Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post by Progressive. All opinions are 100% my own.
Everyone is trying to save a buck or two. It’s true. The more money you save, the more money you have for fun things…like shoes or vacations or tacos. You know, the finer things in life. DIY itself is a great way to save money because you can pocket the cash you would pay for labor. But there is more! In our years of DIYing, we have learned some really great tips on how to save some dough while DIYing and I am excited to share those tips today. Let’s do it!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Tip number one is maybe you shouldn’t do it yourself. Shocked? I’m sure that’s not what you expected to read but hear me out. Do your homework before attempting any DIY project to see if it’s in your best interest to roll up your sleeves to tackle it or hire a pro. Calling around for quotes on a pro coming in to help won’t hurt anything. A project requires tools and materials and time. If you are short on any of those things, you need to account for that in your overall cost. Comparing the DIY approach to the HIRE IT OUT method in overall dollars spent on new tools, costly materials, time invested, waste removal, etc. can reveal if you are actually going to save money. Of course, there are some intangible things to be gained from handing it over (time gained with loved ones, less stress, knowing the project won’t be stuck in limbo, etc.) and also from doing it yourself (sense of accomplishment, bragging rights, renovation skills gained, etc.)….these should also be weighed! A great way to compare and contrast is to make a list and write it all down. Comparing the pros and cons should help make you make your decision.
SAVE ON PAINT
I have three tips on saving when it comes to paint. First – always get a sample can for paint that is going on your walls. That little $3 pot of paint can save you big bucks if you end up hating the hue on your walls and consequently need to repaint later. Paint can look drastically different on a 2″ swatch than on your walls. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Secondly – look for sales and buy the untinted paint for future projects. Gallons of paint can be stored inside and tinted for free at a later date. Even if you aren’t ready to paint now, you can save now. And last but certainly not least, buy discounted paint at most home improvement stores. Ask the associate at the paint desk if there is an “oops paint” section. These buckets of paint are premixed to a specific color and usually marked down. They work GREAT for furniture if the finish is right. If the associate is up to the task, they can usually figure out how to retint the paint to closely match your desired color (the best discounted paint is white or close to it!).
GET WOOD AT A DISCOUNT
Anyone knows that building furniture projects can add up from the cost of lumber. Most home improvement stores have a discount lumber section where wood is tagged with spray paint and given a big discount. Keep in mind that the lumber can be warped, miscut, or need to be planed or trimmed down. It’s great for smaller building projects and crafts and it can be the perfect solution for budget builds. Another option is to consider pallets (some places offer them up for free) or to dumpster dive at new builds for wood that is cut offs or scraps. Make sure you ask the contractor first if you can pick their trash!
TOOLS AT A LOWER COST
Tools can be really pricey – especially if you only use them once. Ask around to see if a friend, family member or neighbor has a tool that you need before purchasing. Most times, they are eager to show you how to work it (free tutorial!) and can be a champion cheerleader for your cause. If you must buy, consider the cost vs. the use. A rarely used tool only needs to work for one job….and can be bought at a discount through refurbished sales, yard sales, Craigslist and at the local auction house. A tool that you use all the time can help you save money by researching the battery-power options. Stick to one battery that fits many tools and you can save big bucks in the end.
SAVE ON TILE, FLOORING, CABINETS AND OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS
Saving on flooring, tile, cabinets and other building materials is possible. You can search online resale sites, ask for discounts at the register, ask for a price match guarantee or even visit your local REStore to see what options are available. You can save hundreds of dollars by going with an option that can be slightly modified to fit the bill. Make sure to double check all the materials to see if you have enough for your project. Drywall can be cracked, tile can be broken or chipped and wood can be dry rotted…make sure you aren’t purchasing unsalvageable material because most times these items are not available for returns.
Appliance costs can add up fast. You can save on appliances by shopping around. We have found that the best way to buy appliances new is to go to stores and see what floor models they are making clearance. You can talk to a manager in that department and negotiate directly with them on the price. The more appliances you buy, the bigger your savings will be. Ask when the machines are getting priced down and return on those dates. Most of the time, you can stack a coupon on top of that saving and also using a store credit card can save you an additional 5-10%.
SHOP AT THRIFT STORES
Shopping at thrift stores, Goodwill and on Craigslist for furniture is a great way to save money. Often these items are deeply discounted and need very little elbow grease to get it up to par. You can usually slap a coat of paint on an item to give it a new look. Creating a notebook of items you would like for your home as well as keeping a mini measuring tape handy are useful when shopping.
KEEP AN EYE ON CLEARANCE, REMNANTS OR SALE SECTIONS
Most home improvement stores have a clearance section, end cap or moveable rack that they stack discounted random items. This can include light fixtures, bathroom fixtures and even small things like saw blades or busted bags of grout. You can save loads of money by knowing your projects and what they need! You will need to be flexible with the design but objectively it can save you money and can look a lot better than the 1970’s that you are sporting in your current abode. The best tip to make the most of the clearance items is to visit your local home improvement stores often as these items move quickly!
THINK OUTSIDE THE HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE
Some of my favorite DIY deals are found at places other than the home improvement store. I know I have saved tons by buying inexpensive brushes, paper masks and nitrile gloves at The Dollar Tree. Brushes can range from $5 to $15 in home improvement stores and need to meticulously cleaned after each use. Using a dollar brush for certain tasks can save you money and you can toss the brush later, saving time and cleaning materials. Another option is to shop places that only sell one item…like a drywall dealer or a discount fabric store. These places generally aren’t specialized in more than one type of item and they can pass along discounts because they buy in bulk.
In the end, saving money is just a bonus of DIY. Remember that if you roll up your sleeves and tackle a job, you are learning a valuable skill that can only grow. Whether it be furniture building, home renovation, decorating or crafts….I hope that you find some helpful and practical tips here that can save you money, inspire you to be flexible with your renovations and think outside the box when it comes to sourcing materials and tools. Happy DIYing y’all!