By Vanessa Greaves

Save money + eat better = win-win!

You'll save money and eat better by making everyday grocery items yourself instead of buying them at the store. These DIY recipes are cheaper and healthier to make in your home kitchen.

1. Applesauce

Make it on your stove top or in a slow cooker, and adjust the sweetness, spices, and texture to suit your taste. You can peel and core apples, or just chunk them up and use a food mill to strain out solids after cooking. Cook down the applesauce even more to make sweet, thick apple butter.

Sarah's Applesauce | Photo by cookin'mama

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2. Chicken Stock

Here's a thrifty way to use up chicken necks, backs, and wing tips. Make and freeze stock in pint- and quart-size batches.

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3. Chips

Make your own baked, fried, or dried potato chips, tortilla chips, kale chips, zucchini chips, apple chips, and just about any other kind of chip you desire.

Photo by Shearone

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4. Croutons

Never waste stale bread again. Bread cubes can be toasted in butter or olive oil, and flavored with your choice of salts and herbs. Store in an airtight container.

Garlic Croutons | Photo by SunFlower

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5. Energy Bars

If you're eating these for health and nutrition, you'll appreciate saving money and controlling all the ingredients by making your own.

Coconut Date Bars | Photo by Kim

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6. Granola

Start with plain oats and add in all the good things you like in your granola. You hippie, you.

Megan's Granola | Photo by CCLoves2Bake

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7. Guacamole

Mashed avocado, plus a few other things fresh from the produce aisle. That's all it takes to make the best guacamole of your life.

Traditional Mexican Guacamole | Photo by Molly

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8. Hummus

If you can operate a blender, you can make hummus.

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9. Pancake Mix

Reach for this handy mix when you're too sleepy in the morning to measure out all the dry ingredients separately. The recipe tells you what wet ingredients to add to make it into a batter.

Homemade Pancake Mix | Photo by Angie Seaman

You might also like: Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mixture

10. Pasta Sauce

Make and freeze, people. Make and freeze. Then you'll always have pasta sauce ready to go for super-quick dinners.

Spaghetti Sauce II | Photo by Dianne

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11. Pesto

Store-bought pesto can't touch this stuff. Freeze leftover pesto in ice cube trays to throw into sauces.

Pesto Sauce | Photo by 5boys2cook4

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12. Salad Dressing

Keep a clean jar and lid in your pantry to shake up fresh dressings in seconds. So easy, so impressive.

Fresh Raspberry Basalmic Vinaigrette | Photo by Marianne

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13. Salsa

No packaged salsa will ever taste fresher than one you make yourself. And that's a promise.

Ex-Girlfriend's Mom's Salsa Fresca (Pico de Gallo) | Photo by naples34102

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14. Self-Rising Flour

Do not spend money on a bag of self-rising flour when all you have to do is add a couple of everyday ingredients to regular flour. You can do this!

Self-Rising Flour | Photo by Meredith

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15. Spice Blends

Taco seasoning, chili mix, seasoned salts. How many times have you spent big on these? Now's the time to mix up your own.

Taco Seasoning I | Photo by stingrae

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16. Trail Mix

Easy, cheap, and so customizable. Make a big batch to scoop into grab-and-go bags.

Tasty Maple Trail Mix | Photo by lutzflcat

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17. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla beans and vodka. How easy is that? If you don't want to make a big batch, scale the recipe down to 20 servings; you'll need only one vanilla bean and 1/8 of a liter of vodka. (And you don't have to use premium spirits.)

Homemade Vanilla Extract | Photo by The Gruntled Gourmand

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18. Whipped Cream

Freshly whipped cream takes only minutes to make, even without a mixer. Pro Tip: If you accidentally overbeat it, you can whisk in a little cream to bring it back to creamy perfection. Whipped cream will keep in the fridge for about a day.

Whipped Cream | Photo by Meredith

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Check out our collection of Do-It-Yourself Recipes.