Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can you save money by making your own butter?

Nov 22, 2022, 10:24 PM | Updated: 10:46 pm

OGDEN, Utah — Prices for groceries are up, but the price we pay for butter is way, way up — to the point it will impact your holiday baking budget.

KSL Producer Sloan Schrage and I have certainly consumed our fair share of butter, but neither of us have ever given much thought to where it comes from. According to a recipe we found online, making it is as easy as, well, as a hot knife through butter. Just whip heavy whipping cream until it turns into butter.

On this day, we are making the spread with one question in mind: is making our own cheaper? After all, the cost of butter is way up.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all food has gone up 7.7% in the last calendar year. But butter is up three-and-a-half times that; we’re paying 26.7% more than we did before.

I bought the cheapest heavy whipping cream I could find at the grocery store nearest my house, as well as the cheapest sticks of butter. Could a little elbow grease help us bust inflation ahead of Thanksgiving or Christmas cookie season?

“You could definitely make it on your own,” said Baylee Sorenson, owner of Mountain Born Creamery in Ogden.

Sorenson makes butter for a living — fancy butter she sells at farmers markets and a few select stores. For her, it is a labor of love.

Sorenson shows KSL’s Matt Gephardt how the butter is beginning to separate from the buttermilk. (KSL TV) Mountain Born Creamery’s Baylee Sorenson pour a gallon of cream into a butter churn as she makes artisan butter. (KSL TV) Butter prices have increased 26.7% since last year. (KSL TV) Is this bowl of homemade butter cheaper than buying butter from the store? (KSL TV)

While we wait for our cream to turn into butter, let’s go talk to somebody who knows a lot more about this than we do.

“You take a raw product and you make it into something else,” Sorenson said, “and that’s always exciting.”

Exciting maybe, but Sorenson confirms making butter has gotten more expensive.

“What we’re seeing now is a lot of pinches from supply chain disruption from COVID, to droughts to gas prices. It all plays a part right now,” she said. “Especially in Utah, where you have a drought. Dairy needs a lot of water in order to make and supply cows. Gas prices have been the number one influence on that because the cost of transport milk is expensive.”

Sorenson’s advice for bringing down the cost of butter — buy in bulk.

“Butter freezes beautifully,” she said. “It does not disrupt the product. So, if you find butter for a good price or a product that you love, throw it in your freezer.”

Or when cooking, use a cheaper substitute.

“Maybe it’s olive oil, maybe it’s lard, maybe it’s a different kind of fat that you’re going to add into that recipe,” Sorenson said.

Unlike the pros, Sloan and I trial-and-errored our way through the butter making process and found it not quite as simple as the recipe alleged. Separating the butter from the buttermilk proved especially, well, squishy. When all was said and done, we did end up with some decent tasting butter, but did we save money?

Let’s do the math: That elbow grease got us almost exactly one, standard, 4-ounce stick of butter’s worth. The four sticks of butter I purchased from the store cost $4.79. To make that much, I would need to buy $10.98 worth of heavy whipping cream. That more than doubled what I paid for the butter sticks.

So, making our own butter turned out not to be an inflation buster. But I learned a new life skill, and despite all the trouble we had making that butter, I can honestly say — it tasted better.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Identity theft is a multi-billion dollar crime every year in the United States - it's never been mo...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Utah man share ID Theft warning signs he says he missed

Identity theft is a multi-billion dollar crime every year in the United States - it's never been more rampant.

1 day ago

FILE: Jay Schmidt shows the texts between himself and a scammer....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Fraudster impersonates Gov. Cox, asks for gift cards

A fraudster impersonated Gov. Cox, trying to swindle others into buying gift cards.

5 days ago

Car mirror with credit score in it...

Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Despite on-time payments, woman’s credit score drops due to company not reporting

A Box Elder County woman bought a car and made payments on time to boost her credit scores. It did the opposite. Matt Gephardt investigates what went wrong.

5 days ago

Medical bill...

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Lehi man says medical clinic refuses to work with his faith-based medical cost sharing plan

Miles is the newest member of the Littledike family. His father, Ryan, says Miles’ arrival in December went almost flawlessly.

7 days ago

Wendie Muhic is the frustrated owner of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, that dies a lot....

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

West Jordan car owner says odometer fraud has left her stuck paying thousands on a lemon she can’t drive

Wendie Muhic is the frustrated owner of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe that dies a lot. Now she is left paying for it.

12 days ago

Woman texting...

Matt Gephardt

How crooks use texts to get your money, identity, or both.

If you used a mobile phone for any length of time, it’s likely you have gotten text messages that seem like an honest mistake that innocuous-looking text might have come from a scammer.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can you save money by making your own butter?