Many store-bought window cleaners have labels that list hard-to-pronounce chemicals as ingredients, but you don’t need that stuff to keep your glass clean. You can save a little money by making your own window cleaner. [More]
It’s easy to forget about a wobbly chair until a visitor gets stuck with it and highlights your incompetence with an offhand remark. If you’ve got a chair like that but have never mustered the time or will to fix it, maybe learning about how it’s done will give you the encouragement you need. [More]
You’ve spent hours sorting through paint sample cards to pick the color that seems just right, only to get home, slap some of it on your wall and decide it’s too light or dark. Instead of getting rid of the rest of your paint and starting over, you can make a tweak and nail the shade you were looking for. [More]
If you buy hair gel and feel as though you’re getting ripped off by paying good money for gelatinous crud that you could probably make yourself, there’s an alternative. With minimal time and effort, you can make your own gel, give it whatever French name you desire and slick down your mane while keeping your wallet intact. [More]
If you can’t stand 3D movies, you can usually see the film at a 2D showing and save yourself the surcharge. But occasionally, social and temporal mandates may force you into the theater for a 3D show. To prepare for such an occasion, you can tinker with a pair of 3D glasses so you can watch the movie in 2D. [More]
With a pair of hands, some raw materials and imagination, you can make a lot of things you’d otherwise buy. Your do-it-yourself projects may or may not measure up in quality to manufactured goods, but at least you’ll know whom to complain to if you’re not satisfied. [More]
When Kevin’s wife left him, leaving only her wedding dress behind, he got creative with the garment, starting a blog that led to a book deal. The uses he has found for the dress are incredibly diverse, ranging from a scarecrow to a sports sign, jump rope and hammock. [More]
While everyone who owns a car should know how to change a tire, the extent of some drivers’ knowledge on the subject is to pull out a phone and dial up roadside assistance. Learning how to do it yourself can save you from hours-long waits and unnecessary deductibles. [More]
Unless you’re the type of person who always ends up sitting next to me on airplanes, deodorant is a personal hygiene staple that can’t be ignored. While not particularly expensive, expert penny-pinchers and do-it-yourself-ers will be happy to learn that Mennen and Old Spice aren’t the only ones who know how to make magic stuff that makes you smell better. [More]
Debt Ninja reasons that many of day-to-die life’s seemingly built-in-costs are just the price of sitting on the couch and doing as little as possible. He meditated in his money-saving samurai way and came up with four things he could do himself that he routinely pays for. [More]
The kids over at Consumer Reports are working on their August kitchen-remodeling story and are finding that there is less emphasis on remodeling homes with ROI in mind. [More]
We’re gonna say “nope.” But since we’re all here, let’s look at the recent New York Times article over the subject and consider whether the current “chicken boomlet” is right for you.
Printing your own ersatz currency is legal, so long as you don’t counterfeit government notes, which explains Disney Dollars, Microsoft Points, Linden Dollars and the like. Matthew McDermott of the environmentalist blog TreeHugger points to localities and business that run successful operations that use their own currency, including Ithaca Hours in Ithaca, NY and BerkShares in Massachusetts:
Some PR person just sent us a notice about a new wallet-sized iPhone stand, which reminded us that there’s an easy and free alternative, and it most probably works for a lot of other (fairly thin) media devices as well.
Harsh chemicals aren’t just bad for you and the environment, they’re bad for your wallet too. Cleaning most things, from clothes to your kitchen, can be done greenly and cheaply with these six nifty do-it-yourself cleaning recipes from Consumer Reports…
To make sure you’re paying the right amount on your monthly water bill, you should know how to read your water meter and compare it to the amount your utility company thinks it should charge you. As several readers pointed out previously, in some cities you can even do your own meter reading and call in the number each month. “But how do I read my water meter?” Here’s how.
Here’s hoping for everyone’s sake that some Warbucks type buys up Consumerist, lavishes me with gifts, and allows this great blog to continue. But even so, it never hurts to know about other online services out there. GetSatisfaction.com is a kind of crowdsourced customer service forum where anyone can post about any product or company, and where companies are encouraged to join in. Since the content is grouped around those products and companies, it’s easy to drill down to relevant topics, or to find people who can help answer that customer service question you can’t seem to get resolved. Here’s a sample page on Comcast. That’s right, my first entry as a substitute Consumerist editor today and I’ve already mentioned Comcast.