Butter is currently selling between $3 and $4 for a 500g block, depending on brand and local specials.
The olive oil flavoured margarines (less than 20% olive oil), which are mostly canola, or sunflower seed oil, or anything except the olive oil that features in the name, sell for between $4 and $5-50 for the same, again depending on brand and specials. The "Lite" varieties, with water substituted for some of the fat, cost the same.
I reckon that butter has an undeniable taste advantage over margarine, especially on toast, but butter mostly doesn't spread as easily as margarine and much of the price advantage of butter is quite literally eaten up by the extra we therefore need to use.
"Spreadable butter" - often a mix with canola or sunflower seed oils - is a licence for the supermarkets to print money.
Wouldn't it be nice to have an easy-spread butter that did not cost the earth, and that was not adulterated by cheap and possibly suspect vegetable oils. (I personally don't use canola or soy if I can avoid them, and mustard oil for only a very limited number of Indian curries.)
And even better if it was within the competence of anybody with a food processor.
So, here we go: The very simple procedure I am going to set out will see you with about a kilogram of butter/olive oil blend for approximately $6. About the same as butter but it goes a lot further.
You will need:
A food processor
250ml Olive Oil
Leave butter overnight out of the fridge or freezer to reach room temperature.
Chop the butter into 2cm cubes and place in the processor with a little oil.
Switch it on and gradually add the remainder of the oil, then add the water and blend for a minute or two until the contents look as smooth as they're going to get.
End of story.
Carefully remove the spread from the processor, and store in sealable containers - old plastic margarine containers will do fine - in the fridge. Next morning when you take one out for breakfast or school lunches, it will spread like a dream, just a touch firmer than margarine.
If you like, you can add a little yellow food colouring to the water, as otherwise your spread will be white. But only do this if you really cannot stand white "butter". Margarine is routinely coloured in this way so as to resemble butter which it is not.
I haven't tried this yet but I imagine that if you wanted to throw in a few cloves of garlic with an eye to garlic bread, that would be just fine. Or chives. Or parsley.