Hello, gorgeous! How have you been? Yes, I’m talking to you. Quit looking over your shoulder, silly! I missed you since last week! This week, we’re discussing Homemade vs. Store Bought.
The greatest determining factor deciding whether I am store buying or homemaking something has to do with how much time I have to do it. As a mother, I am well-learned in the art of not having the time for anything. Ever. I made my own baby food, but it was more convenient to buy it with busy days and dishes and not-always-so-fresh produce.
My number two reason for not making something myself is that I am sometimes just that lazy. I practically never take the time to make cupcakes from scratch, for instance. It is so much easier for me to just buy the mix. And for a party? 9 times out of 10 I will just buy those suckers already baked and iced. I can then spend time on what is more valuable to me.
But sometimes…. sometimes you just can’t justify the store bought product, even if it is relatively cheap and time friendly. For example, take Jiffy muffin mix. No thanks. Sure, it’s only like fifty-two cents a box, but that is crap food. If you have ever had homemade muffins or cornbread, you know what I mean. It costs me eight times that just to buy the blueberries for my muffins, sure, but I gladly do it if the alternative is that imposter-muffin. (Okay. To be fair I like the corn muffin mix, though I still prefer homemade cornbread)
I have a relatively short shopping list when it comes to cleaning products. I know that whatever I use to clean my floors, will end up on Princess Cheerio’s hands, inevitably reaching her mouth. I also don’t like to keep cleaners around, as most of them are poisonous if ingested. That’s just not something I’d like to have to worry about with kiddos about. I use vinegar to clean most things in my home. If vinegar doesn’t cut it, vinegar and baking soda usually does. It’s great for floors, counter tops, mirrors, windows, toilets, as fabric softener, clogged drains, deep cleaning towels, cooking, hard water stains, you name it. I’ve read of uses for salt and lemons as well. Why buy 200 different products? Outside of vinegar, I buy Lysol spray, because sometimes you just want a surface really disinfected. As far as laundry detergents go, I have a fabric softener and laundry detergent that I stick to religiously. I do this because growing up, my mom couldn’t experiment with laundry detergents much. I always developed a rash if she changed them. Both my kids are the same way. I found something that works and I like the smell. I’m not changing it. But that’s another thing to consider: allergies. I don’t change my detergent because of allergies, but allergies might be a great reason to choose to home make something (especially with food allergies like peanuts).
The last thing that I have to say about homemade vs. store bought is this: nothing beats a handmade card or gift. Nothing. To know that the person thought of you, found a project they thought you would enjoy, invested time and money in collecting the supplies, and made the commitment to spend time on you (sometimes hours!), means so much more than, “oh hey….I saw this (when I was feverishly trying to find you something for your birthday) and I thought of you.” Especially when it still has the price tag on it, or they didn’t even sign the card. COME ON! Also, the hand made things are one-of-a-kind and oftentimes a thousand times more wonderful/beautiful/useful than what is available at the store.
Whether you go homemade or store bought is up to you. Do what makes you happy and gives you time to do things you enjoy. If you want to use more homemade products, but don’t have the time for making all of them, maybe trade off. Have a friend make her patented detergent in bulk to trade some to you in exchange for your amazing homemade baby wipes. The sky is the limit, and you don’t have to do everything alone.
What are some of your favorite homemade products? Any non-negotiable store bought things? By now, you likely know you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any topic suggestions, or drop us a comment below. Enjoy! :)
(P.S. I promise not to start the next post by hitting on you….but you know, if you hadn’t worn that top…you know how it makes me blush.)