Money. Who would have thunk that we would be in this mess. Like most, your probably feeling the sting of this economic crisis. Selling lemonade on the street corner isn't going to cover it. We need some action. We need to go back to the basics. Our ancestors didn't need paid water to water their gardens, they had the rain. They didn't kill a lot of deers because they were on sale. So here are my ways to conserve your money, give your wallet back complications, and even help the environment.

Step 1: Rain Barrels

Rain. Who needs it? I mean it waters the plants but i still have to water my plants with my hose. If only there was an easier way.....Well Now There Is!!! Introducing the rain barrel!. The rain barrel is exactly what it sounds like. Its a barrel with rain in it. Its shocking to hear this, but rain is part of the water cycle, every so often, it will rain where you live. This rain is a much needed resource for plants. Now we all have gutters. If you don't, go install gutters, we'll wait here. Done? No? Okay we'll wait a little longer. Okay so now we all have gutters. Where does the rain water go? Well we want to collect all the water that comes off these gutters for future use.
A good rain barrel should be plastic, not wooden like mine. Plastic keeps out those icky bugs and junk. Also with plastic, you can install a line for your hose. This would be more difficult with wood. Also, it should be covered or else the mosquitoes will come. IF you have a rain barrel, GREAT!. If you want to buy one, GOOD! If your a true DIYer, then i have posted a youtube video of HGTV I found which will go over all the basics
Also, if you are becoming more and more ready to be a good commuter to ride along with the cars on your roads, think about installing some turn signals and lights onto your bike. I feel like lights are what really allow people to navigate and be respected as commuters because it makes it so that you are joining along in the same common language that drivers use to communicate to each other what they're doing. Brake lights are important so that the car will stay behind you, and lights that are sufficiently bright for the night make you not something to avoid and dodge when you're glimpse of an image is flashed before a drivers eyes. Those drivers will just try to pass you. You might even want to consider upgrading to an electric bike, which you could definitely D.I.Y. This is a lot of stuff to both think about and execute, but it will just make saving money feel so much more comfortable and safer and will encourage you to continue doing it and also increasing your sense of freedom. This is why I continue to think that one of the most important things you can do if you have a whole lot of desire for changing your ways D.I.Y style, then planning and organizing is a MUST
Must be tiring to try and think of every last use for different things, though, eh? It's like you kinda got to exercise your mind to be able to think about items for different, creative uses so as to gain a fitness that allows your thoughts to be quick about it and so then you can stay focused on what you really like doing more. If you have an end goal for how much money you will save, and how that will allow you to work less or whatever you want, then perhaps you'll be more motivated to exercise your re-using brain. Maybe you could have a little slip of paper with you with your end goal on it, and you just take it out and it stunningly reminds you of what exactly you're aiming for that'll push you so far, like aiming to lose a certain number of pounds and you'll look like this, or hey I'll be fit enough to partake in this or that marathon or hike this mountain. Motivation.
Yeah, if you want to be a whole sale buyer, you have to know exactly the date by which anything you'd buy would go bad, and have a very organized system to keep track of how you'd use what you buy by then. If you could figure out how many pounds of something you use a week by keeping notes on a normal week's use of a certain food, then you know how much you can buy and you will use within the time of expiration. Hell, you could even write some kind of algebraic equation if you wanted it to be a whole lot simpler than trying to figure through all of that. The math that you learn in high school really can be pretty helpful if you're trying to be organized and conscientious about what you do. I have to think for a bit what exactly that algebraic formula would be, but when I figure it out, I'll give it. Also, how about doing a taste test between different qualities of food and seeing how much you really care about the taste difference of one brand over another. Think about if a quality difference is worth the cost. If you add up the repeated cost of buying more quality products, then how much total money will you lose? What could you use that money on? IDK maybe you want to save up for a trip to India or something. Something cool like that. Sounds like a lot, but if you really want to crank out some efficiency, I'd attempt some of that stuff. I'm in the process myself of doing those equations. Great instructable, by the way, laying out nice steps towards financial independence. Thanks
