homemade vanilla pudding recipe

Frugal and Quick: Delicious, Easy Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe for Pennies (No Eggs!)

My family loves pudding, but the powdered and already-made versions are bland, expensive, and not very healthy. I researched recipes and realized just how easy and economical it is to make. I was looking for an egg-free recipe and ran across this one on All Recipes. Continue reading “Frugal and Quick: Delicious, Easy Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe for Pennies (No Eggs!)”


Frugal Recipe: Quick and Easy Homemade Granola Bars

Here’s a most amazing, inexpensive recipe for a healthy, delicious snack: granola bars.

The Two Frugal Fairfielders got together and made these homemade granola bars. We used a mix of conventional and organic ingredients. What a hit these were for both of our families! We look forward to making these, again, with different variations.  This recipe is courtesy of Living on a Dime, one of our favorite frugal websites.

Wrapping each bar in waxed paper gave it a special touch! These bars are great for an inexpensive holiday gift, as well.

Below each of the ingredients in the recipe below is a sample price of both a conventional and organic option. Prices will vary in your area and do not reflect sales or coupons. Totals are deliberately not included, in case you decide to mix organic ingredients with conventional ingredients, like we did. The prices in red reflect about what you’d pay for using these ingredients for this particular recipe.

However, we will add that this recipe yields 24 bars that cost on average half the price of the conventional granola bars found in the stores (which range in box counts and non-sale costs from store brand/10 bars for $2.69 to name brand/8-12 bars that cost $3.29 to $3.55 a box). We will also add that the boxed granola bars, which may be inexpensive when they are on sale and with coupon, are still not nearly as healthy and tasty as this recipe below. Our families will agree 100 percent.

Happy baking!

Homemade Granola Bars

3/4 cup brown sugar 

Domino Brand Light Brown Sugar 1 lb box $1.39, $.09/oz. –$.53

organic brown sugar $.13/oz. – $.77

1/2 cup sugar

Stop & Shop Sugar Pure Cane Granulated 2 LB box $1.59 ; $.05/ oz. $1.59 – $ .18

organic bulk evaporated cane sugar $1.50/lb, $.09/oz – $ .32

1/2 cup butter

Stop & Shop Sweet Cream Butter Unsalted Sticks – 4 qrtrs 1 lb box $2.50 –  $.62

Trader Joe’s unsalted butter rBST-free – $ 2.79 1 lb box –  $.70

2 Tbsp. honey

Nature’s Promise Organics Honey Golden 12 oz. jar $3.79; $.32 / oz – $ .32

Trader Joes raw honey 16 oz jar $5.99; $.38/oz – $.38

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Stop & Shop Pure Extract Vanilla 2 oz btl $2.99; $1.50/oz.  – $.12

Frontier Brand organic pure vanilla extract 8 oz $14.70, $1.84/oz – $ .16

1 egg 

Stop & Shop Eggs White Grade A Large 1 doz $2.69 – $ .23

Whole Foods or Trade Joe’s Organic Large Eggs 1 doz $3.69 – $ .31

1 cup flour

5 lb bag of Gold Medal regular white flour $2.99, .60/lb; $.04/oz. –  $.15

organic unbleached bulk white flour $.87/lb – $ .22

organic bulk whole wheat flour  $.99/lb – $ .25

1 tsp. cinnamon

McCormick Cinnamon 3.62 oz btl $2.79; $.77/oz. – $.09

Frontier Brand organic bulk 1lb bag $13.75,  $ .86/oz – $ .10

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Pure 16 oz box $.89, $ .06/oz –  $.003

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda Pure 13.5 lb bag $6.50, $ .03/oz – $.0015

1/4 tsp. salt

Stop & Shop Salt Iodized 26 oz $.69; $.03/oz –  $ .0008

Frontier Brand Sea Salt $.09/oz –  $.0025

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

Stop & Shop Oats Rolled Old Fashioned 42 oz pkg $3.39; $.08/oz. – $.46

organic bulk rolled oats – $ .90/lb,  $ .06/oz – $.34

1 1/4 cups  any whole grain type cereal

Stop and Shop multigrain o’s cereal 12.5 oz. box $2.79; $.22/oz – $1.05

Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise organic whole grain cereal – $.30/oz – $1.72

1/2 cup wheat germ (optional) 

1 cup chocolate chips*

Hershey’s Baking Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate12 oz bag $2.89, $.24/o. – $1.92

Trader Joes Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips – 16 oz bag $2.29, $ .15/oz – $1.20

Sunspire organic chocolate chips – 9 oz bag $5.00, $.56/oz – $4.45


In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter until fluffy. Add honey, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Blend in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Press firmly into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

To microwave: Press ingredients into a microwave safe dish. Microwave on medium power for 7-9 minutes. Rotate dish every three minutes. Bars will firm as they stand. Cool and cut into bars. Save the crumbs for yogurt or ice cream topping. Makes 24 bars.

*The following may be used in addition to or to replace chocolate chips: 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter, 1/2 cup nuts, 1/2-1 cup raisins, dried apples or apricots, 1/2 cup fruit preserves.

~ Aimee and Marilyn, TFF

Here's the granola mix pressed into the pan and ready to bake.
Here's the granola bar mix already baked. We couldn't wait to taste it so the photo came later!

A chocolate chip granola bar made by Quaker Oats.
A chocolate chip granola bar made by Quaker Oats. Our homemade bars look the same, but may be a bit softer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)