Going Homemade

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I like to make lots of things myself that would normally cost me an arm and a leg at the store.  It feels good to make something yourself and save money in the process.

Things like old towels for rags instead of paper towels, homemade laundry detergent, antibacterial cleaner, glass cleaner, etc.

I also like to make lots of food from scratch too.  I’ve dabbled with things like ketchup and tortillas.  The ketchup, while I loved it at first, proved to be too time consuming to get it to the consistency that I like.  And the tortillas also are another time zapper that I have since quit making.

But then there are things that make me so happy I could squeal. Like “cream of” soups.  These are so much tastier than the store versions and are much better for you.  And refried beans!  I will nevah evah evah buy canned refried beans again.  I buy a bag of dried pintos and then make the most delicious refried beans on the planet.  Yes, I said it, THE PLANET!  And a very cheap bag of them will make enough jars to last for quite some time.

Another favorite is homemade granola bars.  These things are so wonderful.  And much better than the store bought ones as all of the ingredients are pronounceable and recognizable and they are cheap cheap cheap to make!

I have to admit though, that I don’t ALWAYS make everything myself.  Sometimes I buy the cheap dollar store laundry detergent.  I kinda make it myself as time allows.  If I don’t have the time to do it, I just don’t.  And I don’t really feel guilty about it.  I used to, but the fact of the matter is, no matter how much money something saves you, if it robs you of time that you need to be spending with your loved ones or doing some other thing that needs your attention, then it really isn’t beneficial.

My cousin and I were talking about this a little bit today and it got me to thinking about how I spend my time.  I think that we homemakers have a desire to be efficient and thrifty, but where do we draw the line?  When do we say “Okay, stop the insanity, I am not going to knit a sweater from my saved up dryer lint?”  😀

Seriously though, it can be a fine line.  If it takes time away from the Lord, your family and other responsibilities, then it can be detrimental.

What things do you make yourself?  And do you have any things that you’ve tried and decided just aren’t worth it?

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22 thoughts on “Going Homemade

  1. The Cotton Wife January 19, 2010 at 1:54 am Reply

    Baby food. Go ahead and lock me up. Gerber is just easier sometimes.

    And color-him-crazy but my husband loves Grands more than he loves me. So sometimes I will not make biscuits from scratch. SOMETIMES. I do have my pride. Praise the lard and pass the biscuits!

    • klutzymama January 19, 2010 at 1:58 am Reply

      Ha ha ha! You crack me up! I’m with ya on the baby food. It’s been a while since I’ve had to buy it, but it’s relatively cheap right? I never made my own. I just always bought the generic store version. I think my husband, precious THING that he is, actually prefers Grands too, which blows my mind because I love homemade biscuits made with bacon grease!

  2. Fencepost January 19, 2010 at 2:21 am Reply

    Okay first, who cooks supper in HIGH HEELS?

    I crochet A LOT…..pot holders, oven mitts, dish cloths, hot pads, Wet Jet pads, wash cloths……
    And of course, I like to grow my own veggies and can or freeze them.

    The Grands? It just depends on what we’re eating. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast….they prefer my homemade biscuits. For supper….Grands.

    Some things you just can’t reproduce.

    • klutzymama January 19, 2010 at 2:23 am Reply

      I love your homemade biscuits and make them quite often. Yum! Do you have a pattern for your wetjet pads?

  3. Jen January 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm Reply

    Great post! There is a line between trying to be superwoman and spending time with your family. I don’t use a lot of processed foods anymore in cooking, but have not ventures much further into making other things. Would you share your laundry soap “recipe”?

  4. Tana January 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm Reply

    I MAKE SUPPER IN HIGH HEELS!!! Seriously!
    I get home from work so late that I never change my clothes before I start cooking…..so yes, I cook in high heels!

    I make a “special Ketchup”…..and by make I mean I take store bought ketchup and add yummy secret ingredients to make it better. My kids love it! It helps give my meatloaf a special kick.

    I love your posts Sister! I am trying to read them more often. My new smart phone gives me access to your website, so I can follow The Klutzymama while I am sitting at practices and school functions. LOL! Thanks for sharing Sister!!

    • klutzymama January 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm Reply

      yes, I can totally see you cooking in high heels! you will probably still be wearing 6″ heels when your 80! ha ha!

