20 Homemade Dishes Better Than Takeout

Preparing food at home is not just a way to ensure quality and healthiness; it’s also significantly lighter on the wallet compared to dining out or ordering takeout. From hearty meals to simple snacks, here are 20 foods that are not only satisfying to make but will also save you money in the long run.

1. Pizza

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A favorite among many, homemade pizza costs a fraction of what you’d pay at a restaurant. With the flexibility to top it with whatever ingredients you have on hand, it’s a fun and cost-effective meal.

2. Bread

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The cost of baking bread at home is surprisingly low compared to store-bought, especially artisan varieties. Plus, the aroma of freshly baked bread is unbeatable.

3. Pasta Dishes

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Whether it’s a simple aglio e olio or a more complex lasagna, pasta dishes are significantly cheaper to make at home and offer a great way to feed a crowd without spending a lot.

4. Soups

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Soups are not only comforting but also incredibly economical when made at home. They’re perfect for using up leftovers and are often healthier than their restaurant counterparts.

5. Salads

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Buying salads from a restaurant can be expensive, especially when you consider the low cost of fresh produce. Homemade salads can be just as delicious and much more cost-effective.

6. Burritos and Tacos

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Mexican food is another cuisine that’s much cheaper to prepare at home. Homemade burritos and tacos allow for a variety of fillings and can be made in bulk for convenience.

7. Smoothies

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The markup on smoothies when dining out can be astronomical. Making them at home allows for customization in terms of flavor and nutritional content, all while saving money.

8. Burgers

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Creating burgers at home not only saves costs but also allows for creativity in terms of ingredients and sizes. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure the quality of the meat used.

9. Sushi

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While sushi can seem daunting to prepare, simple rolls and bowls are quite manageable and much less expensive than restaurant prices suggest.

10. Coffee and Specialty Drinks

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The daily coffee run adds up quickly. Brewing coffee at home, including fancy lattes and cappuccinos, can save a considerable amount over time.

11. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts

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Homemade ice cream and other frozen treats are not only fun to make but also cost a fraction of premium brands or scoops from an ice cream shop.

12. Granola and Breakfast Cereals

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Store-bought granola and cereals can be pricey, especially organic or gourmet varieties. Making these at home is straightforward and allows for customization according to taste and dietary needs.

13. Cakes and Baked Goods

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Bakery items carry a high markup, but baking cakes, cookies, and other treats at home is both cost-effective and a delightful way to spend time in the kitchen.

14. Hummus and Dips

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Pre-packaged hummus and other dips can be expensive and often contain preservatives. Homemade versions are cheaper, fresher, and can be tailored to your preferred taste and texture.

15. Preserves and Jams

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Making jams and preserves at home is a great way to use up excess fruit and avoid the high sugar content and price of commercial products.

16. Alcoholic Beverages

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Cocktails and even some home-brewed beers can be made at a fraction of the cost of their bar or restaurant equivalents, offering both savings and an enjoyable hobby.

17. Yogurt

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Homemade yogurt requires minimal effort and can be significantly cheaper than store-bought, especially if you consume it regularly.

18. Snack Foods

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From popcorn to potato chips, making snack foods at home not only reduces cost but also allows you to control the ingredients and avoid unnecessary additives.

19. Baby Food

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For those with infants, homemade baby food is not only more economical but also a way to introduce your child to a wide variety of fresh and wholesome foods.

20. Sauces and Condiments

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Lastly, making sauces and condiments at home can save money and reduce the intake of added sugars and preservatives found in many store-bought versions.

Embracing home cooking not only nurtures your wallet but also your well-being and creativity in the kitchen. The savings from choosing to prepare these foods at home instead of opting for takeout or dining out can add up significantly, making a delicious difference in your budget and your culinary skills.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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