In our quest for self-sufficiency we have made a lot of interesting discoveries along the way.
Most striking are those everyday items that we take for granted.
Everyday items that we buy instead of make.
I understand that many people simply do not have enough time to make everything themselves.
What I find surprising is how easily made some things are.
Let's start with an example
There was some bacon being made today. For that cure, one of the ingredients is brown sugar.
I found myself short of what I needed.
Kira told me to just make some.
"Make some?", I asked.
"Sure!", she said.
So I gave it a try.
We keep raw organic sugar. The molasses is just the stuff you'd buy anywhere.
I started out at 6% molasses, but I found it too light so I upped the dose.
So, it ended up at 105 grams molasses for 500g sugar.
I just used a fork to blend the sugar and molasses together.
Now, I haven't checked to see if this is cost effective, but it will get you out of a tight spot.
It's also worth considering if you want to control the two ingredients. In this case we have our preferred sugar. We could go a step further and find some clean molasses.
Many of these homemade solutions are an answer to mistrust of product labeling.
When you control the production, you also control what goes in.
Today's bacon only contains what I want it to have.
Just because the product you buy at the store has a label, doesn't mean that it is the truth.
That's not conspiracy theory either. There are laws in place to protect the consumer.
There are also laws in place to protect the producer.
Where the lines meet is questionable.
Here's another great homemade item that totally surprised me.
I haven't really used hair conditioner in many years but Kira does.
She found out that vinegar works just as well, if not better than the crazy stuff at the pharmacy.
"I find that hard to believe.", I said.
"It balances the pH after using soap to wash with.", replied Kira.
"It's an acid. It'll just strip the hair more.", I said.
She told me that it works great.
It took a while before I put the apple cider vinegar on my head after washing my hair.
It really made me wonder how many products that we buy needlessly.
It makes me wonder how long our culture has been fooling itself into buying needlessly.
It makes me want to look harder for simple product solutions.
The vinegar worked just like a hair conditioner.
You just put it in after you wash and your hair goes all soft.
There is supposed to be an adjustment period for the hair to adjust, but I didn't find that at all.
The first time I tried it, it worked.
I've reduced the amount of time I spend wondering where things got all screwed up.
Time is better spent looking for new ways to simplify life.
We scrutinize every single product that we buy.
What's in it? Where did it come from? Could we make that? Is it really necessary?
If more people did the same thing then maybe the economy could turn to a more positive and sustainable form of growth, instead of being propped up by the sales of tonics and snake-oil.