I did use coupons. In fact, I blogged about it. I learned a lot of cool ways to use them, and got some things for just pennies. There have been lots of recent hits on my blog for couponing, which made me realize I should share why we don’t do it anymore, and what we do instead.
We have transitioned to from-scratch cooking in order to save money and eat healthier. And by golly, it just tastes better! Many of our toiletries and all of our cleaning products are homemade, so I don’t buy those either. If you’ll notice, coupons are only available for name-brand products, cleaning products, and mostly processed foods. We try to keep the processed foods to a minimum, and avoid chemicals in our home in any way possible.
So, I’m going to share with you an incomplete list (because I may not even remember all the stuff we make now) of what we DON’T buy and how we make it. We save money on these things because we only need to keep basic ingredients on hand to whip up all kinds of recipes, both for household use and human consumption.
These are recipes and links that I have personally used and loved.
laundry soap – I have further modified this recipe to be a mixture of 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 Borax
floor cleaner – steam mop and essential oils
carpet stain remover – I use this ALL. THE. TIME.
laundry stain remover
dryer sheets – I put vinegar in the rinse cycle, and made a homemade dryer ball (but whenever possible, we use the clothesline)
toilet cleaner – baking soda and a toilet brush
glass cleaner – water or peroxide and paper towels or newspaper
air freshener – we also use Orange Spray
carpet powder – read the article and the comments for extra tips
We use essential oils to freshen and clean, and for healing purposes, as well. Rosemary and Lemongrass are my top favorites for a clean-smelling home!
hand soap – I use castille bar soap in my recipe
all-purpose ointment – this is very similar to the Burt’s Bees ointment and smells so GOOD
lotion bars – makes great gifts, too!
baby wipes – luckily little sister is potty training right now : )
dry shampoo – I love this, but I also find that baby powder (corn starch) works well alone
moisturizing lotion – I LOVE her whole site
cream of something soup
ranch dressing – my friend’s secret recipe; you’ll have to find your own : )
onion soup mix
bread crumbs – bread heels toasted slowly in a 200 degree oven and then pulverized in a blender
ranch style beans
refried beans – I make a HUGE batch of these and freeze in containers; beans and homemade tortillas are a favorite lunch around here : )
chocolate syrup – my daughter says it makes the chocolate milk SO MUCH BETTER
ice cream – this is our favorite; we rarely ever try anything different
cake mix – my Better Homes cookbook basic recipes
plain yogurt/sour cream – we use the yogurt in place of sour cream in our recipes; yummy and healthy!
hot dog/hamburger buns
granola – (instead of box cereal)
sweetened condensed milk
croutons – these rarely get put on a salad because the kids like to eat them like a snack
On my To-Do List:
What I tried and failed:
homemade yeast (I will try again)
homemade velveeta cheese (there are some occasions when that’s all that will work!)
probiotic deodorant – not sure why this didn’t work; but you really want your deodorant to work, right?
sunscreen – we made it and used it last year with fairly good results; this summer we used last year’s batch and got super-burned! Maybe we needed a fresh batch?
See my Pinterest boards here:
We try to buy our meat, produce, and some dairy from our local organic food co-op, and are growing a garden. With the above basic recipes and co-op purchases, we shop at the local grocery store less and less.
Not only do these methods save money, they are fun, and homemade is always better!
So, what do you make from scratch?