Stuff not to buy at the grocery stores

Make Do (or Do Without)
25 groceries you don't need to buy, make do without them!

If you're wondering how you're going to afford all the things you need for
prepping, then this article is for you. Learn to make do or do without.

During the Great Depression, people learned to "make do, or do
without." It's a lesson we could all benefit from today, especially
when it comes to stuff you can do without that comes from the
grocery store.

Coupons add to your savings, but sometimes you don't have time
to search or the coupons don't apply to items on your list. Well,
you don't need coupons to save! Below are 25 groceries you don't
need to buy. Save money and do without them.

25 Groceries you can do without!
You will cut your monthly expenses and feel better about the
environment, with these ideas…

Here's a list of grocery store stuff you can do without:

#1: Aluminum foil.
You can do without aluminum foil and there are several reasons
you should stop buying it and using it. First, you don't need to
use aluminum to wrap your food when you have other options,
including Saran wrap and parchment paper, glass and steel
containers. There are also natural options.
suggests using leaves to wrap your food,
but banana leaves are hard to come by and there are several
other ways to wrap your food, such as corn husks. Here are
ways to replace aluminum foil in your kitchen.

  • Is it okay to cook in aluminum? The answer is shocking:
    aluminum foil is dangerous. Truth be told: aluminum is a
    neurotoxin! And in case you're wondering: yes, you can bake
    potatoes without any aluminum foil at all.Unfortunately,
    aluminum is in many pots, pans and utensils, which you
    should replace with cast iron pots and pans, and stainless
    steel utensils.

  • Do you use a lot of aluminum? The good news is that you
    can combat aluminum with melatonin. Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D.
    explains Melatonin vs. The Dangers of Aluminum:

#2: Air fresheners.
Let's get this clear: air fresheners are unhealthy! There's no need
to pump chemicals into the air when you have natural

  • Baking soda: Any prepper worth his or her weight in salt
    knows you can put out some baking soda to make a room
    smell fresh.

  • Essential oils. Get a diffuser and pump some natural air
    freshener into the air with healthy essential oils. Diffusing
    lavender essential oil provides a very relaxed atmosphere.

  • Instant potpouri: Thieves oil is a natural for potpourri with
    it's woodsy cinnamon scent.

#3: Baking powder.
Why buy baking powder, when you can make your own? To make
your own baking powder you'll need:
  1. cornstarch
  2. baking soda and
  3. cream of tartar.

If you have those three ingredients, you can make your own
baking powder. Best of all, you can make your baking powder free
of aluminum if you use Bob's Red Mill.

Here's the recipe to make baking powder:

#4: Bread.
Make do without store bought bread. Get started bread making
with a bread machine, but learn how to make bread without one
too. You "knead" to learn how to bake bread with your own two
hands. Bake a loaf of bread and try other peasant breads,

#5: Chicken breasts.
Buy the whole chicken (and not just the chicken breasts). When
you buy the whole chicken you'll not only be more economical,
but you'll be able to do more! With a whole chicken to make
soups and sauces, and you'll likely also have leftovers to make
chicken salad.

#6: Coffee filters.
Make do without paper coffee fitlers. You can do without a coffee
filter if you get an inexpensive gold filter. Mind you,
paper coffee
filters have many uses in survival, but a gold coffee filter is not
only better for the environment, it's better for you.  Sometimes
coffee filters have bleach in them, but even the unbleached
variety will fleck off into your coffee. If you're into clean eating,
then you should be into clean drinking and get yourself a filter.
Your coffee will taste better and you'll feel better.

#7: Diaper wipes.
While we generally recommend getting rid of paper towels, there
is one clever use of them. Paper towels are ideal for making your
own baby wipes (or adult wipes for that matter)!  In a zip lock
bag you can keep them ready for next use. Make small batches
so they don't get moldy.

#8: Dishwashing Jet Dry.
There's no need to add chemicals to your dishwashing process.
Pour white vinegar in the jet dry section of your dishwasher
instead! It's much better to do without. On high-efficiency washer
your dishes will come out just fine without the added chemicals.

#9: Deodorant.
Did you know that your underarm stink comes from bacteria?
Deodorant only masks the problem, it doesn't get rid of the
stink.  There is a heavy concern that deodorants also cause
cancer, especially for women who may shave their pits. You could
probably get rid of the antiperspirant too, but it comes in handy
for job interviews and dates. Save it for those occasions.

Here's how to live without deodorant:

  1. Wear natural fabrics. Synthetic fibers don't allow your
    armpits to breathe. You'll then sweat up a stinky storm.
    Choose cotton, linen, silk and wool whenever possible.
  2. Kill the bacteria: Stop the stink with rubbing alcohol or witch
    hazel to kill the bacteria. Alternatively, try hydrogen
    peroxide or white vinegar.
  3. Add essential oils. Zap the stink with tea tree oil or
    lavender essential oils. Another wonderful scent to try is
    Sweet Orange essential oil. Be sure to add a carrier oil as
    Sweet Orange can be bothersome to those who have
    sensitive skin.

