Save Up to $3,851 Every Year by Making These 5 DIY Products at Home

Save Up to $3,851 Every Year by Making These 5 DIY Products at Home

Finance Self Sustainability

$15 Detergent that Lasts 1 Year

#1 Laundry Detergent

This laundry detergent is stupidly easy to make, and it’s really cost effective! All these ingredients cost me just under $15 and last my husband and myself for about 6 months. If you’re wondering, we do about one (1) to one and a half (1.5) loads of laundry every 7 days. A single person should find that this detergent will last him or her roughly a year.

The perks of this recipe are that it’s waste-free (if you recycle your cardboard boxes), affordable, quick + easy to make, it’s a powerful, natural detergent, and you know exactly what’s inside your soap.

DIY Laundry Detergent Ingredients:

  • Bar(s) of Soap
  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • Essential Oil (optional)

How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent:

  1. Grate a bar of soap (scented on unscented). If you don’t have a grater, microwave an ivory soap bar until it has bubbled/expanded. Once it cools down, it easily crumbles (and it makes your house smell so clean and fresh in the meantime!).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add 2 parts Borax, 2 parts Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 1 part grated/microwaved soap bar (I put in the entire bar), and 10 drops of essential oil for every 1 soap bar added. My preferred oil is “Breathe” by DoTerra (thanks, Mom!) but you can use whichever you like, or omit the oil altogether.
  3. Mix the ingredients well, and pour into a (preferably hipster-ish, like my quirky Scotch bottle) container.
  4. When you do a load of clothes, add in 1-4 tablespoons of your DIY Detergent, depending on how dirty/how many clothes you’re washing.
  5. Replace your fabric softener with plain ‘ol vinegar. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also really healthy for your towels, making them softer, fluffier, and more absorbent.

How Much Money DIY Laundry Detergent Should Save You:

Tide Pods cost $12 per container of 42 pods. Assuming you use 2 pods (as advertised) per load, at 65 large loads per year (about how many I do), it’ll cost you $37.20 per year. Using DIY detergent will save you $22.20 per person, per year.  

Tide Liquid Detergent cost $18 for 150oz. Assuming you use 4 ounces (as advertised) per load, at 65 large loads per year (about how many I do), it’ll cost you $31.14 per year. Using DIY detergent will save you $16.14 per person, per year. 

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I did not calculate the savings between vinegar and fabric softener, as I’ve done a horrible job measuring my vinegar usage. However, vinegar costs about $0.02 per ounce, while fabric softener costs about $0.08 per ounce. 

A family of four could save anywhere from $65.60 to $88.80 per year by switching to DIY laundry detergent. 

#2 Bread

Bread, like homemade DIY laundry detergent, can make your home smell fantastic while also saving you a bit of money. Plus, oven-fresh bread combined with hot butter is just sinfully delicious!

DIY Bread Ingredients:

How to Make DIY Bread:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Yeast is alive, and it does best when the water is nice and warm, but not too hot. Get the water to a temperature where you would feel comfortable taking a bubble bath in it. You should NOT need a stovetop to achieve this, warm water from the tap should do fine.
  2. Add in the sugar, salt, oil, and half of the flour. Stir the ingredients until well-combined. You should have a sticky, but delicious smelling mess.
  3. Keep adding in a half cups of flour until you finally get to a non-sticky dough. If you used too much water (easy to do) you might need to use more than the 3.25 cups to achieve this.
  4. Turn and knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.
  5. Place in a large greased bowl, and put a bit of your grease on the top of the bread (turn the bread in the bowl a few times if you’d like). Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let the bread sit in a warm, preferably sunny, location for two hours.
  6. After the two hours of rising, your bowl should be full of bread, as it’s doubled (or even tripled) in size.
  7. Punch and twist the bread, until it shrinks back down.
  8. Shape the dough into a loaf shape, and place it into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.
  9. (Optional) Make an egg wash, and brush it onto the top of the bread loaf. Egg washes are nearly impossible to mess up. To make an egg wash, beat an egg, and then add a teaspoon of water, or milk, or cream, or butter to it. Mix that well, and you have yourself an egg wash. This makes the top of your bread a bit crunchy, shiny, and extra tasty.
  10. Let the bread rest in the bread pan for a half hour, and then bake in the oven at 375° for a half hour, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds ‘hollow’ when tapped.
  11. Burn your mouth on the very hot, oh-so-delicious bread, because it made your whole house smell scrumptious while it was baking, and because you have no self-control.
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How Much Money DIY Bread Should Save You:

DIY Bread = 19 cents per loaf without egg wash or 32 cents with egg wash. 

