Is Homemade Salad Dressing Cheaper Than Store-Bought?
Buying salad dressing off the shelf at the grocery store seems like a time-saver, but making it at home really doesn't require much time or effort. Salad dressing can easily be thrown together in a matter of minutes with ingredients likely already on hand. This allows experimentation to better suit your tastes and the option to leave out ingredients such as chemicals and sugar. But does making your own salad dressing save money?
In a price comparison, Cheapism.com found only one salad dressing that is cheaper to make at home vs. buying premade, especially after factoring in sales and coupons. Here are 10 salad dressing recipes compared with their store-bought counterparts, based on per-ounce prices from Walmart.com.
For a bottle of store-bought Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, the cost at Walmart is 14 cents an ounce. To whip up a creamy ranch dressing with instructions from Allrecipes, you need mayonnaise, buttermilk (or sour cream), and the following dried ingredients: dill weed, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chives, and onion powder. Total cost: 46 cents an ounce.
Walmart offers two balsamic vinaigrette dressings priced at 13 cents an ounce. Making it from scratch costs about 19 cents an ounce using a Food Network recipe. Although store-bought is cheaper, balsamic vinaigrette is one of the easiest dressings to make, requiring just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. For a more complex dressing, add spices and a squeeze of lemon.
Caesar dressing is a little more complicated, but Food Network has a fairly simple recipe that's easy to make. Salt, pepper, lemon juice, and anchovies were optional, so we didn't include them in our calculations, but you may want to. The total price came to 15 cents an ounce compared with 11 cents an ounce for Kraft Classic Caesar dressing.
A homemade Greek salad dressing rates high on AllRecipes and makes enough to feed a brood. Still, it can easily be scaled down (as one reviewer did). The cost to make this homemade version as directed comes to about 30 cents an ounce -- about twice the cost of a bottle of Kraft Greek dressing at 13 cents an ounce.
Both Ken's and Kraft sell honey mustard dressings that cost about 13 cents an ounce. To make a quick, tasty version at home, follow a recipe from Pinch of Yum, which comes to about 20 cents an ounce. The homemade version doesn't contain calorie-laden oil -- a plus for calorie watchers.
Wish-Bone Italian Dressing costs about 11 cents an ounce for a store-bought bottle. Making it at home using a simple mix of dry ingredients posted on Allrecipes would cost about 22 cents an ounce. Both versions have added sugar, but making your own allows you to reduce or eliminate the sugar for a tangier and less caloric dressing.
Blue cheese dressing costs 24 cents an ounce to make using a recipe from Food Network, while shoppers pay just 13 cents an ounce to purchase the Wish-Bone brand at Walmart. Lighten this recipe by substituting low-fat or skim milk for whole milk and using a lighter mayonnaise, such as those made with olive or canola oil.
Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.