Nice'ible, but I have to disagree with your bike suggestions. Sidewalk riding is more dangerous than riding in the road. It's important to know your local laws (like in GA, where it's illegal to ride on sidewalks once you're over 17) Safety is very important, but you basically say, "Ride your bike" and then list out a ton of stuff you need to do it, and reason why you shouldn't. Just get on your bike and go. It's tons of fun, completely free, and so much easier than most people think.
<em>It's tons of fun, so much easier than most people think.</em> Except when your city turns off the crossing sign things, and the only time you can cross a major road is when your lucky, or really fast.<br/>
Why would you need crossing signs? You should be riding in the road anyways. Riding on the sidewalk is very dangerous for all parties involved.
I honestly can't tell if that's a joke or not...
No, riding a bike on the sidewalk is very dangerous, no joke at all. Google it, you'll find plenty of reasons why riding your bike on the sidewalk is more dangerous than it is to ride in the road.
if you look where looking where you are going you can avoid people
What about blind driveways? Bushes in the way of tour view? The road is almost always clear of these things, but sidewalks often aren't.
slow down and look
Why should a bicycle, a perfectly viable vehicle, have to slow down and look around hedges, walls, and everything every 15 feet, when there's a perfectly good, safe road there for him to legally travel on?
because cars go way faster and im 11 thats why
I still have to go with riding on the sidewalk...
Do what you want, but in many states it illegal, and for good reason. When's the last time you were driving and you checked 20 yards down the sidewalk to ensure there were no vehicles coming down it? You probably never have, just like most motorists....
<em>When's the last time you were driving and you checked 20 yards down the sidewalk to ensure there were no vehicles coming down it? You probably never have, just like most motorists..</em><br/><br/>That's why as a cyclist, or what ever the correct term is, it's your duty to make sure that a car isn't right in front of you, or will be when you cross the street.<br/>
So in an effort to be as safe as possible, it's your responsibility to be where motorists are looking for other vehicles. Seeing as you ARE a vehicle, you should follow the laws accordingly, that way everyone can be as safe as possible.
That's not what i said. I said as a cyclist, it's your responsibility to look out for vehicles.<br/><br/><em>Seeing as you ARE a vehicle, you should follow the laws accordingly</em><br/>That's a really bad reason.<br/>
Thanks for feedback, I partially agree with this, I feel that depending on your location, it can be safe or unsafe. Also the laws part was already in there, "For this you need to know the laws. First off, find off if you can bike on sidewalks in your area". Anyways biking isn't exactly finished yet, i was just jotting down some basic thoughts last night while working on homework, I will edit it soon
Some great tips there. I like the money jar tip, I'm one who sets budgets and the like and its always a pleasant surprise to find there's left over from what I accounted for, and that leftover has built up.
#@$#$# now i have that sing stuck in my head!!!! "Dallars and cents!"
In the food department I have found that slow cookers like crockpots save me a lot of money. They let you use basic foods like beans to make great chili dishes and so on. When was the last time you had a bowl of real pork and beans instead of that stuff out of the can? Even bread is fairly easy to bake and a few simple recipies like pan bread or pita bread are fast enough to be cooked on the stove top when you need them. Don't buy premixes for flour based foods. You can make your own premixes just as easy for 1/3 of the cost, and they will work even better. 1 kilo of pancake or biscuit mix costs as much as 5 kilos of flour. Note that I do not recommend those bread machines or other specialized gadgets. The crockpot(slowcooker) has been the only countertop gadget that saved me money so far.
I agree with everything you say except for the not recommending a bread machine. I have used one for years,put it on at night and wake to fresh bread each day. I have 3 near adult children so it is saving me heaps and is soooo yum. We make wholegrain and add herbs etc from the garden. It is proving much cheaper than purchased bread.
Great ideas Chicken, you provide a lot to think about.
Hey not bad! Suggestion? I bit more conclusive ending, summarizing what's learned...
well you learned time is money right?<br/>well then why waste your time reading what you just learned, I mean, you know what you just learned right?<br/>If not, read it again.....<br/><sup><sub><sup>jk</sup></sub></sup><br/>
That is the best response I've seen in forever!
You put in your 2 cents, I put in my 50 cent:
I don't know if you've ever tried it, but tofu REALLY picks up the flavor of whatever it was cooked with. [I don't eat meat but] A good friend of mine told me that when his times were really tight, he would plan the protein in his meals to be about 1 part meat to 4 parts tofu. I buy tofu at my local Asian market for $1.20 a pound. If you want to try it, just remember to buy firm or extra firm tofu; most people who hate the stuff have just had bad experience with the squishier varieties. (:
on a side note, I always forget that when i type in brackets it becomes a link.

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