One of the major reasons I got into DIY was the severe markups of everyday products in NYC. I was too broke to afford $7 cleaners, $9 paper towels. I was used to going to Target and filling up a cart for $85 and being good for months on supplies. And they were pleasant-scented Method products, not full-strength dookie smells like pine (taxi cab) and faux lemon (elementary school). I got so sick of overpaying by at least $4 per item that I just kind of stopped doing it.
Now I know what works and what doesn't, and let's just say I treasure my Windex! Today, my DIY is more about experimentation. I like to just kind of take things apart for fun.
Emergen-C is one of those items that's exorbitantly expensive in NYC. By the box at a major drugstore was around $16 dollars, and on Seamless — a desperate purchase — it would set you back $20. And that's a deal! To buy a single package at the deli is about a dollar per package. That's 30 bucks per 30 packets!
I think Emergen-C is so popular because it delivers the goods (vitamin C) in a quick and painless dose that doesn't require chewables, tablets, or eating copious amounts of fruit. Myself and many others turn to the packets for boosted immunity, skin health, and the potent antioxidant dose that you get when you take it on the regular.
I'm not crazy about the flavor — Super-Orange is the only one I can stand — so I've always wanted to make my own. Deconstructing what's on the label, we're talking about vitamins, flavoring, sweetener and a foaming agent. When it comes to making your own, from trial and error I can say you may want to stick to the simple vitamin C formula for least complications.
What you need to make this:
Measure to a 1:1 ratio — I made 30 doses in one jar, roughly 1 tbs per dose:15 tbs vitamin C, 15 tbs lemon powder.
Keep it in airtight jar away from moisture and light!
To make a single dose, spoon 1tbs into a glass, top with water, and drink up!
Try fun additives! I added some special YS Farms Royal Jelly with ginseng powder, and that was really nice. I also use that Sibu Omega 7 Oil from time to time. You can also add sugar, stevia, or honey to make it taste better.
One fun tip: use a jar like a cocktail shaker! I use small (baby-food sized) jars to prepare my liquid supplements like collagen and sometimes ACV/ginger shots. I now use the jar for this, too, dispensing a spoonful of my powder and some water or juice, and any additives or sweeteners. I also like to mix this base with my collagen — vitamin C and collagen love each other. If you're feeling really fancy, toss in some hyaluronic acid powder.
I loved making my own flavor with True Lemon, and I am pretty much now addicted to their grapefruit packets. It makes any ol' seltzer taste like Perrier Pamplemousse Rose, which is my water BFF. To avoid waste, I prefer the shakers, which you can't get grapefruit in (yet). I've been having major savings by using a Sodastream and a few pennies' worth of powder to make what costs $2.99 a pop on the city streets.
This powder has the same function of Emergen-C, but it doesn't foam or taste like Sunny D. The main reason you'd want to do this? Saving money. True, the assortment of materials costs the same as the box of 30, but there's over 100 doses there for the same price. That's pretty great, especially when you're not throwing away 100 foil packets, four cardboard boxes, and hopefully not 100 disposable cups.
Photos: Maria Penaloza