Today, the concept of frugality is becoming more popular than ever, especially in these challenging times. Many people are looking for ways to stretch their dollars further, reduce waste, and live more sustainably.

Embracing a frugal lifestyle isn’t just about cutting costs—it’s about creating a more intentional and rewarding way of living.

A humble, cosy living room with frugal furniture and minimal decor

One of the most effective strategies for saving money is making things at home. From household cleaning products to beauty care items and from essential food staples to home decor, DIY projects can significantly reduce expenses while nurturing creativity and self-sufficiency.

The benefits are numerous: not only do you save money, but you also gain a sense of accomplishment and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing reliance on commercial products.

A warm inviting farmhouse surrounded by nature

In this blog post, we’ll explore 37 common items frugal people and homemakers often make from scratch to save money.

You’ll find a wide range of DIY projects, including homemade bread, laundry detergent, pet treats, and reusable beeswax wraps.

Each of these items is simple to make and can lead to substantial savings over time!

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Homemade bread

Making bread at home allows you to control the ingredients, avoid preservatives, and customise the flavour and texture to your preference. It’s a cost-effective way to enjoy fresh, delicious bread while saving money on store-bought loaves.

This is my favourite sandwich bread and farmhouse-style bread.

loaf of frugal sandwich bread to make at home

Homemade laundry detergent

Have you ever tried making laundry detergent? It can reduce waste, avoid harsh chemicals, and reduce the cost of purchasing pre-made detergents.

Homemade lip balm

A homemade lip balm is so cheap to make and will keep your lips nourished and moisturised without spending on store-bought balms, which often contain additives and preservatives.

DIY hand soap

Making hand soap saves money and allows you to choose natural ingredients and essential oils that are gentle on the skin. I like to use tea tree or lavender castile soap. It’s a frugal and eco-friendly alternative to commercial hand soap.

natural diy hand soap with castile tea tree soap

Homemade face masks

Creating homemade face masks saves you money on skincare products while using natural ingredients that cater to your skin’s needs. Plus, many ingredients are already in your pantry like honey, oats and avocado.

DIY fabric softener

Homemade fabric softeners are simple to make and are a cost-effective way to keep your laundry soft and fresh without relying on store-bought products, which can be expensive and filled with synthetic fragrances.

Add 2/3 cup of vinegar to your washing powder in the washing machine. By doing so, the soapy residue is broken down, leaving the textiles lovely and soft.

Discover 29 more of my favourite uses for distilled vinegar.

Homemade all-purpose cleaner

Mixing together a simple all-purpose cleaner is budget-friendly and allows you to minimise the use of harsh chemicals in your home. It’s a practical and economical option for maintaining a clean and healthy living environment.

Natural all purpose cleaner in an amber glass spray bottle

DIY glass cleaner

Glass cleaner is an excellent way to save money on cleaning supplies. You can achieve streak-free, sparkling-clean windows and mirrors with simple ingredients like vinegar and water. This is my go-to glass cleaner.

Homemade deodorant

Homemade deodorants are budget-friendly and free from potentially harmful chemicals like aluminium.

DIY candles

Pouring homemade candles can be a budget-friendly hobby. It provides a cosy home atmosphere and is a creative and cost-effective way to enjoy fragrant and decorative candles. Try using beeswax to make natural honey-scented candles for your home.

Homemade yoghurt

Making your own yoghurt at home can be a cost-effective and fulfilling way to savour this nutritious dairy delight without the expense associated with buying it from stores. Try adding homemade jam, preserves or granola to sweeten it up.

DIY granola

Homemade granola is unmatched because you can customise the ingredients and flavour to your liking while saving money compared to purchasing pre-made granola from the store. If you have an excess of nuts or seeds that need to be used, you can add them to granola for a healthy breakfast.

Homemade nut butter

Making nut butter at home is a budget-friendly alternative to buying expensive jars, and it enables you to control the ingredients, including the type and amount of sweetener and salt.

DIY salad dressing

Making a quick salad dressing is a thrifty way to enjoy fresh and flavorful options while avoiding preservatives and additives commonly found in store-bought dressings.

Homemade pasta

Pasta making at home is a fun activity and a very cost-effective way to enjoy fresh, homemade pasta without the premium price tag of store-bought varieties.

DIY pizza dough

Speaking of pasta, what about pizza dough? It’s also a budget-friendly way to enjoy homemade pizzas while controlling the quality and quantity of ingredients, resulting in savings compared to ordering pizza delivery.

If you have a bread machine, you can dump in all the ingredients and let the knead and rise function do all the work.

Homemade jams and jellies

Making jams and jellies at home allows you to use seasonal fruits, reduce sugar content, and avoid additives, leading to cost savings compared to purchasing commercial products. Plus, it’s a fun way to spend summer afternoons picking fruit and canning jam.

DIY reusable beeswax wraps

Simple beeswax wraps are a sustainable and frugal way to reduce your reliance on single-use plastic wraps, ultimately saving money and supporting an eco-friendly lifestyle. The beeswax helps keep food fresh for longer.

DIY shampoo and conditioner

Crafting your hair care products is a frugal approach to reducing expenses while using natural ingredients tailored to your hair type. It’s a sustainable and cost-effective way to maintain healthy hair. Try this natural rosemary shampoo.

Bottle of homemade rosemary shampoo

Homemade compost bin

Building a homemade compost bin is a fantastic way to recycle organic waste into nutrient-rich compost for your garden, reducing the need for store-bought fertilisers.

DIY raised garden beds

Constructing raised garden beds at home is a budget-friendly way to create a productive and organised gardening space. Growing your own produce can ultimately save money on grocery expenses. Try growing some easier crops first, like radishes, courgettes, lettuce, rocket and herbs.

Homemade bird feeders

Making your bird feeders is an inexpensive and enjoyable way to attract wildlife to your garden.

DIY garden markers

Creating your garden markers using repurposed materials is a thrifty and creative way to label plants in your garden. Try using old milk bottles or plastic cups.

Homemade pet treats

Making homemade pet treats allows you to control the quality of ingredients and save money compared to buying pre-packaged treats, providing your pets with wholesome and budget-friendly snacks.

DIY pet toys

Getting creative by making your pet toys from simple, recycled materials is a cost-effective way to keep your pets entertained and engaged without relying on expensive store-bought toys.

Homemade tote bags

Sewing reusable tote bags is a frugal and sustainable alternative to purchasing single-use plastic bags, ultimately saving money and reducing plastic waste.

Simple home sewn tote bag in blue floral print

DIY jewellery

Creating simple jewellery allows you to express creativity and style while saving money compared to buying ready-made pieces from stores. Try using glass beads and gemstones.

Homemade scarves and hats

Knitting or crocheting scarves and hats from high-quality wool can help you stay warm and fashionable during colder seasons.

DIY upcycled clothing

Repurposing and upcycling clothing involves taking old or unused garments and transforming them into something new and stylish, thus giving them a second life. It’s an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to update your wardrobe while minimising environmental impact.

Homemade gift cards

Designing and crafting gift cards adds a personal touch to special occasions. Try thinking outside of the box, like gifting a secondhand book with a message written inside.

DIY wrapping paper

Stop buying wrapping paper. You can easily use recycled materials like old paper bags, newspapers, fabric pieces, reusable tote bags or tissue paper instead.

Homemade decorations

Decorations can be harmful to the environment and a waste of money. Consider creating your own using paper products or reusable items instead. For Christmas, I made stockings, tree decorations and a Christmas tree skirt.

Homemade Christmas stocking decoration

DIY educational games

Try making some educational games for your kids at home. It’s a cost-effective way to engage children in learning activities while encouraging creativity and saving money on expensive educational toys and games. Recycle items to make cryoscopes or sensory-friendly activities with items from around your home.

Homemade art supplies

Try making some cheap and fun art supplies like playdough from flour, water and colouring, clay from soil and water or homemade beeswax crayons.

DIY essential oil blends

Mix together essential oil blends at home. It’s a cost-effective way to enjoy aromatherapy benefits and customise scents without purchasing pre-mixed blends.

Homemade reusable produce bags

Sew some reusable produce bags from old clothing or material. They are an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to single-use plastic bags. It encourages sustainable shopping practices while saving money.

Conclusion

In conclusion, adopting a frugal lifestyle by making things at home is not just about saving money but also about developing a more deliberate, sustainable, and fulfilling way of living. By crafting everyday items such as bread, cleaning products, personal care items, and food staples at home, you not only cut costs but also experience a sense of achievement and contribute to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

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