Sometimes my family thinks I’m crazy. They’ll see me busy making something and ask “What’s that?” I usually respond with an answer like “I’m trying to make my own chocolate syrup” or “This is going to be my homemade Febreeze”. This invariably results in them looking at me and saying “You do know you can just buy that, right?”
Well of course I do.
And yet I persist. Does that make me crazy? Nope, I don’t think so and here are four good reasons why.
Like the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Having the knowledge to make something myself helps me feel a little more self sufficient, a little more confident, and yes, a little more powerful and in control. I like being able to control the level of salt and sugar in some of my food, and I like knowing I’ve eliminated a few chemicals. I like knowing that I’m not totally dependent on what the stores have to offer. Making your own stuff can take a little more time and effort, but it feels good to be able to exert a little more control over what your household is using and consuming.
Ready made products are often considered convenience foods. But running out of them can be really inconvenient! Knowing how to make things myself has opened up so many more options. If I don’t have pancake mix in the house, so what? I know how to make pancakes out of flour and milk. No taco seasoning packet? So what? I can make it out of the spices in my cupboard. Knowing how to make things myself has given me the true convenience of being able to use my resources in many more ways.
Making my own things will almost always save me money. Sometimes the savings are small but there are other factors to consider. I can save myself last minute trips to the store if I know how to improvise with a homemade version. Not making another trip to the store saves on gas in the car and the temptation to purchase unneeded stuff while I’m there. Of course, this doesn’t mean I never purchase the ready made products. Sometimes there are super sale/coupon deals that I would be crazy to pass up. But if I’m having a really busy week and just don’t have to time to do the sale/coupon shopping, I can always just use my homemade versions and know I’m still saving some cash.
I think that every living human soul has the need to create. We enjoy satisfaction on a very deep level when we can see the work of our hands and know that we produced something helpful, useful, or just plain beautiful. Many great discoveries have been made in the course of human history by those who are curious and creative. I often feel that I’ve tapped into something bigger than myself when I’m experimenting and creating. It’s cheap therapy.
So go forth and Make Your Own stuff. It’s a good thing.