30 Things I Simply Stopped Buying (and Why You Should Stop Buying and Make Too!)

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A few years ago, I found myself in a financial crisis. I had lost over 70% of my income and things weren’t just tight; they were rope around your neck tight. That year, I almost lost everything, and if I hadn’t done some fancy footwork, I would have. I started with finding new ways to save money on groceries. I’ve always been good at cutting food costs; my father taught me well, but I wanted ways that I had never used before to stack on to what Dad taught me when I was growing up. So, I started with making a list of things to stop buying and make because as we all know, making something homemade is almost always cheaper than buying it.

30 Things I Simply Stopped Buying (and Why You Should Stop Buying and Make Too!) - Money saved? $2500 this year alone. Are you making these things too or are you still wasting your hard earned cash?

As it turned out, learning to stop buying and make was the key to saving my budget. By the end of 2015, I had saved over $2500.00. I know that it might seem impossible that I saved that much, but the truth is that none of us actually stop and think about how much those everyday items add up to each month and year. Aside from the fact that we saved so much, my family ended the year feeling much better. You would not believe some of the stuff that is put into our foods and the other items that we use on our bodies or in our homes. Just removing a handful of those things has helped us all to get back to feeling better overall. By removing those chemicals, I was partially managing chronic pain naturally and my daughter was a lot healthier as well.

30 Things I Simply Stopped Buying (and Why You Should Stop Buying and Make Too!)

You might be asking how 30 things to stop buying and make helped me save $2500.00 in a year. The answer is simple; there are more than 30 things that I make. This post, however, focuses only on 30 of the most common. If you’re interested in learning how to stop buying and make more than these, you can check out 30 (more) things to stop buying and make right HERE and 200+ things to stop buying and make right HERE. Both posts contain even more things you can make at home to save money and they’re a great place to find ideas no matter if you’re  new to saving money or have been saving for years.

Side Note: Really want to cut your cost of living and save even more money? Be sure to check out my book, Six Dollar Family HERE. It is packed with amazing tips to save money, my own personal DIY recipes (more than you’ll find in this post) and so much more!

Another thing I want to address quickly is the thought that making homemade products costs more. While it is true that most of the time, the ingredients will cost you more to get started, in the long run, you actually save money. You may pay $11.00 for a pound or two of beeswax, but you will use such a small amount for each product that you will get more than 20 uses out of that $11.00. When you look at it that way, you’re really spending $0.55 per use for those beeswax pellets.

The only thing you’ll need to worry about when buying your supplies is that they are pure and aren’t mixed with anything that could harm your family. For the most part, you won’t really need to worry too much about that, but when you purchase essential oils, you do. It doesn’t matter which brand of essential oils you use as long as they are pure essential oils. Despite what some people would have you believe, there is no grading system for essential oils to rank one as therapeutic and others are not. Therapeutic is a word most often used to get you to pay more for a bottle of EO.

In my case, I personally use and trust Plant Therapy Essential Oils. They are by far the best priced and easily just as “quality” as some of the more expensive brands. You can check them out HERE if you would like.

Another great way to save money on supplies needed to make homemade products is by signing up for a Thrive Market account over HERE. Thrive Market sells organic, natural products and you’ll save 20% on your first 3 orders. I get a lot of my own supplies from Thrive Market.

I also shop Grove Collaborative. Grove is another amazing all natural marketplace that has amazing prices. When you sign up for Grove using THIS link, you’ll score a $10.00 free credit which only helps you to save even more money.

Finally, if you’re going to be shopping online for your ingredients at all, make certain to take the time to sign up for an Ebates account. Ebates is a cash back shopping site that will pay you a portion of your qualifying purchase back as a check (or Paypal). Plus, new Ebates members receive a FREE $10.00 gift card of their choice with their first qualifying purchase of $25 or more. Confused about how Ebates works? Check out my post Ebates 101 – How Ebates Works HERE for all the details.