  5. shannon January 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm Reply

    That line is so hard! I’m not a homemaker yet, but hope/ plan to be when we have kids (soon hopefully). I can see how that line will be hard for me though. If I have a day off while my husband is working I feel guilty if I don’t accomplish a ton around the house, and have a list of things to show for my day. I’m hoping I can find the balance between being productive, and nurturing our kids with the time they need!

    I currently make some household cleaners, our toothpaste, most of the gifts that we give, and most foods from scratch. The one thing that I still depend on a box for is brownies. I’ve tried numerous scratch brownie recipes and they never come out good at all. Since I usually have coupons for them, and they are frequently on sale I still buy boxed brownies, but I’d love to make my own one day.

    • klutzymama January 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm Reply

      Shannon, I agree, boxed brownie mix is very inexpensive and I do use it on occasion when I’m rushed for time. However, I do have a wonderful recipe for homemade extreme fudge brownies, so let me know if you want to try them and I’ll email you the recipe.

  6. Susan January 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm Reply

    I wish I cooked more homemade/from scratch meals. I make my own salsa and jam but other than that there is not much that I cook completely from scratch. I really need to can more tomatoes and sauces this summer so I can have it all year. Do you can your beans or do they stay good in the fridge? I’d love the recipe! You are inspiring me to do more from scratch 🙂 Thanks

    • klutzymama January 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm Reply

      Susan, I’m hoping to can more sauces and jams this summer too. Last year was my learning year, so hopefully I’ll get more accomplished this year. I’ll post the recipe for the homemade refried beans tomorrow. You can’t can them, unfortunately, but you can freeze them. I just put them in ball jars, wait for them to cool completely, then freeze them. Then when I want to use them, I just thaw them out in the fridge the day before I need them. My family loves them.

      • Susan January 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm

        Thanks, I love that you can freeze it.. so much easier than canning it!

  7. Fencepost January 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm Reply

    I can’t remember if I wrote down the wetjet pad pattern. But I’ll look. If not, I’ll make another and write it down as I go. I can never have enough of them.

    • klutzymama January 19, 2010 at 11:22 pm Reply

      Thanks sista!

  8. laura January 20, 2010 at 6:33 am Reply

    I am SO with you on the tortillas! I can make them if I have to, but I would hike through snow drifts to buy some.

    I make our ketchup, but I do it the lazy way – put all the ingredients in the little crock pot, prop the lid open a teency bit with a toothpick, and go away for half a day. 🙂

    It really is a slippery slope sometimes, isn’t it? Sometimes I’ll spend the better part of a day working on some from-scratch thing, and at the end of the day, I question whether or not it was worth it. I think we have to throw out the first couple times we do something, because we’re still learning…but after that, if I’m dreading it, or if I don’t think I’m saving enough of something (money, sanity, environment) for the time it takes, I reconsider.

    Laura at TenThingsFarm, who just got tortillas for 25 cents a pack with coupons – whee!

    • klutzymama January 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm Reply

      Ha ha ha! Yeah, tortillas can really be had for cheap and it’s definitely a bonus if you have a coupon!!! That’s a good idea on the ketchup. How much ketchup does it make? Do you have a specific recipe?

      • laura January 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

        I have tweaked a recipe I got at allrecipes.com. It’s called ‘in a pinch ketchup’ over there, and the person who posted it is ‘outnumbered’.

        I put more vinegar, and I don’t add the corn syrup, plus I add a pinch of cayenne. This ketchup is practically free for us, because I couponed my way to a rather large stash of Muir Glen tomato paste. The last time I had some ketchup I decided it might need a little more salt, but it might have just been an off day. 🙂

        I make a double batch of the ketchup in my 2 quart crock pot. I put as much in the dispenser as will fit, and store the rest in the back of the fridge in a glass jar. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • klutzymama January 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        Thanks Laura!

  9. Kristi Smith January 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Sometimes I make myself a sandwich.

    • klutzymama January 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Easy does it Kristi, don’t get carried away with it now. ha ha!

  10. Kristi Smith January 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm Reply

    oops, did that go in the wrong spot?

    You changed your blog and now I am all confused.

    😉

    • klutzymama January 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm Reply

      no worries. 😉

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