A big part of homesteading is being able to do things for yourself, it takes “homemade” to a whole new level with the ultimate goal being making, building, growing everything yourself. It allows us to save money, control the ingredients / materials that are being used, and teaches us valuable skills. I am always looking for the next thing to make at home and while some things definitely take practice, I have a lot of fun learning and trying.
1. Yogurt: Yogurt is the most recent addition to my “make it at home” list. After reading a million blog posts about people making their own yogurt I decided to give it a try. Turns out that they were all right, it was so much easier than I expected it to be and the yogurt tastes great.
2. Bread: I love baking. It is fun and satisfying work besides, the house smells like heaven when there is fresh bread in the oven. I’ve gotten pretty good at sandwich rolls and flour tortillas and tried many more recipes. A lot of the time I cheat and use my bread maker on the dough setting to mix and rise whatever I am baking. Either way there is nothing that beats the taste of fresh bread and the cost difference is crazy!
3. Fire wood: While it does take a lot of work and owning some equipment (chain saw, splitter, etc.) it is still way cheaper to harvest wood from our own property. If you don’t have a lot of wood on your property don’t worry, ask around you might just have friends or family that are looking to take out a tree or two. Offer to take care of it for them as long as you can keep the wood. We’ve done this several times and it’s worked out really well.
4. Compost: Why pay for garden mulch and compost when its as easy as collecting food scraps and cleaning out the chicken coop? We have an on-going compost pile that gets veggie scraps, egg shells, dirty coop shaving, etc. added to it regularly. When I need to compost the garden I just fill up a bucket from the back of the pile and I’m good to go.
5. Hats / Scarves: Learning to knit and crochet was one of the best things I’ve done. I have so much fun making hats, scarves and other little projects. It makes for great homemade gifts and I’m able to keep my family warm all winter with things I lovingly made for them.
6. Clothes repair: A small sewing machine and a well stocked sewing kit has made it so that I never have to pay to have pants hemmed or pockets sewn again. *I’m short so having pants and skirts hemmed is common. My machine and sewing kit aren’t fancy but its enough to handle basics and that’s all I need.
7. Cleaning Supplies: I make the majority of our cleaning supplies from laundry soap and all- purpose cleaner to cut rags for dusting, dish towels, etc. The all purpose cleaner is just a simple mix of vinegar, tea tree oil, and sweet orange oil (for scent). I picked up a couple big spray bottles from the hardware store and mix a new batch whenever we are running low. It’s all-natural, inexpensive, and safe for use around kids and pets.
What do you like to make at home?