Homemade Shave Cream

Shave cream is shave cream and I’ve never really seen the point of paying $2.50 or more per can when it is so simple to make at home. Grab your stand mixer and make THIS homemade shave cream recipe for pennies on the dollar. It whips up perfectly and leaves your skin silky smooth. It can even be customized for men or women depending on the essential oil you use for scent!


Homemade Shampoo

Both my daughter Emma and I  have crazy thick hair, and shampoo can get really expensive for us pretty quickly. Since I have a bad reaction to most budget friendly shampoo options, I was spending more than $6.00 per bottle of shampoo and another $6.00 for conditioner. To combat the high prices, I started making THIS homemade coconut milk shampoo at first. Since then, I’ve also added THIS homemade shine boosting shampoo for when my hair needs a bit of a shine boost.


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Dish tablets are usually pretty expensive and frankly, they don’t always work the best. That’s why we started making THESE homemade dishwasher detergent tablets. They work better than most commercial tablets I’ve found and are significantly cheaper. If you prefer liquid dishwasher detergent, you can make THIS homemade liquid dishwasher detergent instead of the tablets.


Homemade Aftershave

My ex loved to use aftershave after knocking his beard back each week, but we both hated the cost. Instead, I started making him THIS homemade aftershave recipe and guess what? He preferred my version over store bought. It soothed any irritation on his skin and smells amazing!


Homemade Lotion

I am diabetic and as anyone who is diabetic can tell you; dry skin is often a major problem. I could spend a ton of money on a store bought diabetic lotion or I could make my own homemade lotion recipe. While I was searching for essential oils for diabetes, I came up with an idea for THIS homemade lotion recipe. It is absolutely amazing at keeping my skin moisturized and smells great! Plus, as a side bonus, it doubles as a homemade wrinkle cream since Vitamin E is one of its main ingredients.


Homemade Laundry Detergent

Washing clothes is a necessity, but paying crazy prices for laundry detergent isn’t. We started using THIS homemade powdered laundry detergent recipe and haven’t looked back since! It mixes together so easily and our clothes have never been cleaner! If you prefer a liquid laundry detergent, give THIS homemade liquid laundry detergent with Castile soap a try. You’ll love it!


Homemade Dryer Sheets

When I stopped buying laundry detergent, I also stopped buying fabric softener sheets. What followed was THESE homemade dryer sheets made from upcycled t-shirts or microfiber cloths. They’re quick to make, last a while on the shelf and soften our clothes fantastically! Plus, they take care of any static cling!


Homemade window cleaner

When I wanted to get rid of commercial Windex, I took at look at making my own. Making THIS homemade window cleaner is much cheaper and works every bit as well without the harsh chemicals.


 Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Want a super quick and powerful all-purpose cleaner that won’t harm your family? Make your own homemade all-purpose cleaner with THIS recipe for pennies on the dollar over the store bought stuff. We switched completely and I don’t regret it at all. If lavender and lemon aren’t your favorite scents, this homemade orange oil cleaner works as an all-purpose cleaner and is even cheaper!


Homemade Floor Cleaner

If you’re looking for a good floor cleaner, skip the store bought stuff. THIS homemade floor cleaner recipe costs less than $1.00 per gallon and disinfects, cleans and smells better than the commercial stuff!


11. Stop Buying and Make Homemade Toilet Cleaner

Want a sparkling clean and germ free toilet? Make THIS homemade bathroom cleaner that will clean your entire bathroom sparking! It even works on cleaning grout!


Homemade Body Wash

A lot of people are loyal to their body wash and would never consider making a homemade one, but THIS homemade body wash recipe is simply divine! It softens  your skin and cleans so well! Unlike some commercial body washes, it actually is soap. Believe it or not, that bottle you have in the shower may not be and if it isn’t, it will say so right on the side of the bottle.


