I got hooked on this when I decided we would stop buying our Friday night pizzas a few years ago. For about a year we had a takeaway night and most often it was pizzas from a local shop that was amazing. I started to make my own dough and copied some of their beautiful toppings. When I figured out the savings I was completely shocked and thought they couldn't even be correct! I was saving a whopping $2,600 a year. One simple change saving this much was a shock.
Since then I calculate the annual costs of all kinds of habits and purchases!
Gradually I have made more and more things myself. Many things we buy we don't even realise that they are so easy to make! A recent one is dark brown sugar. That stuff is expensive in the supermarket. I use it often in my fruit cakes. So it was with great surprise that I found out it is just ordinary sugar with molasses added. It is as easy as adding one tablespoon of molasses to one cup of white sugar and stirring it. Seriously!
For maximum savings the way to go is to consider making whatever it is you are always buying, that will save you the most. Start there. It could be pizza or it might be fabric softener. But if it is a regular at your place you will find that over a year the savings will be considerable.
This subject will take a couple of weeks I think! But lets get started!
One of my most regular makes is Miracle Cleaner. This stuff replaces so many cleaners and any need for air freshener as well. Also it replaces anti germ wipes. You can find the recipe here.
This also means you just reduced chemicals in your house as another benefit. The big trend is cleaning products that are safe or natural and they are expensive. You can make your own so cheaply.
The dusters in the jar are pre moistened for wiping down surfaces and dusting sessions. They smell beautiful!
I also make my own dusters/cleaning cloths to go with this.
I keep a supply of super soft flannelette for when someone is sick as well as they are so much softer than tissues or hankies!
My next best recipe is wool wash and also liquid laundry wash. These work so beautifully, smell just gorgeous and last ages. You can find these in my sop making series here.
I have been able to give these as gifts as well. The wool wash makes things softer than you can imagine. All my blankets, underlays, quilts etc are washed in this.
A beauty "make your own" is scrub and I wrote this here about an at home treatment you can do that is very close to salon microdermabrasion. (Except over a hundred dollars cheaper.) Being cheap you can do it weekly which will always have better results than something you do a couple of times a year. There are so many beautiful treatments you can do yourself.
Another area is making ready to bake mixes. I like to make ready to bake Cornbread mix. But there are so many you could do!
These cookie mixes were given to Chloe by a friend. How good do they look!? What a nice gift!
When Harper was smaller we worked out my crockpot full of baby food saved $80 per batch compared to the little pouches or jars you can buy. We are about to be back to that with Scarlett!
Others include make your own Cream of anything soup mix! This is a serious saving!
These can be found here and the comments on this post contain a lot of hints too.
Ready mixes can be beautiful gifts! From all the dry ingredients for soup to hot chocolate they look good in a jar with a label and instructions. Having mixes ready in the kitchen can mean whipping up a batch of cookies, scones, muffins etc is really fast.
Thinking of Hot Chocolate ... it is winter here. Good weather to make up some of this. Compare to store bought mixes and you will be amazed! You can find MOO (Make our own) Hot Chocolate here.
Recently I found out about making your own baking flour (which I shared last Monday) and I am amazed that I keep finding out new things that can be simply made. Cath from The Cheapskates Club explained it well. She said clever marketing over time has convinced us we need to buy all kinds of things that we don't and they should be bought at the supermarket. So our lists have got longer and longer with things that are unnecessary and/or can be easily made! From paper towels to fabric softener our Grandmothers would be laughing.
You can read Cath's article here and follow it up with thirty easy make your own recipes here. Even if there is one recipe on this list that you can adopt it will be a significant saving.
If you let this sink in it is quite mind blowing. There is so much we can leave off the shopping list. Much of the time the homemade version is healthier as well.
Coming up we are going to look at our pantries from this point of view. Instead of trying to store everything we could need what about storing the ingredients to make everything we need? This frees up so much space and saves so much money. Everything changes!
It is a huge subject! From beauty to cleaning, cooking and even in the garden making our own has the potential to change your budget enormously. Pick something to try. Most are so easy. Calculate the yearly savings, repeat! There are things we haven't even considered we can make ourselves as we are just used to the idea that they are bought! Think "could I make this" and you will see what I mean!
There are exceptions. A few things I get from Aldi are so nice and so inexpensive that it wouldn't pay to make my own. So you have to do a few quick sums! Possibly the biggest savings are things that replace something really expensive or something that replaces numerous products i.e. Miracle Cleaner.
Even with things that are inexpensive to buy it is good to know how to make them anyway! There might be a time you cannot buy them!
One of my goals this week is to find more things I can make myself, work out the savings and try them out.
What "make your own" recipes do you use?
Is there anything that you would love to know how to make yourself?
Have a very good week! I have to empty all the cupboards, pantry, china, glassware etc from the kitchen and living room to get ready for my floor to be replaced. I'm thinking of it as a massive early spring clean. xxx