I am the worst at starting a fire. There. I admitted it. My husband constantly scoffs at my attempts to start a fire without his assistance and it drives me crazy! I hate buying those fire starter logs because, come on, I’m trying to save money and warm our house with the fireplace, not spend more money on fire starters!
I’ve recently found several great articles on making my own fire starters and by spending little to no money!
Lint Fire Starters
With just some dryer lint, cardboard egg cartons and leftover wax from candles or crayons, you can make your own lint fire starters.
Pine Cone Fire Starters
I love the idea of these pine cone fire starters and they’re pretty too! There’s also these pine cone and orange peel fire starters that I’ll bet smells wonderful.
Other Ideas for Homemade Fire Starters
I also found tutorials for these herbal fire starters that I will definitely be drying herbs from my garden next year to try as well as these fire starters made from wood pellet kitty litter. Not interested in making your own homemade fire starters but interested in buying some? You can always purchase these fire starters on etsy.
Commercial Fire Starters
Of course, there are always Duraflame logs which now come in these very handy (and probably more economical) fire starter stix but a lot of people prefer more natural options. (Coupons are available on their website as well as in the 11/6/11 newspaper!) Another tip on these, if you do buy the logs, take an ax and chop it up into small pieces instead of using it all at once like they suggest. You can make those logs go a lot further than one fire!
Fatwood, also known as kindling and lighter wood, is wood from harvested tree stumps that is heavily infused with resin which lights easily. Fatwood can be found in forests (what to look for here) but many companies also sell fatwood. In fact, I’ve seen bundles of it in my local superstore for $8 or less!
There’s no reason we can’t start our own fires ladies! Give one of these ideas a try and surprise your partner with one of these when he comes home one cold night!
The fastest, easiest, cheapest, and most effective firestarter I’ve ever used is cotton balls with Vaseline rubbed in them (https://www.ramblinjim.com/articles/using-vaseline-cotton-balls-as-a-fire-starter/). Anyone can get a fire going with them. They light with just a spark and burn strong for upwards of five minutes. All of my scouts carry some in their survival kits.
FarmGirl Prepares says
Great idea! I’ve read about this method in camping but it would definitely work in the fireplace too. Also a great survival tip! Thanks Jim!
Karen Elise says
Dear Rambling Jim!
I love your 100% cotton ball and 100% vaseline technique! It is absolutely fabulous! It supports what I did most recently, but I’m going to remember the knowledge you freely gave for the rest of my life! It is a superior economical technique, and good for my wood burning stove which I thank God for! My initial method was using cotton balls doused with a little cinnamon oil. The flame burned, but it blackened corners of the glass on my stove which I had to remove using fine steel wool. In some areas it still looks a little smeared. Can you recommend a technique for restoring smoked glass? Nevertheless, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I send you lots of love and goodwill! Sincerely, Karen Elise
Self Sufficient Living says
You have just remained me that I have 100s of pine cones in my shed, time to start melting some wax!
denise paoli says
I don’t typically comment on posts, but I had to for this one. I’m not a former girl scout, by any stretch of the imagination, but I try to take my daughter camping once a summer. So I used you lint /wax idea and substituted toilet paper rolls and a cut up paper towel roll with the end folded in for the egg carton. Then I filled the bottom half with (here is the great idea part) Traeger wood grill pellets!! The are all natural wood sawdust and perfectly food safe. We have their cooking grill and love it. Then I put the lint and wax on top. They worked fantastic to start our campfire!! The few wood pellets in the bottom really kept it going long enough so we only needed one for each fire!! thanks for theinspiration.
Erica Mueller says
Oh, thank you for that, Denise! Sounds like a really good option!
H R Holden says
The best part of making pine cone fire starters is that they can cost nothing. Save all your little bits of candles or even crayons. Collect pine cones when they fall and store them until you have enough wax. I do however caution that you always use a thermometer to keep the wax from overheating and bursting into flame.