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When All Else Fails Do It Yourself
Homemade is most always better than bought stuff.
Are you good in the kitchen? You could make homemade bread. It taste so good and it's better for your family. Make cakes, cookies, pies, and other treats that will keep your family happy. It does take time to do all this, but if you have a day to spare you can prepare things ahead and freeze them for another day. Homemade jelly is easy to do. Just follow the instructions on the pectin package, for a jelly or jam that's better than any you'll find in a store.
Family members love homemade gifts and when holidays come the treats and jellies you make can be a welcome gift. Kitchen gifts can include fudge, candy, and cookies. But that's just an example of things to do with your talent. Be creative and let your ideas flow like water. If you run out of ideas you can turn to books, magazines, and internet sites for other great ideas.
If you knit, crochet, or sew you can turn those talents into gift ideas. Not only will you save money, but you can be proud you made something they loved. Special talents like making crafts, writing poetry, taking pictures, doing artwork, or growing flowers and plants all make for a gift you'll be pleased to give or receive. Get your family and friends involved in making a homemade gift part of your holiday routine. One year I made everyone on my list something special and had no complaints. At that time money was tight because I was out of work and I loved making things. When time is what you have, don't waste a minute of it. I wish I had all that time now. Do what you enjoy and your hobby could turn into a money maker. What you don't give as gifts could be sold.
Time is money.
Growing your own vegetables and canning or freezing them is another do it yourself project. It doesn't take much space to plant a garden. By placing a frame made of boards or stones or bricks you can section off a spot near your house to grow vegetables. This framed location can be filled with soil and manure for a good choice to grow most any plant. By mixing in that compost pile that decayed over the winter and mixing it in your soil your plants will thrive.
Learn to cook meals that are cheap, but nutritious. Dry beans make an inexpensive meal that is packed full of protein. Nothing could be better than homemade bean soup served with homemade bread or biscuits. An old friend once told me by keeping a bag of dry beans and a bag of flour on hand one will not starve no matter how low their food supply gets. Most soups are easily made with things that are good for you without costing you much to make them. Homemade is the better option as you can use your leftovers from other meals. Add some dumplings for a well balanced one pot meal. Potatoes are full of potassium and are filling. These days the prices are starting to rise, but they still are a good buy for a healthy addition to any meal. Potatoes can be prepared in many ways to satisfy a hungry family. Pancakes and eggs are not only nutritious, but they are filling. It's a meal that will keep them from getting hungry before the next meal. If you want a healthy inexpensive meal do it yourself.
Perhaps you want to change the look of your home. Remodeling can be very expensive unless you do it yourself. Most places that sell material for remodeling projects also carry step by step instructions on how to lay flooring or tile. There are all kinds of how-to books out there for other home improvement projects. By doing your own painting, wallpapering, and flooring you save the labor it would cost to hire someone else to do it. Maybe you have a friend with the knowledge and skills to help you. You may be able to trade something you do or have for the task. Or maybe you could hire them cheaper than what a professional would charge. Last summer I laid laminate flooring through my house and did it myself. I certainly found out how out of shape I was before the job was done. But it was well worth the time and effort I put into it. Why pay someone else if you have time to do it yourself. Time is money.
You can do it yourself when at all possible.
Do your own tax returns. It's not as hard as it sounds and a tax preparer take a good junk of your refund. Most short forms are easy to file and you can print the forms and instructions from the internet. Tax courses can be done online, at a college adult class or at a local H&R block for those who need added knowledge. The price of the course could save you money in the long run as you wouldn't be paying hard earned money to have them prepared by an expert. If you make a mistake it's not that big of a deal the IRS will fix it and let you know the difference in the figures. Ask a friend to do them if you know someone that does their own tax returns. Maybe in return you can do something for them. Fast refunds are nice, but the slow way isn't that slow if you consider what you saved. I seldom have to wait more than 3 or 4 weeks to get my refund. Do it yourself when at all possible.
Repairs can cost a fortune. Whenever possible do it yourself. Anything can be repaired at home with a little know how. From the car to small appliances more and more people are fixing things themselves. It may be well worth seeking information on how to fix things. They don't make things to last for a reason; this forces you to replace the item. My brother-in-law has made a nice business of repairing things for people. If you have skills at repairing things this could be a money maker for you.
Duct tape has been a valuable repair tool for me over the years. There's not much you can't cobble together with duct tape. It may not look so grand, but if you're in a jam and need to mend a screen or block cold drafts from coming in around your windows it will work. I have repaired all kinds of things with duct tape. I even wrapped some around my kitchen sink drain to stop it from leaking. My husband was amazed how well it held. He had to fight to get it loose when he finally decided to replace the drain pipe. It's a quick fix to many things that get a hole in them. I've seen the guys I work with place duct tape over a tear in their jeans. Now that was a fashion statement. Duct tape has fixed more things than it was ever intended too. It's extra sticky and strong for mending canvas, fabric, vinyl, and glass. Remember they use duct tape on race cars it must be strong.
How-to books are written on nearly every topic.
Teach yourself a trade or hobby. How-to books are written nearly on every topic you wish to study. E-books are an extra easy way to take advantage of learning a new skill. I taught myself to write an e-book using a How-to E-book. I took study courses using online text to be used along with the paper version. It's getting easier and easier to learn these days with the help of the internet. The savings from study courses like these compared to the price of college tuition is more than one could imagine. Why travel miles from home and payout thousands of dollars for something you could teach yourself at home with experts that are only a click away.
Do it yourself projects can turn trash into treasure. One man's junk is another man's treasure as the old saying goes. By watching television shows and reading magazines that offer craft and home improvement ideas you can enhance your own how-to projects. Many years ago someone put a potato bin in the dumpster where my husband works. My husband brought it home to fix. It needed the mesh put back in the doors, new hinges and a coat of paint. We both enjoyed working on bringing it back from ruins. This was over 20 years ago. We still use that potato bin and have redecorated it a few times over the years. It was a treasure that was bound for the landfill.