Why DIY Isn’t Always Frugal (or Green)

Let me start by saying that I LOVE DIY. No matter what I need around the house, whether its a cleaning product, decor, or skin care, there always seems to be an easy solution found online.

After all, as a mom with small kids, the last thing I want to do is run to the store mid-bathroom cleaning because I’m out of Windex!

DIY hacks have often been touted as a frugal and “green” alternative to store bought options, and I admit, have saved me money over the years, and I genuinely enjoy it…BUT there is a downside.

It turns out that DIY isn’t always frugal OR green.

Here’s why you need to pause before you try that next DIY life hack:

Buying in Bulk is Expensive

Often the supplies or ingredients you need are only available in bulk. That means you could be paying for way more than you could ever use, and more plastic packaging than you need.

If you’re ordering 2 lbs and only need a tablespoon, it might not be worth it.

Errors = Waste

Just like with trying new recipes in the kitchen, mistakes will be made!

Maybe you’ll overheat something. Maybe you’ll use the wrong amount. Or maybe you’ll do everything right and it still doesn’t turn out.

Either way, that’s your hard earned money going in the trash can and more waste going to the dump.

It May Not Be Safe

Skin care and cleaning products from the store go through rigorous testing before they can be sold, and there’s a good reason. Your health and safety is not something you should mess around with!

Just because something works well for one DIY blogger, does not mean your skin will react the same way. They also may miss important information, such as how to properly preserve it, or how it may interact with other products.

Your Time is Valuable

If you already have the necessary ingredients at home, DIY can often save you time.

BUT if you’re driving around to three different stores, and spending an hour on prep work, it’s definitely not!

Don’t undervalue your time (or gas budget) just for DIY.

How to Avoid the DIY Pitfalls

Despite the potential problems, there are ways to make DIY work for you:

Find Proven Recipes & Projects

Choose to follow blogs that have a long history of providing quality information and advice.

Chances are, these bloggers have put a lot of time and effort into their DIY posts, and want you to have a great experience.

Start Small

Always make a few small test batches before you go big. This will allow you to tweek the recipe and experiment with different methods, with much less waste.

And don’t feel the need to do it all in one day! Spend a few days using your test batches and see if you’re happy. If not, move on and try something new.

Do Your Homework

Before you begin, do a quick google search for each of the ingredients you’ll be using, especially for anything to do with your skin or hair.

Watch for warning and recommendations that may change your mind. It’s always better to be safe, than sorry.

Be Smart With Leftovers

If you’re stuck with extra supplies, look for other recipes or projects that use the same ingredients.

There’s a good chance you’ll find a clever way to use up those leftovers and avoid any waste.

To get some inspiration, check out my Pinterest board Frugal DIY Life Hacks.

What’s you favorite DIY project?

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