Other natural ways to get rid of body odor include:
  • eating a vegan diet (no animal products at all - no meat, no
    dairy and no egg)
  • drinking plenty of water
  • bathing daily with a scrub of pure soap under the arms

#10: Dryer sheets (fabric softeners).
Dryer sheets are an unnecessary expense because they are
unhealthy! Laden with chemicals you can save money and do
without. Some people use vinegar, but this can actually hurt the
rubber hoses. If you use vinegar, then get yourself some braided
metal hoses so you won't have a burst hose and a problem on
your hands. A better solution to the vinegar is to use a home
made dryer sheet: a cotton cloth doused in your favorite
essential oil (lavender is a good choice).

  • If you have dryer sheets, don't throw them away! Dryer
    sheets are excellent for repelling bees when dining outdoors.
    Bounce dyer sheets seem to annoy them. Clip them
    somewhere with a clothespin, place them under your
    tablecloth or anchor them underneath something heavy so
    they don’t fly away.

#11: Facial Tissues.
Facial tissues are a relatively new invention. In the old days,
chivalrous gentlemen always offered the ladies their
handkerchief. Cowboys have long used their
bandannas for many
purposes, including their noses. Got old flannel sheets? Cut them
up to make nose rags for the apocalypse or for the occasion of
the common cold when your nose is just too sore for even the
softest of facial tissues.

  • Caveat: None-the-less facial tissues are a good prep. Save
    facial tissues for a serious cold when you'll otherwise rub
    your nose raw.

#12: Hand sanitizer.
Stop buying chemical hand sanitizers. Make your own hand
sanitizer using rubbing alcohol and essential oil for a spray bottle
type hand sanitizer. Use aloe vera gel with a smidgen of rubbing
alcohol and your favorite essential oil for a gel-type hand
sanitizer in a squeeze bottle. The essential oils to use: sweet
orange or lavender will provide the best results.

#13: Ice.
You can make ice year-round and get ready for when you need it
in the summer time or to plan ahead for a party.

  • Prep for power outage. An easy prep is to fill zip lock
    freezer bags with water, zip them shut and put them in the
    freezer for the day the lights go out. This solid mass of ice
    will help you to preserve the foods in your refrigerator longer
    than would otherwise, should the lights go out. It could save
    you hundreds of dollars of wasted food. Remember, to keep
    the door of your freezer shut to maintain maximum cold

  • Buy an ice-maker? If you find yourself constantly running to
    the store to buy ice, then it may behoove you to get an ice
    maker. Right is a portable ice maker. Eventually, you will
    recoup your money!

#14: Laundry detergent.
With Zote soap you can make your own laundry detergent
suitable for even those high-efficiency washers. It's a great way
to minimize the chemicals in your life and also save money.

#16: Paper dinner napkins.
Use fabric dinner napkins! Well worth the chore of washing and
folding, you'll feel much better about the environment too. It's
such an easy fix.

#17: Paper towels.  
T-shirts are something that you can't often donate. The solution
for putting them to good use is to make "paper towels" of them.
Now you know to cut up old T-shirts. Keep a bin handy with cut
up pieces and you'll always have home made paper towels.

#18: Pie Crust.
A pie crust takes just four ingredients. You're really not making a
pie unless you make the pie crust. Here's how to make an easy
and delicious pie crust for pies, as well as quiches.

#19: Sandwich bags.
While sandwich bags are convenient for school snacks and
lunches, you don't really need them if you go green and sew your
own cloth bags. Other lunch toting options include a tiffin or a
bento box.

#20: Shredded cheese.
Did you know they add anti-caking stabilizers in shredded
cheese? Why pay for fake cheese when you can get the real stuff
by shredding yourself.  Get a grater and shred your own cheese.
The payoff for grating your own is that it's healthier, tastier and
thrifty! You're paying mostly for air when it's pre-grated.

#21: Spray cleaner.
Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your house without toxic
chemicals. If you have lemons, you can scrub your wood cutting
boards or add it to the baking soda and vinegar combo.

#22: Sun block.
Did you know sun block is toxic? Your sunscreen might be
poisoning you. Sunscreen may in fact cause cancer instead of
preventing it! Tiny toxic nano-particles get into your bloodstream
and wreak havoc on your system. When you do your research you
will realize that there is no need to put sunblock on your family.
Wear protective clothing or stay out of the sun at peak times.
There are many swim suits for children on the market which have
UV protection.

#23: Window cleaner.
Window cleaner is easy enough to make at home and far less
expensive than the store bought stuff.  Here's
how to make your
own no-streak window cleaner.

