Sunday, March 13, 2011

Frugal Friday: Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe

Is it my imagination or have grocery prices jumped BIG TIME?   I went into a grocery store the other day to purchase a jar of mayonnaise and was shocked that the sticker price was over $5.00. 

It has been a huge challenge to stay within my $200.00 a month budget for groceries/toiletries/household expenses so I'm trying to find ways to substitute items that are rising in cost for something less expensive. So when I saw the $5.00 sticker on mayo I decided to try my hand at homemade mayo. I tried it once before but the olive oil I used had a strong flavor that transferred over to the taste of the mayo. I threw the batch out.. it was that bad. 


I used a recipe a friend suggested from Elton Brown. I read you could use a hand blender instead of a whisk so I started out placing the mixture into a cup and slowly began adding the oil. You're supposed to add the oil in a small steady stream. If you add the oil too fast then it will 'break' and separate. The mayo was coming together nicely but my hand blender started getting hot. I tried letting it cool down but then I got impatient and added the oil too fast. It ended up separating. I'll share below how I fixed it. 



Recipe courtesy Alton Brown from Food Network
  • 1 egg yolk*
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 pinches sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup oil, safflower or corn (I used extra virgin olive oil from Costco)


In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk and dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit, (which means you've got an emulsion on your hands). Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a constant (albeit thin) stream. Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.
Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we 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 shell.

Fixing 'broken' mayo is very simple. Just take a single egg yolk and place it in a bowl. Briskly whisk the egg yolk while you add the 'broken' mayo slowly. Continue adding the entire batch of broken mayo into the egg yolk slowly. That's it. The mayo will turn out yellow but taste great. We normally only eat Best Food mayo and I've never liked 'off  brands'. This mayo passed the test. 


  1. What an adventure to save money! $200 a month is certainly a challenge.

    I use mayonnaise after spreading coconut oil on my husband's sandwiches. Maybe I can experiment with your recipe myself. Thanks!


  2. You are not imagining things. The food prices have really increased. Read this

    Even so I did read today that the USA has the lowest prices on food in the developed world. I know you have pressures on your food budget especially since it has to include toiletries.
    A couple of ways that might help you if you haven't already implemented them: don't buy any household cleansers(use vinegar and baking soda); don't buy toothpaste (use baking soda); don't buy shampoo (here are instructions; try using cloth for toilet paper for number 1 (they can be dried, reused, washed etc.). I only use the first suggestion myself and sometimes use baking soda for the teeth. I will be trying some of the other steps over time. Let me know if you do any of these things and how it turns out.

  3. I made mayo today in my blender (not food processor) .. it comes out great. Our biggest grocery savings comes by not buying many processed foods. Of late our bill has been more due to stocking up on pantry items.

  4. I understand about the groceries, they're really expensive. I have to eat lower carb now (failing miserably as of today LOL) and it's really expensive here. We're on a limited budget as well.

    Inflation will hit 5% here they say by the end of the year...scary thought.

  5. I began making my own mayo in earnest when I found this recipe from Mary Hunt at It is for a replica of Best Foods Mayonnaise. The vinegar and lemon juice will pasteurize the egg if you allow it to sit for a bit after you make it, so that you don't have the raw egg worries. Using the white with the egg helps, I believe, to give body to the mayonnaise without doubling your yolks. And you really can put everything in a wide-mouth pint jar and just whip it up with your immersion blender. Fewer dishes to wash will also help save a penny. I hadn't realized how pricey mayo was getting.

    Joyful's suggestions are good ones. I make my own household cleaners with great results. I use vinegar and baking soda on my hair and it turns out nicer than it ever did with shampoo. You can find some basic cleaner recipes on my blog: (LOL, I just went there to get the URL and saw that you had already commented on this post last November. Figured I'd throw it in anyway in case someone reading your post would like the recipes.)

    And I've never admitted this to any but family but I use washable flannel squares in place of TP for #1 as she also suggested. I have a small lidded container for my clean, folded squares and a larger lidded container next to it for used ones. Toss them in the washer with vinegar in your rise to kill germs and you'll be amazed how much less paper you waste. I mean, really, unless we are ill our urine is sterile, yet we spend tons of money on paper to blot dry.

    I always appreciate your posts! Your diligence is an encouragement.

