make it yourself needs vs wants
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  1. #1
    toile
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    Default make it yourself needs vs wants

    I can tell I will be hanging out in this forum a lot.
    What a great idea.

    Anyways, I like make things myself that are wants and as well as needs.
    For example, I see things in boutiques for my daughter that are very pricey.
    Most of the time, I have been able to copy the items at home. Sometimes mine are even better quality.

    But this is not frugal.
    Unless you consider avoiding cute toddler items frugal LOL.

    Do you all try to make wants and needs yourself?
    Unless it's cheaper to buy I mean?

    I remember in the TWG Amy D mentioned that corn muffins are cheaper to buy than to make. I loved how she broke that stuff down but I don't enjoy the frugal math as much as she did.

    For me gardening costs a fortune because we are in a multiple year drought etc..and are not allowed to use water.
    I know my sewing and nitting are likely more than I could buy stuff at a store.
    But I enjoy it and can make better quality things.

    Do you make it yourself for needs and wants?

  2. #2
    Registered User HappyMama's Avatar
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    I love making boutique items for my family. Like you I can copy things , many times for so much cheaper and better quality. I love looking at something and saying I could make this better and cheaper. I like the fact that we can have good quality things for a fraction of what it would cost me. There is a European catalog I love getting and making some of the clothes or handbags in it for myself and my kids . Like you not exactly frugal in one sense but fun and saves me tons for great things to add to my wardrobe at a fraction of cost. Helps me put fun wardrobes together, along with fun finds at discount and my specialty boutiques ( thrift stores..lol)

    On the lines of some things I have found over the years ingredients in certain products, ranging from baked goods, and meals to shampoos and soaps that had ingredients in them that were not good for my families health and well being ( maybe due to certain preservatives one is allergic to , on to others that I needed to avoid ) so I found I could make, them usually organic for a great price and keep my family healthy with some great products. Sometimes I could have gotten them cheaper or free with a coupon , but is not worth it to me to be sick or have a reaction or have someone in my family have them.So sometimes it might cost more but in the long run has saved me from buying from a boutique, gave me a new skill and was better for us. Hope this makes sense.

  3. #3
    Registered User Jskell911's Avatar
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    I tend to make for others and not much for myself. Although, I just got a great deal on yarn. I made 3 scarves and with the leftover yard I am thinking of making hot pads for myself. Um, does that count since it's technically for the house?

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  5. #4
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I am still honing most of my skills, especially in the sewing, knitting, etc department. So I don't think much of what I make is as good of quality as storebought, although some of the simpler stuff (scarves, mittens, etc) I feel good giving, because I can pick specialty yarn/colours/etc. It may not necessarily cost less (because you have to factor in the time it took you to make them), but they are unique, and that counts for a lot.

    I am a decent jewelry maker, and have sold a lot of my stuff, as well as giving some of it as presents. Because I feel it compares and sometimes exceeds in quality to storebought, I feel good giving it. But as I mentioned in another post, some people always get storebought from me because they prefer it to homemade. I keep using her as an example, but it just fits so well, that I'll have to do it again: my MOTHER, for example. My mother bought a new car a few years back. She always keeps a crucifix hanging from the rear-view mirror. So for Christmas, my sister picked out some really beautiful (and relatively expensive) gemstones and found a lovely silver cross, and I fashioned them into a small garland that would fit over the rearview mirror stem. It came out better than either of us could have hoped. We gave it to my mother for Christmas, explaining to her that we had designed it together for her. It got a lukewarm response, and she has never hung it in her car.

    In re: does it cost more to make it than buy it, I might take that into account for very practical items, like socks or washcloths, but for baked items and some knitted items, I don't think you can really do a cost comparison. I could go buy a nice blanket for my bed for $20, but I am instead knitting one that will probably cost, in yarn alone, closer to $40, just in materials. Forget that it will take me hours upon hours to make it. But when I'm done, I'll enjoy it so much more for having put the time and energy into making it myself, that its value will be much more than the store comparison of $20.

  6. #5

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    We enjoy making a lot of our wants and when we can we make our needs as well.

    I love sewing quilts, but can't sew a stitch of clothing if it would save me. But the quilts are functional and practical. I only purchase the materials needed when on sale, or off season, at thrift stores, garage sales. or re purpose material I have. They may not be store quality but they are mine.

    We do have a garden and we can, freeze, or dry what we can harvest from it. I will admit the initial cost of getting the garden going (bringing in top soil, fencing, gate, etc.) was crazy but it's been worth it with the amount of money we've saved buyng fresh vegetables at the store.

    My DH makes most of our furniture and the items hanging on our walls. Instead of buying tables, bookcases, desks, beds, dressers, etc, he buys the wood and makes it himself for a small fraction of what they charge in a furniture store and better quality than the particle board items sold in chain stores.

    There's a lot more things we make instead of buying when it comes to wants. If we see something that we know we can definitely make ourselves at a far less cost, then that's what we do. There is no question. We even make things ourselves that may only cost 20 bucks at the store but cost us 5 bucks to make. We just believe in not paying for someone else's labor and work if it can be done easily by your own labor and you know how to do it.

