Homemade: Is it worth it? We test for you. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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Homemade: Is it worth it? We test for you.

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Homemade Laundry Detergent Ingredients Homemade Laundry Detergent Ingredients
Trader Joe's Pasteurized Egg Whites Trader Joe's Pasteurized Egg Whites
Brown Sugar Body Scrub Brown Sugar Body Scrub

You read and hear a lot about families making more things from scratch either for environmental or health reasons or to just save money. But is it worth it?

Three viewers, plus myself, just regular people with kids who juggle busy lives, want to know. In our free time, like many of you, we peek at Pinterest, the online site where you can find new ideas about how to make your home better.

Jamilla Fontenot, a Walton County wife and mother of four, confessed, "I am a Pinterest fanatic."

And, she feels what we've all come to know as Pinterest peer pressure. I mean, it does make cooking and creating from scratch look crazy easy. But who has time to find out?

Well, we made time. Our team of moms put a few everyday items to the homemade test. We were looking for recipes that save us money and actually work.

We started in the laundry room with the Fontenots who do about 14 loads of laundry a week.

"Soon as we think we're done, then after we turn around, after everybody's taken baths for the day, we're like, ugh...." Jamilla Fontenot laughed.

They use Gain laundry detergent. At Walmart the size this family buys costs $16.17. It promises to clean 120 loads.

Homemade supplies are just a box of Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and a bar of Fels-Naptha soap. We got it all for $8.85.

Here's the cost comparison: For this family, their store brand costs them about $98 a year. Homemade comes in at $23.60 year. That's a big difference, but remember, you still have to make it.

The Fontenots grated soap, measured the powders, and mixed them together. That's it. On a scale from one to 10, one being the easiest.....

"A two. Yeah, two. Super easy," said Jason and Jamilla Fontenot on making the homemade, powdery detergent.

But none of that matters if you don't actually like it. While the Fontenots got started on a week-long laundry test, I went back to the office to make homemade mayonnaise. We used a blender, but you could also use a bowl and a whisk.

We found an easy-to-use online recipe that includes: eggs, lemon juice, salt, mustard and vegetable oil.

All ingredients you can pronounce and probably already have in the kitchen. In 45 seconds, it's done. And most important, it's delicious.

You can check out local chef Alton Brown's recipe. It's a little different, but he has a great, how-to video for the whisk method.

I am a convert. I make mayo at home now from scratch, but still, I am not giving it a full endorsement. And here's why: Getting the thick consistency of jarred mayo takes a little practice. If you have no patience in the kitchen, then pass.

If you are afraid of using raw eggs, Trader Joe's sells this small carton of pasteurized egg whites.

Let's hop back to the Fontenots in Social Circle for the real test of homemade laundry detergent: to see if a ketchup stain came out.

Jamilla seemed surprised, " I don't see it on here anymore." It was gone.

They tried it for a week, then sent this update - a Fontenot family thumbs up. They found the clothes "very soft" and "very clean."

OK, let's try a pampering item. We trek to Dacula where stay-at-home mom Lisa Collins shows us how to make Brown Sugar Body Scrub. It's a recipe she's perfected.

It's a mixture of brown sugar, turbinado sugar, a little bit of honey, a dash of pure vanilla extract and topped off with melted coconut oil. It smells like a cake, but it's for your skin.

Lisa Collins, so fed up with the price of everything, even makes homemade body butter that might have you thinking about licking the beaters. And she's turning it into a profit now, selling it to friends through her online shop Brown Suga Chic.

"During Christmas time, money tight, finances are short, you can definitely do something like this," said Lisa Collins.

Bothered by mosquitoes in the summer? Of course you are.

A mom from DeKalb County says she tried homemade bug spray because she didn't like the chemicals in store brands. Viewer Anna Kelly says she just mixed essential oils like geranium and tea tree with glycerin and water.

You can use many different scents and many different conduit oils like jojoba or almond. Some folks mix in witch hazel or even vodka as a preservative. Whatever you choose, put it in a spay bottle and it's done.

Anna Kelly sent in a quick video on Instagram.  Join me there at Dana Fowle Fox 5 and hear how she had success this spring while planting but thinks the real test will be in the heat of the summer when mosquitoes are really hungry.

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