  6. Right, about that recipe I mentioned... I meant to paste it in:

    Clone of Best Foods (Hellman’s) Mayonnaise

    1 egg
    1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottled ok)
    1 teaspoon white vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    dash white pepper
    1 cup vegetable oil, at room temperature

    Break egg into a 1-quart glass canning jar. Add lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, white pepper and vegetable oil. Place handheld emulsion blender (turned off) all the way to the bottom of the jar, pressing down over the egg. Turn it on high speed. Hold in place for about 5 seconds until you see mayonnaise begin to form. Slowly lift the blender upward until it reaches the top of the jar, about 5 more seconds. Cover and leave on counter for about 8 hours, to give the vinegar and lemon juice sufficient time to kill any bacteria that may be present in the egg (or use pasteurized egg). Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Yield: 1 cup.

  7. You aren't alone. Prices have gone up drastically here. I haven't made mayonnaise yet, I think I might try. Hugs

  8. Perseverance is part of frugal living and you certainly fixed that mayo! Seems I learned a lot of frugal ways living in West Africa as I made my own mayo there too.

  9. We don't use much mayo., and when I do I buy the large jar and it last a long time, but I can see I'm going to be in for sticker shock or should I say pocket book shock.

    I made mayo. when my children were small, I need to try my hand with your recipe.

  10. @Joyful: I do most of what you recommended except the no-poo and toothpaste because I get those basically free through couponing at Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS. I'm using up the cleaners I have on hand but hope to not buy anymore and only use vinegar and baking soda.
    @Kristine: I like the method used in your recipe. I'm definitely going to give it a try. We used the mayo today on our sandwiches and it passed the husband test. Yippee!!! :-) I also use flannel cloths.

  11. My mother used to make mayo when I was a kid. I was just talking to my son about it the other day. I should try to make some! Meantime, I've got some in my stockpile that I got for about $2 a jar by combining coupons and sales. But you are right, what's up with $5 a jar? Peanut butter isn't far behind, so I'm glad I've got that in my stockpile, too! Peanut Butter is my weakness, LOL!

  12. We just never got into using mayo much. I don't know why. I do buy spicy mustard. Prices are up--for sure and keep on going up. Not just food--other things. Bedding plants--I didn't start seeds this year--so far-- and wow.. I still remember buying a 'big' flat for $7. They don't have big flats anymore. If we ever figure out where we are living I'll set up seed starting stuff again--in this cabin that would be impossible.
    But--I do have a nice garden--figured as high as the plants are they are still cheaper than store food.
    I keep couponing and combining with sales--still getting my toothpaste mainly free, buying cheaper shampoo, color the hair less, etc.. whattayagonna do? ~shrugs~

  13. Thanks for visiting my Frugal Friday post. I wanted to let you know I found 2 patterns for the Swiffer covers at Etsy.


  14. We don't go through a lot of mayo. I don't think I would use it up in the two weeks before it goes bad. But I love this idea though, because I have to think that homemade is probably better for you than store bought, because of all the preservatives. There is a reason that store bought mayo lasts long in the fridge and it probably isn't good for you.

    I started a new link-up on Wednesdays, Kitchen Economics: Cost Cutting Tips to Save Money in the Kitchen. I would love for you to stop by next Wednesday.

    Thanks ~ Kristia

  15. Mayonnaise and oatmeal are two staples at our house. I buy them only when on sale. $5 a jar? No way!

  16. If you can get farm fresh eggs (preferably your own) you do not have to worry about them.
    My son gives me fresh eggs. As he knows I like over easy eggs.
    Eggs are porous so the longer you keep them the older they get.
    Put an egg in a glass of water if it sinks it is fresh, if it starts to float upwards it is older, and if it floats it is really old.
    Fresh eggs hard boiled are very hard to peel, old eggs peel wonderfully. I hard boil every egg that floats.

  17. Revisiting this post... I still don't use much mayo--but it is in some recipes I am looking at. I have in the past bought it with coupons when it is on sale.. but have been looking at making it in my food procesor I got for Christmas.
    I saw it done on TV yesterday-- the person said that it is best to have the eggs and oil at room temp. You can still use refrigerated eggs.. just take them out half an our or so before you make the mayo so they'll be warmer.


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