Saturday, March 19, 2011

Making it myself or just buy it?

As I look through many blogs I am finding a pattern in what I choose to click on. I am intrigued about making things from scratch and for-go buying the items already made. I then asked some friends if they were interested in knowing how to (or if it was worth it) and was surprised by the answer. People actually do care about this stuff and it isn't just me who is fascinated by this subject (although with the amount of blogs I look at to find the recipes I want to try I shouldn't be surprised. It seems our culture is trying to find a balance between what we did in the past and what we do currently.)

So let me start this series of blogs off with a run down of why I am looking at homemade versus mass produced products. There are a few factors that cross my mind and may cross yours too when you look at the reasons to choose one method or another. Here is my list to reason why I am making one choice over another.

Cost Comparison -
In this day and age many people look at ways to cut corners. Yes you can save most of the time making items yourself but not always. For example - toothpaste. When you factor in supplies, storage, time to make and overall effectiveness I have not found a homemade toothpaste recipe that can do a better job than it's mass produced counter parts. If you match up coupons and sales you almost always can get toothpaste for free if you don't care about the brand. If you are brand loyal, most of the time you still can get away with spending no more than $3 every few months (for our family. We don't go through a ton of toothpaste because many of our inhabitants have yet to get all their teeth).

I will break down each item I make and give you the mass produced items price and the homemade price. This will help you figure out if you even want to try the recipe. I will use the same formula on everything but not everything will fit all categories. The formula will look like this:

Mass Produce Price - not on sale - This will be easy since I just have to look at the tag. Remember regions and stores vary. It will just be a way for me (and you) to see what you could expect to pay if you were to get this item.
Home Made Price
Then you will see a breakdown of the homemade product. For this I will use the cost per unit, per ingredient,to get a total cost.
Time - Our time is important so I will give you about how long it took of actual work to make the item. Some items take a long time but not much I have to involve myself in. For example, one item takes the time of me pouring it, adding an ingredient or two and waiting a few months. I will include all of this when I give the breakdown.

Yes it is a deadly sin to be prideful, but I just don't know how else to explain it. When you make something out of pretty basic ingredients and share it with someone else you get a sense of joy from their acknowledgment. I like it when I receive complements about a carrot cake or brownies (man we like sugar in our house!). It makes me feel like more than just a mom.

Knowing what is in the products we use and consume

Ahh the big one! I will have to say that this is probably the second most popular reason people choose to try homemade. Well I am just going to get this out there now... Two buzz words that really bug me are "green" and "organic". I sometimes feel more compelled NOT to do something when those words are thrown around than I am to actually think "oh this is a product I should use". I am not an expert on the subject nor do I want to be. I am pretty sure that these words are used just like the words "new and improved" on products. They are just put on items to sell them most of the time. Well I am not buying it big business!
Rant Over
I will say that I do care about how many chemicals are in my house. It isn't so much the whole BH - blah blah blah, but more the fact that an item gets so processed that who the heck knows if it will hurt you years from now. I strongly believe that "whole" items (foods or items we have in our home) are best. Once again not something I am too passionate about to do a ton of research on or get a degree in. Just a mom with three boys who wants to do the best she feels she can for her family.

I have had this section going in my head for a week. I have wanted to explain this part without making anyone nervous for me or even put the idea in your heads. I have no idea how to explain this but I will try my best and hope it comes across how I intend it to, here it goes....

I strongly believe that another reason we are turning to the "old way" of doing things is also set some in fear. It could be a fear of money, a fear of loss of production, a fear of survival. With hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, unemployment, etc happening all over the world I can not help but see that people seem to think the end is near. We all have a fear of the unknown and when you can see things when they happen it becomes even more scary.

I don't care for a political or religious debate on this because I find those subjects to be very personal. It just gets messy and one person blames this and that person and it goes on and on. As for religion my stance is I don't want you telling me what you believe unsolicited so I won't do it to you. (I hope that isn't taken harshly.)


With social media being everywhere - and most people know I love me some Facebook - it seems we are disconnected because we are so connected. I am so drawn to how my grandmother did things now because I feel isolated as a stay at home mom of 3 (wonderful) little Littles. As I learn these skills or relearn in some cases, I feel that I am connecting my children and myself to our past. We are making tangible items and in turn making a connection with each other with memories.

Those are the main things that I think are drawing myself and others to the "homemade" items. Do you think there is a reason that stands out more than the others as to why you are interested in trying instead of buying?

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