DIY Natural vs. Store Bought Which Saves You More?

DIYWhen I began looking to DIY personal care and cleaning products, I was concerned about the cost of supplies. A gallon of castile soap at $55 seemed a bit steep. But buying all natural products is pricey too. A constant struggle for me is balancing the desire to use natural products and be healthier with what we can actually afford. Many of you probably have a similar struggle, so today I’m breaking down the cost of a few homemade products versus buying them.

Keep in mind that initially you may need to put out a little bit of money to get started. But a little goes a long way. For example, I purchased a half gallon of castile soap for $22.99. But that was a year ago and I’ve only used about two thirds of it. And I use it in everything from hand soap to body wash to wipe spray. So once you see how long an item lasts, you realize that the initial expense is worth it.


Keep reading for a cost breakdown of DIY vs. buy when it comes to natural products. Also be sure to download this handy cheat sheet for quick reference!

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DIY Personal Care ProductsDIY

  • Toothpaste and mouthwash: My DIY toothpaste costs approximately .86 for about 8 ounces. This lasts my husband and I about 3 months. A 6 ounce tube of natural toothpaste costs $6.57. 8 ounces of homemade mouthwash costs about .02. An 8 ounce bottle of natural mouthwash will set you back $7.50. The verdict? Store bought for both will run you $14.07, whereas DIY costs about .88, saving you $13.19! (Find the recipes for toothpaste and mouthwash here.)
  • Lotion bars: I only recently got hooked on these. They are so luxurious and make me feel pampered. A .8 ounce lotion bar will cost you $7.95. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford that. These DIY lotion bars only have 3 ingredients (4 if you add essential oils) and cost about $1.13 per bar to make. The verdict? Making your own will save you $6.82. Plus these leave even my awful winter skin smooth and soft.DIY
  • Hand soap: My hand soap recipe is super simple. I use a 16 ounce pump bottle. I fill it mostly with water and add 2 teaspoons castile soap, 10 drops grapefruit seed extract (this gives the soap a longer shelf life, as it prevents bacteria from forming), and whatever essential oils I want for this particular batch. The cost? .15 for 16 ounces. A 12 ounce bottle of natural hand soap costs $2.93. The verdict? Making your own will save you $2.78.
  • Hand sanitizer: This is a tough product to buy. Most store bought versions are full of chemicals and artificial fragrances. I found only one natural version online, a 3 ounce bottle for $9.99. Yikes! My DIY version costs about $1.41 and makes 4 ounces. (The link to the recipe is included in this post.) The verdict? Making your own saves $8.58.
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Cleaning SuppliesDIY

  • All purpose cleaner: This cleaner only has 3 ingredients: combine 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, and 30 drops peppermint oil in a large spray bottle. It couldn’t be easier. 32 ounces costs about .36 to make. A natural all purpose cleaner cost $2.99 for 32 ounces. The verdict? Making your own will save you  $2.63.
  • Disinfectant: This cleaner also has only 3 ingredients: Add 1 cup water, 1 cup peroxide, and 15 drops of your choice of essential oils to a spray bottle. 16 ounces costs .40 to make, whereas store bought is $2.99 for 16 ounces. The verdict? DIY saves $2.59.DIY
  • Powdered cleanser: I could only find one natural powdered cleanser, and it costs $18.96 for 24 ounces. There is no way I could ever spend that much on one bottle of cleaner. Even if I could afford it, my frugal soul cringes at the thought. Baking soda is a great cleanser and costs $2 for 4 pounds. Meaning 24 ounces is about .75. The verdict? Using baking soda saves $18.21 per 24 ounces. That is insane!

When I started crunching the numbers, I couldn’t believe the potential savings of making my own products. That being said, there are some products I have not had great success with making. You can read more about which products I make myself and which I buy along with the reasons why here. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the essential products for natural DIY.

What’s your favorite homemade household product? Share in the comments below!

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