  • Don't throw away you Windex, just yet! Windex is still a
    wonderful way to get rid of ants. You can spray directly on
    the path of marching ants to not only get rid of the ants on
    the war path to your food, but also get rid of new ants from
    marching in. They will note the devastating path and retreat
    never to return.

#24: Weird stuff.
Nowadays there's lots of weird stuff sold at the grocery store. In
short, they are not groceries, but the grocery stores certainly
want to sell them to you.

Make do without these conveniences sold at the grocery stores:

  • Shampoo is a bad deal at the grocery stores. Want a
    cheap price? Shampoo is inexpensive at the dollar stores,
    and almost always a better price at the pharmacy.

#25: Wrapping paper.
Sew reusable gift bags made of cloth, so you never need to wrap
presents again! Sewing is an awesome prepper skill and this is
an easy project to illustrate that you can go off the grid. Here are
some ideas so you don't buy wrapping paper at the store:

  • Have fun with your wrap: The comics section of the
    newspaper is a classic and frugal way to wrap a present. To
    give it a more professional look, spray some hairspray to
    give it a sheen.

If you're short on sewing materials and time, know the dollar
store is also a great place to find wrapping paper for just a buck,
not the grocery store.

Keep these general tips in mind:

  1. Find the store nearest you, which is the cheapest. You don't
    want to spend more money on gas than its worth.
  2. Stock up on items that have a long shelf life.
  3. Skip prepared foods - it's always better to make from scratch
  4. Look up and down. Name brands are
  5. Shampoo and toothpaste

And that's a wrap of the grocery store stuff you don't need to
buy.  Let us know your penny pinching prepping ideas.

Happy Endings...
Now you have some ideas on how to "make do" without coupons,
so you can save money at the grocery store. There are other
ways you can make do:

  • Do without toilet paper. Preppers love their toilet paper, so
    we'd never suggest doing without; however, eventually the
    supply stashed will run out. What then? When the toilet
    paper runs out: rinse with a bidet!

  • Light up: When the matches run out, use a fire steel. Or do
    what they did during World War II: soldiers carefully split
    their matches in half (splintering them with a knife) to get
    two strikes from one match.

  • Get a grip without a dryer: use wooden clips! Get a grip
    and "make do" when your dryer gives in. Use clothespins and
    clothesline to dry clothes without going to the laundromat or
    buying a new dryer

We want to be part of your survival plan! Get more money saving
ideas by bookmarking our site and visiting us on social media.
Read more from

How to be a prepper on a budget.

Want to save money at the grocery store without coupons?
It's easy enough to tweak your habits. If you can "make do" or
"do without," you can save money for more preps! Here are more
ways to be a prepper on a budget:
  1. 99 ways to save a buck prepping the dollar stores.
  2. How to use Amazon to get free groceries and pPreps.
  3. Ten free preps - we promise they won't cost you a dime.
  4. Cash in on your money in the mason jar with a Coinstar
  5. Money Saving Lessons of the Great Depression.
  6. Control your expenses and save money while prepping.
  7. Penny pinching prepping: how to stay on budget to the get
    preps you want.

More prepping articles

Prepare to live happily ever after with us at - the emergency preparedness
Web site of prepping, survival,  
homesteading, and self-sufficiency.
------------------------------------------------- Revised 03/18/17
(C) Copyright  2012-201
7 by All rights reserved. The site happily targets concerned
citizens who are self-reliant survivalists, preppers and homesteaders with original content on survival following
societal collapse. You may link to our site, but
you may NOT reproduce any part of our content, or store our
content in any retrieval system to represent it as your own. Further, you may not transmit content in any other
form or by any means, including (but not limited to) electronic, photocopy, mechanical, or recording without
written consent. makes no warranties. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising
program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, or Amazon is a great place to buy emergency supplies. In other
words, we recommend prepping gear sold on Amazon. It's a great place to shop.

Get prepared! Read more emergency preparedness information on our home page.

article on the 25 groceries you can make do without has been archived by the on Nov.
12, 2015.
Zote soap
Muslin sacks
Do it yourself project: Hand sanitizer
EZ doh bread dough maker
Penny Pinching Prepping
Baking soda is a prepper's pantry favorite
Solar Battery Charger
Tenergy batteries
Is it okay to cook in aluminum?
25 Groceries you can do without
coffee filters
Happy Preppers site for survivalists + preppers
Google +
Splinter Out Sterile splinter remover
Healing oils of the bible: myrhh
How to get free stuff on Amazon
71 ways to homestead without buying the farm
What are Bouillon Cubes
Prepper's Guide to the Food Saver
hydrogen peroxide uses - just for preppers
Best prepper protein source: meat
Bega canned cheese
Chemical lights and how to use the colors
Portable ice Maker