I often light two fires a day, so using a fire starter comes in handy. Now, I could buy 91% alcohol or BBQ lighting fluid, but why? I have the ability to make my own little fire starters for free. Here's how.
First, I have saved the sawdust I made while building the house and barn. I use it to line the chicken nest boxes and to make my fire starters. I think I have a life time supply stored up! If I were ever to run out, I could collect more from the various wood workers around here.
Second, I ask people to save me the candle nubs and wax that they don't want. As a result, I often find myself being the recipient of a box full of perfect, half used candles. I have a decent supply of old candles, and more keeps coming in. If my supply ever dries up, I could use some of my excess beeswax.
Anyway, now I have sawdust and candle wax, next on the list, paper egg cartons. I cut the lid off of a paper egg carton and discard it (often into the compost pile). I then fill each egg cup with sawdust. After I carefully melt the wax over a double boiler, I pour wax into each egg cup, stirring the wax and sawdust together with an old chopstick. Now let it cool and solidify. Once cold, I cut each egg cup apart.
To use a fire starter, just place it under the kindling and light the paper cup. Before long the sawdust and wax will catch, burning long and hot enough to get a good fire going.
I've heard that one could use dryer lint in place of sawdust, but I don't use a clothes dryer. But I've got plenty of sawdust.