During the World War II food shortages, people were forced to make the most of what they had. With today’s escalating grocery prices, one hint from that time still makes a lot of sense (and cents!)… how to turn one stick of butter into two. This extended butter has the same taste and texture as regular butter. It’s frugal… half the cost… but it’s also healthier… because it has half the fat and half the calories of regular butter. You can use extended butter almost anywhere you would normally use butter, but remember that it contains only half the amount of fat, so you cannot use it in any dish that depends on a certain fat content. This is why you cannot use it for baking.

Extended butter is easy to make. Just beat one half cup of lukewarm water into one softened stick (one half cup) of butter. If you use a mixer, start slowly to prevent splattering. Add small amounts of water at a time and keep beating until the water is thoroughly incorporated into the butter. The mixture will be smooth and fluffy, and you will end up with one cup of soft butter. After this soft butter is refrigerated, it will become as firm as regular butter. I make up only one stick at a time and usually store the butter covered in a stainless steel measuring cup that lost its handle some time back. If your preferences run to something fancier, try shaping it or putting it in a pretty dish. This butter will also pick up detail nicely from a mold.

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Thank you for sharing this. I have been searching for a way to extend my butter as we go through a lot with cooking and baking from scratch.Can you use the extended butter in recipes? Also, is the taste altered from the water?

Jenny B (aka Mother Hen)

I love this advice! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am always looking for ways to make the food go further. I have five boys (the oldest 2 are teenagers) so food is a big deal around here.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Before I posted this, I asked my husband to taste regular butter and the extended butter and tell me which was which. He couldn’t tell the difference… and neither can I.

As far as using this butter in recipes, if the recipe is dependent on a certain fat content, the extended butter has only half the fat, so it might or might not be OK. I wouldn’t try it for baking, but I have used it in main dish recipes and cannot see a difference.


That is so cool!! I just found your blog and I love it. Thanks so much for all the wonderful info!!!! I certainly will be back.


Ohhh…I love that idea. We’ll definitely try that one.



I love this idea…thank you! With groceries being so expensive now, any place I can save I will try.


Thank you so much for sharing! This is perfect for us!


Thank you for sharing this tip. My hubby loves butter but it is so expensive…this will certainly save us alot of money not to mention being healthier!



What a great tip!! I was so excited when I read your post. I never even wondered how to make my butter go further. This was definitely very helpful. Thanks a bunch!

Rhiana from A Frugal Life

This is such an awesome idea! I love the rest of your site also, especially the recipes! I’ve added you to my favorites to check often. Thanks!


Have you tried using the extended butter in a frosting recipe?


This is also the basic recipe for the ‘spreadable’ margarines on your grocery shelves. Only almost all use Canola oil instead of the water. So this tip is well worth money.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Adding oil would make a more spreadable extended butter than the extended butter made with water, which, with refrigeration, really does firm up to be the same firmness as regular butter.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Georgene, no, I haven’t tried the extended butter in frosting. You would have to probably adjust the amount of liquids slightly, but I would think it would work and would just make the frosting a little less rich.


This is a great tip, thanks for sharing. I have made butter from scratch before (using whipping cream) and if you don’t get all the moisture out it will go rancid faster, is this a problem with this recipe? I hope not, because I am really hoping to use this tip frequently. (I also wanted to say that old glass jelly jars would be a great way to store this extended butter. ;)


Great idea, especially with the price of butter these days.


Can you tell me how much butter is in one stick? Where I live I buy butter by the pound so I would need some conversions made to make this butter. Thanks.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Stephanie, one stick of butter is one half cup. A pound of butter has four individually wrapped sticks. The “recipe” for extended butter is one part butter to one part water. I make up only small amounts at a time so the one stick of butter works out well.


My mom did this when I was a child. She used buttermilk and the taste was heavenly.


What a great tip! I didn’t know you could do something like that and still have the butter be firm after refrigerating. I might try some with a little honey and cinamon mixed in…yummy for morning toast maybe?

Thanks :)

Blue Castle

Wow. That’s great! Thank you!

Domestic Spaz

Thanks for this! I’ll DEFINITELY be trying this.


awesome tip, thanks!


I’ve never heard of this, but it sounds like a GREAt idea!


I have done this with honey and another time with applesauce and cinnamon…never even thought of water or buttermilk! Wow. Just fabulous! Thanks so much for the tip!!


This is really a great idea. I will try this because butter is expensive where I am at!!! Thanks for sharing!

Simple Mom

Amazing idea! I’ve never thought of this. Thanks so much for sharing.


I love this idea! I will try this one for sure. Thanks.


