Author Topic: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?  (Read 29578 times)

jengod

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In the spirit of the small things to save money thread, what little things are you doing to make yourself more capable and independent?

I got out my power drill and drilled holes in the handles of a wooden spoon and a spatula so I could hang them on my kitchen utensil hooks. I was afraid I was going to split the wood, but I didn't!

rockeTree

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 02:19:13 PM »
Found the spare carpet tacks and fixed the loose carpet on the stairs (yesterday, actually, but very recently!)


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Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 06:00:37 PM »

 Made bread.


Helped friends who are moving home and business to a plot of land a couple of miles away clear brush and trees.


 Picked wild greens for salad.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 09:51:55 AM »
The *plan* is to solder up the piping for our bathroom remodel.  We shall see how it goes...

Shropskr

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 10:44:27 PM »
Started my worm bin.  Less garbage and food for my soon to be garden.

clarkfan1979

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 02:46:52 AM »
Spent about 4 hours total today grocery shopping and prepping meals for the week. High nutrition, low cost and low effort meals during the week really work for me.

Metric Mouse

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 05:52:51 AM »
Finished my continuing ed. hours for my EMT recert.

emilypsf

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 09:03:04 PM »
I finished and installed a closet organizer in my kids' closet.  It was my first carpentry-ish project, and it turned out great, so I'm feeling pretty proud.  The organizer allows us to move the dresser into the closet, making space for a twin bed instead of a toddler bed for our daughter.  We're hoping the much-requested bigger bed will convince her to 1) let her brother fall asleep in peace and 2) stay in her own bed all night so that we can all get some sleep.  We'll see...

Wintergreen25

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 10:09:19 PM »
I planted seeds in our raised beds - beets, turnips, lettuce, arugula, spinach, radishes, carrots, and parsnips.

jengod

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 06:29:11 PM »
I finished and installed a closet organizer in my kids' closet.  It was my first carpentry-ish project, and it turned out great, so I'm feeling pretty proud.  The organizer allows us to move the dresser into the closet, making space for a twin bed instead of a toddler bed for our daughter.  We're hoping the much-requested bigger bed will convince her to 1) let her brother fall asleep in peace and 2) stay in her own bed all night so that we can all get some sleep.  We'll see...

Whoo! Good work!

Tom Bri

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 07:22:20 PM »
Great thread topic!
Last year I made a solar cooker, but it isn't very efficient, can't boil water. So, today I went to my dad's house (he has a lifetime's worth of scrounged stuff, that he now will never use. I pay him back in odd jobs) and picked up a  big sheet of shiny aluminum. I am going to re-vamp my solar box to produce the fires of the inferno.
I also dug a pit in my garden to compost all the kitchen waste and to recycle paper.

jengod

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2016, 05:03:57 PM »
Got titanium-tipped drill bits and was able to install a window covering on the window in the back door (metal clad) ALL BY MYSELF.

The sun comes into the kitchen around dinner-prep time every day so I've been wanting this for about five years. I planted a tree to shade the house but it hasn't quite grown up to shade that spot yet.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2016, 05:39:44 PM »
Planted 34 broccoli plants, up potted the extra starts I have so they don't get root bound by the time I can give them to friends and family. Started two more trays of tomatoes.

rockeTree

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2016, 01:06:51 PM »
Inspired by jengod I drilled holes in all my garden stuff - hoe, edger, shovel, rake, etc so I could hang them up under the basement stairs. Put up a rack of hooks for them too. Thought I would need a shed in this new house but minimized my actual garden stuff and organized it well, saving thousands plus maintenance!


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OmahaSteph

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2016, 01:21:56 PM »
What a great thread!

This weekend I'm attempting to install an after-market hitch receiver on my Dodge Journey. I've watched the video, but I'm still not sure what I'm doing. We'll see!

ooeei

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2016, 01:34:25 PM »
Busted out the stones and sharpened my chef's knife a couple days ago, I've been lazy about it the last few years, but have been consistently once a month the last few months.  Makes all the difference during prep.

