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Old 01-28-2013, 08:07 AM   #16
annsteere
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I make a lot of our greeting cards. I am NOT an artist and I don't spend hours and hours like a scrapbooker.

I bought a package of card stock at Office Depot. Cut in half and folded you get a card that will fit a standard envelope. I cut and paste pictures and add my own words to make relevant cards.

It can be a mini hobby to do this. It saves money. Most of all, I can create cards in just minutes that are ideally suitable rather than just choose among the mass-produced.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #17
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ummm,just about everything.... pinterest is a great source for ideas and recipes.... my only cleaner I use at home is Bon Ami cleanser (not homemade) plus my all purpose I found on pinterest.... it's 3 ingredients, 1 cup water,1 cup alcohol(rubbing) ,1 cup white vinegar- mix in a spray bottle and use on everything. Floors,windows,toilets,stovetop...since it's a great disinfectant also,no need for harsh stuff. I recently dropped some orange peels into my vinegar jar to make is smell nicer,I love it!
I cook at home,make stuff,mend stuff,repurpose and repaint stuff.... why buy when you can do it yourself? Recently made DIY 'photo canvas' for my wall, modpodge enlarged photo of choice onto wood or a canvas,and hang! cheap and easy,and beautiful! Now I need to spend some time cleaning LOL
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
If you want to save money on DIY stuff, figure out how to repair your car and repair your home. I have had a shop touch my car twice in the last 20 years.

Car repair isn't rocket science. With the internet, you could tear your car down to individual pieces in the driveway and put it back together.

I replaced the clutch in my old truck a long time ago. $1200 to have it done, a weekend and $125 for a heavy duty clutch and it was done.

I replaced the headgasket in my Honda a few years ago. Shop wanted $1100. Took me about 4 hours and $29.99 for the gasket. Granted, I didn't have the heads shaved as they looked good enough to me with a calibrated straight edge from work, but I also wasn't worried too much about it because it was pretty much at the end of it's life for me anyways.

Brakes would be the most common and simplest maintenance item to do yourself on a car. Less than an hour of work and $20-30, brakes are done instead of paying a few hundred for a shop to do them.

No one will ever touch my car to change the oil. Not much of a savings in doing it yourself, but the peace of mind knowing I replaced the oil and put the drain plug back in is priceless. Too many stories of shops not doing that.

Exhaust is a tough one because of the corrosion on the bolts. It's much easier to cut off and weld the new one on and is relatively cheap just to have an independent shop do that. Wheel alignments can be done with a length of string and a good tape measure and would be more accurate than a shop, but it is also relatively cheap just to have that stuff done when getting new tires.

Speaking of tires, I use to mount and balance my own tires on the motorcycle, but car tires are a bit more cumbersome to do, so I have them do that at the shop. They do it cheap for car tires, but with a motorcycle, you can save $50 on a tire by shopping the internet along with the $20 each for mounting, so that is a pretty good savings.

The house, I spent $500 and resheathed and reinsulated my whole house. How much would that have cost to have someone do? Need a new roof? $800 for shingles and a case of beer to your friends and you'll have a new roof. Or you can spend $5000 and have a contractor do it. I figured out what was wrong with my furnace. The furnace guy couldn't figure it out. I wasted $89 on his diagnostic and he still couldn't figure it out. If he repaired anything, it would have been at least $289 to repair. It was a relay, I replaced it for $22.

I've saved thousands and thousands over the years. Far more than I would have by making my own laundry detergent.
There are some things I'd rather pay the inflated cost to have a guarantee on, you make some good points on things that can be done at home, I've done probably 90% of them. Yes, even the car stuff.

