ADA - In today's tough economic times, many people looking for a way to save money turn to do it yourself projects. With a wealth of how-to blogs only a click away, it is pretty easy to find directions for making everything from hair gel to kitchen cleaner. In addition to making things instead of buying them, people also choose to purchase products that can be reused. The question is however: how much do you really save by turning your home into a personal factory?

Let's take a look at some of the most common household products, laundry soap, multi-purpose cleaners, disposable diapers, and bottled water. While you might not need all of these items, it is likely that you use at least one or two on a daily basis.

Laundry soap

Homemade laundry soap is an easy item to make on your own. The simplest recipe only calls for three ingredients. Washing soda, borax, and a fels napa bar of soap. You need to grate the fels napa and combine it with the washing soda and borax. The mix is then melted and mixed with water. Overnight it will turn into a gel-like solution which is ready for the washer.

The amazing thing about this project is the dramatic savings. Making your own laundry soap takes about 15 minutes and is a fun family activity, plus it will only cost you two pennies to wash a load of laundry. That just makes cents!

Household cleaner

In an age where it seems like everything comes with a chemical warning label it's only natural to want to avoid chemicals as much as possible. Making your own household cleaner will not only save you money, it will also provide you with an effective product that you will be able to use throughout your whole home.

One great recipe calls for something you would typically through away - orange peels. The citrus in oranges is antibacterial; plus it smells great! The steps are simple. Fill a glass jar with vinegar and add orange peels to the vinegar. If you don't have enough, don't worry, it is okay to add orange peels as you eat them!

Let the peels and vinegar sit for a few weeks, it makes a really nice center piece and is a great conversation starter. The vinegar will absorb the citrus and take on an orange/golden hue. When it is done, dilute fifty percent with water, add it to a spray bottle and you are all set!

Baby diapers

If you have a baby in your home, you know just how expensive it is to buy diapers, approximately 25 cents every time they need changed! The average baby uses anywhere from eight to 14 diapers a day; that adds up to somewhere around $100 a month. Some parents have decided to go back to the basics when it comes to diapering.

Cloth diapers have made a big come back. The average cloth diaper costs anywhere from $10 to $25 depending on style and fabric, but they last your child through potty training. Studies even show that cloth diapers encourage faster and easier potty training than disposables.

Local seamstress Heather Passett has developed a business that started with her personal experience. She knew she wanted to cloth diaper; however everything she tried leaked or was too bulky. So she designed a cloth diaper that was easy to use, leak proof and low cost. She has made diapers in all sorts of colors from camo to zebra print and has shipped them as far as California.

While it may sound daunting to consider washing diapers, it is much easier than you would think. It is worth it to give cloth diapering a try to enjoy a savings of over a thousand dollars.

Bottled water

Another really easy way to save money is by cutting out bottled water. If your family likes to drink bottled water, consider purchasing reusable bottles.

According to the website,, "People spend as much as 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than tap water. But according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, much of this marketing is misleading. Between 25 and 40 percent of bottled water comes from a tap."

Going green will save you money; however it will also save a much more important green - the Earth. We owe it to each other to do our part in protecting our natural resources. Reducing the amount of chemicals we use, cutting down our waste production and recycling things instead of throwing them out will have a positive effect on both your life and lives around the world.