Not exactly money saving, but a good DIY skill to have. 

BrickByBrick

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2016, 03:00:13 PM »
My car's left rear signal light bulb burned out, $6 and a youtube video later I replaced it myself.  I am not a car guy at all, and tend to think car issues are automatically outside my ability.  Slowly learning that youtube is the ultimate resource.

sparkytheop

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2016, 06:55:25 PM »
Used up a bunch of carrots dug out of the garden (planted last year) by pickling them.  Hopefully they turn out good, haven't had them before.  I'm pretty sure if I don't like them, my son will, so no loss. 

ohsnap

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2016, 07:06:22 PM »
This week I started CERT training in my community.  25 hours of first aid, disaster preparedness, etc.  I'm already putting some things into practice (increasing my disaster water supply, first aid supplies, fire preparedness, etc.).  This class is offered in communities all over the country and it's FREE.  I'm only 2 sessions in (out of 7) but it's good stuff.

misshathaway

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2016, 12:50:27 AM »
Cleaned and sharpened the blades on my rusty push mower that hasn't been used in a good 7 years. All I did to sharpen the blades was run a generic tool sharpener over them. To my shock, when I tested it on my side yard, it cut the grass and was not as hard as I remembered to push.

Saved bringing it to get sharpened and will save bigtime on the lawn service which I cancelled last fall when I retired.

rockeTree

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2016, 03:50:49 AM »
Made a batch of beer, a batch of laundry soap, and a fancy cocktail, avoiding pricey craft beer, smelly and heavy to carry home pre-made, and decadent bar drinking (plus got to sit on the porch instead of in a lame bar).


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Metric Mouse

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2016, 04:02:52 AM »
Cleaned and sharpened the blades on my rusty push mower that hasn't been used in a good 7 years. All I did to sharpen the blades was run a generic tool sharpener over them. To my shock, when I tested it on my side yard, it cut the grass and was not as hard as I remembered to push.

Saved bringing it to get sharpened and will save bigtime on the lawn service which I cancelled last fall when I retired.

Going from having a lawn service to push mowing your own yard is a pretty big step! Awesome.

jengod

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2016, 12:14:15 PM »
Fixed the fridge door handle the kids broke using a YouTube video and an allen wrench. Total cost: $0. Bwahahaha!

Kapiira

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2016, 01:04:05 PM »
Figured out how to re-solder the wires in my son's $5 headphones.  Saved a few dollars, kept a usable item from going in the landfill, and now I feel more confident about soldering electronics.

VaCPA

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2016, 01:55:28 PM »
Planning to replace the inducer motor/fan on my furnace this weekend. The contractor quoted me $900. Part costed $140 and I expect it to take an hour or two, so definitely worth it.

Gimesalot

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2016, 11:02:22 AM »
Posting to add some out of left field things I do:

I took a dress I bought from ebay for $16 and finished custom alterations that make it into a $200+ dress for dancing.

I made alterations to shoes I bought at the thrift store.  They were $4 and after my alterations they will be comparable to $100 shoes in terms of quality of construction.

These projects are fun for me compared to all the house related projects I always have to work on!

Gondolin

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2016, 01:47:48 PM »
Successfully replaced the brake pads and rotors on my car. Probably not an optimal brake job but, it's an old car and the new set seems to functioning as well as the old so... YouTube really IS the ultimate resource!

Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2016, 12:41:41 PM »
Not me but husband:


Made and mounted a compound 16 foot beam of steel and treated lumber to span the outer edge of the porch in front of our courtyard - this will be the end support for the greenhouse-style roof that will turn that inset courtyard into an atrium. He has one more steel span, so one more compound beam to be made yet (this will go on the other side of the porch), but progress progresses. Meanwhile it gives the porch a more finished look.


