I have found that, most of the time, food items are just as easy to make from scratch as from a box. If not, they always taste 1000% better homemade (nutrition aside.) After all, if our ancestors made it from scratch, it had to be simple and easy to maintain because they were busy trying to survive. Back then, if someone didn't feel like making bread that day, there wasn't a local market they could quickly stop at and pick up a loaf.
There wasn't any picking and choosing which chores to do. Things had to be done and right away, or there were dire consequences.
In modern times we have luxuries we don't even see and our own difficulties are very different however equally trying and valid.
I think of those days and imagine the great inconveniences, taking baths was an event because a lot of hard work went into that luxury. Just relieving ones self was inconvenient, trudging out to the smelly hot or freezing Outhouse (depending on the season.)
In comparison, today, almost everything is fast and convenient.
At times when I hear of people buying ready made items that are basic as can be to make, I can't understand why they would fork over their hard-earned money for an inferior product. Other times, I find out how easy it is to make something I was previously buying ready-made, and I can't believe it! I ask myself, why was I buying this? The answer is simply, because I was never taught how to, or 'mnever considered making it myself. Or otherwise, my mom always bought it so I did too. It's not until I hear of other people making something I routinely buy, that I considered the alternative. Before, I always assumed that because corporations use precise formulas to make the products I was using, I couldn't possibly make it myself without obscure ingredients and a lab-proven formula. Boy, I'm sure that's just what they wanted me to think. "Wauka, wauka!"
I have a long way to go; but I'll show you what I have learned to make at home rather than buy, and what I will probably make at home in the future.
What I Always Make, You Can Too:
Milk Kefir (Update 2017: I now occasionally buy a good whole milk version instead- read why here.)
Cream of Wheat
Baking Powder Biscuits or Sourdough Biscuits
Waffles and Pancakes
Muffins and Quickbreads
Pie Crust and Filling
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thousand Island Dressing
Wound Healing Balm
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Laundry Soap- Now use Soap Nuts
Most Times Chicken Stock
Most Times Mac 'n' Cheese
Most Times Gingersnaps
Sometimes Ice Cream
Sometimes Sourdough Bread
Sometimes Graham Crackers
Sometimes Sugar Cookies
Sometimes Wool Drier Balls
The surprising thing is, I am not busy all the time making this stuff. I don't spend hours everyday making snacks and household products, because the truth is, I spend less time making this stuff than it would take to go to the store and buy it (except pudding and bread, but I've gotten faster at that ;).)
Truthfully, I am a fairly easily stressed person. I get overwhelmed and frustrated and I'm not a pleasant person if I have to focus on too much stuff for too long. So if I can make all this stuff when my household needs it, and still cook regular meals and clean house and take care of a nursing toddler and still have a fairly peaceful home-I'm pretty confident anyone can.
And The Forecast:
Gold Fish Cracker Replacement
Honey Mustard Dressing