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How to DIY to Save Money

by Original Content & blog post: Katie Cullum, White County

There are so many conveniences available today.  I bet my grandmother would have loved to have some of them when she was raising her kids – like drive-through restaurants, or buying paper towels.  But while conveniences are great, they may not help your budget!  Here are a few tips to save money by doing it yourself!

In the Kitchen – in times past, convenience wasn’t an option!

chopping vegetables
Chop your vegetables instead of paying someone else to do it for you.  Need some knife help? Try the link below for videos.
  • Cook from scratch, instead of store-bought mixes or make your own mixes
  • Bake your own bread/muffins/biscuits/etc. using your homemade mix or recipe instead of purchasing them (they will probably be healthier also)
  • Eat at home, instead of at a restaurant, take-out, delivery, or drive-through (again, it will probably be healthier also)
  • Make your own chicken broth 
  • Cut up your own vegetables, fruits, meats – all you need are a knife and cutting board. Need some tips on cutting? Try out this!
  • Cook dry beans yourself instead of buying canned 
  • Use cloth napkins and towels, rather than disposable napkins and paper towels
  • Drink water instead of sodas and juice
  • If you don’t have an ingredient, check this Substitution List and see if you can make do. 
  • Use leftovers in a creative way – have a “Chopped”-type contest, make your own gourmet casserole, etc.

Around the Home – you can do more than you think!

homemade laundry detergent ingredients
You can make your own laundry detergent and cleaning products!
  • Fix it yourself – YouTube can be very helpful with minor repairs
  • Make your own homemade cleaning products 
  • Make your own laundry detergent 
  • Make gifts yourself – use your skills like crochet, drawing, sewing, calligraphy, baking, etc.
  • Grow your own food in a garden
  • Take care of what you have
  • Decorate using what you have instead of buying lots of the latest little knick-knacks
  • Sew your own pillows, curtains, napkins, etc.

Use a Budget – (I saved the best tip for last! Make a PLAN for your money!)

calculator, budget form
Plan your budget.
  • Be realistic
  • Consider all expenses and income – even the occasional expenses like soccer fees, car tags, birthday parties, etc.
  • Build in a margin of safety by overestimating expenses and underestimating income
  • Keep trying and adjusting until you find what works for you
  • Distinguish between wants and needs. Buy what you NEED first.  Then wants belong in the “what’s left over” category. 
  • UAEX Personal FInance Page
  • UAEX Basic Money Management Page

You can save a lot of money if you think about it.  Use your skills, or develop new skills to save up for something.