Dry cleaning and a few other chores one can do just as well at home; how is the quality? Sometimes, one can decide that good enough is good enough; some services one may opt to skip completely; and for the rest… save it for a professional.
- Hair care; I cut my family’s hair, including my own. I decided that I would be ok with the occasional “oops!” for the return of saved time and money. (I used to color my hair too, but no longer want the chemicals, nor do I have the time.) I actually get compliments on my hair a lot, which tells me that I must be doing something right. https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cut-your-own-hair/ https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/cut-your-own-hair-short/
- Carwashes; we pay for it only in freezing weather (which is most of the time in Minnesota!) We wash our own cars as long as the hose works.
- Food Service; Yes, I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, because I used to spend so much money on restaurants and coffee shops! Can someone explain to me why? I much prefer my own cooking, anyway. And on rushed days–I can make a mean PB&J sandwich, and a travel mug of rich, dark coffee that makes my Spanish roots proud.
- Cable TV; ok, we have never actually had TV. You can watch or read pretty much anything online! Just to say, we don’t subscribe for TV, newspapers, magazines, etc.
- Carpet cleaning; We have a carpet steamer. With kids, that is an investment! In my perfect world, we will no longer have carpets, just a few throw rugs and cozy furs.
- Home improvement; we have never actually hired out, but I just thought I’d mention that we are personally responsible for all our painting, flooring, insulation, etc. That is part of home-ownership. May as well jump in the deep end.
- Lawn-care; in progress… We are so pleased with our friend who does our lawn, but we are working on having a riding lawn mower ready for the spring, as we really need to be saving where we can. We also handle our own trees.
- Dry cleaning; Totally DIY! (Spot clean first; Put your items in a zippered pillowcase with a wet washcloth with about 12 drops of essential oils–I like cedarwood with a hint of lavender; Dryer on gentle cycle for 30 minutes; Check for any mending, use the steamer if needed, and it’s done; minus the toxic chemicals of conventional dry cleaning.) Are you in love?
- Plumbing; you can trouble-shoot a couple things, but save most of it for a professional! Do I need to draw pictures?
- Electrician work; that is the job of a professional! ZZzzzzzttttT!
The more we learn to handle ourselves, the more we are prepared for life in general. Sustainability? Yes, we have our stores of supplies, which we add to every month. But, even more importantly, we are learning to take care of ourselves, rather than be dependent on society. This saves money, and is a vital step in preparedness.