Learning how to make, not buy can be a great way to save money; especially on your grocery bill. If you’re new to the make not buy kind of savings, these 30 products are a great place to start.
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 realized pretty early on in the situation that I needed to make some pretty extreme changes and I needed to make them pretty quickly. So over the initial first few weeks, I slowly began to implement what would become a two step process. The first part began with the extreme frugal living tips I had learned from my parents as a child. The second was as many things to make not buy that I could.
The Other Reason We Were Making Not Buying
Moving to the list of things to make not buy was done for more than just saving money. My health had not been great for a while and at some point, we realized that a more natural and toxin free lifestyle helped with the chronic pain issues I was having, my blood sugars and more.
So it was dual purpose and is something that we still continue to do today.
In the time since then, we have expanded our list of things to make not buy, switched to raw milk and learned how to eat gluten free. Combined all our efforts have made a huge impact on our health and how we feel in general but our budget as well.
And that year that it was absolutely necessary, it literally saved my bacon.
Do things you make at home cost more than buying?
One thing I do 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 $15.00 for a pound of beeswax pellets, but you will use such a small amount for each product that you will get more than 30 uses out of that $15.00.
When you look at it that way, you’re really spending $0.50 per use for those beeswax pellets.
Buying Essential Oils for DIY’s
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. This is especially true when it comes to essential oils.
While you can use any particular brand of essential oils you prefer, I personally can not recommend Simply Earth higher. Not only are the oils 100% pure – and that is triple verified by an independent lab – but they’re super affordable too.
Homemade Shave Cream with Shea Butter
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 Coconut Milk 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 that didn’t break me out.
To combat the high prices, I started making THIS homemade coconut milk shampoo at first.
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.
I love the smell of a home with candles burning, but good quality ones are expensive. Instead, I learned how to make homemade candles. They’re much cheaper and smell better since I can control the amount of scent.
These homemade cinnamon vanilla candles are my favorites to make. They smell amazing!
If you’re going to be outside, these homemade citronella candles are great for keeping mosquitoes away – all while smelling amazing!
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 like THIS one.
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!
For those that prefer a tablet or pod for laundry, THESE homemade laundry detergent tablets are perfect!
Homemade Dryer Sheets
When I stopped buying laundry detergent, I also stopped buying fabric softener sheets. What followed was THESE homemade reusable fabric softener 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
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 one of the cheapest things to make on this list!
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!
It is white vinegar based making it another of the cheapest things to make at home on this list. Plus, white vinegar has been shown in several studies to be just as effective at disinfecting as bleach.
Homemade Bathroom Cleaner
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’s also one of the best things to make and sell on this list.
If you’re looking for a more scented version than the regular body wash, this DIY Earl Grey scented body wash is 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 things to make on this list use liquid Castile soap, but it can be expensive to buy.
Instead, I grab a cheap bar of Castile soap – which is far cheaper – and make THIS recipe for homemade liquid castile soap.
It works just as well as the commercially made liquid for a lot less money!
Make Homemade Pasta Sauce
Jarred pasta sauce is full of preservatives and other things that aren’t great for your body. Even the cheap stuff is expensive at around $1 a jar and tastes pretty bad!
Instead, I make THIS homemade pasta sauce recipe. It saves around $2.00 per jar if you usually buy the expensive stuff and tastes amazing!
It even cans well if you’re looking to learn how to can your own food. You will just need to follow the instructions for canning anything with meat. 15# PSI – 75 minutes for pints or 90 minutes for quarts.
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; once you add them to your list of things to make at home, 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 a super easy thing to make at home.
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 mosquitoes 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
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 recipe instead.
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!
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!
It’s the most popular DIY beauty recipe we have here on the site for a reason!
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!
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.
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
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
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!
Homemade Perfume with Essential Oils
I love perfume but the kinds I normally like are super expensive per ounce. Instead, I learned how to make homemade perfume with essential oils!
My homemade perfume smells amazing and can be customized anyway you want!
They’re a great thing to add to your list of things to make and sell too!
As I said earlier, these things to make are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re really looking to save as much as possible, you can do so by adding these 30 things and then some!
Which do you plan on make first?