Making things yourself saves you money - some of the time. To be honest, if you buy a pattern and good quality fabric to make a dress, it ends up being more expensive than something from a cheap shop. Better quality, and better value for money, but more expensive upfront.
When we started brewing our own beer, I thought it would be the same. A fun activity that gets us off the sofa, a new skill, and one that would over time save us money but would be more expensive for the first years.
Not so. We have just bottled our second batch of beer, and my boyfriend has kept rigorous records of everything we have bought - ingredients, equipment, bottles... Our beer currently works out at €2,25 per 33cl bottle. Which is already cheaper than craft beer in the stops. I am very pleasantly surprise to find that our homemade beer so, well, frugal.
We are finding more ways to make homebrewing more frugal. Re-using the bottles from beer we drink, rather than buying bottles. Did you know you can 'wash' yeast after a brew and re-use it for a total of up to ten batches? And now I find myself with a bowl full of hops - with the most delicious smell. I can't bear to just chuck them in the bin, they smell amazing. Reuses for hops, anyone? I'm thinking to try them out and make a sleep-inducing herb pillow or pot pourri for the bedroom.