Learning how to make things at home can help you save money on groceries. You might be surprised at how much you can save. Here are 30 of the best things to make at home to start with. It’s even better that the list also includes easy things to make at home to sell that will allow you to earn extra money for your family budget.
Several years ago, I was facing a severe financial crisis. Over 70% of my income was gone, and things weren’t just tight; they were rope around your neck tight. It was the year I almost lost everything, and if not for a little fancy footwork, I would have.
Almost immediately, I realized that I needed to make some pretty drastic changes. Over the next few weeks, I gradually introduced what would eventually become a two-step process that would not only save me money, start my emergency fund, but also drastically cut my expenses.
The first step in the process was creating my crisis budget and applying the extreme frugal living tips I had learned from my parents as a child.
My second step was to make as many things at home as possible to reduce my spending on store-bought items, which were often three to four times more expensive than homemade.
Other Reasons to Make Things at Home
For my family, making things at home was more than just a way to save money. My health was a factor as well. For almost fifteen years, I have been suffering from chronic pain caused by a condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Moreover, I had hypertension and was diabetic. As a result of better eating habits and using more homemade products, I have been able to reduce my major health problems by 40% or more.
Do these things to make at home cost more than buying?
I do want to address quickly the notion that homemade products cost more.
In most cases, it is true that the ingredients will cost you more to get started, but you’ll actually save money in the long run. You may pay $15.00 for a pound of beeswax pellets, but you will use so little for each product that you will get more than 30 uses out of that $15.00.
If you look at it from that perspective, you are really spending $0.50 per use for the beeswax pellets vs the cost of the product, labor, packaging and marketing in stores.
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 Shea Butter Shave Cream Recipe
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 because it contains shea butter, leaves your skin silky smooth. It can even be customized for men or women depending on the essential oil you use for scent! Personally, I prefer to use lavender essential oil or geranium essential oil for my own 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 $10.00 per bottle of shampoo and another $10.00 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. This has actually become my favorite dishwashing liquid for handwashing too. I love the scent that using lemon essential oil gives it!
I love the smell of a home with candles burning, but good quality candles 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.
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. Paying crazy prices for laundry detergent isn’t. That’s why one of the first things to make at home we did was to start 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 and for those that prefer a tablet or pod for laundry, THESE homemade laundry detergent tablets are perfect!
Homemade Dryer Sheets
When I started using homemade 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
For what it is, glass cleaner is expensive at the store. However, adding homemade glass cleaner to your list of things to make at home is a much cheaper option.
With a white vinegar base, the combination of ingredients my DIY glass cleaner leaves your windows and mirrors sparkling clear and streak free.
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
There are a lot of common myths around that say homemade cleaners are weak and don’t work. This all-purpose cleaner proves those myths wrong! Instead of paying for it though, you can 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. As for disinfecting power, white vinegar is known to clean and sanitize, however, it will not have the same power as bleach. If, however, you are like me and are allergic to bleach, it is a great substitute.
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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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?