Frugal Home Repairs…

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Drip…Drip…Drip. Just the thought of that sound gets my hackles up! Recently, our master bathroom faucet started to drip. In a matter of a few days, the drip became a tiny stream.

Armed with our trusty Home Depot Repair guide, I looked through the plumbing section and found the section that applied. I headed off to Home Depot to buy a faucet puller.

Sometimes home repair manuals aren’t enough. Thankfully there are so many great videos on Youtube. These videos are often made by professional plumbers or tool/hardware companies. They can be a very valuable resource, especially if you are a visual learner.

This is the video that was the most helpful. Step by step directions, helpful tips, and it was realistic as to how much work it would take.

I am a DIY-er from way back, but even I know my limitations. Working as a team, we were able to take the faucet apart, install the new part and put it back together. Now it’s dripping a lot less.

The problem isn’t 100% fixed, but we’re still working on it. That’s the other thing about DIY home repair- Sometimes it’s not a quick 5-minute fix. Sometimes it’s a multiple-day, multiple trip to the hardware store, watching lots of Youtube videos, googling the same question in different ways.

This was the 3rd home repair I had tackled in the past 6 months. The other two were pretty easy, relativity speaking (replacing the flushing mechanisms in two separate toilets- both were different).

Here is my advice if you endeavor to tackle home repairs:

  • Google is your friend. Look up information before you get started.
  • Youtube can be a lifesaver! Check out multiple videos, especially videos made by professionals.
  • Check out the home repair book selection at your local library. While I linked to the book we used on Amazon, most branch libraries have all sorts of books on home repair.
  • Ask the dudes at the hardware store. The guy in the plumbing section of our local Home Depot told me he was a plumber, but he retired and picked up a couple shifts at Home Depot a week to keep busy. He gave me a bunch of tips, talked me through the process, and congratulated us on doing a job ourselves.
  • Hit up your tribe! Post a request for help on Social Media, shoot an email out to your peeps. You would be surprised how many people have done their own home repairs and may have tools to borrow, tips to share, or can lend a hand.

Talk Back: Are you a DIY Home pro, or are you intimidated by a toolbelt? Brag about your best home repair!

 

 

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It’s Friday… Time for Freebies!

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We’re starting off the year with a batch of pretty cool freebies and deals!

Samples:

 

Magazines:

Events:

 

Talk Back: Please share any cool freebies or free events! I love discovering new freebies and deals!

Freebie Friday!

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for some freebies!

Freebie Round-up!

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I haven’t done this for a few weeks and I have found a bunch of really cool freebies and events, so I have to share!

Free Personal Pizza at Chuck E Cheese’s– The pizza is a lot better than it was when we were kids!

Free Window Birdhouse at Home Depot– Check and see if your local Home Depot offers free kids workshop every weekend, a few of our local HD’s do!

Free Subscription to Town & Country Magazine

Free Subscription to Weight Watchers Magazine

Panera Members – Free Bagel Everyday in March

Free Solero Frozen Fruit Bars for Kroger & Affiliates

Free Kroger Tortilla Chips at Kroger & Affiliates

Free Chobani Greek Yogurt

Free Sample of SPLENDA Naturals Stevia Sweetender

Free Goody Bag at buybuy BABY Stores

Free Quick Start kit from Atkins (and $5.00 in coupons too!)

What’s your recent favorite Freebie?

 

Easy, Family Friendly Water Saving Tips

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You may have heard, California is in a pretty severe drought situation, which has led to some pretty severe water use restrictions.

As a California Native, I honestly don’t remember a time when we haven’t been actively conserving water. However, now it’s more important than ever.

How can you and your family help out? Like most things, small tweaks can lead to big  changes, especially if many people pitch in.  Here are a few examples of ways YOU and YOUR FAMILY can help out:

Fix any leaky faucets. It may be as simple as replacing a worn out gasket in the faucet. Depending on how many drips you count per minute and how many faucets you have that are drip drip dripping, you could be wasting up to 5 gallons of water A DAY!!!

Limit showers to 5 minutes or less.  I know take a long, hot shower is nice, but realistically, most ladies don’t need to wash their hair every day, and all that water is just going down the drain. If you need to relax, take a bath.  Once you are done… try the next tip.

Got kids who still take a bath? Once they (or you!) are done, scoop the some of the water out of the tub in a bucket (I like the 5 gallon Homer Buckets from Home Depot) and use it to water your lawn, houseplants, or even your garden. For more tips and info on how and when it’s ok to use gray water in your garden, check out this segment from KPBS Midday Edition.

Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. That seems like a no-brainer, but it really does save water!

Use the correct setting on your washing machine! If you don’t have a large load, remember to change the load size on your washing machine. Using Energy Star rated appliances will not only help you save electricity, but it will also help you save water! Read the washing machine  manual to learn about which water settings should be used.

Turn off the sink while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. You could save up to 8 gallons a day per person who brushes their teeth.

Consider removing your lawn. I know having a lush, green lawn is a source of pride for some homeowners, but now is not the time!  You can Xeriscape, which is where you pull out the lawn and replace it with decorative rocks or mulch and native, drought tolerant plants. It’s really pretty. And you’ll be saving tons of water!

Pick up some rain barrels. I know, I know, we’re in a drought! But it still does rain here from time to time. The City of San Diego has a rebate program for those who purchase and install rain collection barrels. For those of us who can’t install barrels, you can always set out buckets to collect water and store it appropriately.  We always set out a few buckets to collect water for our patio garden.

Take your car to the carwash! Most commercial carwashes use  recycled water, so taking your car to the carwash is a great way to conserve water. It’s a lot more water efficient- the average commercial carwash uses 30-50 gallons of water per carwash (and most of it is or can be recycled), whereas a DIY at home car washing can use upwards of 100 gallons of water!

Compost your kitchen scraps! Instead of running your garbage disposal (which requires water!) to dispose of organic waste (that includes food waste), start a compost pile/bin.  You can find small compost bins (including table top versions!) at Home Depot for those who don’t’ have a large yard (like us). In addition to most food waste, yard waste, newspaper, and cardboard can be added to compost piles/bins. You can learn more about composting here.

So, there are just a few ways you can be water wise. How do you like to conserve water?