Some DIY tips to help out during a rough economy

When money gets tight many of us get creative with our spending.

Instead of buying something new or paying to have something done, we are doing it ourselves.

As consumers, we have become spoiled with our spending habits. We buy new things to wear, cook or clean. We pay extra for repairs or for gifts that we could be making ourselves.

Every thing you wear, use or eat got it's start somewhere.

Die-hard do-it yourselfers are figuring it out -- trying their hands at nearly anything.

I think people are trying any way they can to save money these days," says Purdue extension educator Edie Sutton.

Sutton says do not waste money on cleaning supplies, "If you just look around your house, you'll find cheaper products that are more friendly with the environment."

And easy on your clothes -- here's a laundry tip: Dish detergent is great for grease stains.

I pre treat with a dish detergent, that's very good at reducing or eliminating oil and grease. Comes out every time," says Sutton. "Another product is wd 40 most people think that would stain a garment, it actually helps lift oily stains."

Baking soda makes a good scrubbing cleanser, and white vinegar has a long list of cleaning capabilities.

Did you know shaving cream can be used for removing spots in your carpet: Dab with a dry cloth, dab with warm water/white vinegar mix and let it dry

Micro fiber cloths are pretty popular, from windows to dusting, they are designed to use over and over again.

"It would reduce the need to buy a cleaning product some kind of spray dust remover," adds Sutton.

Sutton also explains, when it comes to simple home repairs go online, "Many of the home supply stores have websites and on those how to repair a toilet...how to fix a leaky sink...they even have websites specifically for women who want to do those repairs."

The economy is forcing consumers to get creative. Edie says look at every service or purchase that you make and try to do it yourself.

You never know -- you might find a new hobby or a career.

Take some of these challenges and make them opportunities. Opportunites to save money and opportunities to find a new career for yourself," Sutton explains.

Most can agree, that is a do-it-yourself tip worth trying.

Another tip for home projects: The Habitat for Humanity re-store sells materials at discount.

Even weddings are not immune from the do-it-yourselfers

At La Candy Shoppe in South Bend, Betty Lou Horvath is seeing more people coming in for cake decorating classes.

"Of course, there are times when you will get that store cake, for the most part you can do a lot of things on your own," says Horvath. "The first time you do it it's going to cost you a little more. But after that it's not, because you're going to have equipment that's re-usable.

Horvath says she is seeing more people doing their own wedding cakes.

Another option is ordering cupcakes or sheet cakes in addition to their wedding cake.

We have their information and other important links for do-it-yourself projects on our home page, just click on the big red bar.

And as always we will have more during Take Charge Thursdays.

Call in this week and tell us about your do-it-yourself tips.


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