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5 things you should stop buying and start making

House & Home

Posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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Buying what you need is convenient, but nothing burns through your pocket like staple items! From bread to dishwashing soap – and even compost! – you can save money by making your own.


Here are some ways to cut costs at home with DIY tricks.


1. Bread

A staple most of us can’t do without, but one loaf can cost as much as R22 or more, depending on where you shop. Business Insider research shows that a home-made loaf could cost between R15 and R18 in comparison. Baking your own bread could help you save in the long run, and best of all, it freezes well. Try this cost-effective bread recipe to get started.


Tip: Make sandwiches at home. It’s far more affordable than buying lunch every day!


2. Salad dressing

A must-have for sprucing up salads, but salad dressing can be pricey and sometimes packed with unhealthy additives. Make healthier options at home with ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, spices and honey. These recipes are helpful too.


Tip: Reuse glass bottles to store your home-made dressing and sauces.


3. Laundry detergent

You don’t need shop-bought detergent to keep your clothes fresh and clean. A home-made version is easier on your pocket and better for the environment. Try these simple ingredients:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 cups borax
  • ½–1 cup citric acid (optional)

Combine all ingredients and you’re good to go!


Tip: Use one tablespoon for every load of washing.



4. Compost


If you’d like to keep your garden green and lush, compost is a necessity. Shop-bought compost cancost up to R300, so it’s more cost-effective to make your own. Use our budget-friendly gardening tips for making home-made compost and watch this easy tutorial on how to make your own.


Tip: Invest in a mini bin to start collecting your fruit and veggie scraps.


5. Leave-in conditioner


We all know one of the secrets to soft locks is leave-in conditioner, but it’s often full of chemicals, and pricey! Affordable options that make great leave-in conditioner include:

  • coconut oil
  • castor oil
  • aloe vera
  • egg and olive oil
  • honey


Leave whichever option you choose in your hair for at least a few hours before rinsing. You can also combine some of these ingredients for better results.


Tip: Coconut oil and other essential oils (e.g. argan, jojoba and rosehip) are great for moisturising skin too. Use them after a shower or bath.


Note: Lastly, get creative! There are many more items you can make at home. Check out Pinterest and YouTube for more DIY inspiration. You can find more tips for upcycling at home here.