DIY Pantry: Homemade Condiments are Healthy and Frugal


I recently taught a class called “Homemade Instead” where we talked about making things at home instead of purchasing them commercially.  Basically, items we usually have in our pantries are things we can make at home easily and frugally–not to mention chemically free.  It was a great class with lively students and great conversation.  During the class, we made dry pancake mix, dry brownie mix and taco seasoning for them to take home.  Easy items which will save time for dinner prep or when that chocolate craving hits late at night.

During the class I asked what items the students (who were adults) felt like they bought on a regular basis and didn’t think they could make at home.  Tortillas, condiments, Bisquick and a few other items were mentioned.  But condiments really seemed to be the area where the class struggled with transitioning to homemade instead.

Erin Turner DIY PantryI suggested to them this book: “The DIY Pantry: 30 Minutes to Healthy, Homemade Food” by Kresha Faber.  I splurged and bought the book from Amazon for $13.98.  But I have easily earned that money back in the savings from making items for my pantry vs. buying them.  It was worth the investment. It was just released the first of this year so it is up to date, modern and very useable.

This book provides easy to follow recipes for everything from Almond Roca candy to homemade taco shells.   The reason why I recommended it to the class was because in this almost 200 page book, there is an entire chapter dedicated to condiments.  These are the items we all have become dependent upon for creating a super meal;  peanut sauce for Asian dishes, mustard for our hot dogs, B-B-Q sauce for lip smakckin’ ribs and more recently the famed “Sriracha” sauce that takes anything up a notch!  But the problems with condiments is they are expensive, they all come in glass or plastic bottles which take up room in the refrigerator or on the shelf and many of them are full of unhealthy ingredients.

In the time it takes for you to drive to the store, purchase a condiment and drive home you could have a batch of homemade freshly made and ready.  Very little cost, no bottles to recycle, no chemicals and the best taste ever!

Like I told my class, begin looking at your shelves and your refrigerator and ask yourself what items do you buy on a regular basis?  Then from that list begin to figure out either using the DIY Pantry Book or Googling it online to see if you could make it.  99% of the time, you’ll be able to find a recipe!

One item we buy a lot at our house is yellow mustard.  It’s an item I can get coupons and wait for a great sale to get the lowest price available.  I usually can get it for 50 cents to $1.00, but I would rather make it at home knowing what it is made from and reducing the plastic bottle collection. Here is the recipe from Kresha Faber’s book which will now be my go-to recipe when my kids need their sandwiches slathered in mustard.

Classic Yellow Mustard

  • Erin Turner Homemade Mustard Recipe

    Fresh, homemade mustard

    ½ cup dry mustard

  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup while distilled vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ clove garlic, finely grated (I just used ½ tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 small pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  1. Whisk everything except the cornstarch together in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered until the mustard begins to thicken, 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. About 1 minutes before you want to remove the mustard from the heat, stir the cornstarch together with 1 tsp cold water. Then, while whisking, pour the cornstarch into the simmering mustard.  Let cook for 1 minutes to thicken.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand 1 minutes to set. Pour into the serving container, such as a glass jar or a squeeze bottle, to cool.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 cup of mustard.

I love this recipe for mustard!  You would be hard pressed to tell a difference between the homemade and the store-bought…other than the fact that the homemade is missing that metallic taste which the store bought leaves in my mouth.  I literally whipped this batch of mustard up in under 10 minutes with simple ingredients I already had in my pantry.  And my cost was definitely under $1.00 for the batch!

Making things homemade makes my family and me very happy.  They are getting delicious tasting food and I’m saving money, time and providing healthier options for them!


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.  Read more of Erin’s blogs about homesteading, farming, homemaking and other fun things at

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