I’m picking up where I left off on the Money-Saving Habits for 2009. Each and every one of these habits are small changes you make to your life, but when done regularly over the year, they can make a BIG difference to your family budget. Every time you plan to spend money, think about how you can do-it-yourself:
Food: Are you purchasing the pre-cut, pre-washed lettuce at $3.00/bag? Can you do it yourself for .99? What about making your own pizza? I’m saving several dollars each week making my own waffles instead of buying them. You don’t have to do it for every meal every time (goodness knows there are weeks when convenience is more important), but adopting these small changes help your grocery budget greatly.
Home Improvements: Are you paying someone else to mow your lawn, do small repairs around your home, etc.? What can you do yourself? Remember that Home Depot offers FREE Workshops on how to tile a floor, install a ceiling fan, and maintain your lawn & garden. You’ll save hundreds of dollars in labor, and it can be very rewarding to walk into a room and see something you’ve done yourself. Personally, I draw the line at electricity and plumbing, but some people have a knack for that too.
Home Decor: What are some projects you can do to decorate as opposed to shopping even at discount stores like Home Goods and Marshall’s? I save money each time I “make” a frame for .50 as opposed to purchasing one for $4-20. I’ll be sharing more Wall Art on the Cheap as I decorate my own home this summer. Look how much I saved by painting a $20 yard sale buffet instead of buying new.
Other Services: Think about what you’re spending on services like car washing and haircuts. Get the kids outside with the hose and wash your own car. It’s fun and frugal. Then, learn how to do a simple boy’s haircut with clippers (I paid less than $20 for mine at Target). By cutting my son’s hair, I save $14 each haircut (warning—it is messy, but it’s worth it to me to save the big bucks).
When you learn to do-it-yourself in so many areas of your life, not only will you see savings on your family budget each month, you’ll feel a sense of pride for what you have accomplished (well, maybe not while you’re chopping lettuce).
What are some ways you save money by doing-it-yourself?