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Frugal Friday: 10 Things You Can Make Yourself and Save Money

Do-it-yourself-ness isn’t always the cheapest way to go. But, there are many, many things that you can do or make yourself in order to save some money. Oftentimes, this can also be a form of entertainment or other creative outlet, so it results in dual-purpose economizing.

Here are ten simple and frugal DIY ideas:

1. Airline Reservations – As recently as six years ago we paid good money to have a travel agent book plane tickets. Now with high speed internet widely available, the average Joe (or Jane) can make his own reservations and save a pretty penny. We like to use cheap tickets as well as to go straight through Southwest. The interface is simple and easy, and there are often exclusive online specials.

2. Gifts – Presents don’t need to be elaborate or expensive in order to be heartfelt. Putting together something as simple as Small Notebook’s homemade chocolate syrup in a pretty jar would please any choco-phile. If you’ve taken advantage of recent back to school sales, you may want to peruse these creative ways to turn office and school supplies into gifts.

3. Fresh Tomato Salsa – We are huge fans of Mexican food around here. As a result I mix up a batch of salsa at least once a week. Recently a coworker of FishPapa’s donated tomatoes fresh from his garden for the cause. Here is the delicious result, costing a fraction of what we’d pay for storebought salsa. Simply combine chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, minced jalapeno, diced onion, and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt and you’ve got a wonderful snack or topping for tacos and burritos.

4. Hand Scrub – This stuff costs an arm and a leg at a boutique or department store, but you can mix up your own for pennies with regular pantry items like sugar, salt, olive oil, and lemon zest. Check out this recipe for silky soft skin at goodLife{eats}.

5. Household Cleaners – Gramma knew best. Vinegar and baking soda are safe, natural cleaners that cost mere pennies. I buy huge containers for cheap at Costco and now mix my own multi-purpose cleaner. Simple Mom has some recipes here.

6. Iced Coffee Drinks – A run through Starbucks can cost a pretty penny. It’s a fun indulgence, but better enjoyed at home. Amy’s version of Iced Peppermint Mochas looks like it could become my new vice. Oh my! Anytime you make coffee or espresso drinks at home, you are saving yourself more than a cup full of change.

7. Pizza – This is a weekly cheap treat at our house. It’s really easy once you get into the habit of mixing up your own dough. Tastes better, too! Read how I make ours over at Good (& Cheap) Eats.

8. Pancake Syrup – My littlest sister taught me this trick. If real maple syrup is beyond the budget (which it is right now), stir up a potful of your own pancake syrup — without the high fructose corn syrup. Simply combine 1 cup hot water, 2 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring. Bring to a boil and heat until thickened.

9. A Boxed Lunch – I love the way Meredith assembles beautiful and tasty lunches to go. They’re simple, elegant, and much less expensive than their fancy, restaurant counterparts.

10. Garden – While I didn’t get our garden going this year, I’m enjoying the fruits of my dad’s labor. Homegrown vegetables always taste better than store-bought, and after the initial expense, they cost less, too.

Have you got a great money-saving idea? Share it with us!

Got a great money-saving idea? Share it with us! In the interest of exchanging good ideas, please do not post affiliate links, giveaways or deal posts. Instead tell us what you do to stretch your dollars a little farther. Share concepts and ideas that have helped you grow in saving money and being a better steward of your resources.

Write about your money saving tip on your blog and bring the permalink to that post here. Please make sure that you link to LifeasMOM.com in your post.

If you don’t have a blog, tell us your bright idea in the comments. Can’t wait to learn some new tricks!

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Comments

  1. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    Love this post… always better to make your own and save some money! Great ideas!

  2. dancingwithdaffodils says:

    We make our own syrup too when the real stuff (we are very picky about our syrup – only the real stuff which is locally harvested) runs out. My personal concoction is more carmel-like and a definitely family favorite – thanks for sharing!!

  3. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    My friend taught me to add baking soda to the whites load. It helps brighten it without the use of harsh chemicals, like bleach, and it is so cheap at Costco.

  4. Love your ideas – we use many of those at our house! It always makes me feel smart when I figure out how to do something on my own that would cost much more if someone else did it.

  5. Heather says:

    Great post – we need to go back to the days of old and learn from our ancestors. We are going through a depression right now! We have gotten so out of hand with the commercial products. All you need is lemon, white vinegar and baking soda! This is as eco-friendly as you can get!

  6. Lil' Ms. P says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  7. CountryMama@The Cozy Country Home says:

    Thanks for the great tips and ideas!!

  8. number17cherrytreelane says:

    I just found your website and am in LOVE with it. I am going to add you on the "featured" area of my site so that others can enjoy. This site is JUST what I needed during a hard week!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm so inspired to live more simple and I've found so many resources. Thanks for some more great tips! (I love homemade salsa BTW – don't think I'll ever go back to the store bought stuff). Also, I've started to talk to my friends and family about my goals to not only be frugal but to put money away. Everyone is so supportive. One of my girlfriend's told me about Ebates (www.ebates.com). Try it and I'm sure you'll find the same. Best of luck everyone!

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