I ventured into the DIY lifestyle a few years ago, determined to save money and help pay off debt. Over time, I found that it not only helped us save a lot of money, but that I also enjoy teaching others how to do their own natural DIY projects. I love helping others cut their budgets as they create a healthier lifestyle for their family.
Occasionally, though, someone will ask whether these projects actually save money:
“If I want to do this project, I need to buy a lot of supplies up front. In the end, I could just buy it cheaper from the store. So is it worth it for me to do that?”
My answer is an emphatic yes. While you could go out and buy, say lip balm, for less than it would take to make one batch, you’ll still have to go out and buy it again when you run out.
If you make a batch for yourself, though, you’ll not only have enough from that one batch to last you a few months, but the remaining supplies will allow you to make even more batches that you can keep, give, or sell, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
While this makes sense, it may still be a stretch to come up with the initial money for investing in these projects, especially if you’re doing this to save money. Don’t worry – you can still enjoy the DIY lifestyle.
Here are a few simple ways to make DIY more affordable:
1. Start Small
It’s tempting to jump into the DIY lifestyle and start making everything yourself. Fight the urge! Starting off with one project at a time not only saves you money, but it saves you the frustration of having several (potentially unfinished) projects at once.
2. Raise the Capital
I have a few family members who love the idea of using a more natural laundry detergent. However, they’d rather buy it than make it themselves. So, I offered to to make it for them for a little bit less than they would spend at the store and they happily agreed.
Doing this covers the cost of ingredients for their batch and mine, and gives me a little extra money to save for another project. (They’re also happy to buy other items like bar soap, lip balm and ointment).
3. DIY Parties
One person approached me the other day, concerned about the cost of all of the ingredients necessary for a DIY project. However, she offered a fun solution – DIY parties. I love this idea! Not only do you get to split the initial cost with a few different people, making your project much cheaper, but you also get to spend time with a like-minded community.
4. Get Free Ingredients
There have been several times when I’ve asked friends if they had a little extra of a certain ingredient I needed and they were happy to give it to me.
When I mentioned to a friend that I was going to make my own soap, but I couldn’t find the lye I needed, she happily gave me a small container of it. She said that she wasn’t going to use it anymore and asked if I wouldn’t mind giving her a bar or two of the finished project. Of course, I was happy to do so.
5. Create a DIY Budget
This is so simple but so effective. Create a budget for your DIY ingredients/materials. Mine is actually pretty small (about $30/month) because I buy items in bulk that don’t cost much and last a long time, so I only need to replace them every few months. Also, part of my budgeted gift money gets diverted into my DIY budget because I make so many gifts myself.
Any items that you sell, or money that you save by getting free ingredients can go into the budget for more costly projects.
What are some other strategies you employ to make DIY more affordable?