I am the first to admit, I was not a DIYselfer. Heck, I didn’t even know what the letters stood for, I swear! But, since I am no longer working due to my CBGD illness and I have always considered myself a ‘independent workaholic,’ I refocused my energies on how to save money for me and my family. I figured it was a twofer, saving money and also keeping me moving at my own pace while using my brain cells for more than just remembering my meds. You know what they say, use it or lose it.
First Step~ I googled the heck out of the subject “what is cheaper to make than buy.’ It got to the point I think Google even irritatedly groaned out of boredom whenever I logged into my laptop. What I found though was an untapped source of mass knowledge (ok, obviously many other people knew about this and I admit, I felt a little more than fashionably late to the party) regarding DIY, how to save money, etc. Of course, all of it was true because it wouldn’t be on the internet if it wasn’t.
Second Step~ Accepting the fact that all of the information was not true. I could elaborate, but I assume it is not necessary.
Third Step~ Reigning in the excitement. You know what I mean, find something new and you get the adrenaline pumping and suddenly you think there is nothing you cannot do or handle! You are INVINCIBLE! So, after you compose your list of all the new and wondrous ways regarding how you are going to save tons of money, become so self sufficient that you never have to enter a grocery store ever again…like, ever, while providing healthier alternatives for your life and family, reality suddenly snaps you back in place and you ask yourself, “Self, as cool as it would be, does my family really need a solar powered hot dog cooker?” While I admit, my family still cooks our wienies the old fashioned way of my ancestors, in the microwave, some of the ideas were legitimately good and full of common sense. Hence the list was cut down….dramatically. You have no idea. Goodbye homemade submarine, it would have been fun (could you imagine the money saved on family vacations?!).
Fourth Step~ Taking the revised list, seeing what you already have around the house for the needed ingredients, then making your shopping list. This step should be self explanatory, well to most people. What I found out though, I have a lot of crap shoved in many places around the house. It was almost like Christmas Morning and Nesting While Pregnant had a love child. Assume there will be nausea and vomiting involved. Not a pretty site. So, my glorious anticipation regarding immediately starting DIY projects was viciously attacked by the Clean out the Crap monster. Well, that’s no fun at all. Once I finished acting like a 2 year-old in a toy store after not getting the latest Barney toy (did Barney finally die? I admit I am aging myself, have not dealt with a 2 year-old in a while. Oh well, no important)), I begrudgingly got started.
Fifth Step~ Now buying what you need and listening to your spouse constantly ask while looking at receipts, “How is this supposed to save us money?” Best we just skip this step, if you don’t mind.
Sixth Step~ Euphoria! Sound the harps! Cue the Angels! AWWWHHHHHH…… The moment we have been waiting for! The time that all of our training, blood, sweat and tears has earned and will now pay off! The moment you realize that some people on the internet are totally full of *#$%.
Seventh Step~ Weeding out the good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, some DIY projects will fail so miserably to the point we will not even discuss those. Either they just do not work, the ingredients they used must have been bought in the 1950’s which is how they saved money (If only grandma would have left me her flour), or I apparently no longer remember physics and cannot decipher the instructions to begin with. Stay calm though, there is some good that will come out of it. There are DIY ideas that actually work! Shocking, I know. I was more relieved, a basic, “OH THANK GOD,” moment once I found one.
Eighth Step~ Pace yourself. You do not need to do all the projects in one day. I like to start one or two a week. Much easier to point fingers are the loser that way rather than blame a poor innocent DIY who is still trying and does not deserve improper judgment…….at least not yet. MUUUAAWWWHAHAHA……
Ninth Step~ I really don’t have much to put here, I just wanted 10 steps. Call me selfish.
Tenth Step~ You now know what works, what doesn’t, which ones to keep and which ones to bury in the backyard (I swear no DIY leftovers where harmed in the making of this post and nothing is actually buried in my backyard. OK, you got me, quit pressuring me! I will crack, I think there are a couple frogs and possibly a guinea pig. Whew. Unless their tiny little bones would have totally disintegrated and turned to dust by now. In that case, nothing is buried in our backyard). Bottom line, if it is not family approved and save us money (or at least break even), it is voted off the Island (There is a whole ceremony and everything. It’s awesome).
I am happy to report, there are quite a few DIY staples in our house now:
Peanut Butter (any kind of nut butter)
Mac and Cheese
Greenhouse (misc herbs, fruits and veggies)
Some other food items, but you get the idea
Soon-to-be or at least try:
Gluten/dairy free breads
I do have a list of other projects, but as I said, it is all about pacing myself. What I am surprised about is how much fun I am having and that it does help not only our pocketbook, but also to get me up and moving. Bottom line, I recommend DIY projects, honest. I swear on my bread machine! I would say on my children’s lives, but let’s face it, they’ve never made me homemade bread. Nuff said.