There are many reasons to make your own household products. You get to control the ingredients, save lots of money, and have a healthier pantry all at once. But health and money don’t have to be the only motivators. In a post-collapse world, many pantry staples might be hard to come by, forcing people to make their own. Here are 17 household products anyone can learn to make.
1. Self-Rising Flour – A baking staple that is often called for in basic muffin and breakfast recipes. You can make your own self-rising flour by adding baking powder to your preferred ground flour. Simply add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt per cup of flour. I would recommend only pre-mixing enough self-rising flour for a month at a time.
2. Pancake, Biscuit & Other Mixes – If you like making pancakes from a mix or biscuits from a can, preparing your own mixes can save you time and money. To prepare any dried mix, start by finding your favorite from-scratch pancake or biscuit recipe. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then get an index card and write down the wet ingredients that would go with it. Finally, seal up the batch in a Mylar bag along with the card for ease of reference.
3. Instant Oats – If you like the convenience of instant oatmeal breakfast packets, you can make your own. Simply combine 3 cups of fine oats, 1 cup of dried fruit, and 1/2 cup of brown or maple sugar and blend it together. Add 1/2 cup of water or milk to 1/2 cup of the mix and heat it on a stove until it’s ready to eat.
4. Dried Soup Mix – Simply speaking, a dried soup mix is a combination of dried beans, pulses, vegetables, and possibly bouillon cubes. To prepare, add the mix to water and heat it up to make a soup. You can also add dried jerky or other dried items to make the soup tastier. Here are some delicious dry soup mixes you should try.
5. Pasta – This is a standard pantry staple which takes less than an hour to make by hand. That might sound like a long time for something you can buy cheap, but nothing beats the taste of fresh pasta. For one person, mix one egg and a tablespoon of water with as much flour as will make a smooth dough. Let it rest for a few minutes, then roll it out as finely as you can with a heavy rolling pin. Slice it up with a knife, and let it dry.
6. Tomato Sauce – Tomato sauce is a canning staple that is easy to make, relatively quick to can, and useful in a number of dishes. All you need for basic tomato sauce a bunch of tomatoes and a little bit of lemon juice. Here is a step-by-step guide.
7. Lara Bars – These are a delicious snack made with nuts, coconut, dried fruits, and a bit of nut butter. They will keep in the fridge, freezer, or at room temperature in your emergency kit. If you keep them in your bug out bag, they should be consumed and replaced every 3-6 months. Here’s the recipe.
8. Glass Cleaner – Just mix together 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol. To make it smell better, add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil.
9. Orange-Oil Cleaner – This is a simple cleaner that takes advantage of oranges and vinegar. It lifts dirt, grime, and can even work as an effective wood cleaner. Here’s how to make it.
10. Bar Soap – Simple lye soap is as effective as liquid hand-soap, but it’s cheaper, more versatile, and it lasts longer. And best of all, one or two batches can be made in an afternoon. Here’s our basic soap-making tutorial.
11. Laundry Soap – Mix together 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of washing soda, and a finely grated bar of soap. That’s all there is to it. Use two tablespoons of the mixture per load of laundry. This will save you a lot of money.
12. Stain Remover – Here’s another easy one. Just mix together 1 part baking soda and 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water.
13. Tooth Powder – While the ingredients for tooth powder can be slightly expensive, a single batch can last for months in an air-tight container. The recipe is a bit complicated, but it’s antibacterial, it whitens teeth, strengthens tooth enamel, and even relieves tooth pain.
14. Deodorant – Yes, you can make your own deodorant, and it’s a good thing to know, too. While homemade deodorant won’t stop you from sweating (it’s not an antiperspirant) and may need reapplication a few times a day, it can be made with simple ingredients and won’t contain traces of heavy metals or other dangerous ingredients.
15. Moisturizers – While dispenser style moisturizers are handy, you can also make your own moisturizing creams and lotions. A basic lotion bar is simply coconut oil, beeswax, and jojoba oil. The beeswax hardens up the softer oils, and keeps them from melting everywhere except on your skin, where you want them. Here are the instructions.
16. Scrubs – A basic scrub for feet, hands or anywhere you want to exfoliate can be made at home in just a few minutes. Mix together a few tablespoons of sugar, a few tablespoons of coconut oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Blend the sugar and oils with a spoon to make a gritty paste (you should still see sugar grains, and it shouldn’t be soupy). If it’s soupy, add more sugar. Keep at room temperature, and use as a normal scrub. You can use salt instead of sugar, but that will sting if it touches a cut.
17. Shampoo – For shampoo, you only need two ingredients: baking soda and water. You might be a bit skeptical, but there’s a little more to it than that. For example, if you have oily hair, mix together two egg yolks and two teaspoons of vinegar and work it into your hair while showering. Here are some more tips.
Of course, there are countless other things you can make yourself, but the point of this article is to get you started and show you that it’s not as hard as it seems. Have fun!