Food & Nutrition

DIY Pantry Staples You Can Make for Less Than $1

Ranch dressing mix

Jar of homemade creamy ranch dressingB Sanderson/Shutterstock

No ranch mix? No problem. You can whip it up with ingredients you already own. In a small, airtight container, add 2.5 tablespoons onion flakes, one tablespoon dried parsley, 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder, and two teaspoons each of paprika, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Shake until blended, and keep in a cool, dry, dark place for up to a year. To turn it into dressing, whisk the dry mix with a cup of mayonnaise and a cup of buttermilk or low-fat yogurt.

Italian herb blend

close view on fresh herbs bunchmarcin jucha/Shutterstock

Don’t bother buying yet another jar for your spice rack. In a ziplock bag, add six tablespoons dried basil, three tablespoons dried oregano, two tablespoons dried parsley, two tablespoons dried thyme, and one teaspoon dried garlic. Shake to blend, then store for up to three months. Here are 40 other smart ways to save at the supermarket.

White sauce

cooking French bechamel sauce macro vertical.AS Food studio/Shutterstock

This versatile recipe can be made thinner (for soups) or thicker (for casseroles or soufflé bases). In a small saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter over low heat. Add a tablespoon of flour and whisk for two to three minutes so the mixture is smooth, not brown. Gradually stir in a cup of hot milk, then increase the heat to medium, stirring constantly for three to five minutes. Remove from heat, then add a pinch of white or black pepper. If you need to refrigerate the sauce until later, reheat it with a double boiler. Don’t miss these other 27 foods you should never buy again.

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