  • Yeast is $4.58 and makes 32 loaves of bread. Each loaf uses $0.14 worth of yeast.
  • Flour is $2.56 and makes 18 loaves of bread. Each loaf uses $0.14 worth of flour.
  • Sugar is $4.77 and makes 242 loaves of bread. Each loaf uses $0.02 worth of sugar.
  • Salt is $1.48 and makes 86 loaves of bread. Each loaf uses $0.02 worth of salt.
  • Oil is $5.97 and makes 534 loaves of bread. Each loaf uses $0.01 worth of oil.
  • Eggs are $2.33 and make 18 loaves of bread. Each loaf uses $0.13 worth of eggs.

Even the cheapest loaves of bread at Walmart costs 80 cents- which is 48-61 cents more expensive than homemade.

The more expensive bread costs over $8- which is $7.68 to $7.81 more expensive than homemade.

Assuming your family eats a loaf of bread a week, you could save anywhere from $25 to $406 per year, just by making your own bread.

Plus, think of all the money you’ll be saving on candles + air fresheners because your house will always smell like a fantastic bakery.

#3 DIY Makeup Remover

How Much Money DIY Makeup Remover Should Save You:

  • Coconut oil is $5.68 and makes 180 bottles of remover. Each remover uses $0.03 worth of coconut oil.
  • Baby shampoo is $2.56 and makes 336 bottles of remover. Each remover uses $0.01 worth of baby shampoo.
  • Tap water is so cheap, a cup is far below a penny.
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Each fluid ounce of DIY makeup remover costs about 1 cent.

Neutrogena costs $17.46 for 16.5 fl.oz- which is 95 cents per fluid ounce.

Mary Kay costs $15 for 3.75 fl oz- which is $4 per fluid ounce.

Assuming your household uses 12 ounces of makeup remover per year, you can save anywhere from $12 to $48 per year by making your own makeup remover.

#4 DIY Your Herb Garden

Olivia, at Birds of a Fire, estimates that growing her herbs in her NYC apartment saves her $520 a year.

She thoroughly breaks down her garden’s costs and ROI in this post, which you should definitely go check out.

indoor herb garden to save $520 every year

#5 DIY Bottled Water

This is definitely the easiest product on my list today, which is why I saved it for last! Simply purchase a reusable water bottle, and reuse it rather than buying disposable water bottles.

The average person needs about a half gallon of drinking water a day, which equals 182.5 gallons over the course of a year.

Tap water costs $5 for 4500 gallons or 20 cents for 182 gallons.

Bottled water, when bought in bulk, costs 4 cents per fluid ounce, or $5.12 a gallon.

Bottled water, when bought from a vending machine, costs $1 to $2 per 16.9 fl oz, which is 6 to 12 cents per fluid ounce, or $7.68 to $15.36 per gallon.

Switching to reusable water bottles, from disposable water bottles (even after purchasing a $15 reusable bottle) can save you anywhere from $916.84 to $2,788.20 per person, per year. 

Let’s Talk!

  • Do you have any go-to DIY products to save money?
  • Have you tried any of these DIY products I mentioned today?

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3 thoughts on “Save Up to $3,851 Every Year by Making These 5 DIY Products at Home”

  1. Yes, Vinegar is a great fabric softener plus it is good for cleaning alkaline stains and grime. Examples of alkaline grime is hard water and mineral buildup, and also soaps and detergents. So you are also clean rinsing your clothes of soap residue. My dermatologist recommended it to me.

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