & chicken thigh traybake. ...
  • Turbo beans & cheese on toast. ...
  • Chole with cumin rice & raita. ...
  • Spicy jerk potato & pineapple hash.

Is homemade food cheaper than store bought? ›

Cost. Store bought food is usually cheaper than homemade food. For those on a tight budget, this can be an important factor when deciding between the two options. However, it's important to note that the cost of store bought food can add up quickly, so it's still wise to shop around for the best deal.

What's the cheapest thing you can eat? ›

  • Apples. “Apples are an affordable, nutritious fruit to purchase year-round. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Beans. ...
  • Brown Rice. ...
  • Chicken. ...
  • Corn Tortillas. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Flour.
Jan 16, 2024

What is the cheapest food that lasts the longest? ›

10 Cheap (and Healthy) Foods that Last a Long Time
  • Dried Beans and Lentils. Average Price: Under $2 for a 1-pound bag. ...
  • Brown Rice and Other Whole Grains. Average Price: About $2 (depending on where you purchase) for a 1-pound bag. ...
  • Frozen Vegetables. ...
  • Peanut Butter. ...
  • Canned Tuna. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Whey Protein. ...
  • Apples.

What is the easiest food item? ›

32 Quick and Easy Indian Recipes
  • 01 of 32. Masala Kheema - Dry Spicy Minced Meat. ...
  • 02 of 32. Basic Chicken Curry. ...
  • 03 of 32. Mint-Cucumber Raita. ...
  • 04 of 32. Baingan Aloo Ki Subji (Eggplant and Potatoes) ...
  • 05 of 32. Bhajias (Pakoras) ...
  • 06 of 32. South Indian Lemon Rice. ...
  • 07 of 32. Andey Ki (Egg Curry) ...
  • 08 of 32. Bhindi Dopiaza (Okra)
Mar 14, 2024

Is it cheaper to cook from scratch? ›

Cost-Effective Ingredients: When you purchase pre-packaged or prepared meals, you're not just paying for the food itself; you're also covering the cost of packaging, processing, and marketing. Cooking from scratch allows you to buy basic ingredients in bulk, reducing your overall grocery bill.

What to make at home when you want fast food? ›

Craving Fast Food? Try These 15 Homemade Options Instead
  1. Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl.
  2. Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets.
  3. Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich.
  4. Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme.
  5. Domino's-Style Garlic Breadsticks.
  6. McDonald's Egg McMuffin.
  7. Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
  8. Taco Bell Beef Tacos.
Sep 17, 2021

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