35 Money-Saving Hacks And DIYs Using Ordinary Items Found At Home

By Anthony K

This article was originally published on docjournals

In addition to occupying your free time and giving you a feeling of satisfaction, DIY skills and projects will help you save more money. They allow you to free your mind from the hassle of balancing the budget when you need small home repairs. This article compiles simple, unique, and handy ideas involving readily available items you can use to improve your home and spend less. When on a tight budget, it helps to consider every loophole to ensure that you minimize spending. Thanks to various DIY skills and ideas highlighted below, you can cut unnecessary costs by using what you already have available to you. The list highlights the top strategies you can use to save money, make your house more adorable, and increase savings for future projects.

New Sharpening Stone

If you prefer reusing or recycling worn-out items and equipment in your home, you may be wondering how to use chipped ceramic plates and mugs. That worn-out mug is your new best friend when you need to sharpen pocket blades, utility knives, or scissors.

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Grab a ceramic mug, flip it over to expose the bottom’s outer edge, and enjoy the emergency sharpening stone at the non-glazed bottom ring. This rough clay surface can diligently serve the intended purpose as you search for long-term solutions.

Customize the Keychain Board

The pain and disappointment of losing your keys may ruin your moods or plans for the day. Thanks to a simple Lego trick, you can locate your car, house, and office keys without breaking a sweat. You can start by choosing your preferred Lego to keep your key safe.

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Drill a hole at the base of a building brick slightly tinier than the screw portion of an eyelet screw. Twine the eyelet screw into the building brick and string a split ring through the hole for easier attachment of keys. Mount the building brick, attach the Lego board conveniently and hang your keys.

Clean Your White Shoe

Your shoes should be clean and sparkling to complement your outfit when stepping out. Unfortunately, sneakers are notorious for harboring dirt and stains that don’t scrape off easily. If sneakers are your darling shoes for official or non-formal events, you just need an extra toothbrush.

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Get your toothbrush and some toothpaste to clean off mud and other pesky stains that discolor your shoes. Use non-gel white toothpaste (to avoid possible stains left by colored toothpaste) for the best results. Scrub the dirty spots with your toothbrush and allow the toothpaste to rest for about ten minutes.

Make Caulking More Fun

Caulking is essential for sealing spaces that make surfaces appear older and more worn out. If you prefer to DIY, the lack of a caulk gun can limit your chances of producing highly desirable results. Fortunately, you can make an immediate turnaround with a simpler version made from what you already have.

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If the tube’s tip is blocked with a plug, use a large screw with coarse threads to get rid of it. Zip-tie your caulk tube to the shaft of a trigger-style clamp and fasten a wood scrap in the tube’s edge to act as a plunger.

Make Sandpaper More Durable

With the right texture and size of sandpaper, you can complete tasks without injuries, wasting energy, or using more sandpaper than usual. Most sandpapers have finer grits bonded to thin paper that may tear while the grit remains intact, meaning you get less done than expected.

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If you need to make sandpaper last longer, duct tape can insulate it. Apply duct tape to the back of your sandpaper, ensuring that it maintains flexibility. The duct tape holds the paper in place to let you work for long hours without letting the grit fall off.

Unclogging Bathroom Sinks

Learning to unclog the bathroom sink is essential for every homeowner. Without this basic skill, you may be calling for professional services now and again. While most folks prefer chemicals to clean the sink, you could try simple DIYs involving the use of simple items like zip-ties as your preferred de-clogger.

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Before calling the nearest professionals for this simple task, reach for a long zip tie. Make several cuts on the pointy end, slide it down the blocked sink, let it grab hair clogging the drainage, and pull it out. The eye of your zip tie prevents it from pushing past the stopper while ensuring that you can easily take out the clog.

Make Your Windshield Cleaner

When behind the wheel, you need more visibility to ensure that you can spot obstacles from a distance. Delays in visiting the carwash can deter your vision to improve your chances of causing an accident. Fortunately, you can clean the windshield to make it more transparent, and thus, safer.

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Regular cleaning of windshields and windshield wipers helps you avoid the stress of reduced visibility. Drench your white rag in the glass cleaner and wipe the moving up and down the length of wiper blades to make windshield and wipers good as new.

Maintain a Clean Car

You should ensure the interior and exterior are sparkling clean when cleaning your car. Most folks focus on the body without giving much thought to the inner parts. Everyday messes in your vehicle include wrappers, food crumbs, pet hair, and dust.