Edited iPad correction, because life is more fun if you change "greenhouse" to "treehouse all the time. Stupid iPad.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 10:02:32 PM by Rural »

Fishinshawn

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2016, 02:41:52 PM »
I was jogged, while my son rode his bike, to school instead of driving.

jengod

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2016, 05:17:11 PM »
Learned how to use a post-hole digger and quick-setting concrete to install the post for our Little Free Library. I would also like to apply for extra credit from the Mustachian DIY Council because I am currently 7 months pregnant. [rosie-the-riveter-we-can-do-it-poster.gif] :D

DesireeD

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2016, 09:50:43 PM »
Changed the pcv valve and oxygen sensor on my sons car.

Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2016, 12:52:15 PM »
Learned how to use a post-hole digger and quick-setting concrete to install the post for our Little Free Library. I would also like to apply for extra credit from the Mustachian DIY Council because I am currently 7 months pregnant. [rosie-the-riveter-we-can-do-it-poster.gif] :D


That right there qualifies for extra credit on your course grade, not just the assignment. Well done.

brute

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2016, 12:54:50 PM »
Did some reading online and found out that sometimes you can get a toilet to stop leaking from under the fixture by tightening the nuts on the side. It worked, no more leak, no need to call a plumber.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2016, 12:56:31 PM »
Love the thread topic!

I weeded the garden some (but not enough, ha). Washed out some mason jars/old jam jars I got through Buy Nothing Group (not DIY so much as DIT- do it together- community building and all that!). I will use these for even more bulk food storage. Usually Costco rice or oatmeal, or a local roaster's coffee that we get.

Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2016, 01:37:39 PM »
Did some reading online and found out that sometimes you can get a toilet to stop leaking from under the fixture by tightening the nuts on the side. It worked, no more leak, no need to call a plumber.


True if the nuts have come loose a bit, but be careful not to overtighten - it is quite possible to crack porcelain.


If the leak comes back, it's actually pretty easy to replace the wax ring underneath. The hardest part is lifting the toilet and then setting it back down careful when the ring's replaced - don't want to jostle the bolts.


Given that you have a problem, you also might consider a more flexible gasket instead of a wax ring if you do get a recurrence. Something like this, though there are a number of brands out there: https://www.fernco.com/plumbing/wax-free-toilet-seal

brute

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2016, 05:45:34 PM »
Did some reading online and found out that sometimes you can get a toilet to stop leaking from under the fixture by tightening the nuts on the side. It worked, no more leak, no need to call a plumber.


True if the nuts have come loose a bit, but be careful not to overtighten - it is quite possible to crack porcelain.


If the leak comes back, it's actually pretty easy to replace the wax ring underneath. The hardest part is lifting the toilet and then setting it back down careful when the ring's replaced - don't want to jostle the bolts.


Given that you have a problem, you also might consider a more flexible gasket instead of a wax ring if you do get a recurrence. Something like this, though there are a number of brands out there: https://www.fernco.com/plumbing/wax-free-toilet-seal

Awesome advice, thanks! The nuts were a bit loose, and was careful not to overtighten, but if it comes back, I'll do the replacement. May as well give it a try myself, worst thing that can happen is I mess it up and have to hire a plumber anyway.

Tom Bri

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2016, 09:40:24 PM »
I planted corn, beans, chard, kale, beets, carrots today. The corn and beans are from saved seeds. Usually very good luck with saved seeds. The leafy stuff and beets/carrots are from bought seed.
Also, checked my bees. Both hives seem to be doing fine, making and filling comb.

Ceridwen

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2016, 06:38:30 AM »
I did some light sewing work on clothes this weekend.  Took-in the straps of a slip under a new dress of mine, and added some elastic to DD's sunhat chin strap so she could wear it another summer.

Fishindude

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2016, 06:57:31 AM »
We've been working on a big garden.
It won't save a ton of money, but you sure can't beat the quality of food and the convenience of having all of that produce right in the back yard.    Lettuce, spinach, green beans, sweet corn, radishes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and a few spices all right there.   A meal of that stuff alongside some of last falls deer or elk, is pretty darned good living off the land.

shelivesthedream

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2016, 07:03:36 AM »
The day before yesterday, I fixed the mudguard on my bike - and today I rode it and it worked!

