Everyone who knows me is well aware of my passion for cooking from scratch.
Yes, I still buy mayonnaise and butter - I've made them from scratch and I don't have to anymore! There are a few commercial products that I buy, such as cream of mushroom soup, because I haven't yet figured out a way to make it myself.
There are so many advantages to cooking from scratch: You know EXACTLY what is in your food, it's less expensive and it will always taste better.
Cooking from scratch does seem more expensive in the beginning. Stocking your pantry takes time but once the pantry and "magic drawer" are filled, you have a world of options at your fingertips.
Two of my earliest articles were all about cooking from scratch. I hope they give you some hope and help you realize it IS possible to save money AND time by cooking from scratch.
Stock Your Kitchen to Save Money
Save Money With Homemade Convenience Foods
I'm a fan of the cookbook in the Amazon link. All cooking and baking is based on ratios - so much liquid to so much flour to so much fat. Knowing these ratios can take the worry out of adapting a recipe to be more suitable to your tastes.