Homemade Liquid Castile Soap

A lot of the homemade products I make use liquid Castile soap, but it can be expensive to buy. Instead, I grab a cheap bar of Castile soap and make THIS recipe for homemade liquid castile soap. It works the same and is far, far cheaper!


Make Homemade Pasta Sauce

Jarred pasta sauce is full of preservatives and other things that aren’t great for your body. Instead, I make THIS homemade pasta sauce recipe. It saves around $2.00 per jar and tastes amazing! It even cans well if you’re looking to learn how to can your own food. If you eat pasta once a week, the savings on this along is around $100 a year!


Homemade Graham Crackers

If you’re planning on making a dessert recipe that involves graham crackers soon, why not give THIS homemade graham cracker recipe a try? It makes graham crackers taste amazing and I promise; you’ll never go back to store bought!


Make Homemade Toothpaste

Toothpaste is a necessity in life, but buying it is not. THIS homemade toothpaste recipe tastes great, cleans and protects your teeth and is significantly cheaper to make than it is to buy. We love it now and our teeth have never looked better!


Make Homemade Mouthwash

Like toothpaste, mouthwash is super easy to make. When you make THIS homemade mouthwash recipe, you get a product that cleans your mouth, gets rid of germs and tastes amazing. Plus you can make it for less than $1.00 per batch.


Homemade Bug Spray

Every summer, we all become a buffet for mosquitos and other creepy crawlies. With THIS homemade bug spray though, that doesn’t have to happen. Plus, it is far cheaper to make yourself than to pay $7.00 or more per can.


Homemade Antibacterial Cream

We all get scrapes and cuts that sometimes need a little bit of help healing. When you make THIS homemade antibacterial ointment, you give it that healing boost it needs for much cheaper than you can buy the stuff in the tube.


Homemade Heavy Cream Substitute

I love making my Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe, but I don’t like buying a whole container of heavy cream when I know I won’t use it. Instead, I now use THIS homemade heavy cream substitute recipe instead. It works great in just about any recipe I’ve used it in!


Make Homemade Soups

I love a hot bowl of soup, but I don’t want what is in the can. Not only are canned soups expensive, but they’re full of salt and other junk that isn’t great for our bodies. Instead, I make THIS homemade chicken noodle soup recipe or THIS Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe when I want a soothing bowl. My favorite soup recipes not only taste better, but they’re much cheaper on my wallet too.


Homemade Chicken Strips and Nuggets

Most kids love chicken nuggets, but buying frozen nuggets and chicken strips can be very expensive. A single bag of nuggets can cost you as much as $10.00 a bag depending on what brand you buy. Instead, make THIS homemade chicken strips recipe! They’re absolutely delicious and your kids will never know the difference!


 Homemade Sunscreen

Here in Texas, sunscreen is a must pretty well any time of the year, but have you looked at the price of it lately? It is crazy expensive. Luckily, I can make THIS homemade sunscreen instead to keep my costs down and still stay protected from the sun!


Make Homemade Deodorant

None of us want to go around smelling bad, but commercial deodorants are filled with aluminum and other nasty chemicals that can do more harm than good. Instead, make THIS homemade deodorant and you’ll smell great plus save money while being healthier!


Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Making a recipe that calls for ricotta like homemade lasagna? Instead of buying it, make a batch of THIS homemade ricotta cheese recipe. The flavor is so much fresher than store bought and the cost is only around $0.25 per batch!


 Make Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

You would not believe how much mozzarella cheese my daughter and I eat. It’s literally insane the amount of cheese the two of us go through since we eat it on meals and snacks. Instead of paying an average of $3.00 per pound, I make THIS homemade mozzarella cheese recipe. The flavor is AMAZING! There really isn’t a more satisfying food than fresh homemade cheese.


Homemade Sleep Medicines

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t sleep very well most nights. Let me correct myself; I used to have trouble sleeping. I could have went out and bought sleep medicine or I could have went to the doctor for a prescription sleep medicine, but instead, I chose to make THIS homemade sleep balm. When I use it, I drift right off to sleep without a single problem!


