5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy)

5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy): BrownThumbMama.com

“Why make something when you can buy it?” My husband asks every time I start another “wacky project” in the kitchen.

There are lots of good reasons! Making my own stuff helps us avoid harmful chemicals, saves time and money, plus I like experimenting to see what I can do.

Read the original list of 5 Things You Should Be Making (Not Buying) here.

Vanilla Extract
We go through lots of vanilla since we make our own granola bars–and homemade vanilla is one-fourth the price of store-bought. Score!

5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy): BrownThumbMama.com


Odor Eliminator Spray
I keep a bottle in Little Peanut’s room and one in the bathroom. No dangers from hazardous chemicals, and you can mix your own scents or leave it unscented.

5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy): BrownThumbMama.com


Soft Pretzels
Don’t panic! If you can make cookies, you can make these. Add some shredded cheddar cheese to the dough for extra yum.

5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy): BrownThumbMama.com


Hand Sanitizer
Reduce your family’s sniffling, sneezing, coughing and aching with a simple, natural hand sanitizer that doesn’t contain alcohol.

5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy): BrownThumbMama.com


Insect Repellant
If you’re worried about spraying DEET or other chemicals on your kids, mix up a batch of this natural bug spray. A friend told me it kept the rabid Seattle mosquitos away from her son at Scout camp!

5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy): BrownThumbMama.com

What do you make (and not buy)? Share with us in the comments!


This article was shared on Small Footprint Friday, Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Party Wave Wednesday, The Thrifty Home and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

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  1. says

    Hi, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com), and I’m visiting from the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop.

    These are some great ideas! I like making things from scratch, too. This post has given me some good ideas for new things to try!

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you ever get a chance, stop over to my blog to say hi! Have a great day…

  2. says

    I LOVE IT! I have recently began making all of my own cleaning supplies and bread! This weekend…It maybe whole wheat pretzels!!! Thank you for the recipe! I found you through the Small Footprint Friday blog hop! I am hosting one today and Monday at my site http://www.frugalfitfamily.com – hop over and link in if you get a chance! i can’t wait to spend more time on your site!

  3. says

    I love to make things instead of buying them, so take heart, you are not alone. I make almost everything from scratch, but I like to focus on not wasting anything and repurposing things. I like to make convenience foods from scratch, like graham crackers, granola bars, cereal ~ things like that. I found you through Small Footprint Friday. Now I’m off to check out the rest of your blog ~April@ 5kidsonanacre.blogspot.com

  4. says

    I make soft pretzels but they come out looking like awareness ribbons because I can make the pretzel shape. I make “paper towels” by cutting and hemming old bath towels to paper towel size.

  5. says

    I home brew my own kombucha. It was insanely easy to grow my own SCOBY from scratch. Now I can make a gallon of kombucha for the cost of 6 teabags and a cup of sugar; store-bought runs about $4/16 oz. here. I have arthritis and go through kombucha like crazy, so this is a huge savings for me!

  6. says

    I make my own Laundry soap. Saves TONS of money and works just as well as the store-bought stuff. 1 bar of soap (WITHOUT lotion!!), 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda. Grate the soap and mix well. I use 4 TBSP per load, but I have an extra-capacity washer. The recipe actually says to use 1-3 Tablespoons. You can also add 1 cup each Baking Soda and/or Oxyclean. And it’s safe for ALL washers! (No suds!)

  7. says

    I make bread(gluten freefor my oldest & gluten filled for my hubby) so much cheaper! I also refuse to buy cookie dough, cake mix or biscuits. I like knowing what’s in the food my family eats!

  8. cat. says

    i make my own mayonnaise! some salad dressings ans seasonings.
    im slowly but surely making my way to making all our condiments.

  9. P J Kielberg-McClenahan says

    Instead of using vodka, why not use Rum? I like Sailor Jerry’s. It is made from sugar cane, and tastes one whole lot better than nasty vodka. I also use a high-end Bourbon for my home-made vanilla. Tastes like pure ambrosia. I promise.

  10. rcatheron says

    I no longer use any type of glass cleaner. I just use microfiber towels and hot water- dunk it, wring it out, and clean even the dirtiest outside windows!
    I do make my own powdered laundry detergent, but I don’t add the Fels Naptha to it. I use that to pre-treat stains.
    I love this blog!

  11. Vicky says

    I make spray cleaners. One amonia based, one bleach based. Fill 1/4 of tge container with amonia or bleach, squirt in som dish soap, fill with water. Much less spent the if you bought Fantastic or some other spray cleaner!

  12. Tiff says

    I make my own peanut butter. Its so easy to make and it tastes way better than the store bought stuff. I use honey roasted peanuts because we always used to buy honey peanut butter. It takes about 4 cups of peanuts to make 1 pint. Put peanuts into food processes and turn it on high. Once you get to the clumpy stage add some peanut oil. I drizzle it in until the peanut butter gets to the right consistency. Add the oil slowly a little at a time so your peanut bitter doesn’t get too thin. I have also made cashew butter and almond butter both of which came out great!

  13. says

    I really like your site, just found you today. In the past I enjoyed making and gifting essential oils, herb flavored vinegar and cooking oils. Also, I made many innovative herb jellies, for cooking or just spread on your favorite cracker. Anyways, thank you for allowing the access all the wonderful ideas you share.

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