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For the best experience, your car should have a portable trash can for wrappers, food leftovers, bottles, and other items that may litter your house. Use a loop fastener and self-adhesive hook at the bottom of your container to keep it intact as the vehicle moves.

Give Dead Sharpies More Life

Permanent markers require careful storage to avoid them drying out. If left exposed for long, you may need immediate resuscitation to get the sharpies writing once more. A simple DIY hack can help you resume your project notes and measurements without breaking a sweat or spending more.

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Remove the back of your dried sharpie and add a few drops of isopropyl onto the felt material. Shake the marker to ensure maximum absorption of the rubbing alcohol. The felt absorbs the liquid in a few minutes, allowing the pigment to flow and bring the sharpie back to life.

Make Old Paintbrushes More Useful

Paintbrushes are subject to wear and tear, based on their storage and frequency of use. As the brush wears out, you may be hesitant to toss it. If you lose or misplace your push stick, the brush’s handle can help you complete the task without injuries or blemishes to the final product.

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Collect your worn-out brushes and use needle-nose pliers to strip off the metal ferrule. The composite or wood handle plays the role of a saw push stick, protecting your hands and integrity of results. Measure and mark the preferred angle and make two cuts with a band saw to produce an angled notch.

Explore the Miracle of a Walnut

After continued use, you may note scratches of different sizes on wooden furniture. Thanks to walnuts, you can maintain the aesthetic value of your wooden furniture without high refinishing costs. You do not need expert skills to use this method.

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Scrub a walnut over scratch lines, then use your fingers to rub the area and improve the absorption of oil from the nut. Use a soft cloth to polish the area, seal the scratch, and watch your furniture regain its original glow.

Improvise a Phone Stand

You can use your phone for much more than making phone calls nowadays. You can conduct research, complete a presentation, or capture memories. When working on a DIY project, you may also need a phone to display the instruction video.

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Instead of holding your phone, you can use zip ties to improvise a stand. It requires looping zip ties with the heads looking down at the edges of your phone to let you operate the screen with much ease. An improvised and customized stand fits your device perfectly.

Make your Ice Pack

Ice packs have a wide range of uses, including keeping your lunch fresh and cold, pain relief, and reducing swelling. We all need an ice pack from time to time. Maybe you need one now but don’t want to spend money.

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Grab a Ziplock bag and sponge to begin the DIY journey. Wet the sponge and freeze it inside the bag. You can always have an extra DIY ice pack ready for your packed lunch or other uses like pain relief. Like most commercial ice packs, this one is reusable but much cheaper.

Prepare an Emergency Candle

A candle can light up your house during a blackout or add value to your romantic date or candlelit dinner. If you lose power, you may use extra toilet paper and a stick of butter to give you some light with beautifully crafted candles.

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Slice a stick of butter in half and divide the toilet paper square into four equal squares. Fold each square diagonally and twist it. Fashion a hole in the butter using a toothpick, ensuring that it reaches the base. Insert the tissue to act as a wick.

Lubricate Wooden Drawer Slides

Wooden drawers are ideal for holding various kitchen, bedroom, and office equipment. Without enough lubrication, the drawers become noisy and require more energy to push and pull over time. Care tips like lubrication go a long way in minimizing having the wooden drawers stuck.

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For emergencies, candle wax may save the day. Rub a candle against the slides under the drawer, paying close attention to tracks inside the cabinet and chest. It would help if you rubbed wax regularly to avoid enduring the noise of stuck drawers.

Amplify Your Smartphone’s Speaker

When listening to music directly from your phone’s speaker, the limited volume may put a damper on your experience. You need the right volume to dance and sing along as you wish. With a small cup or bowl, you can easily improve the sound.

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The container should be made of plastic, ceramic, and other hard material to survive a hard fall (just in case). Glass works just as well, though. Put your phone in speaker-first. The sound bounces off the hard surface for and amplifies as the music plays.

Clean Soft Blinds Using Socks

Once in a while, you need to get the blindes clean to avoid the build-up of dust particles and more dirt, reducing their aesthetic value. Instead of removing them for cleaning in the bathtub or hiring a professional cleaner, find a pair of soft socks.

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Slipping a soft clean sock onto your hand allows you to reach even the most hidden parts. Wipe over, under, and through the blinds to rid your blinds of every trace of dirt and dust particles. Introduce an all-purpose cleaner onto your sock to give it a disinfecting gusto.

Give the Tension Rod More Support

A tension rod allows you to hang various things – like clothes – in designated parts of your house. Thanks to bottle caps and drywall screws, you can secure the tension rod, allowing it to hold more weight without slipping or falling.

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For each tension rod, use the drywall screws to fasten two water bottle caps into the studs of your closet walls and proceed to mount the tension rod inside the caps. Each cap has a lip providing enough support for your tension rod, ensuring that it doesn’t slide or fall.

Make Typing Easier and More Fun

You may need to type for hours while working on an assignment or project. Despite the importance of completing your task on time, your wrists are highly vulnerable to fatigue and injuries that could limit your wrist movement. You can kiss wrist complications goodbye using a custom pool noodle to rest your hands and type comfortably for hours.

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You can make its height slightly less than half its diameter or cut it in half to get two perfectly equal pool noodles. A utility knife is best for slicing the pool noodle without damaging the sides. Clean up areas along the cuts to ensure they are stable.

Use the Washer to Write Notes

Unfortunately, putting in the wrong combination of clothes and colors in your washer can damage your beloved garments beyond recognition. If you share a washing machine(s) and dryer(s), you can use the machine lid to leave a message for the next user.

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You can use a dry-erase marker to note a simple message on the enamel finish of your machine’s lid. The enamel finish shares many properties with the whiteboard, ensuring that your message is eligible. You could give directions on which clothes to take out or keep in the dryer, etc.

A Salad Bar for Your Simple Greenhouse

Recycling helps you save by reducing the cost needed to get the equipment necessary to get through your various projects. For instance, after lunch, you can keep the plastic salad container to help you create a mini-greenhouse for your garden.

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Clean the container thoroughly. You can use a bradawl and hammer to make precise holes at the top of your container to ensure airflow. Fill it halfway with potting mix, add seed-starting soil, and plant your seeds. You can have as many of these as you have containers!

Coins are Best for your Toilet Shims

Leveling a toilet requires experience and caution. If your seat isn’t firm and stable, you can use coins and washers to improve stability. Consider the space to ensure that you get suitable washers and coins all around. (Coins and washers can be used interchangeably based on their availability.)

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After sliding the coins or washers to stabilize your toilet seat further, you should take turns sitting on it to ensure that it’s fully balanced and stable for users of different sizes. Proceed to caulk all along the floor to hide coin shims and avoid expensive repairs. If the problem persists, you may seek professional assistance to get past the annoying sounds of the toilet dancing.

Create a No-Slip Cutting Board

The cutting board is an essential kitchen item preferred even by folks with kitchen countertops as it protects the countertop from scratches. If your board doesn’t feature a rubber surface, you will notice that it slides as you cut fruits and vegetables.

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Improving the stability of your cutting board involves the simple DIY skill of adding rubber bands at the edges. Your rubber bands should always lay flat without interweaving to ensure that you cut without slicing your fingers or make your fruits and vegetables the wrong size.

Make Your Hangers Nonslip

You may have faced the frustration of clothes slipping and falling off if the hangers have smooth surfaces. To reduce the pain of bending over and over and rearranging fallen garments, you can customize the hanger to hold your clothes in position as you search for the best set to wear.

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The pain of clothes falling also entails the trouble of rewashing those that may have collected dirt from the floor. A simple hanger hack involves applying glue droplets to the top arms. After drying, the glue beads hold your clothes in place when you peruse through.

Fix Your Wobbly Table

Wobbly tables are annoying as they minimize the stability of items you put on the table. You may try correcting the shakiness by tightening loose brackets and screws or regluing unfastened joints for improved stability. This is your typical option A.

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If the complication is beyond the fastening and regluing loose joints, you may need a wine cork as a long-term solution. Natural corks may crumble over time, so synthetic wine corks offer the best fighting chance. Cut the precise amount needed and use hot glue to stick the wine cork onto the leg.

Make the Nail Pilot Holes Easy

While most folks prefer DIY projects, nailing has proved an uphill battle for individuals of varied experiences. Without drilling pilot holes, your wood may split, improving your chances of having to spend more on wood. Tiny drill bits may also break after a couple of uses, given that you may have drilled the wrong parts.

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In future projects, instead of drill bits, you could use the nail itself to drill the perfect pilot hole. Cut off the heads of nails using a wire cutter or lineman’s pliers and attach the headless pin onto the drill. The headless nail drills a perfect hole that you can easily fill using the full-sized nail.

