Category: Home Improvement

DIY the Frugal Way

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How To Move With A Baby (Without Losing Your Stuff Or Your Sanity)

We are officially moved into our Vermont homestead at long last! I’m immensely delighted (super delighted? supremely delighted?) to write this from our porch, gazing out on our apple trees–which are just beginning to blossom–listening to the distant sounds of a hooting owl, running streams, and Frugal Hound chasing squirrels in her sleep (some things never change). Although spending weekends here for the past five months gave us a taste of homestead life, being moved in...

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Revenge Of The Appliances: A Tale Of DIY Mishaps And Triumphs

And then there are the times when DIY goes awry. Lest you think we’re some sort of home improvement mavens following our recent self-taught plumbing escapade, let me disabuse you of that notion post haste by telling you the tale of our oven. And our refrigerator. And our closet door… An Oven Obituary Right on the heels of our frozen and burst pipe, the Frugalwoods oven decided it was a dandy time to cease operation. Mr. Frugalwoods...

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Extreme Frugal Insourcing: Repairing a Frozen and Burst Pipe with PEX

Have you ever wondered if there’s a surefire way to get your pipes to freeze? Well, wonder no more! You’re in luck because Mr. Frugalwoods and I have uncovered this miraculous and amazingly practical wisdom! All’s you have to do is go out of town on a weekend when the temperatures are predicted to be sub-zero. And presto! You’ll return home on Sunday night to the glory that is frozen pipes. As I previewed in our February...

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My Quest For A Clutter-Free Life

I’m currently experiencing a simultaneous nest and de-clutter phase. While half of me is wholly dedicated to arranging, assembling, and acquiring hand-me-downs for Babywoods, the other half of my manic pregnant brain recently declared war on junk. I’ve become a one-woman chaos annihilator. Let’s preface this with the fact that I’m admittedly the worst minimalist out there. This has become increasingly obvious as I befriend actual, real-life minimalists like Cait from Blonde On A Budget, who got rid of 75%...

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The Great Homemade Seltzer Discovery of 2015

Sometimes frugality is about giving stuff up. Other times, it’s about being clever. Mr. Frugalwoods and I are known seltzer addicts. Indeed, we can scarcely make it through a day without our bubbly water fix. And we have zero intention of ever giving it up. Pure, unadulterated seltzer (just water and gas, no sugars or flavors) is a luxury we’ve decided to incorporate into our extremely frugal lives. Would it be cheaper for us to...

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11 Frugal Hacks to Stay Warm and Save Money This Winter

Have you turned your heat on yet? After I divulged that Mr. Frugalwoods and I haven’t–and likely won’t until November–I received a number of comments and emails from readers asking that I share our methods for thermostat abstention. We adore the shoulder months of fall and spring when we live totally sans climate control. Heating and air conditioning are money drains and we save a bundle by flat out not turning ours on. Summers are rather mild here in Cambridge, MA...

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How To: Cheap Homemade Seltzer with a Modified Sodastream

Oh seltzer! Tasty bubble water of the gods. Once you’ve tickled your tongue with this crisp and refreshing remake of boring old water, you’ll never go back. Our march towards a franken-seltzer machine started innocently enough. In college (as our romanced was blossoming), Mrs. FW and I drank prodigious amounts of the cheapest diet soda we could get our hands on. It was really awful, off-brand stuff. Think diet strawberry shasta… and you’ll get the picture. This...

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How to Replace Exterior Window Trim

Welp, we had some rot. Specifically, the trim around one of our exterior windows was rotting away. How can you tell if window trim is rotting away? It feels like a sponge when you poke it. Wood is not supposed to resemble a sponge. Since winter is coming (don’t laugh, we have embarrassingly short summers!), Mrs. Frugalwoods and I are trying to knock out a few needed projects on the exterior of the ol’ Frugalwoods home and...

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12 Ways to Get a Steal on Craigslist

When we bought our house two years ago, we had essentially no furniture. To give you an idea, I’d made my previous dresser out of cardboard boxes–so, we were faced with a pretty blank slate. Solution? Craigslist, make our own, garage sales, and the side of the road. But most especially, Craigslist–the font of incredible used goods. If you haven’t purchased new furniture recently (or ever), take a gander at the prices. Go ahead and look. Mortified? Horrified? I...

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7 Ways to Become A DIY Hero

Is your toilet making an ominous gurgling sound? Front door lock getting harder and harder to turn? Perhaps your doghouse lost a shingle or your light-switch no longer switches. The normal (non-FIRE) busy professional will confidently tell themselves, “Self, you’re important and have a full-time job!  It’s not worth your time to try and fix that. Plus, you’re a klutz and what if you make it worse?” Not worth your time. That’s a funny phrase. You’ll see people do...