I make my own laundry detergent, I make mine in powder form, less messy than the liquid. I make a double batch every couple months, costs me pennies to make it and it lasts forever. Cleans the clothes just as good as Tide does. I also use vinegar as a softener but I do also buy softener as well. Every few loads I run one with vinegar. I also use vinegar as a water spot reducer instead of Jet Dry, as a window cleaner, on my mirrors, on my shower doors and to clean glasses that look cloudy. We have 2 saltwater fish tanks (talk about a budget buster! LOL) and DBF makes his own additives and mixes his own salt water, that saves us hundreds of dollars a year also.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:48 PM   #19
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Almost forgot my favorite, replacement for stainless steel wipes! With my cleaning rag (which was DH's undershirt, then a tie dye shirt for me for crafts, and now cleaning rags) and my vinegar based window cleaner I wiped down the appliances. Then I use a tiny bit- less than a capful of cooking oil on a clean rag and polish them. Very quick, healthy, works great, streak free and SUPER cheap !
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocomom View Post
Almost forgot my favorite, replacement for stainless steel wipes! With my cleaning rag (which was DH's undershirt, then a tie dye shirt for me for crafts, and now cleaning rags) and my vinegar based window cleaner I wiped down the appliances. Then I use a tiny bit- less than a capful of cooking oil on a clean rag and polish them. Very quick, healthy, works great, streak free and SUPER cheap !
Oh, thanks for posting this I have some I bought at the store, but I was thinking there was probably a cheaper alternative to use when I run out.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #21
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I've started making and freezing "to go" breakfast foods on the weekends (batches of either sausage or ham "egg mcmuffins" or breakfast burritos). I'm lactose intolerant, so I don't usually eat cereal, and if I don't get up early enough to make oats, I find myself at McDonalds. If I have some pre-made frozen breakfasts, I can grab one and nuke it at work for those days that I just didn't have it together before my morning coffee.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #22
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Laundry detergent, drain cleaner, and shower cleaner. I tried dishwasher detergent, but it just didn't clean as well as the dishwasher tabs I used. Pintrest has been an incredible source of ideas!
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:23 PM   #23
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I've found that the homemade cleaners don't work very well for me. We do have pretty hard water, so perhaps that's why.

I make my own "Good Seasons" type dry dressing mix. I cook most things from scratch.

Dh does a lot of home repair. He's renovated two bathrooms down to the studs, and put in a new kitchen. He just fixed our washing machine with an $8 part after watching a youtube video.

We are working on a project together reupholstering a chair. The chair was out of the house I grew up in. I love the chair but the fabric was finally shot. I happened to score a three square yard length (actually I bought two and can make throw pillows out of the extra) of gorgeous upholstery fabric in colors that match our new rug perfectly for $6 at Ocean State Job Lot. I'd been looking in fabric stores and didn't see anything as nice for over $30/yd, so I'm psyched. We'll need to buy new webbing and padding, but it will be a "new" chair in the perfect colors for under $50.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigeon View Post
I've found that the homemade cleaners don't work very well for me. We do have pretty hard water, so perhaps that's why.

I make my own "Good Seasons" type dry dressing mix. I cook most things from scratch.

Dh does a lot of home repair. He's renovated two bathrooms down to the studs, and put in a new kitchen. He just fixed our washing machine with an $8 part after watching a youtube video.

We are working on a project together reupholstering a chair. The chair was out of the house I grew up in. I love the chair but the fabric was finally shot. I happened to score a three square yard length (actually I bought two and can make throw pillows out of the extra) of gorgeous upholstery fabric in colors that match our new rug perfectly for $6 at Ocean State Job Lot. I'd been looking in fabric stores and didn't see anything as nice for over $30/yd, so I'm psyched. We'll need to buy new webbing and padding, but it will be a "new" chair in the perfect colors for under $50.
I would love that good seasons recipe! My dd loves that dressing- I can get her to eat any salad I make if she can have that on it!
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocomom
Almost forgot my favorite, replacement for stainless steel wipes! With my cleaning rag (which was DH's undershirt, then a tie dye shirt for me for crafts, and now cleaning rags) and my vinegar based window cleaner I wiped down the appliances. Then I use a tiny bit- less than a capful of cooking oil on a clean rag and polish them. Very quick, healthy, works great, streak free and SUPER cheap !
Nice, I'll have to try this
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #26
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My favorite is a DIY Downy Wrinkle Release Spray. I love this stuff, but at $4 a bottle, I could go through one a week. There are lots of different proportions out there, but this recipe works as good as the real thing.

2 C Water (distilled if you have hard or minerally water)
2/3 C Downy
1/3 C Rubbing Alcohol

I just pour it in an old DWR bottle and shake up. I did write the recipe on the bottle so I don't forget. lol
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocomom View Post
I would love that good seasons recipe! My dd loves that dressing- I can get her to eat any salad I make if she can have that on it!
If you google good seasons mix you'll find a bunch of recipes. I don't remember which one I used last time. It makes enough to last for some time. The one I used had a little pectin in it, which gives it some body.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:30 PM   #28
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I make homemade cough syrup for my kids,

really....

It has fresh squeezed lemon juice, buckwheat honey, and finely minced garlic, there are recipes all over the internet, but this works best for my kids.

I don't know if it really saves money, I guess it probably does...
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:03 AM   #29
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Our dog LOVES when we take pumpkin and add some water and freeze it. A bit messy but its fun for him and a cheap treat.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:01 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkychunkymonkey
Our dog LOVES when we take pumpkin and add some water and freeze it. A bit messy but its fun for him and a cheap treat.
Pumpkin is a great hairball remedy for cats too - I tried all the expensive gels and food mixes and eventually tried adding a spoonful to each of my cat's meals. The only thing that worked was the $2 can of pumpkin that lasted for ages.
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