Homemade Vegetable and Fruit Washes

Fruit and vegetable washes are incredibly expensive, but you can make THIS homemade vegetable wash for pennies on the dollar. It works the same way, just soak or dunk your fruits and vegetables then use a vegetable brush to clean them.


Homemade Makeup Brush Cleaner

Do you buy makeup brush cleaner? Stop spending so much and make THIS homemade makeup brush cleaner instead. For me, this was one of those unnecessary expenses that was super easy to replace with a homemade version.


Make Homemade Hand Soap

Hand soap isn’t expensive to begin with, but if you’ve already got the ingredients to make THIS homemade hand soap, you can save that $1.00 or so by skipping it at the store.


Make Homemade Chapstick

Chapstick is another item that isn’t too expensive to begin with, but it can be full of chemicals. Make THIS homemade lip balm recipe instead and you can save the money and skip the chemicals.


Make Homemade Cleaning Wipes

Those disposable cleaning wipes are great to have around, but they’re also expensive for what you get. Instead of paying a bunch for something you’re going to toss in the trash, make THESE reusable cleaning wipes and save your money!


Make Homemade Sore Muscle Cream

Bengay does wonders for sore muscles, but you can make THIS homemade sore muscle cream for less money and with less chemicals. Just use it like you would the store bought stuff and your muscle aches will ease in no time!


Make Homemade Silver Cleaner

I love collecting vintage silver pieces, but I hate paying for silver cleaner. Instead, I use THIS homemade silver cleaning method that uses simple household items and costs me less than $1.00 each time I clean!



$2500.00 saved in one year. Have I convinced you to stop buying and start making? I sure hope so! If you’re looking for other ways to save money on groceries, I highly recommend taking the Grocery Budget Makeover class HERE  and signing up for MyFreezEasy HERE to receive budget friendly menu plans for freezer meals. It also doesn’t hurt to check out the ways that Amazon Prime can save you money on groceries HERE   or these 16 Real Ways to Save Money on Groceries {That No One Talks About} HERE. 


*Originally published November 2015/Updated June 2018


  1. First I commend you for you make and all that you to do save. Butttt I hage to ask are you a stay at home mom? Because I am a single mother and my job alone takes me out of the house for 50 hours a week. So how can I do all of this in a time crunching way .

    • Sonia, far from it. I am a work at home mom who owns and manages 2 companies on my own. I work 16-18 hour days, 7 days a week usually. I’ve just gotten really good at delegating and managing my time, right down to the minute and hour. Fwiw? It was the time that I spent as a single mom myself that forged the time management processes that I still use today.

    • I’m a little confused about all those great homemade products saving you money. Yes, they are for sure a lot healthier, but I’ve tried a few of those myself and it ends up being as expensive or the same, which isn’t really worth my time, that I don’t have to spare. It’s great that you have the patience to make all of them though! Thanks for sharing!

      • You do pay more oop when you’re first buying your supplies. However, those supplies will last you through many, many batches meaning that even though you spent more out of pocket at first, you’ll save considerably in the long run.

    • Thank you!!

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I love a lot of the homemade cleaning product ideas. Although I love to cook (and cook regularly), I haven’t been able to take advantage of making everything homemade (i.e. bread/tortillas). The reality is sometimes I have more money than time by the point I’m done with work in the evening and in my tiny apartment, the cleanup alone from homemade cooking is such a nuisance to not bother. Curious what types of things you still value buying rather than making because I know everyone’s preferences are different!

    • I still buy quite a bit, but for us it comes down to saving the money and having the things we want in life or the convenience of buying it. When I was a single Mom it was harder, but these days it’s a family event. My husband makes our laundry detergent for instance, I make bread, my 10 year old mixes the all-purpose cleaner and so on. It doesn’t all happen in one day. Generally we work all month at making huge batches of things (say 50lbs of that laundry detergent) so that we can manage for weeks or months without having to worry about it. Bread and tortillas get baked and frozen, cleaners get made and sealed with labels, etc. We have a decent surplus of money too usually so it isn’t necessary that we do the things we do.

