Today I have Sarah from The Orthodox Mama guest posting on the blog. If you are trying to save more money she has some great skills you can use.
In the world of frugal living, there are many ways to save money—use coupons, set a budget and stick to it, learn to live with less, and many more. However, I have found the most satisfaction when I save money by developing a skill. Some things simply are cheaper when done yourself instead of hiring others to do them. Here are 6 skills that anyone can learn to save money.
Learn to Cut Hair
We pay a grand total of $30 per year on haircuts for our family of five. How do we do this? My husband has learned how to cut hair. For many years he was never really satisfied with the job that his barber did on his hair, so he would always finish it up at home. Finally, he realized that he could stop paying the barber entirely and just invest in a set of shears and scissors. Now, over ten years later, he hasn’t stepped foot into a barber’s shop and is even able to cut our children’s hair. He’s nervous about touching my thick hair, so I go to a salon once a year. But, because of his skill, we are able to save hundreds per year just on haircuts!
Grow a Garden
Growing your own produce is much less expensive (and much tastier!) than purchasing it from the store. If you are a little nervous about planting a whole garden, at least consider planting a few herbs in pots. I grew an herb garden for the first time last year, and our family loved having fresh basil, oregano, and cilantro all summer long. Since we regularly use those herbs in pizza, spaghetti, tacos, etc., we saved an average of $3 a week in fresh herbs.
Change Your Own Oil
As long as you have a car, you will have to do routine maintenance on it—like changing your oil. Why not learn to do it yourself? You can save an average of $20 per oil change, and you will learn more about the workings of your car. As a bonus, you can use this skill to barter with friends. Perhaps friends can watch your children one date night in exchange for a free oil change. The possibilities are endless!
Learn Basic Sewing Skills
If your children (or husband!) are anything like mine, they manage to make holes in clothing and lose buttons with great frequency. One simple way to save a lot of money is to learn some basic sewing skills. You can find great tutorials on Youtube that will teach you how to sew on a button, mend a hole, and take up a hem. I spent around $10 on a sewing kit 5 years ago, and I have used it to repair countless rips and tears in our clothing, bedding, and even kids’ toys.
Become a Painter
You may not consider yourself a crafter or DIY kind of person, but learning how to paint can really save you some serious money. If you can paint walls or furniture, you have endless options available when it comes to redecorating on a budget. Nothing brightens up a room or puts a new spin on an old piece of furniture faster than a fresh coat of paint.
Cook from Scratch
Finally, cooking from scratch will save you literally thousands of dollars per year. Instead of eating out several times a week, learn how to make a good homemade pizza or roast a chicken in the oven. You can then pack the leftovers for lunches and save yourself even more money. Once you have learned the basics of cooking, try making your own jams and baking your own bread. Delicious and inexpensive!
With a little effort, you can develop skills that will save you money. In addition to helping your budget, you will also grow as a person and gain confidence in your ability to care for your family. And, at the end of the day, you will have the satisfaction of looking back to admire your handiwork, saying, “I did that!”
Sarah Wright is an Orthodox Christian, wife to her handsome husband, mother to three little ones, full-time teacher, and writer. She enjoys playing outdoors with her children and watching old movies with her husband. She also writes about faith, family, and frugal living at The Orthodox Mama. Some of her most popular articles include The Top 10 Most Frugal Things I Do and 8 Frugal Meals for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking.