The following is a guest post from Edward Antrobus. Edward is a construction worker, blogger, tinkerer and a househusband. He writes about frugality and occasionally rants about what he thinks the personal finance community gets wrong. If interested in submitting a guest post, please read my
guest posting policy and then contact me.
Recently, I embarked on a quest. Instead of getting ideas from other personal finance bloggers, I wanted to get the opinions of average people on the topic of frugality. I started asking friends and coworkers one simple question: what is your favorite way of saving money? When I asked Audrey, she responded that her preferred method was making homemade items.
“I started making things myself – face wash, bread, soon I’m going to try to make my own deodorant. Homemade is usually cheaper and better for the environment and your body. If you make your own crust and buy a few apples, you can usually make a pie that’ll serve as breakfast for the whole work week for just over a dollar :)”
Now, anyone who eats apple pie for breakfast has got to be on to something. I’m personally a big fan of home-cooked meals over eating out. They are remarkably cheaper and usually much healthier for you. Don’t take my word for it, over 1/3 of all fast food workers believe their jobs actually make the world a worse place.
Doing better than fast food is a pretty easy target. Burgers and tacos made at home are not just healthier, they can be a fraction of the cost. The XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito from Taco Bell costs a couple bucks but a similar one can be made for under $1. Another example is the new Grand Turkey Club from Arby’s. That costs more than $4! It also can be assembled for less than a quarter of the price.
Homemade Health & Beauty
When Fight Club came out a friend of mine was inspired to start making his own soap. I’ve helped him a few times. If you don’t particularly care if your bars have smooth, rounded corners, arches, and a name carved into them, soap is actually quite easy to make. All it takes is lye, water, fat/oil, and any scents or dyes you wish. Store bought soaps can cost as much as a dollar per bar. Made at home, it literally costs pennies.
You aren’t limited to bar soaps either. By substituting potash (potassium hydroxide) for the lye (sodium hydroxide), you can make liquid soaps, including shampoo, facial scrubs, and hand soap.
Audrey didn’t mention clothing in her response, but this is another item I like to make myself. Once upon a time, I worked in a clothing factory. Polos and t-shirts are actually pretty easy once you have the templates. But if shirts seem too intimidating to you, there are easier things with which to start. With a pound of yarn and a crochet hook, you can make your own scarf and a caps. How about a small blanket to curl up under while watching tv? Eventually, I want to take up knitting. With that skill socks and mittens become possible.
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