We do a lot of activities that seem to use food coloring in our house - making play doh, playing with colored vinegar and baking soda, etc. Food coloring seems to be pretty pricey in our local grocery stores, though - $4 or $5 for one of those little boxes with the 4 colors.

What other choices do I have? How can add color to things without expensive food coloring?

  • Cool, I'd love to hear about some of your activities. I'm always looking for more. Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 22:26
  • Seems a bit offtopic, as a shopping question - it will be localised in time and country, I would imagine.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 9:39
  • I've now rephrased the question to avoid being a shopping recommendation. This even made existing answers more applicable! :-) Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


Have you considered making your own? Some colors are really easy to make (yellow=turmeric powder, red=beets, etc.) but other colors are not too bad either. You avoid using too many chemicals/by products and it iss CHEAP! (1 cup of produce = 4oz of food coloring)

  • Yes. There's an extensive list here
    – bobobobo
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:06
  • @bobobobo, that's a wonderful list!
    – Swati
    Commented Aug 11, 2012 at 0:33

I don't know where you can find food coloring in bulk, but a good replacement for food coloring in almost any craft that calls for it, is liquid watercolor. The extra advantage is you have more color options this way. Here is a link to a discount supply company that sells liquid watercolors. I have never seen them on a store shelf, but they can be ordered through this link. Or go to discountschoolsupply.com and do a search for "liquid watercolor".

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