      We do them so that we can grow that surplus into something that will eventually provide the future that my husband and I want for ourselves and for the things that we want to leave behind for our daughter.

  3. I love that you do all this. I start on the process and give up after a month. Maybe one day I’ll stick to it.

    • Mels, we don’t make everything in one day or even one week. It’s an on going cycle where we’re all usually making something lol.

  4. I am all for savings money and am becoming more and more a fan of diy/natural products. Most suggestions are great, but the feminine products suggestion gave me a major “ick” feeling. Besides, I’m strictly a tampon user so this wouldn’t work for me anyway. Thank you for the post!!

    • It’s a to each his own type of thing Sarah. It doesn’t bother me much but that’s just me. 🙂

    • They make a reusable (and washable) product called the Diva cup for women who like using tampons but don’t want to buy them constantly.

      • Amy, I’ve actually used the Diva Cup, but found that I would have a bad reaction to it each month and ended up not being able to use it. For other women who may have the same issue, cloth works great! 🙂

    • I just wanted to chime in on this and suggest the Diva cup for a reusable (medical grade silicon) feminine hygiene product that performs like tampons. I use one and love it. I never have to worry about toxic shock syndrome or my tampon failing after 3 hours.. Seriously, I recommend anyone interested look into it.

      • I switched to the diva cup after my periods got super heavy and I was going through a tampon an hour. I still have to wear a liner in case of overflows, but it holds more than a tampon, and you never have to worry about overflowing your tampon and not having any more! Plus cheaper.

    • The diva cup might be an option if you wanted a tampon replacement. Available in most pharmacies. It was an adjustment to get over the ice factor for me too but it has been worth it but as always may not be for everyone.

      • Sue, the Diva Cup is indeed a great option! I personally can’t use it but for someone who wants to get rid of disposables but not go cloth, it would work great!

    • You should try a cup, look up a menstrual cup. Since I changed from tampons to the cup, I have less cramping and my cycle went from 7 days to 3-5. Check out menstrual cup on Amazon. I boil mine in a small saucepan we never used, now that saucepan’s only purpose is just to boil the cup. It’s so much cleaner and cheaper than tampons. I love my cups. Just make sure you was with a pH balanced wash. I found a recipe for the wash I am going to try. You will love the cup. I used to use liners and I don’t anymore.

    • At the risk of giving too much information, you should try menstrual cups. I use the Diva cup and have never gone back to pads (except the few weeks post partum). They’re somewhere between $20 and $30 and last a lifetime.

    • I actually had a lot of female problems back in the day. Horrible cramping that kept me in bed, Going through a Super tampon AND and overnight pad within an hour. A lot of it went back to the chemicals that are in the tampons/pads. All symptoms got better when I went to cloth and flow was MUCH lighter. I ended up having a procedure years later anyway, but for those years my quality of life was SO much better

  5. Hi, thank you for all the awesome tips. Props to you and your time management! I am curious the recipe you use for your lotion. When I click on your link, it links it to home made Ricotta cheese. My husband also has very dry skin and uses a lot of lotion.

  6. Thanks for the post. Lots of great ideas here! I’m working on getting rid of as many chemicals & processed junk out of our house as possible. I thought I would mention that I use microfiber cleaning cloths and water for many things instead of chemicals. They are especially great for cleaning windows! Thanks again for the tips!

  7. This is great! My family and I have always been interested in the natural lifestyle, free from harsh chemicals that products contain. With the substitute for Tylenol, do you put it in a cream form and rub it on your body, or do you put it in a mister and breathe it in? I’ve heard of many ways essential oils can be used, haha.

