10 Things to Make at Home to Save Money

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One of the biggest sacrifices of being a stay-at-home mom is going down to one income. I wasn’t making a huge amount of money at the job I had before we had kids, but it was something and it was a big hit to our budget when we lost that income. It was the best decision for our family but it didn’t (and still doesn't) come without it’s struggles. 

I know that many (if not most) of you are in the same boat. You are all always looking for ways to save money and today I have a list of ten items you can make at home to save money. Many of these items you could even make and sell to make some extra money for Christmas gifts or for vacations. Have fun with it! Find some items that are cheaper for you to make than buy and get your kids involved in the process (if they’re old enough) and you may also find a new hobby!

Things to Make at Home to Save Money

1. Breakfast Foods

Skip store bought frozen waffles and grab a little waffle maker, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy ([affiliate link] This is the waffle maker we have, and on Amazon it’s only $14!) and start cooking up homemade waffles. I do this for my boys just about every week, I usually make a batch of waffles and a batch of pancakes to get us through the week. Since my toddler is such a picky eater, I take the opportunity of making homemade breakfasts and sneak fruits and veggies into the pancakes and waffles and I make them with far less sugar and way more whole grains than you’d get in the grocery store. Some of my favorite breakfast recipes include: 
Banana Oat Blender Pancakes from Kim’s Cravings
Sweet Potato Waffles from Diet Taste
Whole Wheat Pancakes from Live Simply
Peanut Butter Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
Basic Baked Oatmeal

2. Lotions

Holy cow, lotion can get expensive and it’s hard to find ones that are all-natural and not petroleum based. Young Living has some great options (join my Facebook group The Well Home to learn about Young Living and natural living) but if you want to get really thrifty, you can make lotion at home.
Easy Whipped Body Butter from The Frugal Girls
Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion from Live Simply
Top 5 Lotion Bar Recipes by The Little Pine 
DIY Face Lotion for Sensitive Skin from Pretty Simple Ideas
Silken Rose and Green Tea Lotion 

3. Perfume/Body Sprays

In middle school/high school I was obsessed with shopping at Sephora and obsessed with high-end perfumes. My “signature scent” for a few years was [affiliate link] this Betsy Johnson perfume, I still remember what it smelled like. But since kicking most of the toxic-chemicals in my home, most commercial perfumes and body sprays give me a serious headache. And as a stay-at-home mom, I can’t image making enough room in the budget to buy a perfume from Sephora (some are over $100). So instead, I make my own rollerball perfumes at home! You can too!
DIY Perfume Roll Ons from Hotel Wilderness
DIY Sweet Oranges and Rose Perfume from The Herbal Academy
Fun Fruity Citrus Perfume from Simple Pure Beauty
Himalayan Sea Salt Body Spray from The Chic Site
DIY Scented Body Sprays from Southern Mom Loves

4. Cleaners

I talked about cleaners earlier this month in my post about my cleaning cabinet supplies so be sure to check that out for more details. And you can grab this awesome free printable Non-Toxic Cleaning Cabinet Recipe Book + Cleaning Guide. 

If you’re not into making your own cleaners, Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner is insanely budget friendly. I’ll drop a graphic here for you to check out a price comparison. 

5. Fancy Coffee Drinks

p/c nicolebanuelos

p/c nicolebanuelos

I used to be totally addicted to the Starbuck’s Pink Drink. But I’ve lowered the amount of sugar I eat, the Pink Drink, and most other Starbuck’s drinks, make me super sick. So I haven’t been stopping at Starbuck’s as often (for myself, William has to have his chocolate milk when we go to Target) which has been good for my waistline and my wallet. Double win! If you’re still needing a sweet drink but are on a budget, you can easily make something just as yummy at home. 
Cold Brew Coffee on Tap from The Crafty Christian
Lavender Honey Iced Coffee from Healthy U
Mint Chocolate Chip Frappuccino from Nicole Banuelos
Pumpkin Latte Recipe from Dear Crissy
Frozen Hot Chocolate from The Sits Girls
Snickerdoodle Latte from House of Yumm
Pumpkin Spice Frozen Coffee Drink

6. Dry Shampoo

I switched to DIY Dry Shampoo a few months ago and oh my goodness! is it amazing!! With my thin, fine hair, the DIY version does a much better job than store bought dry shampoos of soaking up the grease and making my hair feel clean. I’ve even gone three days without washing my hair and normally my hair gets so greasy within just a day or two. Major win and it costs significantly less than something like Batiste Dry Shampoo or Lush’s Dry Shampoo. Here is the recipe that I use for my dry shampoo.

7. Salad Dressings

If you’re trying to cut your budget, salad dressings are a great place to start with budget cuts. Not only are homemade salad dressings much cheaper, they are also way tastier. Womanista has a great list of 8 healthy (and tasty) vinaigrettes for you to check out. And on my salads board on Pinterest there are plenty of dressing recipes.

8. Desserts

Save yourself a good bit of money and make some yummy desserts to take to potlucks or make homemade birthday cakes to save yourself some money. Plus, you can make your desserts really unique by changing up the flavors, making them allergy friendly, and by making them look all pretty (although I will admit that I am not super talented at decorating cakes). If you’re ready to save some money by making desserts at home, here are a few recipes from right here on Joyful Homemaker’s Club:
Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies
Strawberry, Basil, & Feta Galette
Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hot Chocolate S’mores Brownies
Caramel Pecan Apple Pie
Mocha Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Filling and Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
{dairy and soy free} Pumpkin Pie

9. Bread

If your family eats lots of bread, a good way to still give your family a food they like while staying within your budget is to make bread at home. If you’re new to making sandwich breads at home, it will probably take a few tries before you start to get the hang of things, I promise if you persevere, you will be able to make a yummy, healthy, homemade bread for your family to enjoy and it will help lower your budget. And you don’t need a bread machine to make yummy sandwich bread but if you have one or want one, that’s also a great way to make bread!
Basic Homemade Bread from Lil’ Luna
The Very Best Homemade Whole Wheat Bread from Five Heart Home
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread from Life After Wheat
Homemade Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread from Whole and Heavenly Oven

10. Body Scrubs/Bath Salts

p/c Savy Naturalista

p/c Savy Naturalista

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a little at-home spa night for some self-care time but if you’re on a budget you may feel bad (or not even be able to in the first place) for spending money on things like body scrubs and bath salts. Instead of skipping your at home spa nights, get crafty and thrifty and make your own body scrubs and bath salts.
Lemongrass and Chamomile Foot Scrub from A Cultivated Nest
Lavender Bubbling Bath Salts from Simply Shellie
Homemade Bath Salts from Number 2 Pencil
Unicorn Body Scrub from Savy Naturalista
Cucumber Mint Sugar Scrub by Creations by Kara 

Another quick note: Don’t be embarrassed if your friends are buying expensive versions of items that you make at home in order to save money. Chances are, if you are making something at home you are 1) saving money which literally everyone should try to do and 2) using something that is healthier and safer for you and your family.

If you try making an item on this list to save some money, I’d love to see the result! Share a photo on Instagram using #iamajoyfulhomemaker and be sure to tag me (@abbybarstow).