Thanks for sharing this tip. I found another tip that called for milk. The fact that I can use water is even better.


I’m assuming that you must use *real* butter for this! LOL I’m guessing that oil-filled oleo stuff wouldn’t work?

Llama Momma

GREAT tip!! Thanks for sharing!

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Julie, I think what can get rancid when you’re making butter from cream is the leftover milk liquid after the butter forms if it is not completely removed from the butter. I don’t think water would cause rancidity. However, I only have ever made small quantities of this extended butter at a time… it doesn’t last very long, and then I make more, so it’s always rather freshly made!

Beth, I have no idea if you could do the same thing with the oleo.


I like the idea of adding in a bit of honey at the same time — enhance the taste, nutrition, and cost all in one fell swoop. Can’t beat that!


What a great idea! And I love all the folks’ comments about incorporating herbs or honey into the butter! Thanks for the great tip!


Great tip! I’ve done this before with oil….I like your idea much better.

I am so gonna do this today!


This is a great tip! I will definitely try it!


Thanks for this tip!


What you’re essentially doing is adding air to the butter. This increases its volume, much like when you whip egg whites and heavy cream. In fact, this is nearly identical to whipping cream except for butter’s higher fat content.

I don’t know if this will work, but have you considered adding gelatin during this process? Gelatin would add proteins which will help trap air, just like the proteins in egg whites help trap air. If you could find the method to the madness, you could create “butter foam,” an idea so delightful that I’m excited at the very prospect!

My days as a chef/molecular gastronomist are all well-done, but the process of cooking is always a fun system to manipulate and tweak.


Is extended butter OK to keep at room temperature in a butter keeper/butter bell, or will it separate or liquify or anything like that?

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Alicorn, I always keep butter in the refrigerator, so I don’t have any personal experience with keeping it at room temperature… but once the water and butter are fully incorporated, I’ve never had them separate or liquefy.


How on earth I’ve managed to consider myself anywhere near “simple living” all this time without meeting up with your blog is just mind boggling!
I have not even gone through the entire site yet and my printer is simply smoking from the paperwork rushing through it.
I will definitely be passing your site along to everyone I know. What a great treasure!


That’s an amazing idea, but how long would this butter stay good in the refrigerator?

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

I wouldn’t try for long term storage. Just make up enough for your family for a week or so, or make more and freeze whatever you won’t use within a week or two. It certainly will stay fresh that long.


We do this in the food service indusry, but mix equal parts butter and margarine, then ad scoops of ice in the mixer, makes about 30 pounds at a time, used on pancakes and toast.


Thank you, thank you for this recipe! I knew there had to be a better way than buying lite butter in plastic tubs. I’m sure it will be cheaper and taste better, too. Thanks again!


Great tip. I was too anxious to let the butter come to room temperature and it would not incorporate. After sitting out for a while I was able to beat it into submission.


This is basically what you get when you buy low-fat butter


That’s cool, thanks for sharing!


Wow Great idea!
My Mama shared your blog with me. SO Glad she did!


Shirley, Love this post. I will share something I discovered one Thanksgiving. Carrying a full Thanksgiving to our college student son in a student apartment with minimal cooking items can be a challenge. I decided to skip the dressing, much to my husband’s dismay, thinking homemade bread would work better. I decided to make a seasoned butter with an internet recipe for Bell’s Seasoning – a good teaspoon mixed with a full stick of butter. Wow, it was amazing. Since then I’ve used that same idea to accompany roast chicken and pork. You get the dressing flavor without all the work.


Howard Johnson’s used this recipe, calling it whipped butter and served it for all meals. It’s a great way to extend butter and it will hold a shape in a mold, as well. I don’t recall baking with it and would wonder about the fat content needed for some recipes. Adding flavors and seasonings is a great idea, too! Whipped butter does NOT melt well enough to use on hot popcorn (gets foamy) for those of us still old enough to enjoy REAL popcorn from that air-popped stuff, though.


This sounds great! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
Why not make a large batch from a full pound of butter, split into small tubs to freeze, and thaw as needed? I’m adding buttermilk to the grocery list and doing this tomorrow.


Guess what, some of the companies selling butter already know this trick, and have for years. When trying to make my Christmas candy with a cheaper store brand, it didn’t work. I contacted them and found out that is what they were doing. They labeled it cream butter or creamy butter. So now I check carefully or make my own. It is not difficult and oh so much better. I get the grand kids to do it and they have so much fun doing it. It is really easy.


My Grandmother would use buttermilk and a pinch of salt to extend a pound of stick butter into two pounds of spreadable butter that could be left setting out. The salt kept the butter from going rancid