Use the Toilet Paper Rolls to Organize Small Cords

Cords of different sizes and shapes often accompany technological devices like phones and computers. Keeping track of your cords requires you to be vigilant of your storage location. You can use the toilet paper rolls to ensure that cords for your phone, camera, computer, and other devices are safe.

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Some may argue that drawers provide adequate space for your cords. You may realize that some cords disappear when you need them the most. Get a small box, and line-up paper rolls vertically for easy access. For each roll, insert a specific cord to ensure that you can locate them at the time of need.

Make the Wine Box More Useful

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a wine lover to get a wine box. You may visit the nearest wine store to help them dispose of their extras. You can use them at home to organize and keep your shoes and other essential items organized.

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Take advantage of the wine box if you don’t want to spend on fancy compartment-style shoe storage. The cardboard dividers ensure that your shoes are intact and stored in specific spaces and orders of preference. You can make fit cute by painting the outside.

Make your Table Taller

Tables come in different designs, shapes, and sizes. To protect your back and ensure that you complete the task at hand without straining, you should get the table at a proper height. If you have a shorter table, you can explore various options of raising your table to the perfect size.

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For a folding table, you can use PVC pipes cut precisely to the specifications of your table. Consider the height you need to complete your tasks without bending or straining your back for hours. Cut the pipes, slip them onto the table’s legs, and check for stability.

Transform the Lip Balm into a Wallet

You may be a lipstick lover. The big question is, how do you dispose of the empty containers? Going forth, you can use them to stash tiny valuables like cash. Lip balm containers are effective for keeping valuables safe indoors and outdoors.

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While at the beach, most people may not think of opening your lip balm container to check for cash. If your surrounding is unsafe, the unassuming chapstick stashed in your pocket or strewn alongside other cosmetics may be your best bet at keeping your money for drinks and food safe.

Prepare a homemade heating pad

Your lifestyle or line of work may improve your vulnerability to chronic and acute neck or back pain. If left unchecked, it may affect your life’s quality, productivity, and mobility. Some home remedies for your pain include heating pads, resting, or stretching.

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If back or neck pain holds you back, reaching for an electric heating pad may top your list for immediate relief. For a simple homemade version, you can add uncooked rice into a sock and microwave it for up to three minutes. You can customize the experience further by adding fragrant herbs like lavender or cinnamon.

Improvise a Milk Jug Scoop

Like bottles, gallon-size plastic jugs also have a wide range of uses to make your work around the kitchen and yard easier. Some DIY enthusiasts encourage folks to slice off the tops of plastic jugs to serve as funnels. You can use them to minimize spillages on your countertops and kitchen floors.

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If you keep the lid on, you can use the gallon-size plastic jug without the bottom to scoop items in the kitchen or outside the house. The ergonomic handle lets you scoop the right amount of pet food, fertilizer, soil, flour, and other essentials you’d rather not handle with bare hands.

Maintain Clean Paint Cans

When painting, leaving drops of paint all over the container creates a mess. You can easily maintain clean paint cans thanks to rubber bands. This simple hack also saves you from needing to buy extra paint to see your project through.

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As you start painting, wrap a rubber band around the paint can to allow it to spread across its opening. With the rubber band intact, you can use it to wipe excess paint from the brush instead of wiping it on the rims of your container.

Make Your Sanding Block Flexible

When sanding surfaces, you will realize that accessing the curves is tricky, especially if you don’t have experience. After several attempts, you may find you need more flexible sandpaper. A small notepad may come in handy to ensure that you reach all corners without injuries.

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Ensure that you choose a flexible notepad that you can easily hold. Wrap the sandpaper around the pad and bend it to the preferred arc to access all parts. Slide one end of the sandpaper between pages to ensure that it stays in place.

Get a Lint Fire Starter Log

During the summer, you may take advantage of the cool nights to light a fire in your backyard or during a retreat. You will need to light up the fireplace more often to keep the house warm during the winter. Easy lighting material/fuel is necessary to start the fire without breaking a sweat or filling the room with smoke.

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Dryer lint is an underrated fuel source. Pack empty toilet paper tubes with the dryer lint when making fire starters. You will note that dryer lint is effective for lighting faster and burning long enough to ensure the logs are burning, irrespective of your expertise in lighting fires.