Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
Do you really feel like driving to the store every time you run out of dish soap? And do you really feel like spending $10 on name-brand deodorant that you could make at home for $3? Wake up, people! A self-sufficient lifestyle is so much more rewarding (and inexpensive)!
Once you know how to make everyday cleaning products and your favorite kitchen condiments, you’ll save yourself tons of trips to the store, reduce your carbon footprint with less plastic waste, save heaps of money, and remove tons of chemicals from your day to day life.
With more money in your pocket and less reliance on store-bought products, you are free to live the self-sustainable life you’ve always dreamed.
So, let’s stop buying and start making with these easy tutorials, recipes, and how-to guides! Below you’ll find a list of 60 household items you should stop buying and start making. For each one, I included a link to a tutorial where you can learn how to make it. Now on to the list!
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Health & Beauty
1. Antiseptic Ointment – When it comes to cuts, scrapes, and scratches, you can avoid infection with by using an antiseptic ointment.
2. Body Butter – These two simple words combined allow big name brands to slap big price tags on this simple product. Skip the prestige and create your own silky skin body butter for cheap.
3. Body Scrub – If you’re not already exfoliating as a part of your daily routine, then you are missing out on that gorgeous celebrity glow! Slough off the dead skin to reveal a bright, fresh complexion that never goes out of style.
4. Body Wash – Lather up in the shower with an organic body wash that will wash off sweat after your workout and nurture your skin in those dry winter months.
5. Bug Spray – Deet is bad for you. Like really bad for you. But have no fear, here is a natural way to keep bugs away and bites at bay.
6. Deodorant – Those ingredients in commercial deodorants and anti-perspirants sound scary, but no one wants to stink. Try this homemade recipe to solve both issues.
9. Everyday Conditioner – Hair conditioner is one of the most expensive beauty products us women buy. But why, when you can make your own nourishing conditioner at home?
10. Face Mask – The skin on your face is super thin and thus, super sensitive. Slow the aging process by giving your skin some deep moisturizing treatments with this homemade face mask.
11. Hair Mask – Reduce split ends, nourish heat-damaged locks, and help your hair grow faster with these DIY hair masks that you can sleep in or simply add into your weekly washing routine.
12. Hand Sanitizer – If you’ve gone through your 2020-21 stash of this supply, you can replenish with the homemade version. Who knew it was so easy to make?
13. Hydration fluid – When your little one is sick, dehydration is a big concern. However, you can use this recipe to restore electrolytes.
14. Leave-in Conditioner – Keep your tresses shiny and smooth all day long with a quick spray of water, coconut milk, and whichever essential oils brighten your day.
16. Lipstick – Seriously! You can make your own moisturizing lipstick using spices from your kitchen to create gorgeous, vibrant color.
17. Makeup – Whether you have sensitive skin or just prefer to use all-natural ingredients as part of your beauty routine, you may want to consider DIY eye shadow and other makeup.
18. Makeup Brush Cleaner – Makeup Brush cleaner runs for $7-$10 in the store. But why?! It’s such a simple concoction made with household ingredients.
19. Mouthwash – Here is a mouthwash that kills bacteria and freshens your breath with household ingredients. Involve your kids in the process to promote healthy habits!
20. Perfume & Cologne – Ladies and Gentlemen: Those $100 bottles of fragrance you buy at the department store are nothing more than a combination of essential oils and binders. Make your own dream fragrance for a fraction of the price!
21. Scented Bath Bombs – There’s this store in the mall where they sell bath bombs for around $8 each. What a rip off! For $8, you can make a dozen bath bombs that smell and feel just as amazing.
22. Shampoo – While you can make your own DIY shampoo that lathers and foams, consider trying the No Poo Method. Simply replace your shampoo & conditioning routine with baking soda and apple cider vinegar for amazing results.
23. Shaving Cream – Eliminate razor burn and save some money with this DIY shaving cream that will leave your legs feeling silky smooth.
24. Skin-Nourishing Body Soap – Amazing for allergy-prone or sensitive skin, homemade luxury soap will help you avoid chemical reactions while leaving you supple and soft.
25. Sunscreen – Although many sites claim that carrot seed oil and red raspberry oils have an SPF of 25-50, it turns out this is a myth. However, you can make a halfway decent sunscreen from diaper rash cream, coconut oil, cocoa butter, aloe vera gel, almond oil, and beeswax.
27. Wrinkle Cream – Honey, eggs, sour cream… No, we’re not making Super Bowl appetizers; we’re making wrinkle cream that can smooth out those laugh lines with a simple combination of organic ingredients.
Household Cleaners & Necessities
28. All-Purpose Cleaner – Countertops, muddy shoes, sticky spills–they can all be cleaned up with this homemade pet-safe cleaner on hand. No chemicals here!
29. Carpet Cleaner – Kids tracking mud in the house, pets having accidents, and the occasional tipsy red wine spill can all be remedied when you have a DIY carpet cleaner on hand.
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30. Cloth Napkins – While you’re at it, ditch the paper napkins too. It’s incredibly easy to make (and reuse) your own cloth napkins.
31. Dish Soap – Big families run through their supply of dish soap like nobody’s business. Save your pennies by creating a way cheaper version that cleans just as well for a fraction of the price.
32. Dishwasher Detergent – Have you noticed the price of those dishwasher tablets lately? We love the citrusy scent of this homemade version.
33. Dust Cloths – Keep the house looking tidy, smelling bright, and free of allergy-causing dust and dandruff with these homemade dusting cloths.
34. Floor Cleaner – When you’ve got kids and pets, your floors can get super dirty – like all the time. The good news is you can skip the store-bought prices by making your own floor cleaner solution.
35. Oven Cleaner – Do you put off cleaning your oven because of the toxic fumes? Here’s an easy way to get the job done.
36. Reusable Swiffer Sweepers – Do you have a Swiffer Sweeper? They’re amazing for cleaning dog hair and crumbs off of tile, linoleum, and hardwood, but the throw-away pads are expensive! Just make your own.
37. Silver Polish – Odds are, you don’t actually need to buy new silverware and those old picture frames are totally salvageable. Take a little DIY silver polish to them for a ‘good as new’ luster.
38. Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Drop one of these little fizzy toilet balls into the toilet bowl and let it go to work removing stains and odors without you having to lift a finger.
39. Un-Paper Towels – Are you ready to kick the wasteful and expensive paper towel habit? This homemade version will give you the resourceful boost you need.
40. Window Cleaner – Windex is over-rated and over-priced. Get yourself a spray bottle and start making your own window cleaner that leaves no streaks or residue behind.
41. Wood Polish – Citrus wood polish not only keeps your furniture and floors looking shiny and smelling clean but also helps fend off bugs and rotting fungus.
Shoes & Clothing
43. Fabric/furniture deodorizer spray – Your pets, your kids, and even your spouse can make your home smell, well, a bit funky. Take a tip from theater costumers and make your own fabric refresher spritz.
44. Laundry Detergent – What happens when you mix a tub of OxyClean, some essential oils, and a few home ingredients? You get a long-lasting supply of fresh, effective, and low-budget laundry detergent.
45. Leather and Shoe Polish – When you do invest in high-quality products, you want to make them last. Shine and protect your leather products with an easy-to-make polish.
46. Reusable Dryer Sheets – Genius! You can make your own dryer sheets at home with just a couple drops of (you guessed it) essential oils mixed with vinegar.
47. Shoe Deodorizing Spray – After a wet winter or a sweaty summer, you might be tempted to toss out your smelly shoes. Instead, keep them fresh all year round with this simple essential oil spray.
48. Stain Remover – Kids are messy. We know this. Always have a stain remover on hand to quickly lift those heavy stains and you’ll save tons of money on new clothes.
Food & Condiments
49. Apple Cider Vinegar – Did you know you can make versatile apple cider vinegar from your leftover apple scraps?
50. Bread – There are so many ways you can make homemade bread. But they all taste better then store-bought versions. And you can’t beat how they make your home smell!
52. Brown sugar – Ditto for brown sugar. It’s simply white sugar and molasses!
53. Buffalo Sauce – Create your dream buffalo sauce with homemade ingredients that allow you to customize how zingy, tangy, or spicy you like it.
54. Chocolate-hazelnut spread – You can make a healthier version of the classic spread you know under the Nutella brand. (It still tastes great!)
55. Flour tortillas – You won’t go back to store-bought tortillas after you’ve tried making your own. Easy and tasty!
56. Graham Crackers – They can be part of a delicious pie crust or eaten as a tasty snack. Either way, you can’t beat the nostalgic taste of homemade graham crackers.
58. Guacamole – You can make your guac simple or fancy. But however you make it, it’ll taste so much better than the prepared versions you can buy at the supermarket.
59. Herbs – Growing your own herbs is easy and enjoyable. All you need is a sunny windowsill and some seeds or starter plants of your favorites. You’ll be on your way to better tasting recipes in no time.
60. Hot Sauce – Here is an opportunity to save money and to make money! If your hot sauce creations are tasty enough, bottle them and sell them on ETSY!
61. Hummus – Clean eating starts with clean ingredients. Get a balance of nutrition and flavor with easy-to-make homemade hummus.
62. Ice Cream – Start copying your favorite Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavors at home. Once you know how to make the base of an ice cream, you can get as creative as your taste buds please.
64. Jam – You may have a friend who goes all out with canning preserves, but did you know you can make an easy homemade jam without pectin? All you need is fresh fruit and a few other ingredients.
65. Mayonnaise – Skip the store-bought jar. Eggs, mustard, vinegar, and oil are just about all you need to make your own mayo.
67. Nut Butter – Many nut butters contain unwanted additives. When you make your own, the ingredient list is pretty short – and healthy.
68. Pasta – Homemade pasta is surprisingly easy and simple to make. Plus, it’s satisfying and delicious!
69. Pickles – What homesteader doesn’t love pickles?! You can pickle tons of veggies in your garden, especially cucumbers.
70. Pizza – Frozen pizza can be quick, but the inexpensive versions can taste like cardboard. When you have the basic ingredients on hand, making your own is so worth it.
71. Powdered sugar – You don’t need to buy a bag of powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar) for your baking recipes. You can make it yourself.
73. Ricotta Cheese – Does your family love lasagna? Then you should learn how to make homemade ricotta cheese.
74. Roasted Peppers – As pizza toppings, in pasta sauce, or on a charcuterie board, roasted red peppers can make a tasty splash. However, the store-bought versions often contain preservatives and a high price tag. It’s easy to roast your own.
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75. Salad Dressing – Zesty Tahini, Cilantro Lime, Balsamic Vinegar…need I say more? These homemade salad dressings are so simple, so cheap, and so healthy!
77. Spaghetti Sauce – Utilize your garden and canning skills by making tons of pasta sauce that you can use on more than just noodles! Use as a dip for zucchini bites, in your chili recipe, or as a marinara on pizza!
78. Spice Mixes – Those spice blends you see in the grocery store are tempting. However, you can make your own in a snap with bulk spices and a little know-how.
79. Stock/Broth – It’s the ultimate recycling. Use your vegetable scraps to make homemade stock for soups and sauces.
80. Syrup – If your family loves pancakes and waffles, you’ll want to check out this easy maple syrup recipe.
81. Taco Seasoning – This Taco Seasoning recipe will have you wondering why ever bought pre-mixed taco seasoning in the first place.
Pets & Animals
82. Cat Food – Cats can be picky! But this DIY cat food recipe is a hit with the felines and much healthier than store-bought cat food.
83. Cat Toys – Recycle cardboard, strings, and old fabric to create cat toys that will keep both your and your feline entertained.
84. Chicken Feed – Depending on how many chickens or ducks you’ve got in the coop, you can supplement or totally replace their feed by farming your own bugs!
85. Dog Food – Homesteaders who live off the land often find themselves with an excess of produce. Don’t let all that nutrition go to waste! Instead, try making organic dog food.
86. Dog Toys – Have some old t-shirts or rags lying around? Give them a good wash and then follow this DIY toy tutorial to make some puppy toys that won’t devastate you when they’re eventually ripped to shreds.
87. Dog Treats – Once I started making these coconut oil dog treats for my 4-legged family member, his coat became so shiny and healthy with less shedding.
88. Puppy Sweaters – Pet parents that live in cold climates like to keep their animals nice and snug with some extra insulation. Reuse some old t-shirts for cute and cozy pet sweaters.
Fun Stuff for Home & Play
89. Candles – Homemade beeswax candles can make your home more cozy, and they make great gifts.
90. Festive Holiday Décor – You can be frugal and festive at the same time! Make your house a home with DIY holiday décor made from upcycled materials.
92. House Rugs – A rug for the kids’ bathroom, a rug for the kitchen, a rug for the foyer…when you hand-make your own rag rug, you can customize the colors and the size to fit any space.
93. Kids Toys – Sock Puppets, race cars, and toy guns are all items that your kids will eventually outgrow, so what’s the point in spending $20 a pop? Instead, upcycle materials around the house to entertain the troops.
94. Playdough – Kids got the rainy day blues? Create some fun with homemade play dough. You probably have the ingredients in your pantry already.
95. Slime – For more gooey fun, let your kids have a go at slime making. It only takes a few minutes to make, but they’ll find ways to play with it for hours.
96. Wrapping Paper – Another way to spruce up someone’s gift is with handmade wrapping paper. Let your creativity flow as you repurpose and recycle.
97. Car de-ice spray – Forget the scraping next winter. You can melt snow and ice from car windows, door knobs, and locks with this handy homemade spray.
98. Compost – Vegetable and fruit waste, teabags, coffee grounds. grass cuttings, fallen leaves, egg shells. You’ve already got the ingredients for compost for your garden on hand.
As you may have noticed, the majority of these DIY recipes and projects require many of the same staple ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, vinegar, old t-shirts, cardboard, and so on.
Buy those staple ingredients in bulk and save upcycle-friendly materials that you can repurpose later. This will save you an insane amount of time and money in the long run.
Your biggest problem now? Figuring out what to do with all that extra cash left over at the end of the month.
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