As United Way’s Hunger Challenge continues, I’m so excited to share one of my favorite ways to save money on food; homemade condiments. Two of the basic ingredients I bought for several recipes (eggs and canola oil) are the building blocks of a very common condiment, mayonnaise! Making your own mayonnaise is easy, whether you use a blender or a bowl and whisk (or fork!). Read on for a price breakdown and how to make mayonnaise from scratch.
I bought 18 eggs for $2.50 at Walmart. I don’t normally shop there for food now (I often feel depressed when I leave the store) but I’ve been hungry in the past, and when you’re hungry you shop where you can get cheap food.
By saying I’ve been hungry, I don’t just mean because of forgetting to eat until dinner. Those of you who have heard me speak before know that I went for over two years with only $1-2 a day for food. There was a month that I lived off of just a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter!
When I talk about this challenge being easy for me, I’m in no way minimizing hunger or poverty. I’ve spent YEARS learning how to eat on little to no money. I will never pretend that getting from where I was in 2001 to where I am now in regards to eating on a minuscule budget is easy. While I wouldn’t choose to eat the top ramen in a sauce made from ketchup and soy packets today, I’m not embarrassed that I ate that concoction regularly nine years ago. It takes baby steps to make change!
My husband and I are now able to live on $100 a month for food. We don’t always, but we try to. That’s changing now that we have two teenage guys living with us, and we’re going to have to figure out what our new food budget will be. But because one of my passions over the last several years has been figuring out how to eat well on a budget smaller than what we’re told to live on for the challenge, I have the skills and creativity to make this a lot of fun.
You won’t hear any complaining about doing the challenge here! I just want to help raise awareness and encourage those of you who are currently struggling to keep pushing on, it does get easier. If you’re not currently struggling to feed yourself or your family, you can help by making a donation to end hunger. Through April 14th every dollar you donate will be matched!
Now if you’re wondering if making your own mayonnaise really saves money, here’s the cost breakdown. I’m listing what it actually cost in ingredients. The eggs, lemon juice, salt, and oil cost me $10.60 total, but I had lots of them left and everything but the eggs will last me over one month.
-two eggs for 28 cents
–2 TBS lemon juice for 6 cents
-1/2 tsp salt for 2 cents
–1 1/2 cups canola oil for $1.20
That means it cost me just over $1.50 to make a little over 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise. The cheapest store bought mayo I’ve found is $2.47/pint. To make this easier let’s convert them both to ounces.
Store bought: 16 oz/ $2.47 = 15 cents an ounce
Homemade: 14 oz/ $1.56 = 11 cents an ounce
Four cents might not seem like a big deal, but it adds up! If we each have a sandwich five days week, with an ounce of mayo on each sandwich, that’s 20 ounces in one week. So it would cost $2.20 a week with homemade mayonnaise or $3 a week with store bought. Still not impressed? A whole year’s worth of mayonnaise would be $114.40 homemade and a whopping $156 store bought!
Alright, all that math is taking me back to high school! Let’s get back to the fun. Not only is making your own mayonnaise cheaper than buying it, it tastes better too. I have a bad habit of eating spoonfuls when I’m making mayonnaise, “taste testing” to make sure it’s tart enough or salty enough. Really I just can’t help myself! I’m going to be using a batch to make egg salad tomorrow (using up some of those eggs!). What’s your favorite way to use mayonnaise?
Homemade Mayonnaise Recipemakes 14 oz
- 2 TBS
- 1/2 tsp
- 1 1/2 cups
- Place the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in a bowl (the bigger the bowl the easier it is).
- Use a whisk or fork to briskly whisk the eggs while adding oil one teaspoon at a time (I find it easiest to put the oil in a squeeze bottle).
- When half of the oil has been added, you can add the rest in a slow steady stream.
- Place the mayonnaise in a jar or plastic container and refrigerate. Use within one week.
- Alternate method: You can use a stick blender (like in the ingredient picture) or mix the ingredients in a blender on low speed. I personally like whisking by hand the best!
*RAW EGG WARNING
Use caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, I recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the outside of the shell. If you are considered high risk (for instance with an immune deficiency) you may not want to make your own mayonnaise. I have NEVER gotten sick from homemade mayo, but you need to do what feels safe for you and your family.
Approximate cost/serving: 15 cents, all the math you could want is in the post above!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: It does contain eggs but no meat, naturally gluten free.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.