So, I must confess… Until a few years ago, I used to not care about what I, or my family ate, or used. I was trapped in the “normal lifestyle” of buying prepackaged foods, using store-bought personal care items, and lots and lots of cleaners, the stronger the chemical smell, the better, or so I thought… I would have never even thought I would be planting a garden and cooking from scratch, leave alone making homemade cleaners and lotions!
My kids and I all have eczema, and we must use a special type of cream and soap. I sweat like a construction man, so I always needed the clinical strength deodorant, and we all like to smell good and feel clean, so, as you can imagine, our personal care products were not very economical. With that being said, I always had to find a way to get some overtime, to be able to pay for the very few (and very expensive) things that worked for us… You know, I had no other option, and I was doing what was best to take care of my family and myself, right??? WRONG!
The moment came when, due to health issues with my second pregnancy, I was put on medical rest for a long time. No more income on my side for that time, and no more overtime money for our expensive products… I sat down and made my math, to see where we could reduce costs to “fit in” these things, but once I realized how much we were spending in every single category, I was shocked! We were throwing money away like crazy, buying expesive food that half of the time we did not even need, and lots of those times ended up throwing away because it had gone bad. We were spending more than we were making, and did not have one cent saved for the months I would not work.
I started doing lots of research, looking for ways to reduce costs and save money. Everywhere I went, I read the same thing: “Homemade is better. Homemade is cheaper.” I started educating myself about natural products, and how every single chemical that we ingest, or simply come in contact with, affects our body, our health, and our POCKET… Wait, Whaaaat?
Yes, as embarrasing as it is to say this, the idea of saving money was at first more attractive to me than the whole idea of living better and healthier. It wasn’t until I started trying some of the simplest recipes for real foods cooked from scratch, and natural, homemade personal care and cleaning products, that I started seeing for myself all of the benefits that they bring. But now, even when my main motivation is my family’s health, I am still very excited to say, that this lifestyle is helping us save A TON OF MONEY! Not millions, but we do save a lot, and with all of the amazing benefits that it brings, I know I can’t go wrong.
Making different stuff in my kitchen reminded me so much of my grandmother, who always had a recipe, or remedy for everything. She did her magic in the kitchen, and we had our problem solved, always. That inspired me to keep learning and trying, until I found a recipe that worked for what I needed.
I tried a lot of different recipes for every single item that I wanted to replace, and I ended up mixing different ones and changing some ingredients on most of them. That’s one of my favorite things about homemade products; you get to choose and twist recipes until it works perfect for you.
I will be sharing my recipes for all my homemade products in following articles, but I have included the link for the recipes that I was based of in the beginning.
Some of the items I have replaced in my house are:
- Facial cleanser
- Baby wash
- Body wash
- Deep conditioner and other hair products
- Eczema cream
- Pain relieving cream
- Foot powder
- Precooked meats
- Instant or fast meals
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Bottled water
I still have quite a ways to go, as I’m learning every year more about gardening, still trying to find a recipe that could replace some store bought items i would like to kiss good-bye, and, trying to learn more and more about real food, from different places and cultures, so that it doesn’t get boring 😉
Have you started to live a frugal life? What are some changes you have made? Let us know in the comments!