I like to make things from scratch, so yesterday I made beef stock from scratch.
It was pretty simple to do. Get some beef bones with marrow in them ($1.99/lb), rough cut up some onions, carrots, and celery. Coat the bones with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper.
Put everything on a tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. When half way done, rotate the bones. When the roasting is done, it should look like this:
Then take all that pre-stock goodness and put it into a large pot. Cover the bones with water and then simmer the hell out of it. I think I did mine for 6 hours. You're going to have to watch the portion of stock you get. Adjust the amount of water as needed.
I used mine to make French Onion Soup (FOS) later and came up a bit short in quantity but it was still delicious. This was my second attempt at making FOS and I managed to get it almost right. The daughter complained that it wasn't 'salty' enough.
The moral of the story is that you can make delicious food from scratch that's pretty darn cheap. I saved the marrow from the bones and made another batch of stock overnight For about $7.00 I got more than 1.5 quarts (about 1.5 liters) of delicious beef stock. The rest I'll freeze to make something else with it in the future.