Friday, August 17, 2007

Frugal Friday: Learning to DIY

I've been in Kentucky all day on business so I'm writing this post in a hurry to get it posted before Saturday rolls around. I will probably be changing it some after it is posted. One of the most important things a person trying to live a frugal lifestyle can do is to develop as many DIY skills as possible. Unfortunately it seems that many people make it to adulthood without learning many of the basic skills our grandparents possessed. I know I did. Finding the money in an already tight budget to take classes can seem impossible.

There are many places and ways to learn new skills that are useful in helping us live a more frugal lifestyle without breaking our budget. Sewing and cooking classes are often offered at locations where adult education classes are taught.

In my area classes are offered at a very reasonable fee and children under the age of 18 are allowed to take classes along with a parent which works out great as a home economics requirement for homeschoolers.

You can barter with a friend who is willing to teach you whatever skill you are looking to learn. I wasn't sure I had any skills that I could offer when I first approached a friend about teaching me to make bread. I found that she needed an occasional baby sitter and I helped her out on some cleaning chores.

Home Depot offers free workshops to their customers which teach them the basics of many home repairs such as tile work or landscaping.

You could offer to help a friend who has a skill you want to learn and is willing to teach you in exchange for your help.

I have found many older people are very happy to share their knowledge with us young whipper snappers! We forget that older people are often a treasure trove of experience and skills and are flattered that we would be interested in what they have to share. We in turn can offer to help out with some things around their homes that might be difficult for them or maybe run some errands or some other chore that seems a fair exchange.

Don't forget our libraries and the internet. There are wonderful books that show you step by step how to fix almost anything. I found instructions for resetting the timer on my refrigerator online. It saved me a service call fee.

Another possibility might be to volunteer to organize classes at your church, or a group getting together at someone's home, for those who might be interested in learning additional skills.

I learned to make apple butter, can veggies, make baby quilts and many other basic homemaking skills at women's auxillary meetings and with some of my friends who were learning the same skills.

Here are a few Links you might find useful:

Learn basic handwork sewing skills

How to sew information.

Info on repairing appliances. Just one of many sites on the Internet.

Bread Baking 101

And of course the ultimate DIY site:

A new one I found recently:

Some of these sites also sell items but most have valuable info and as always use caution when visiting sites on the Internet. I haven't had time to check out every page on these sites.

Just remember, the more you know, the more you can do and the less you need to spend on getting others to fix things for you.

Check out Crystal's site for more Frugal Friday tips.

Picture: Quilt Rack in a pioneer home near Cherokee NC. This was the only picture that I could find right now that was a DIY kind of picture. Besides, isn't that quilt rack strung up next to the ceiling in the family/bedroom to save space a really inspired idea?


Yvonne said...

Good post....we often do forget that our elderly are a wealth of information and know how.

Lyn said...

Thank you for all of these sites. I am someone that has had to teach myself what I do know and there is much more to learn, like home repair & sewing.

Sonny said...

Your refrigerator has a timer? Why does your refrigerator have a timer? Would mine?
We never learned to sew from MOM because she didn't have the patience to teach us. I can remember watching her and asking if I could help and she told me I couldn't that I'd only be in the way. I asked several times and got the same response and eventually lost interest so I never learned. I can sew curtains but my clothes attempts have been horrific.:)
I cook like a dream when I choose though that must be where my talent went.

Tammy B. said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll be visiting your blog more often-you have great tips!

Alain said...

Thanks for the links you shared..This helps :)