I used to buy popcorn in microwave bags. One day, I became nostalgic and bought kernels for stove popping instead. That's how I learned I like homemade popcorn better. It tasted better. I could add my own ingredients. And it was cheaper.
I started wondering what other foods are easy to make and less costly than their ready-made counterparts. I quickly learned that peanut butter can be made in only ten minutes with only three ingredients. And, again, it was tastier and cheaper than its store-bought equivalent. I wanted to find even more items I could make, so I searched for a few books at the library and came up with three good guides.
The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alana Chernila
Homemade: How to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally by Don Earnest
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn't Cook from Scratch--Over 120 recipes for the Best Homemade Foods by Jennifer Reese
These three books helped me figure out which items are better to make and which are better to buy. If you are interested in making more food at home too, check out a few copies from your local HCPL branch. Your supermarket visits won't ever be the same.