Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Frugality 101 - Make it instead of buying it

I am trying this little experiment with myself.  I have done this off and on for a few years, but because there are bigger things that our family wants (like land) I'm trying to save money with the little things.  Now when I run out of something, I do a little research to see if I could make an effective replacement.  This time when I ran out of wipes I decided to finally try to make my own.  I do have some cloth wipes that I use from time to time with a spray bottle.  This time though I used paper towels. The recipe is from here:

Paper towels
2 cups of water (I boiled it first)
2 Tablespoons of baby shampoo
1 Tablespoon of baby oil

  1. Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a knife and remove the inner cardboard core.
  2. Mix liquid ingredients in container.
  3. Place the paper towels in the container with the cut side facing downward.
  4. Secure lid tightly and allow to sit until all liquid is absorbed into the paper towels.
  5. Turn the container upside-down and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Open container and 'start' the roll by pulling a towel from the inside of the roll.
  7. Wipes are now ready to use.
This was really easy to do and they work pretty well.  They are smaller and thinner than regular wipes, but they do the job.

You can do this with almost anything.  If you run out of ranch dressing - try some recipes online.  It is actually kind of fun.  Of course you have to be careful because there are some things that are not worth the time to make at home.  The Simple Dollar has a neat series called Saving Pennies or Dollars concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money.  It is pretty interesting.  I quit making homemade dishwashing detergent and he did a comparison that found that it really did not save you that much money to make your own.   So that is one thing I do buy.

What about you?  What things have you decided to make yourself instead of buying?


  1. I never did try making wipes..I do use cloth. I also found that dishwasher detergent was cheaper to buy. (Although my new trick since I pretty much wash them before loading is to just squirt a very small amount of hand dish washing soap in the thing). It works, but don't use too much!

  2. Lots of things! Laundry detergent - mainly because I can use the ingredients for so many other things. Soft scrub, liquid fabric softener, spray oil (use a Mister), foaming hand soap, deoderant for myself, body wash for myself (again, use the ingredients for other things), disinfectant cleanser...

  3. I always make my daughters hair detangler. I use a spray bottle add conditioner and then fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Before each use I just shake it up. Making it this way only cost pennies. I use conditioner that is on sale and with coupons.

    I also make my own liquid soap using the leftover tiny pieces of bar soap. You put the pieces in a jar with water. Over time the soap will break down and become liquid soap. Then I just pour it in my soap dispenser.

    I also have made the baby wipes like you do. I would use those at home. Then to pack in the diaper bag I would use store bought ones.

  4. @busy little bee
    I forgot about the hair detangler. I will have to try that for my daughter.


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