When it comes to being self sufficient and economical, making your own things for the household tops the list of things to do. Weather its making peanut butter or laundry soap. Nearly, if not all things for your home can be made instead of bought, given you have enough land and everything needed to support it. When I started to realize that bad chemicals were in the things my children used I wanted to get stuff without chemicals. When I realized the price of said things, I decided I could make it myself. When I started making things myself I realized I cant make it all and some things are better left bought from the store. Now this doesn't apply to everyone, but when you have 5 boys and work your time is short when you get home. I try to add new things to make and I try to keep somethings around that we like better homemade. Some things are cheaper to make, but cheaper isn't always better. I keep in mind the price to make versus the price to buy and somewhere in the middle I ask if we actually like it better homemade.
To start making my own stuff I picked something simple, laundry detergent. My boys and I have sensitive skin and can only use certain kinds of detergent. They are also dirt loving children. When I made my own detergent it worked for a bit, then clothes didn't come clean. Then I got married to a mechanic and his clothes really didn't come clean. So the best choice for us at the moment is store bought detergent. I have found out over the years that we love homemade bread. I try my best to make it, but I cant always find the time. I have even tried the bread in 5 minutes a day thing. While I liked the prepared dough in the fridge, we didn't like the taste that happened when the dough was there a few days. So I make bread when I can and we eat it like we have never seen bread before.
I suggest when the feeling strikes to start making something homemade that you research it. I look all over for recipes and comments of how it has worked for others. When I finally decide to commit to a recipe I check and see if its cheaper than buying said product at the store. If it is or relatively close I make it and see if the family likes it. Somethings are not well accepted and some only a few like. One of the biggest obstacles we have faced is peanut butter. The biggest peanut butter fans did not like the texture of homemade. When I make it I just use a food processor and no extra oil, so its a little gritty. My husband and I love it, but the boys have taken a little longer to convince. By using it in recipes more and more they have come around to the idea.
You also have to realize when making your own that some things will be a bitter failure, but don't get discouraged with it. I have made stuff that the boys and husband have raved about how wonderful it is, only to find it not eaten later. Granola bars top this list, we all loved how they tasted, but no one wanted to eat them after the first try. Its a trial and error kind of thing. Finding what you like to make, have time for, and what you actually like. Some things we stick to now that are completely homemade, Ill never buy again if I can help it are:
Syrup- I use Mapleine, the directions on the box make wonderful syrup.
Jelly and Jam
Counter Cleaner/Fresh spray-Vinegar/Water with Peppermint oil
Some things we love homemade, but I cant always make are:
Vegetables from the garden- Hey its homemade, but I can only grow so much at our house
Venison-Since we hunt I can consider this brought in homemade.
Spices- I only have so much room for herbs, so my store runs out fast. I dehydrate them to save them.
Things I want to try or I am learning to do:
Sewing Clothes/dish towels and such
Make Herbal Medicines
Make Vanilla Extract
Things I will never, ever make again:
This is just a small list, I am sure I could add more if I sat for days trying to remember everything. I hope you get an idea from this. If you have never even thought of making things homemade now is a good time to start. My favorite place to look is my facebook newsfeed, I also like pinterest. What items do you like to make homemade and what items will you never make again?