after the needed items were assembled. Ten minutes? Unbelievable to me. This type of endeavor is supposed to be difficult and complicated, that is why we depend on the store to provide all of our needs, right? Well, the more we learn, the more we realize that there are many things that we can now provide for ourselves, and not depend on them. This decreases our dependence and increases our independence, which is one of our goals, as our world spirals more and more out of
control each and every day, right before our eyes. I know you weren't expecting this commentary at the beginning of a lip balm article, but it's just another example of marketing and brainwashing. I can make a very simple lip balm with minimal ingredients that can be acquired locally. That is one more small measure of comfort I can provide when the SHTF. With that said, here is my first effort at making a very simple lip balm.
But, before I get to that, I want to show you how economical it is, and how manufacturers are continuing to decrease the amount of product we receive, while maintaining the prices, in a effort to disguise just how bad inflation has become. If you don't pay attention, you won't notice that you now put much less on your plate for the same amount of money than you could a year ago, or even six short months ago. I know the cost of gasoline at the pump has recently gone down, but it doesn't change the amount of food on your table.
Frank and I have used Carmex and Chapstick for years and years. Well, after we moved here six plus years ago, we started saving the empties. Yes, we are turning into our grandparents and saving all sorts of odd things, but I thought maybe someday I would learn how to make lip balm and refill them with our own stuff. One of the interesting, but irritating things we noticed a while back is how much less the containers are holding than they used to. We ran out much quicker than before. For example.
|Older Carmex, current Carmex, our lip balm. Carmex used to be flat on the bottom.|
Without further verbal wrangling, here is what I did to make lip balm. I found a great site, The Nerdy Farm Wife, that gave the basics of lip balm with recommended options, but without a lot of fluff. I also obtained a great little eBooklet recently from Leigh at 5 Acres and a Dream titled How To Make An Herbal Salve. It has some great simple recipes that I plan to try now that I've gotten my feet wet with this experiment. We bought a tub of lard recently for our first attempt at making soap. It is another project that is on the list of things to learn. There is some pig fat in the freezer waiting to be rendered, but, for now, we bought the lard. Farm Wife gave me the information I needed to make a very simple lip balm.
First, to gather the needed materials.
These little containers have a short story. Our friend down the road, Grace, loves garage sales. A while back she found these little containers and brought them to me knowing I wanted to learn to make salves and such. I'm happy to finally be putting them to use, and the smaller ones are just the right size for lip balm. After I finalize my recipe, I will start filling up the old Carmex jars as well. After I gathered the needed ingredients and materials, it was very simple to complete this recipe. I am still amazed. So here goes.
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lard
1 heaping tbsp. beeswax
|The lard has almost melted & the beeswax has just started.|
Put about two inches of water in the pan, measure ingredients into the measuring cup and place it in the pan with medium heat, and watch everything melt. This creates a type of simple double boiler. I used a plastic spoon this time because I wasn't sure how difficult it might be to wash off the wax. I have an extra measuring cup just in case I couldn't get this one clean enough, but I washed it immediately after use with hot water and Dawn and it came clean just fine.
After everything was melted and stirred well, I took the cup out of the pan and dried it so it wouldn't drip any water into the mix as I poured it into the containers. Warning, the handle on the measuring cup was hot and I needed to hold it with a towel. I was surprised that this small amount of ingredients filled up four of these small containers. That will last us quite a while.
It only took about 10 minutes for the liquid to totally solidify and be ready to use. The texture in the jar is very similar to Carmex, but feels more oily when applied. Frank and I are very pleased with the outcome, and will let you know how it goes as we use it over time. Now that I have tried this, I plan to infuse some olive oil with peppermint and lemon balm, which are growing out in the herb bed, to put in the next batch.
When I finished this little project, Frank asked me how much it cost to make this much lip balm. I didn't know so I went and looked up the prices and did some figuring. Here are the approximate prices.
- beeswax $0.40
- olive oil $0.44
- lard $0.09
- TOTAL $0.93 = approximately 6 oz.
The recipe I used made approximately 6 oz. of lip balm compared to 0.25 oz. of Carmex. That would be 24 times as much for a few cents less. So, the equivalent amount of my lip balm would cost about $0.04 compared to $0.98 + tax for Carmex. Amazing!
And while I was at it and had the beeswax out, I needed some smaller reusable food wraps. So while the lard and beeswax were melting for the lip balm, I cut out a few more pieces of fabric, sprinkled on some wax and popped them in the oven. Another new item for us that takes very little time once you have the needed items on hand.
You see, if I am going to make lip balm or bread or a meal, I'm going to use simple plain ingredients that I hope to be able to produce here on our farm. If I am really serious about being self-reliant and being able to manage when, when not if, the end of the world as we know it arrives, then I have to be realistic about how I learn and do new things and not play head games with myself.
I know we will not be able to produce olive oil in a survival situation, but we plan to be able to produce lard. We don't have
them yet, and don't really like to read about what people are going to do, but we will be adding American Guinea Hogs and bees to our homestead come spring. This will provide us with a source of lard and beeswax which can be used for so many things besides a food source. And if for some reason those plans don't work out, there are other folks around that have bees and hogs that we can barter with. We have been homesteading for many, many years and know from the school of hard knocks that things don't come together overnight, and sometimes don't work out at all. But with gumption and perseverance, they can and do come together.
Learn something important today. Obtain, or begin to research the knowledge and skills you need to do something useful for your family that will make life better when all of the chips are down. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It may be one of the most important things you have ever done. Time is wasting, and may run out before we know it. Work with fervor and a prayer in your heart.
Until next time - Fern