Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Rules

While some people could undertake an experiment like this without any guidelines, I always do best when there are specific rules to follow. In the beginning I’ll probably focus on food preparation but I really want to push myself to go homemade whenever possible. Stick around and eventually I’m hoping to make shampoo, cleaning products, gifts, perhaps even clothing and accessories. The internet makes it pretty simple to find instructions on how to make almost anything your imagination can think of! Since this endeavor could easily get out of hand, here are some more detailed rules to guide my way.

As my intro post stated, this is the all-encompassing Golden Rule: If I can, with reasonable effort, make the item in question, I cannot buy it.

1) I need to use up any item already in the house before I start making it from scratch. There is no reason to waste what I already have. But once the stock is depleted, the Golden Rule applies.

2) Common sense will prevail in determining “reasonable effort“. Technically, I can make my own butter directly from milk but that’s taking the experiment a bit far. I am not trying to recreate life on a pioneer homestead.

3) Some items will be exempt because, even if it would be reasonably easy to make those items, it isn‘t cost efficient for them to be homemade. Perhaps the raw materials only come in bulk sizes I would never use up or the item needs special equipment to make it. I don’t have the money to buy or space to store materials and tools that I won’t use on a regular basis.

4) I can resort to store-bought (and take-out!) if I get sick, have worked over 8 hours that day or when we first get home from an extended absence. Hopefully in the future there will be a stockpile of homemade foods in the freezer or canned in the pantry but until then I can use an escape clause. However, I cannot use this escape clause simply because oh-my-God-tomorrow-is-her-birthday-and-I-totally-forgot-to-make-her-something. I apologize in advance to all the friends who are going to get loaves of banana bread for presents this year.

5) I will not impose the Golden Rule on anyone else. If I’m out with family/friends, over at someone else’s house or get a gift, it doesn’t have to be homemade.

6) Personal care items are exempt unless I decide otherwise. I’m not making my own deodorant for goodness sake! And I’m certainly not going without. (I hear you all breathing a sigh of relief)

7) Three strikes, it’s out. If I attempt something 3 times and the results remain a failure, I’m allowed to buy the item.

I think that covers it. Anything you think I missed?


  1. But this will be fun, right??? Heh, heh. I KNOW it will. Soup making date here we come!

  2. I've made laundry soap for the last year or so. It's easy, you can make a big batch, and it works great (even in front loaders). It's also way cheaper than buying soap. If you want my recipe, let me know.