I had lost one of the mudguard eye bolts that holds the mudguard onto the wire frame thingy a while ago, and I'd just been tucking it back under every time it sprang out for a while. I ordered mudguard eye bolts but my bike it a bit old and apparently a very non-standard size of mudguard hole so none of them fit. I kept riding it while I thought what to do (short journeys only, I walk most places), and every time I went over a big bump the wire frame thingy would jolt out and the mudguard would scrape against my tyres and I'd have to get off and tuck it back in, and I was thinking about just going back to the bike shop and asking them to replace the whole damn mudguard. Then I saw a friend had posted on Facebook about this "repair all" stuff called Sugru, which is a bit like Blu-tack in consistency but it 'cures' over 24 hrs to become like rubber. I bought a small pack and moulded it around the wire frame thingy and edge of the mudguard, joining them together. It was quite stretchy so I wedged the mudguard in the right place while it dried. I was convinced it wouldn't work, but it did! I'm really pleased that I didn't give up and that I figured out a solution and that my bike is a-OK again.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2016, 11:09:01 AM »
Replaced my sprinkler timer with a free after rebate wifi timer.  Today I'll finish putting in my drip irrigation and checking the sprinklers.  And I won't have to keep running into the house to turn areas on and off. ;)

Roboturner

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2016, 11:11:29 AM »
replaced the stem and packing on our outdoor water spigot. no more leaking water for cheap (and easy!)

DeltaBond

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2016, 05:01:24 AM »
Replaced ball joints and CV joints on my car - saved us a few hundred in labor.  You can fix anything with youtube and forums around.

brute

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2016, 08:33:57 AM »
Planning to replace bank 1 sensor 1 O2 sensor on my truck. Just have to actually find the part, first 3 places I called didn't have one

SomedayStache

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2016, 08:10:29 PM »
Ironed a section of my laminate countertop that was lifting up.  After the ironing I left some heavy books for 24 hours weighing it down.

 So far so good.  The bubble is gone.

glassgost

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2016, 09:00:21 PM »
I don't know if it made me more self sufficient, but reworking the interior of my work truck with some scrap I found by the dumpster made more efficient. More money per hour. Plus I got practice at shaping sheet metal.

Oh, and I learned how to slim Jim that truck after I locked my keys in it.

jengod

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2016, 09:13:05 PM »
* My mom helped me install a wall-mount Hills double folding clothesline on our patio. Now all I need to do is line-dry about 1,000 loads of clothes to make back my investment, LOL. :)

* Cut out some sink grout so I could clean out some mildew beneath it and will regrout in a couple of days.

Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #47 on: May 26, 2016, 12:08:04 AM »
Husband made the second compound beam for the atrium roof, though it's not yet mounted. I cooked food from actual unprocessed vegetables and etc. - apparently this is extremely difficult if not impossible if you listen to certain of my coworkers.


Also constructed quite a bit of an online course, a skill that pays better than cooking.

ketchup

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2016, 07:57:15 AM »
Sharpened my reel mower last night, and then mowed the back yard.  Holy crap, what a difference a sharp blade makes.

warmastoast

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2016, 08:10:18 AM »
Can I play catch up with what I've done in the last month??
1. replaced spark plug and carburettor gasket and cleaned out fuel supply for my very old lawn mower. Now it starts and keeps going. 
2. replaced the cartridge and diverter for the kitchen faucet - saving me ?$100 for a replacement faucet
3.  Installed attic baffles so that the air will actually flow up to the ridge vent
4.  spread ant killer on the grass - I know, I know I can't believe I was paying a pest control company about $30 a month to do such basic stuff.  BUT I hate cockroaches and I'd never seen one prior to living in Texas.
5. I make up my own all purpose gluten free flour - and I can now succesfully make GF tortillas for about $1 for six.  Udi's GF $6.  (Is this DIY?)