I’ve been making my candles for a couple of years already, and many times I’ve been asked if it is cheaper to make homemade candles instead of buying them in stores. Until recently, I couldn’t give a precise answer to this question but more of an embarrassing guess. Lately, I sat down with my data on hand, and I came up with some shocking result.
Making homemade candles saves around 62% of the money spent to buy candles online or in stores for an entire year. It is cheaper to make your candle if the number of candles you buy per year is more than 5, with each individual store-bought candle that costs around 26.38$ (18.99£).
Sounds exciting, right? Let me give you the actual data I have used, so you will have all the information needed to understand and assess if making homemade candles can be a good deal for you and your family.
It is Cheaper to Make Your Own Candles!
Let’s start by saying that even if we (Sibilla & I) are candle lovers, we never bought tons of them – a fair average is around ten big ones per year.
After having tried a good bunch of organic soy wax candles, we picked one that we liked, and it’s a good deal considering its burning time, quantity and scent throw. I’ve calculated how much we have spent per year before moving to make candles ourselves.
|Product||Price||Quantity||Unit per Year||Cost per Year|
|Soy Wax Candle||26.38$ (18.99£)||200g (7.2oz)||10||263.80$ (£189.90)|
The table above shows the cost we incurred in buying a specific candle on Amazon for an entire year. As you can see, the total spent has been 263.80$ (£189.90) for ten quite big candles of 200g (7.2oz).
Before going through direct comparison, we need to lay down the costs to buy the tools and materials needed to make candles at home. I subdivide these expenses into fixed and recurring costs.
Fixed costs are those you make once, and it’s something that you can reuse over and over. Recurring costs, instead, are those costs where you have to consider that every time you make a candle, the quantity of that specific material decreases, and when it reaches zero, you have to buy again.
|Digital Scale||12.92$ (9.30£)||1|
|Melting Jug||22.21$ (15.99£)||1|
|Kitchen Thermometer||9.65$ (6.95£)||1|
Those are the fixed costs I incurred. We didn’t have a digital kitchen scale or a thermometer already, so I remember buying them explicitly for making candles. I use the digital scale for measuring plenty of other things in my kitchen, of course. The thermometer, however, I use it exclusively for making candle because I don’t want some residual to contaminate my food.
Anyway, the fixed costs are straightforward, and many of you would have them already at home. Maybe worth buying a melting/measuring jug in steel that you use exclusively for candle making.
Let’s check the recurring costs now:
|Product||Price||Quantity||Unit per Year||Cost per Year|
|Soy Wax||19.43$ (13.99£)||4.4lbs (2kg)||1||19.43$ (13.99£)|
|Wicks||8.26$ (5.95£)||100||0.1||0.83$ (0.60£)|
|Containers||20.82$ (14.99£)||12||0.8||16.65$ (11.99£)|
|Essential oils||23.60$ (16.99£)||18 x 0.3oz (10ml)||0.8||18.87$ (13.59£)|
In the table above, I list all the recurring costs I had to make candles. As you can see, those are just the basic materials to make candles!
The unit per year could be misleading. Let me explain it before we continue. For soy wax, it’s 1 because I’ve used all the wax to make 10 candles; for the wicks, it’s only 0.1 because I’ve used only 10 wicks out of the 100 I bought (10%). I made only 10 candles, which means that I have used 10 out of 12 containers, a bit more than 80% of those I bought, same for the essential oils I haven’t used all of them to make 10 candles for the year.
The cost per year is the multiplication for the price I paid and the unit per year, the effective cost for the material I used to make the 10 candles.
To understand how much I did spend to make my candles instead of buying them, let’s sum up the two costs.
Not bad, not bad, considering that there was also a lot of fun involved in the priceless preparation.
But…how much did I save?
Homemade vs Store-bought Candles: Which is the Cheapest?
Now we have everything we need to see how much we saved, and I also have all the info to answer “YES, it’s cheaper to make candles” for the next curious who will ask.
To summarise: 10 Store-bought costed a total of 263.80$ (£189.90) while 10 homemade candles costed a total of…100.61$ (72.41£)!
Have to say that it feels empowering to come up with such discovery because it adds up to the pleasure of creating something entirely from scratch with our own hands – and at the moment in which you burn it, it’s your candle, your experiment, your soothing treat.
Make Your Own Calculation
Now that you have all the data above, why don’t you calculate yourself if it’s worth it or not?
You can make a simulation:
- Calculate how many candles you buy per year and their total cost
- Look for the items in the fixed costs and buy the one you don’t already have at home
- Find some good deals for the materials recurring costs (wax, wicks, containers and essential oils)
- Double-check if it’s a worth investment
I approached this post specifically to give you data to do your calculation to be independent – but candle making is not only good because it’s cheaper than buying candles in stores!
Making candles at home is a hobby/passion/experience that is fun to make and share with the ones we love, other than even becoming a side business that can generate an additional income. But in general, gifting your candle is something priceless!
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