Lazy Budget Chef: 17 Things I Will NOT DIY to Save Money

Monday, February 17, 2020

17 Things I Will NOT DIY to Save Money

When searching for tips on how to save money, reduce debt, and/or reduce your household waste, often the first suggestion is to stop buying things and start making them yourself.  I’ve tried many of them myself either in a pinch because either I ran out of my store bought option, to try it see what would happen, or in an attempt to save money, reduce waste or get a customized thing for a DIY price.

Many of these DIY things I’ve kept simply because I like them or they are more convenient.

While I’m willing to give almost anything the good ol’ DIY try (which is how the recipes on Lazy Budget Chef came to be) there are a list of things I will not make myself and always buy. As always, your mileage may vary. Tell us your list in the comments below!

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17 Things I Will Always Buy


1. Home improvements that involve a permit – I’ve remodeled rooms in my house, switched out light fixtures, toilets, faucets and a whole host of DIY projects but if it is something that involves a permit or something I’m not 100% comfortable of learning as I go such as anything involving natural gas lines I’m leaving it to the pros. That’s why they are pros!

Many of the things on this list are part of our High Low Household Budget. For example, we splashed out the cash on this floor tile for our bathroom (the High) because I did the labor of installing it (the Low.)

2. Deodorant –  Homemade and natural deodorants either make me break out in a rash or epic fail because that’s just how my body chemistry works. Based on my experience, I am leery of anyone who says homemade deodorant needs two weeks to “work”. My guess is it t really means it takes two weeks for them to become nose blind to their homemade deodorant is not working. As always, your mileage may vary.

3. Pine Tar soap, shampoo, and conditioner for rosacea on my face and sometimes flakey scalp -  After reading in a soapmaking book that pine tar soap is a folk remedy for eczema and skin issues, I tried it for my rosacea. Washing my face with this pine tar soap followed by adding a few drops of this kukui oil moisturizer keeps my rosacea in check better than anything I’ve ever tried! Sometimes extreme weather changes make my scalp itch so bad it burns and after the dandruff shampoo my doctor suggested stopped working all of a sudden, I gave this pine tar shampoo, and this pine tar conditioner a try and as long as I use both when I have a flare up it works.

I dabble in soap making but making pine tar products are way more advanced than I can comfortably handle. Besides, I only need the shampoo and conditioner occasionally during extreme weather changes when rosacea does weird things to my scalp. It makes more sense to buy it since they all last a long time. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

4. Near East Tabouli mix (I buy my tabbouleh mix here) – I like to cook from ingredient food as much as possible but I just can’t find a tabouli recipe I like as much as Near East’s spice blend. I don’t eat it a lot but when I do it is one of the few items I make from a premade mix.

5. Dishwashing detergent – This is the only DIY cleaner that didn’t work for me, which my readers tell me can depend upon the type of dishwasher, water pressure, water type you have locally. Instead I buy dishwashing powder in a box and store it in a repurposed protein powder container to keep it from absorbing moisture when stored in its box and losing it’s cleaning power. Try it. This hack works!

6. Razor blades –  The last time I tried shaving with the budget and zero waste way with a safety razor the bathroom looked like a scene from an 90’s slasher movie.  I switched to a women’s electric shaver like this kind instead.  Another alternative is after every shave with a disposable razor use razor blade sharpener like this one to make the blades last much longer than the package suggests. Some readers tell me they can get a disposable razor blade to last up to a year!

7. Mouthwash – I hated the DIY version I tried and my dentist wasn’t thrilled about it either.

8. Makeup – I can’t get the shades or staying power that I can with ready made makeup, especially stage makeup. The only DIY makeup in my kit is using cornstarch tinted with a powdered bronzer (otherwise it makes my face look too pale) as face powder when I realized my favorite oil absorbing face powder was made of corn starch and a hint of tint.

9. Toothpaste – I’ve brushed with baking soda in a pinch but it is not something my dentist recommends I do. I use Tom’s of Main toothpaste (learn more about it here) because some of the conventional brands irritate us. Some will argue Tom’s isn’t the greenest brand but I can’t stand the other hippie brands because they taste and feel like caulk.

And before you ask, I actually know what silicone caulk tastes like – yuck.

10.  Sunscreen – Skin cancer is real and as a fair skinned red head who has gotten a sunburned sitting close to a closed window (really, and more than once,) I do not want to take any chances getting a sunburn or worse if I can help it. So much so that I took a page from my historical entertainer life and sometimes carry a parasol (you can find cute parasols here) when it is nasty hot. Mostly for shade but it doesn't hurt for a smidgen of extra sun protection in addition to a commercial sunscreen.


It’s a tough job being a pretend princess but someone’s gotta do it.

11. Haircuts – Too many attempts at a quick bang trim has told me to leave this to the pros.

12. Pet health insurance – After we adopted Lacey, we learned from our first dog that even though we had money budgeted for vet care, sometimes life throws you a curve and started looking for pet health insurance. We ended up buying a policy that covers accidents, illness, and emergencies from Petplan and was very glad we did after an expensive trip to the Veterinary Emergency Room.

13. Carpet shampoo –  I ruined a carpet cleaner with DIY carpet cleaning shampoo. I thought the warning on the cleaner to only use a certain type of rug shampoo was their way of trying to sell me their stuff. Apparently I was wrong.

14. Dairy free milk – some folks make it and I’ve considered it to have it on demand but I really need to extra vitamins in ready made dairy free milk since I can’t get them from real dairy.

15. Toilet paper – From what readers tell me, using family cloth (you can learn more about what family cloth is here) instead of toilet paper only really works if you are constantly doing laundry like like with cloth diapers – which is not us. Instead I installed a bidet toilet seat (you can find a variety of bidet toilet seat types and price points here which has reduced the amount of toilet paper we have to use which is as far as we want to go.

16. Dog food – We pay as much or more attention to the ingredients in Lacey’s dog food as we do our own. As of this writing I can’t find a good vet approved dog food recipe that fits Lacey’s needs (as always, your situation may be different.) Instead, I buy dog food through Amazon Subscribe and Save here which saves money while giving us access to dog food I can’t buy locally.

17. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice – I make a lot of my own spice blends with the exception of pumpkin pie spice because Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice (you can get it here) is perfection. It makes absolutely everything I add to it taste like happiness from the so called “bland” large pumpkins (which I think is a lie) to small pie pumpkins. I use it year round.

Looking for more ideas? Check out my High Low Budgeting Picks - and more! - below!

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2 comments:

Michelle Churchman said...

I’m with you on your list of things you will not DIY. Some of those are really hardcore DIYing! I DIY things because I enjoy the process - like in jewelry making.

Michelle
http://mybijoulifeonline.com

Liberty from B4andAfters.com said...

I like to save money... but some things area just better to buy than diy! I hadn't heard of a bidet toilet seat before-- wow!! Wait til I tell all my friends! : )
--visiting from Chas' link party.

Liberty from B4andAfters.com

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