If you’re looking for ways to save some money, be sure that you consider where you can cut the purchases you make solely for convenience! There are so many things to make at home to save money (that aren’t even overly hard to make) – the solution for adding more wiggle room in your monthly budget might be right in your own kitchen (or living room, or bathroom)!
By making certain things yourself, you can not only keep some cash in your savings account but also customize what you’re making to just the way you like, which is just the cherry on top. Many homemade products are not only a great way to reach your savings goals, but as an added bonus they are also one of the most simple ways to improve your nutrition and reduce your carbon footprint!
35 everyday things you can make at home to save money
Your grandma would probably tell you that making things at home is one of the most effective money-saving tips you’ll ever get. After all, “making your own” is an old-fashioned skill she most likely mastered as a child.
And I bet she’d love these ideas:
Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee to kick-start the day?
I know making your own coffee is a cliché eye roll these days, but you can not dispute the math: 6×365 is 2190.
I hate to be THAT GUY, but $2000 invested in Apple in 1980 would be worth almost a half a million dollars today. (I’m not kidding. You can do these calculations here for fun and inspiration.)
I know we aren’t all necessarily going to run out and invest every cent we save buy not buying coffee out, but my point is that those daily trips to the coffee shop can really add up. Instead, get a good coffee maker or French press and buy your favorite beans in bulk. You’ll love the convenience of making your own coffee and your wallet will thank you.
Try these 5 copycat coffee recipes to make the best coffee you’ve ever had:
- Copycat Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
- Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino copycat recipe
- Pistachio Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks
- Chick-fil-A’s frosted coffee copycat recipe
- Copycat Dunkin Donuts iced caramel latte recipe
If there’s anything I don’t love about convenience food, it’s the price. A few ready made items for the freezer, or perpackaged grab and go snacks for the pantry can inflate your grocery bill really quickly. I had no idea how much money we spend at the grocery store until I took an honest look at the credit card bill and saw that 90% of the charges were just food.
A meal plan will help you save money, but you can take meal planning a step farther and plan to make most of your food at home. (And I’m not suggesting complex things like making your ice cream or your own bread, but you certainly CAN make those things!)
I’m just suggesting that you whip up some homemade frozen meals and convenience foods for those busy days when you don’t have time to cook. Not only are they cheaper than store-bought versions, but they’re also healthier, too! Cook up a big batch of your favorite recipes, portion them into individual containers, and freeze. (Voilà! Ready-made meals whenever you need ’em.)
You can make many pre-packaged snacks at home with basic ingredients – which seems surprising, but once you get started it’s an easy adjustment. If you have a large family, food is one area where you probably spend the most money, and addressing a ballooning grocery list is often the first step to cutting back.
Here are 7 simple convenience foods to consider making at home to shrink your grocery budget:
- Granola bars to grab on your way our the door
- Breakfast sandwiches (to save you from stopping by the drive through on the way to work)
- Freezer meals (so you don’t have to order take out when there’s nothing in the fridge)
- You can even make your own goldfish crackers for kids lunches (get the cheese from wholesale clubs like Costco or Sams)
- Pre-mixed seasoning – like taco seasoning
- Salad dressings – like ranch and balsamic vinaigrette
Why spend tons of money on cleaning products when you can make your own with stuff you probably already have?
Just mix up some vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice for an affordable, eco-friendly, and chemical-free cleaner.
Here are 9 recipes and ideas for cleaning products you can make at home instead of buying:
- Replace paper towels with cut up t-shirts or towels
- make your own dishwasher detergent with lemons, salt and vinegar (it lasts several weeks in the fridge!)
- You can also make dishwasher detergent as tabs, which to me is preferable
- You can make all purpose spray cleaner
- Floor cleaner can be made at home
- You can make DIY oven cleaner
- Here’s a great recipe for homemade laundry detergent – it’s up to 2/3 less the price of store bought detergent
- Stain remover can be made at home
- If you spend a fortune on Swiffer wet pads, consider making your own re-useable ones
Ditch the expensive beauty products and make your own using natural ingredients like honey, coconut oil, and oatmeal. Not only will you spend less money, you can customize them to fit your skin’s needs, and they won’t be chemical laden, unlike store-bought varieties.
Here are 7 recipes for DIY beauty products to make yourself:
- Make your own deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda, and arrow root powder and essential oils
- You can make homemade toothpaste (and you likely have the main ingredients already)
- You can make your own wax (for legs etc. – I have not personally tried this lol)
- You can make your own sunscreen (nontoxic sunscreen is literally worth it’s weight in gold so this is awesome)
- If you’re really attached to shaving cream, you can make it at home (but I like dollar store hair conditioner)
- Skip the chemicals (and the cost) with homemade shea butter body lotion
- Easily make your own lip gloss
May kids activities cost a small fortune, and sadly lots of them are even filled with scary chemicals! You can make plenty of children’s activities at home with things from the cupboard and the kids will never know the difference – or even better, they’ll think it’s AMAZING that they get to make these things with you. When you pass them in the store you can say “let’s make a better one at home!”.
Here’s a handful of kids activities that are easy to make at home, and will save a lot of money over time (since these are things that you would be buying over and over again as none of them keep forever):
- Watercolor paints
- Kinetic sand
- Slime (we make slime often, and this recipe is a HIT with my kids!)
- Coloring pages (just google them and print out what your kids will love)
Get crafty and make your own candles! Especially if you, like me, are partial to those giant three wick things that cost $25 per candle. (I know!) Making candles can become a fun hobby that entertains you, or even earn extra money if you enjoy it enough to get into selling your candles.
Use soy wax or beeswax, essential oils, and recycled containers to create your perfect scents. They’re eco-friendly (which is always a good idea) and make awesome gifts for your friends and family, too! Lower energy costs by relaxing in the candle light instead of having the lights on! (Kidding… sort of.)
Here are 3 recipes for candles to try making at home:
- Melted crayon candles (fun and colorful)
- DIY citronella candles (for keeping away mosquitoes)
- Beeswax candles
My kids and I recently went to the store to pick up greeting cards – and they were SEVEN DOLLARS each! The dollar store does have a few greeting cards, so you can grab those ones, or skip paying for them all together and make greeting cards at home!
You can make them with materials you probably have lying around. Grab some cardstock or repurpose old cards, and go wild with markers, stickers, and stamps. Handmade cards are a sweet and personal way to show you care and any family member or friend receiving one will probably be even MORE pleased with a home made one than a store bought one.
Selling home made greeting cards is another of many creative ways to make money with a hobby. (If you’re looking for a list of money making hobbies to start, check this out.)
What other things can you make at home to save money?
So, there you have it – more than 35 suggestions for everyday items you can easily make at home to save some serious dough and reduce your monthly expenses. Small changes will help you put more money in your checking account and these swaps are an easy way to get started. Embrace your inner DIY enthusiast and start exploring all the awesome things you can create!