We all know that it doesn’t make sense to stop at Starbucks for a $5 cup of coffee when it’s possible to brew at home for pennies. But what other potential budget busters are hiding out there in our everyday purchases? Many things that we don’t bat an eye at purchasing can easily be made at home or done with just a little investment of time. If you really want to help your bottom line, try doing some the following yourself:
Cheap and Easy DIY Money Savers
Not only is homemade food tastier and healthier, it also saves you a great deal of money. From jam to mozzarella cheese to marinara sauce, there is an array of foods that you do not have to purchase pre-made. One of the simplest foods to start with is bread. Baking your own bread is surprisingly easy, and it costs a great deal less than the pre-sliced and preservative-filled loaves you usually pick up at the grocery store. Bake several loaves at once and freeze the extra. This simple recipe will get you started baking bread.
For other recipes you can make yourself, check out this website: DIY homemade foods. You can also click on the image to the right to check out our easy homemade chicken stock recipe.
Homemade Cleaning Supplies
The anti-bacterial cleansing industry is big business. You can find cleaning supplies in every type of store from gas station convenience stores to supermarkets to office supply stores. But it’s possible to get your home spic and span enough to satisfy any germaphobe using cheap staples like vinegar and baking soda. Check out these cleanser recipes and never spend $4.00 on a bottle of cleaner again. See how you can do-it-yourself.
Natural Homemade Cosmetics
While you will never be able to recreate the selection of eye shadow colors available in the local drug store, it is possible to whip up some of your favorite cosmetic luxuries in your own kitchen. Makeyourcosmetics.com is an excellent recipe resource for anything from body scrubs to soaps to lotions. You will never feel the need to splurge at Bath & Body Works again.
Make it Yourself Toys
Every parent has seen a child ignore the brand new and expensive toy to play with the box it came in. Sometimes simple toys make the best memories. You can make some toys at home, and involve your children in the creation of their playthings. This could be as simple as whipping up some play dough, or as elaborate as making a dollhouse. Making your own toys is a fun way to keep your budget in check and teach your children how to do things for themselves.
Birthdays and holidays can end up draining your wallet. You don’t have to rush out to the store for every gift-giving occasion—even if you don’t knit, sew, work wood or paint. The secret to homemade gifts is creativity and knowing your strengths. If you’re a good cook, throw together a gift basket of some of your greatest culinary hits. If everyone asks you for music recommendations, put together an old-fashioned mix tape (can we still call it that in 2011?). If you’re the family photographer, create a digital collage of the best photos of the year. Some of the best gifts cost the giver nothing, so really think about what you can give to delight your friends and family. Chances are, it doesn’t have a price tag.
It can be a little intimidating to start doing things yourself when you’re used to buying. But stepping outside of your comfort zone can be fun, and you might just find a new family tradition that also saves you money.
Looking for more DIY tips? Check out these DIY websites for more tips and tutorials to make your next DIY project a success!
Do you have any Do It Yourself tips for having fun and/or saving money?