    • Kay, it would just depend on your personal preference. I don’t advocate internal oil use so we personally do things in cream form for that reason.

  8. Jillian Cook says

    Couponing gets me most of this stuff on the list for free or sometimes pays me to take it, I would really look into couponing for shampoo,conditioner, shaving cream, soap, razors, body wash, face cream, lotion, toilet paper,paper towels, make up and all cleaning supplies. I get all of these for FREE so it may be an easier and better route then making everything. Just a suggestion.

    • Jillian, we use natural products for many more reasons than just cost. I have couponed since 2004 (in fact, this blog used to be solely deals and coupons before a rebrand in June), but for us, there’s more important reasons to use natural items than getting a chemical laden product or food for free. Thanks for the suggestion though!

    • I used to coupon regularly for a few years, and I too would get free or really inexpensive personal hygiene products. But after a while I became fed up with the amount of packaging that came with those products. A lot of it could be recycled, which we did, but it just seemed so wrong and wasteful. Before couponing, we either made our own products or found a way to go without (and honestly didn’t feel much lacking). We went back to living that way, and we feel much better about our personal Eco footprint. We are also happier with homemade products that don’t have a ton of toxic chemicals in them. Thanks for these recipes, I’m excited to try a bunch of them. We work full time too, but I can see how you can rotate making large batches of things, and “stockpile” them. Great ideas, thanks!

  9. Wow! I take my hat off to you. This is something I’ve been wanting to try. My husband is unable to work so our budget is tight, to say the least. Do you post all of your recipes for the different items you make? I’m so inspired that this is going on my 2016 lists of things to try and make life easier and healthier. I do a lot of my own mixes and stuff like that, so this is the next step for us. Thank you and Merry Christmas! ?

  10. Thanks for the list. It is often worth setting an hour or two aside monthly or something to prep 🙂 I’ll be switching a few $$ killers now.
    The vinegar and orange / citrus peel I already do… But I steep them for two weeks then there is zero vinegar smell!

    • Yup! We let ours steep for 7-10 days usually. I thought I put that in the post but guess not. Thanks for pointing that out for me Fran!

  11. Great list. I used to make many of the things listed, but life got busy and I gradually got sucked into the convenience of buying store-bought. I know homemade is better quality, healthier and cheaper, and this list has inspired me to get back to basics around the house. I also want to thank you for putting the list all on one page! I hate the blogs that use slide shows where you have to click to a new window for each of the items on the list.

  12. Great ideas. I’ve tried some, but this has encouraged to me to try more. Another $ saver is to ditch paper towels and napkins. Our family bought white cotton napkins and bar towels to use instead. They have lasted for years. I just put them in the wash with our white towels weekly.

  13. The Jessie K says

    Oh my gosh, YES! I completely agree with this list, and our family rarely buys these things as well. Those things are so easy to make yourself and better for you. We use essential oils for sooooo many things. I also make a lot of our own house cleaners, soaps, detergents, etc. If I could add one thing to the list it would be EGGS! We have our own chickens to get free eggs, and much better quality than the store as well. 🙂

  14. Paper plates and towels too! We use cloh for that stuff and it saves a small fortune. I read somewhere that you can sew dish covers with elastic around the edge to replace plastic wrap too but I haven’t done it yet. I also ditched tampons and use a cup and its the best!! We did cloth diapers with the kids too. I can’t image how much money we saved over the years not buying diapers. In the summer when fruit is cheap I make jelly and preserves. Home made jelly has totally spoiled me, its delicious and so easy!!

    • We use only cloth napkins as well. It doesn’t take any extra time or resources to wash them as they just go in with the regular laundry.
      We did not ditch paper plates entirely, for our outdoor entertaining, but instead we invested in wicker and plastic (dollar store) plate holders and use the thin (really thin) paper plate liners on them for when we have large gatherings. This not only saves money but paper as well.
      You can also ditch the plastic cutlery. Most dollar stores (or thrift stores) sell metal cutlery. Just stock up and you do not have to buy plastic cutlery ever again

  15. Samie Selva says

    Instead of using cloth Feminine products, have you ever heard of the diva cup?

