Homemade vs. Store Bought: Make Your Own Sauces, Dips and Dressings

Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

homemade vs store bought

Let’s face it, life is busy and we all love convenience. Especially me. Instant anything works. Most of us have many bottles of something in the back pantry that we can pour over the chicken before we toss it in the oven or a can of sauce that we dump over warm pasta. Oh how I love dinners that I can just assemble instead of prepare! Sometimes I have made real homemade dinners, but most were semi homemade. That is how many of our family dinners have been most of my adult life. No one complained.

A few years ago, I slowly converted our family to eating food as close to the way as nature intended. Think of it as an “almost” whole food diet. You’ll notice I stated that it was a slow conversion. I did not want the family to notice too much and show resistance to the new menu. Much of the change was welcomed and easy to do. What became a challenge were the bottled items that we dip, dump, marinade and pour. Many of these foods have a high sodium and/or sugar content, which we were trying to cut back on. So began our endeavor to find recipes that we could make ourselves. We found recipes that were flavorful, easy to make and sometimes have more than one use.

Implementing these recipes with what I had in my food storage was also a consideration. I wanted to maintain a variety of foods that could be versatile in different recipes. For example, a can of tomatoes could be used for a homemade or a semi-homemade dish. So a variety of store-bought foods, along with more “whole foods” sit side by side in my pantry.

One item that is most helpful is my Kolder Salad Dressing Bottle. It has 8 different recipes on the glass bottle, along with the fill lines for each ingredient. No recipes to keep track of or measuring cups to clean. It is all on the bottle! There are other bottles available, the Charcoal Companion Marinade Bottle and Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Easy Stir-Fry Sauce Bottle. These are inexpensive and can be found on Amazon.com.

I am sharing some yummy recipes that are simple to prepare, that use common ingredients and are easy to store. In many of these, I have reduced the amount of salt or have used a sugar substitute. Experiment and tweak them to suit your personal tastes. Enjoy!

Homemade vs Store-Bought: Simple Homemade Recipes

Homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing

1 large ripe avocado
1 large jalapeno, seeded
2 tablespoons fresh, minced cilantro
2 tablespoons sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste

Peel the avocado, remove the pit, and blend it in a blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Chill.


Italian Herb Dressing

⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
Pinch salt

Notes: Some people mix the wet and dry ingredients together in a blender bottle or jar with lid and shake. Remember, the oil will solidify when kept in the fridge. Let it warm to room temperature before serving. Makes 1 cup of dressing that will last a few weeks in the fridge. Recipe can be found here.


Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced or pressed
¼ scant teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Original recipe.


Healthy Honey Mustard Dressing

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (vegans can try coconut yogurt)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1½ tablespoons raw honey (maple syrup to keep it vegan)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Recipe can be found at this link.

Easy Semi-Homemade Recipes

Taco Salad Dressing

1 part French dressing and 1 part salsa. Shake and serve.

Semi-Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

4 cups powdered milk
21.8 oz. box Nestle Nesquik
16 oz. instant coffee creamer
1 cup powdered sugar
I found this recipe here.

Semi-Homemade Caesar Dressing

1 cup Ken’s Creamy Caesar Dressing
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Recipe can be found at this link.

Semi Homemade Enchilada Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, pinch
1 (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons ground ancho chile pepper
2 tablespoons ground pasilla chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (28 ounce) RED enchilada sauce
3/4 cup beef or vegetable broth
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
Complete recipe and instructions can be found here.

Semi-Homemade BBQ Sauce

1 18 oz. bottle BBQ sauce – favorite brand or type
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Recipe can be found here.

Comeback Sauce

1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise or our favorite brand
1/4 cup Heinz ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce (DO NOT substitute Thai Chili Sauce)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup light olive oil
Juice of one lemon
The recipe can be found on this website.

homemade vs store bought FB size

4 thoughts on “Homemade vs. Store Bought: Make Your Own Sauces, Dips and Dressings”

  1. Coffee creamer is nasty stuff made from oil. If you’re trying to get back to natural food, I would recommend powdered whole milk – not nonfat dry milk – instead.

  2. Hey Lisa, You have been blogging long enough to know that directions to recipes are copyright protected. You can list the ingredients and put a link to the recipe for the directions. Please remove the directions you stole from my posts ASAP or I will have to file a DMCA takedown notice.

    1. The Survival Mom

      Yes, I have been blogging for a long time, and I apologize this slipped through the cracks. One of my writers compiled the recipes, did not know the copyright rules, but I should have caught it. I’ve removed your two recipes and have made other corrections so the proper websites get credit. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *