Friday, January 15, 2010

the case for homemade

since i've been gradually making the switch to natural, organic, and homemade products, i often get the question "isn't it as cheap to buy the stuff after you've bought all of the ingredients to make your own?". the answer is yes and no.

to start with, i'm not making the switch to be cool. maybe it's becoming the thing to do in this economy, and maybe organic is what celebrities do and that makes it trendy, but honestly it's just what works for our family right now. as i've studied the affects of chemicals, pesticides, artificial elements we put in our bodies, etc., and compared that to the crazy rate of infertility, cancer, and other ailments our country is stricken with, i'm led to believe that all of this could have to do with what we are exposed to/put in our bodies. i'm not saying all this to say you should do it too, or that if you have an ailment it's because of any of these reasons. i'm not a doctor or scientist, and i don't know enough about any of this to be a credible source. this is simply my opinion, and again, what works for our family right now. i have free time since k and b are in school 2 mornings a week, and we are still on a budget. basically, i have more time than money right now. as most of you know, brett started his company a little over 2 years ago. as happens when you start a company, we went to no income and decided to live strictly on our savings to avoid having to take out a business loan. i've grown up pretty frugally, but this was a whole new (honestly fun) challenge. i got into the whole art of couponing and loved to see what i could get free at the grocery store each week (it was a game that i drove myself crazy with...and a lot of you as i talked about my deals :)). i was able to get tons of free and/or cheap stuff, but the thing i realized over time was that most of it was processed, packaged food, or conventional cleaning products. over the past year, i've tried to transition slowly to organic, but my goal continues to be sticking to my current food budget. i was already buying organic dairy, and some organic fruits and vegetables, but with the ridiculous price of organic meats, i stuck to conventional (and the oh-so-cheap tyson plant). this year, i am trying to transition to organic meats as well as more organic fruits and vegetables, thus my decision to go homemade with a lot of other things. pretty much everything i find myself making homemade has the same basic ingredients, so i'm able to buy organic ingredients in bulk, along with adding in organic meats, and stick with our budget. so the basic answer to what's cheaper is if you use coupons and buy conventional, there's a chance it's cheaper that way, but if you want to take your family to a more natural plan, it's most definitely cheaper to make your own stuff than buy natural/organic. not to mention, there's such a sense of satisfaction in the hard work you have to put into it. i feel like a 50's housewife and i kinda like it ;)

all that to say, i am a stay-at-home mom. since i bring no income in, i see it as part of my job to take care of our family and home while saving us money anyway i can. if i worked full time there's no way in the world i would be able to do all of this. and i still haven't found a way to do it perfectly. so if you read my blog and roll your eyes, remember that if there's a day i've made my family's bread, shampoo, deodorant, and laundry detergent, there's a good chance i've ignored my kids. give my family preservatives, spend $1000 a month on food, or ignore my kids. not really a good option there, huh? it's all about balance, and i'm still trying to figure it all out. if you read my blog long enough, you'll see that i get on kicks. i've always got a project or interest. if you listen to sandra mccracken's song i posted yesterday, you can think of me, because often these are just the kingdoms i'm building on earth, and i'm ever thankful to have a savior to offer me redemption when i turn things that should be good into idols. it might look like i'm doing good for my family, but sometimes it becomes something to fill my time or make me feel worthy of who knows what.

anyway, i'm really not trying to turn my blog into a food and health blog, even though that's the direction it seems to be going. i'm just trying to document the things i'm doing this year to work towards my goals, and this goes along with it (plus it's what i do for fun, so i naturally like to talk about it in hopes that other people like it too. you're thinking i need to find a hobby if i think this is fun, right?). if any of you tune in to hear stories and see pictures of k and b, i'll try to keep those coming too. have a good weekend!


  1. I think it is great what you are doing! I have been trying to do the same thing, but would like some direction. So, please post ideas b/c I am new at this too!

  2. Hey Nicole,
    You might have seen this already, or know most of this, but I saw this post and thought of you. I want to try some of these out too, so if you have some that work better than others, let me know!

  3. I love love love your blog! You give great information. So, keep it coming! ;)

  4. Great idea, Nicole! My grandfather (pharmacist, born in 1930, raised in AL, grows his own veggies) told me years ago we have cancer b/c of our food; I remember him saying we grow our chicken too fast and too big. He said we'd really see the effects in the future. Hmmm....
    I've wanted to go more natural for years, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. And I have trouble spending a fortune on food. What ideas do you have?