    • Samie, yes. I still prefer the pads, however the Diva cup is a great option for those who want something besides disposables but don’t want to use cloth.

  16. love, love love, your ideas and ambition!!!!!!!

  17. I love your ideas now please give up your recipes! Thanks

  18. Pamela Deardorff says

    Ok so where do get all of these recipes for everything.

  19. Alexandra says

    Love your list! And have been eyeballing a lot of these homemade products for a while. I was wondering if you had like a master list of products you would need to make all your homemade products? Since it seems like a lot of these use some of the same ingredients.
    Thanks for all of your tips!

    • Alexandra, I actually don’t right this second, but great minds think alike lol. It’s on the schedule for next Thursday 🙂

  20. +1 for Diva Cup or other menstrual cups. I found out a lot of my friends were using it and finally tried it, and I think I’ve saved $85 this last year plus it’s just easier. What I like is you can wear it up to 12 hours. Excited to try your other recipes!

    • I was just about to suggest the Diva Cup!!!! I must have had mine now for at keast 10 years. Best $30 investment i ever made.
      Thanks to some weird and inconvenient issues inregularly use mine twice a month. Keeps on ticking.

  21. Really excited to try making my own detergents! We use a Dollar Store version that’s cheap and effective but leaves our clothes with that “Goodwill” smell – too perfume-y, or something. We have a wooWasher and line dry to save money, plus space (two adults and two kids in a studio…Ugh. But we want to save for a house before we’re 26 so it’s worth it!)

    The only thing I can’t get rid of is the feminine products. I’ve tried every alternative and it just doesn’t work for me. I do buy pads and tampons in bulk though so that saves a lot – and my husband is thrilled to no longer have to make emergency Walgreens runs for me! Haha.

    I also don’t buy shaving cream, but instead of making it we use hair conditioner. Double-duty products are my favorite! Thank you for the post 🙂

  22. Love, love, love this post! Throughout the last 30 years, I have done most of these at one time or another, but you know how it is when everyone else thinks your kooky (“mama cloth?! You’re kidding, right?!) In fact, we’ve even used “family cloth” (well, the kids and I have it’s a bit over the top for the hubs) – so thank you, thank you, for the inspiration and motivation to get back at it!

  23. Do you only use shampoo, or do you use conditioner too? If so, do you make your own, or do you buy it?
    I don’t know if I could go with out conditioner, my hair is a big crazy mess!

  24. I love the idea of natural feminine products. It is actually better for your health and can eliminate some problems caused by the chemicals in mass produced factory products. Good for you!

  25. Great post!!
    If you haven’t started using a Diva Cup i highly recommend it!!! About 30$ one time. After that, no monthly purchases. (Or as i like to think of it it, 6 boxes of various tampons at the checkout for 25$ only to look in your cabinet and realize you had ended up with far too many of one size and not enough of the other last month.)

    No trying to remember which “long 2×4 extra absorbant, wings, without wings, overnight, special color or symbol” pad you like. (STOP CHANGING IT!!)

    (In my case) No irritations from said pads and no yeast infections from tampons (seriously EVERY month).

    By far, the best savings AND health purchase I’ve ever made! Highly recommend.:)

  26. Mackenzie says

    All I can say is, rather than making all this stuff pick up couponing. I get all the items you listed for less than $1 or FREE most of the time. You don’t even have to work that hard to do this. There are plenty of blogs online you can read that tell you what you can get and where to get the coupons!

