Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tackling Expenses: One handmade product at a time

Why bother creating products at home that are so readily available in stores? The first thing that hooked me on making "homemade" was the heath risks to my family from buying packaged and processed food items. Processed foods have been altered from their natural state for "safety" and convenience reasons. And scary as it seems, about 90 percent of the money that Americans spend on food is used to buy processed items. Even more disturbing are the compromises that have to be made to a commercial item's integrity to ensure that it will survive the weeks or months from the time it is manufactured, then shipped and stored, left on the retailer’s shelf and finally picked up and used by you. Depending on the type of product, it is pumped full of stabilizers, plasticizers, extenders, fillers and other man-made chemicals. Additives included in food can kill healthy vitamins and cause a massive variety of symptoms and diseases, including: asthma, eczema, dermatitis, migraine, hyperactivity in children, dizziness, kidney problems, diarrhea, fits, palpitations, stomach pain, intestinal disorders and allergies.
I know what you are thinking now..."This Lady is PaRanoId!"
Let me be the first to say I am not (does it even count if i say that about myself?) Cautious and aware but no…not paranoid. I am just a loving wife and mother who puts the health of my family at the top of my list! I would be lying if I said I never used packaged or processed foods in my cooking. I am still learning, there is much to learn, and trying to find the time to add more "homemade" products into my daily routine. Do what you will with this information...but it's just that...information for those looking for a change and frustrated with our current "food" situation. There are alternatives, don't despair!
Another top priority for me is to stretch my husband’s hard earned dollar as very far as it can go. Preparing homemade products can significantly bring down those ever rising grocery bills.
Here are just a few price comparisons for products i will soon be adding to my "Homemade Preparation List."

Prices and Percentages are in this order: 1.Store Price 2.Homemade Replacement 3.Savings

Peanut Butter 4.29 1.24 71%
Salsa 2.79 1.38 50%
Starbucks Frappacino 5.99 0.82 86%
Hershey's Cocoa Mix 3.49 2.68 23%
Aunt Jemima waffles 2.99 1.41 52%
Barbecue Sauce 3.89 1.92 50%
Pepp Farm Croutons 1.79 0.53 70%
Hellmann's Mayo 3.39 1.57 53%
Ore-Ida steak fries 3.39 2.20 35%
Edy's Fruit Bar pops 2.75 1.69 38%

Health & Beauty Supplies:
Oil-Olay Moistuzer 9.29 1.68 82%
Curel Lotion 7.99 4.62 42%
Secret Deodorant 3.69 0.50 86%
Robitussin 4.69 2.30 51%
Hall's Lozenges 1.99 0.33 83%
Sudafed 8.99 0.65 92%

Houshold Compounds:
Lysol cleaner 3.19 0.15 95%
Cascade 4.89 2.96 39%
Pledge 3.79 2.08 45%
Windex 3.39 0.15 95%
Elmer's Glue 1.69 0.19 88%

The benefits of making your own staples outweighs the extra time it takes to creating them. Of course these products will not necessarily be packaged as appealing as store bought or even, always, be as easy to use. That is where it gets fun. You can decorate your own bottles and store and display a way that fits your taste and lifestyle and not necessarily adjusting your storage space to accommodate the package sizes you buy. Among the rewards of making a product yourself is the great sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment it brings. It's very gratifying to know not only that you can make a staple yourself, but also that you are not dependent on giant corporations and their vulnerable supply chains to satisfy your everyday needs. Being able to fashion your own food, cleaning supplies and other staples links us with traditions that helped shape us as a people and our nations traditions of resourcefulness, ingenuity, independence and self reliance that proved our ancestors well to endure constraints of war times and depressions.
Expect to be pleasantly surprised by how really simple and easy it is to make many of the products that you are accustomed to buying ready made. Don't forget to get your little ones in on the action as well. They are just as eager to learn, right along side you, all that you do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration! What great ideas and encouragement you give!