5 Household Skills That Save Money

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:30 am on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There are skills like sewing that may or may not save you money, depending on what you sew and how much you pay for fabric. Then there are skills that save you money every time you use them.

For example, plumbing.

Last week our water heater broke. Mr. Savvy took the water heater apart, tracked down the problem, and fixed it. If he didn’t know how to plumb (or wasn’t capable of figuring it out), we would have had to call in a plumber or maybe even buy a whole new water heater. Mr. Savvy’s plumbing skills saved us at least $500.

The thing about learning new skills is that the more you do it, the more confidence you gain, not just in your ability to do the skill at hand but also in your ability to tackle the unknown.

You think, hey I managed to fix that leak under the sink, maybe I can patch that hole in the wall too.

Or you think, hey I can make beer now. What other food am I buying that I can make for much less?

The next thing you know, you’re a Do-It-Yourself-Er and liking it… plus socking away money in the bank to boot.

HERE ARE FIVE HOUSEHOLD SKILLS THAT SAVE MONEY:

savvyhousekeeping 5 household skills that save money

VEGETABLE GARDENING—Growing your own food, especially from seed, can save you hundreds of dollars a year, plus has the added benefit of forcing you to eat more vegetables. Last year I grew $1,300 of vegetables in my garden.

PLUMBING–This skill seems like it would be hard to learn, but it’s not. And while it’s inconvenient to climb under the house and track down a leak or clog, every time you do it instead of calling a plumber, you’re saving hundreds of dollars.



COOKING FROM SCRATCH
–Cooking from basic ingredients is almost always cheaper than buying packaged and processed food, or restaurant food. Here are some things I regularly make from scratch:

BEEF BROTH
VEGETABLE BROTH
TURKEY BROTH
BEER
APPLE CIDER
LIMONCELLO
FRUIT CHIPS
VINEGAR
PICKLES
PANCAKE SYRUP
BACON
SAUSAGE
ICE CREAM
RICOTTA CHEESE
COTTAGE CHEESE
MASCARPONE CHEESE
FREEZER PIZZA DOUGH
PIE CRUST

savvyhousekeeping 5 household skills that save money

BUDGETING–It’s funny but true: money management is a skill just like the others on this list. Learning to live within your means and save money takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth it in the long run.

CAR MAINTENANCE–The more you can do on your own car, the less you have to pay a mechanic. Changing the oil instead of going to an oil stop can save you $20-$40 a pop. Plus doing it yourself is a way to keep strangers from messing up your engine. (I’ve got some stories, let me tell you.)

What household skills save you money?

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