15 Things to DIY At Home and Stop Buying

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You are wasting SO much money at the grocery store, buying convenience foods that are actually JUST as easy to make at home, almost almost far less expensive and always healthier.There are so many things that you can make at home instead of buying! Start creating your ungrocery list!

This is not an exhaustive list by any measure, but this should get you started on creating your own ungrocery list. Many of these recipes (well, the food-related ones) can be found in my cookbook A Cabin Full of Food, and if you are interested in increasing your food self-sufficiency, I urge you to get a copy. However, in the meantime, I would like to share some great ideas from friends of mine.

Homemade White Bread

There is such a difference between store bought bread and homemade bread that they almost shouldn’t be called the same thing.

Find out how to make a basic white bread from my friend Kim.

Croutons and bread or cracker crumbs

All of these things are very easily made at home. Elaina has directions for making delicious homemade croutons.

Muffins

Do not buy muffins.

Once you have a basic muffin recipe like my Banana Muffins and understand how to modify it, a batch of muffins can be mixed and in the oven in five minutes.

Jam, jelly and preserves of all kinds

My friend Cari has a recipe for Grape Jelly.

You can home-canned or purchased grape juice. (And yes, you CAN make your own grape juice, too!)

Canned stew and soup

With home-canned meat and vegetables in the pantry, making soup and stew literally takes minutes.

Get the canned stew off your grocery list and onto your ungrocery liste. Fnd out how to make homemade beef stew in fifteen minutes.

Chip and Vegetable Dip

But, but, but doesn’t it come in a little package that … well, it can, but it shouldn’t.

This classic dip was made long before those dried mixes. Learn to make your own Onion Dip.

Pickles

Perhaps you’ve had store-bought pickles. Or, what they call pickles. But have you ever had real, old-fashioned, lacto-fermented dill pickles? Let my friend Holly show you how she does it. You’ll never want store bought “pickles” again.

Biscuit Mix

Take a few minutes to mix up some biscuit mix and you will walk right by those boxes at the grocery store!

Extracts

Find out how easy it is to make your own Vanilla Extract from my friend Cari.

Holly also has instructions for making Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Syrup.

Cream soups

You certainly do NOT need to buy canned cream soups. Annette tells you how to make your own Cream of Chicken Soup

Canned meat

You do need a pressure canner for this, but it is possible to make the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth canned meat at home.

Canned Baked Beans

You really can make your own canned baked beans, and they are just as convenient as the commercial version – only far, far less expensive.

Pancake syrup

For the record, I’m not talking about maple syup. If you do not have your own maple trees, then please purchase maple syrup – from a small producer, of course, and not a huge company. Pancake syrup is nothing more than a flavoured sugar syrup!

Chocolate syrup

Chocolate Syrup should definitely be on your Ungrocery list!

Hot cocoa mix

Have you ever made your own hot cocoa mix? It’s delicious!

Soap Concentrate

You’ll kick yourself when you find out how easy it is to make your own Castile Soap Concentrate – at far less cost than buying it!

Laundry Soap

Not everyone has the same results from homemade laundry soap, but if you’re interested in trying it, my friend Kim tells you how to make it

 

All-Purpose Cleaner

Not only can you make a fabulous all-purpose cleaner at home, but it’s safe and all-natural. What’s not to love? My friend Ally at The Speckled Goat tells us how to make the cleaner she uses every day.

Applesauce

Not only will my friend Kim tell you how to make your own homemade chunky applesauce, but she has directions on both canning and freezing it.

Cranberry sauce

Don’t limit yourself by only having cranberry sauce at Christmas. Homemade Cranberry and Fruit Sauce is delicious all year round!

Salad Dressing

Don’t buy that Ranch Mix from the store. Really – you can make your own quite easily with ingredients that you recognize.

Mayonnaise

People have been making this since forever, but it really became easier with modern appliances. Check out my friend Lisa’s directions for making Mayonnaise with an immersion blender.  (Mayo uses eggs, and Lisa knows a thing or two about eggs!)

Pancake mix

Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. The purchased mix doesn’t actually save you any time and it certainly won’t save you money. Learn how to make your own Pancake Mix.

Pie shells

Don’t buy these! Annette tells you how to make your own Pie Shells and even a No-Roll Pie Crust!

Paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins, etc

I cover this in Time To Dispose of the Disposables. From diapers to family cloth, there are reusable versions of all the disposables. Check it out.

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Are you always buying those “helper” boxes at the store? Besides the fact that they are full of salt, and don’t really save you any money, they are EASY to recreate at home. Check out this recipe for homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni.

Wine

Really? WINE? If you like drinking wine with your dinner, you need to realize just how easy and affordable it is to make at home. My friend Danielle has instructions for making your own wine.

Ginger Ale

Although you can make other types of soda (like root beer), the easiest and healthiest has to be ginger ale. It’s so much better than the commercial type. Check out Lisa’s directions for making Ginger Ale. As a bonus, she’ll show you how to make candied ginger, too!

There are so many things that you can make at home instead of buying! Start creating your ungrocery list!

Tomato products

There are so many wonderful ways to make your own tomato products, and the flavour is usually much better than anything you can buy.

First step is learning how to can your own tomato sauce – save that taste of summer to enjoy all winter. Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup is absolutely delicious.

Deodorant

My friend Cari has a great tutorial for making Tea Tree Deodorant. She even has a short video to show you how easy this is to make!

Chicken or beef or vegetable broth

Homemade broth is nothing like the stuff you buy from the store. Learn how to make a rich, nutritious beef broth from my friend Elaina and here are directions to make Homemade Vegetable Stock.

Lip Balm

Everyone loves soft lips (or rather, no one likes having dry, cracked lips!), but why buy tubes of what-is-in-this lip balm when you can make your own Peppermint Lip Balm with ingredients you can actually pronounce?

Here’s a home security tip I wrote down in my “Frugal Notebook” years ago:
“Put a pair of worn, dirty, size 14 work boots outside the front door. Wet often so they always look freshly used. Hey – would *you* break in?”

If you like the idea of cooking from scratch and eating food that “remembers where it came from”, you really need to check out A Cabin Full of Food

Almost a thousand recipes will keep you busy for a long time!

Starting to buy in bulk to save money? Here are some tips to keep from spending too much money or wasting what you do spend.

A homemade household - that is, one in which all or most of the foods are made from scratch - needs a certain base of pantry staples. Save time and save money by having a pantry with the foods that you need.

The biggest expense in your budget is usually food. Here are four ways to cut the grocery bill cost!

 

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A Cabin Full of Food - the only homesteading cookbook you need - is now available in paperback, Kindle and now PDF!