In an urban homestead, your goal is to work with the modern society and work with the land. Urban homesteaders are not in the middle of nowhere with grocery store that are miles and miles away. I live in St. Louis City, MO and live 3/4 of a mile from a major grocery store and within 1.5 miles from many smaller stores. I am able to purchase some items and make some items. I try and make as much as I can to keep a natural and healthy home, but I also have a full time job and live in the year 2022 in a major metropolitan area. So, yeah, here is my list of everything I make and everything I buy and why!
What I Make:
Foaming Hand Soap: Hand soap is too expensive and they come in single use plastic containers. No, no, no! I purchased glass, reusable jars with pump lids, and make soap for the kitchen and bathroom that works wonderfully, smells great, and doesn’t contribute to landfills.
Hair Conditioner: I like using Apple Cider Vinegar to condition my hair. Once you get past the smell, it does great. I will, however, mention that I have very fine hair, so this may not work for everyone.
Bread, Buns: Bread has gotten so expensive, especially for the organic kind. I make my own. A loaf costs me less than a dollar in ingredients and it tastes great. All organic, no GMOs here!
Deodorant: Let’s get personal, I used to use commercially made deodorant. I tried so many different kinds. It never worked for me. I always sweat right through it and smelled horrible. My armpits were also a dark grayish color. Once I started making my own, my armpits turned my skin color, I wasn’t sweating as much, I didn’t smell, and one use lasted 48+ hours! I was sold! I will never go back to using any store bought deodorant.
Cleaning Spray: This is an easy one, it’s cheap, natural, and works the same, if not better than anything I’d buy at the store.
Dishwasher and Laundry Pod: Much like the cleaning spray, dishwasher powder and laundry pods are easy to make, cheap to make, and works great!
Pasta Sauce, Tomato Sauce: My tomato based sauces are so much more delicious than anything from the store. They are also natural and have no eyes or preservatives. I can them up and we have sauce any time we need it!
What I Buy:
Body Soap: I tried making my own soap. It is a long and sometimes difficult process, and I am a busy woman. I now buy organic melt and pour soap and add my own scents, so this is like a 50/50 item.
Shampoo Bars: I tried so hard to make shampoo. I tried so many recipes and styles and nothing ever worked for my hair. My hair never felt clean and the oil would just pile up. I finally waved the white flag and purchased shampoo bars from a small business and they work great. Shampoo bars for me!
Toothpaste (for now): A few years ago, I bought a Costco sized pack of toothpaste. We are finally doen to the penultimate tube of toothpaste. It is less sustainable to throw out items, than it is to use what you have and then stop purchasing. So that’s what my plan is. Once the last tube is gone, I am going to start making my own.
Dawn: Dawn is Dawn. There is nothing better for those tough, greasy messes.
Tortillas, Crackers, Chips: I can and have made this items before. I even have a recipe on this very blog for tortillas, but with the time and effort needed to make them, I’d just rather spend a little more and buy organic tortillas, crackers, and chips.
2 thoughts on “What I Make, What I Buy… and Why”
Used to used apple cider vinegar rinse for my hair a long time ago. Maybe I will try the dishwasher pods.
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Dishwasher Pods: https://myurbanhomesteadstl.com/2020/12/26/sustainable-saturday-powdered-dish-soap/