Five things you should be making (and not buying)

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“Why?” My husband asks for the eight zillionth time. “They sell _________ (insert item here) at the store. WHY are you making it yourself?”

I give him a cheezy grin and say, “Because I can.”

Why would you make something that you could just run out and buy? Lots of reasons. Homemade food tastes better. Natural cleaners are safer and cheaper. And making stuff with your kids is just plain fun!

I’ve been “making instead of buying” for a while. Some of my attempts work and some don’t. With the exception of a few flops, we’ve had good eats and made great memories.

Here are some tried-and-true recipes that we use all the time in the BrownThumb household. Don’t be afraid! These are easy—if you can make cookies, you can make these.

Taco seasoning mix

No MSG, no fillers, and you can make a huge batch for very little money. Get your spices from the ethnic food aisle for maximum savings.

scoop of taco seasoning mix

Granola bars

A giant pan of these barely lasts a week around here. We would go broke if we bought that many of the prepackaged bars, and Jackjack and I have fun making these together.

closeup of a homemade chocolate chip granola bar on white plate


I mix up the rice, pasta, and spices ahead of time and keep it in the pantry. Just measure out one cup of dry mix and two cups of chicken stock and you’re ready to go. This can even blurble along in the rice cooker while you make the rest of dinner.

homemade chicken rice-a-roni in a bowl

Glass cleaner

Jackjack had a great time mixing this up and using it. He calls it “cleaning with science.” I call it “a big win for Mama.”

Chocolate syrup

The ability to manufacture chocolatey goodness needs no explanation.

jar of Homemade chocolate syrup

There’s more!
Read 5 MORE Things You Should Make (Not Buy).

Hi, Im Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here!