5 Everyday Household Items You Can DIY

by Alice Kincaid Smith

Sometimes the smallest everyday expenses can be the biggest budget busters because they tend to add up over time. But the good news is that by DIY-ing some of the household things you buy regularly, you can see big savings over time.

We all know that our biggest expenses are the little daily things that just add up. We try to cut back on these wherever we can by baking our own bread, growing some herbs, or cutting up old t-shirts for dusters. Some areas where we can cut back on daily expenses are not so obvious. Here are a few ideas.

1. Ice cream

You may have made ice cream, but have you mixed it in five minutes and without an ice cream maker? For a simple ice cream, mix half cream with half jam or chocolate spread. To make it softer and easier to scoop, mix 1/6 milk, 2/6 cream, 3/6 jam, and add 1/4 tsp of salt for every pint. For a vegan version, use coconut milk and cream as alternatives.

2. Baby wipes

These are not the conventional, disposable ones. However, if the fabric is cheap enough, you can use and discard. Just cut up some non-fray fabric like felt, tight towel material, or fleece and pre-soak in water or a water and hand soap mix. Shake together 1/3 liquid soap to 2/3 water and a few drops of tea tree oil. This mix helps make the wipes effective, and it also prevents dirt from seeping into the wipes, meaning you can reuse them more.

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3. Liquid soap and body wash

You may already know that you can make your own bar soap. Turning that or any bar soap into liquid soap, body wash, or shampoo is amazingly simple. Grate or chop one ounce of soap into one quart of water. Warm gently and continually stir until it thickens. For shampoo and body wash, you can add essential oil and a touch of salt. For antibacterial soap, add 10 drops of tea tree oil and mix well.

4. Furniture polish

For great shine on wood surfaces, mix equal amounts of olive oil and vinegar and use as furniture polish. For discoloration, before polishing, rub dark wood with coffee grounds and walnut and light wood with tea leaves and walnut.

5. Magic cleaning putty

Mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 1/4 cup of borax, and 5 ounces of school glue to make an amazing cleaner in minutes. Knead it well, test it for stretchiness, and make sure no bits come off before you use it. If it’s sticky, add more borax. If it rolls into a ball and is smooth, it’s ready. Then you can use it to lift dust and crumbs off the inside of your car, small ornaments, keyboards, etc. When you’re done, throw it away and mix up a fresh batch.

What are your favorite money-saving DIYs?

Reviewed June 2019

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