Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Homemade microwave popcorn is just as easy as store bought popcorn. But, by making it yourself you can save 79% over the cost of store bought. Since we go through a fair amount of popcorn, I figured it was worth making our own to save money as well as make one of our favorite snacks healthier.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn. Just as easy as store-bought popcorn, just healthier and with a frugal price tag of $0.12 per bag!

In order for this to work for our household, we needed to make it just as easy as grabbing a store-bought bag and popping it in the microwave. Now that we’ve done this several times I can confidently say that not only is this just as simple as making a bag of store bought popcorn, but it tastes better, is healthier and is way less expensive.

You’ll need: 

* Brown lunch bags
* 2-lbs of popcorn kernels
* 1/4 cup measuring cup

Here’s how we do it: 

* Place 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in a brown bag
* Fold the top of the bag over two or three times
* Place the bag in the microwave and microwave until the popping of kernels slows. We tend to get the best results by microwaving for 1 minute and 45 seconds, but time varies according to your microwave.

To store: 

We like to store brown bags with kernels that are ready to go in a popcorn basket that we purchased at the dollar store. This makes it just as easy as store-bought popcorn. Even easier, actually, if you account for the time it takes you to wrestle with the plastic wrap on store bought popcorn.

We can’t fit 19 bags of popcorn in that container, so we also use a tall tupperware container to store the remaining kernels and the measuring cup to make things super easy on ourselves. The brown bags are stored right next to the popcorn container.


You can reuse the brown bags! We do all the time. After you microwave the popcorn, there will be a bit of oil on the bottom of the bag. That is completely normal. If we know we’re going to make more than one bag in a night (movie nights), we reuse the same bag two or three times.

Cost Breakdown:

The numbers below are based on purchasing 2 lbs of kernels for $1.88 and 50 brown lunch bags for $1. The price would be even lower if you account for using each brown bag at least twice. But for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just go with using each bag once.

Cost per bag:

Popcorn: $0.10
Bag: $0.02
Total cost per serving: $0.12 

Price Comparison: 

Cheapest 3-pack Popcorn in Store: $0.56 per bag or $1.68/box
Price per Homemade Bag: $0.12
Savings per bag: $0.44 or 79%

How much can you Save in a Year? 

Cost of store-bought popcorn per year, assuming you purchase one 3-bag box per week:  $87.36

A year worth of popcorn if using homemade: $15.60

If you purchase one 3-pack of popcorn per week, your savings over the course of a year are: $71.76

Not bad. Not bad at all.

We are so happy that we made the switch to making our own homemade microwave popcorn. Due to the way we store the bags, it truly is just as easy as making a store bought bag of popcorn. My husband thought I was crazy at first for trying this, but now he doesn’t notice a difference.

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    • Roberta Shay says

      Make sure the bags are not made from recycled paper. The chemicals used in the recycling process are toxic and that type bag should not be used. Maybe cheaper but you will be exposing you & your loved ones to toxic chemicals.

  1. says

    I started doing this more for the health aspect (storebought micro popcorn bags as well as many of the butter flavorings contain all kinds of unhealthy additives or chemicals. EW!) I’ve also had good luck reusing bags but, just like with storebought micro popcorn, you do have to watch out for scorching.

    The only thing I don’t like is that you can only make small amounts at a time. If you regularly eat popcorn as a snack and serve more than 2 people, you might want to invest in an air popper which will make a healthier snack, still at a fraction of the price.

  2. says

    This is great! I didn’t realize that you could pop the kernels dry. I thought that the bag needed to have oil or butter or something to make the kernels pop and prevent burning. Cant wait to try this! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  3. gena says

    You stated that there will be some oil left over in the bag after it’s first use, but I didn’t find any use of oil in your instructions.

  4. Becky PS says

    I love popcorn! Don’t always have time or want to make a full pot with my Whirly-pop Popper on the stove top. Happy to find this fab idea!!! Thank you

  5. jsb says

    Quick thought, you didn’t include salt or butter in your prices. Granted, it’s still quite a bit of savings, but it would be flavorless without!

    As far as the “oil released by the kernel,” it’s literally minuscule and typically more is required for flavor.

  6. Robin says

    Suppose to be meal planning… made this instead.
    Turned out amazing! Shared it with my furry pets (bunnies, guinea pigs and gerbil) since it has no additives. Cats where not excited about it though lol!!! Thanks for posting. Making a batch of them for my kids.


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