  7. #6
    Registered User katybug's Avatar
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    FOOD! Now I'm sure some things would be cheaper to buy then make (I usually buy quality ingredients), but I feel so much better with scratch cooking.

    I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to clothes, so I don't by very often or I get cheap from thrift stores, etc.

    Instead of making "things" I make myself "do things" that will keep me busy and out of the stores, like cooking, cleaning, exercise, spending time with the hubby and kitties (STRING! OMG!). Cats are so easily entertained.

    I also try and get my *fun* stuff for a little as possible, like $1.25 CDs at an estate sale (or .50 DVDs that my Dad snatched up for me, that man can ALWAYS one--up me on deals, darn it!), using the library, internet or our netflix subscription for entertainment. Also I try really hard to enjoy what I already have. Like listen to a commentary on a favorite DVD (Ghostbusters, and Sense and Sensibility are two of the better ones ), or watching the making-of / behind the scenes featurettes.

    I have to admit, I'm not terribly handy, so I don't make a lot of anything. DH is even less handy then I am. However, my parents and I do trade skills so we don't have to pay the professional Like my dad for minor plumbing, fix-up jobs, painting, yard work, my mom for sewing and other household things. DH and I help them set up computer stuff, help them learn programs, trouble-shoot problems. It is a really nice set-up because the two parties (DH and I and my parents) can do all those things, we are just better and quicker at the opposite skills. It makes everyone happy!

    BTW, my computer got infected with a particularly NASTY bit of spyware last night (DO NOT download/install Antivirus Pro 2009, is a scam). After HOURS of virus software scanning and getting no-where, I had the brilliant idea of doing a systems restore, which is different and FAR less harmful to your system then a disc wipe or recovery. It simply rolls back the settings to another day. I rolled it back to the day before and Voila! Spyware gone! Check out system restore it is in Programs>Accessories>Systems Tools>System Restore, and set up daily check points. I've used it 3 times this year to avoid MAJOR computer mishaps.

    WOW long,

    ~KB
    Last edited by katybug; 11-06-2008 at 12:10 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #7
    Registered User fixer's Avatar
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    I have made a lot of things we want and need out of necessity. When we bought our current home, it was in desperate need of updating. The first thing was the drafty windows that were permanently frosted due to failed seals. In our sun room there were nine and we could not afford the windows and installation. We each took some vacation time and learned as we went. The first window took all day but we got considerably quicker as we went. Our goal was to make sure they did not look like an electrician and college professor installed them! With the skills we learned, we have replaced other windows, several doors and most of the trim work in the house. What tools we needed we more than paid for with the first job. Things like this are not rocket science, It just takes some thought and a little time.

  9. #8
    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    I would never buy a store bought curtain unless it was really just something spectacular.

    A true waste in my book.

  10. #9
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I keep meaning to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to learn some home building and construction skills. I helped a friend of mine put new windows into a little cottage she was going to turn into a rental, and really learned a lot and enjoyed myself (and still remember cripple walls!!). I just have to find the time and get off my duff to go to the H4H office to sign up.

  11. #10
    Registered User annymoll's Avatar
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    I am working hard to learn how to make things from scratch.I made apple butter ,for the first, over an open fire at my cousins. I helped him split the wood, we built a little firepit and put it on a kettle over the fire. We boiled down the apples, removed and strained them, added the sugar and spices, and simmered it.It took all day, and from the bushel of apples we used, we got 10 jars of home made apple butter. While we were making it, a neighbor stopped in, and said,"I would just go to Aldi's and get a jar".I understood what he meant, but I knew what I was doing. I was not just making apple butter. I was learning a skill that I may one day need.And oh! is it good.The only bad thing, was that my clothes stunk really bad from the smoke, even after washing. Then I remembered a tip from here about washing them with some baking soda. It took away the smell.
    Last edited by annymoll; 11-07-2008 at 09:32 AM.

  12. #11
    Registered User cheapskate 49's Avatar
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    I will opt to make most things myself(sewing,knitting,crafting) even if it is more expensive initially because then I know I am getting quality,but another aspect of it is that I am enjoying a hobby that doesn't cost loads of money eg.golfing.So I am saving twice as much.....well sort of

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    I guess I am a cheapo, but I can't stand to buy or pay for something I can do myself! I know I have took on doing many things that have taught me new ways of doing things, learning all the time, and trying to save in doing them myself. I just hate to pay for something that I know I can do for myself.

    Last year I learned how to "wire" in a new AC motor for our air conditioner, that I admit was a bit spooky, but I did it. I have learned to do many things I didn't think I could, but with my husband unable to do many of them I have had to learn how or pay to have it done. Sorry, I can't and won't pay someone else to do what I can learn to do for myself.

  14. #13
    Registered User larabelle's Avatar
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    I am also a cheapo. I have taken up quilting and use all of my old fabric and instead of batting I purchase old blankets from the thrift store. The quilts look beautiful and I love the fact that quilting takes up any time which I would be using going shopping.
    I have also signed up to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to learn some house skills.

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    I like to make creative items. I don't mind making things like homemade cleaners and such. I have no desire to make my own clothes - too many available second hand that cost lest than to make.

  16. #15
    Registered User ARCMOMMY's Avatar
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    I love being a cheapo but I do not have the patience for larger sewing projects.

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