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!
- 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!
- 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!)
- 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