  27. Do you make a your own Febreze? I’ve been making it for awhile now using the unstoppable beads and I will never buy the real stuff again. I can make my own for less than $1! 🙂

    • Yup! That’s actually in the second post for this one (the link is above in the post). We don’t use scent crystals though. 🙂

  28. Molly Campbell says

    These are some great ideas, thank you! Last year I splurged a little and bought a steam mop that came with attachments, and I’ve found that replaces a lot of our cleaners. I don’t use anything but water in it and it cleans our floors, mirrors, windows, stove, pretty much everything in the bathroom, etc. Plus I feel like it’s a better use of my time – it can clean baseboards so quickly and easily, where before I could spend hours trying to get them scrubbed (we’re in a rental that wasn’t taken care of that well before we got here, so a lot of things have some nasty build up on them). At the time I bought it for ease instead of as a money saver, but I think in the long run it will save us a lot of money, I felt like I was constantly replacing the cleaning fluid for our swiffer mop – I would try and do homemade cleaner when the original bottle ran out, but after one or two refills the bottle would leak and occasionally ruin all the batteries for the mop, which were more expensive to replace than the cleaning fluid!

  29. Channy P says

    When I read the part about the feminine products, I swear I heard people eeewing at the thought of using cloth. Well for those who are tampon kind of gals, The Diva Cup is fantastic!!! It runs anywhere from 30$ to 40$ CDN but is well worth the purchase. My first one lasted me 2 1/2 years. Anyway, thank you for posting this and your follow up 30 more. Can’t wait to try these. 🙂

  30. I love reading these! I am from Canada. 98cent per can for chicken noodle soup? On a good day, I’m lucky to find it for $1.97 each! We are a family of 5 and average per month for groceries is $1500. I shop very carefully and I do make most things from scratch including cleaning products. The price of our meat is crazy as well as the price of our dairy products. Very impressed with your savings strategy!

  31. You should really look into menstrual cups. They’re kinda pricey (around $30) but it’s a one time buy and you can use it over and over. Plus you can leave it in for 12 hours without worrying about toxic shock ? I love mine! Will never go back to disposables.

    • Stacy Barr says

      Emily, I’ve tried them and for some reason can’t use them without immense pain. Thanks for the tip though! I agree that they’re great for those that can use them!

  32. donna phillips says

    Thanks ever so much for all the hard work that goes into making and sharing your ideas and recipes.
    I have learned so much from you. You are an inspiration!!!

  33. Love the ideas you have. We already cook a lot from scratch since I sadly have so many food allergies and it just tastes better. My rule of thumb at the grocery store is to stay in the outside isles only. The outside isles tend to be the healthiest and all the processed foods are in the middle. Making cleaning products from scratch will help me stay away from the middle! I will make a couple of these items this month and check back in with the results. I used to be a single mom supporting 5 so I know all about budgeting. Looking forward to see if money saved versus time makes it worth it for our family. Thanks again and will check in soon:)

  34. Heidi Waldner says

    This is a great list! I’m excited too try some of the recipes, especially the lotion. I looooove vitamin E and lotion but hate the list of chemicals in most of them.

  35. Laura York says

    Hi. I am a huge DIY/Frugal SAHM. I love all of your post I have read so far. Thank you for all of your great information. However, I did want to inform you that once I clicked on the “Homemade chicken Fingers/Nuggets” link, it sent me to a different page. My son was excited to hear that I had this recipe. Would you still be able to give it to me?

  36. Laloni Zeigler says

    Really love these ideas..better yet im disabled with depression, anexiety, fibromyalgia, panic attacks an ADD….stuff like this i could do…i skiped line when GOD was giving people crafting abilities…my kids are grown..i do ABSOLUTELY nothing all day…besides cleaning an online shopping…I completely have quit cooking..an that use to relax me..these ideas are saving me money but also giving me something to focus on…im gonna make the most of this post….too me this sounds fun…not really about saving money but my sanity…I CAN DO THESE…LOL AS LONG AS THEY DONT HAVE TO BE PUT IN DAINTY DYI CONTAINERS…IM GOOD..:))

  37. The links to your laundry powder are pointing to something else. I’d love the recipe!

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