The $20 Challenge is a great way to get into DIY

The $20 Challenge is a great way to get into DIY

The $20 Challenge has been going on for 3 weeks now, and at the risk of sounding overdramatic (admittedly in a post about nut milk), I feel like it’s helping me be the person I’ve wanted to become.

I’ve never been crafty. The extent of my craftiness is attaching old spice tins to my refrigerator with magnets to hold dry-erase markers and straws. And I felt such immense pride for that!

My DIY capabilities extend only as far as essential oil scrubs.

I’m afraid to use power tools; I don’t paint; I don’t stencil and I don’t sew.

One of my favorite sayings, though, has always been “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” I think because I have always secretly wished that I knew how to do all those things — to stretch a dollar.

When you’re living on $20 a day, let’s face it: Sometimes you have no choice. THY MUST DIY.

Twice now during The $20 Challenge I’ve made my own nut milk using this recipe from Deliciously Ella. When I ran out of my favorite coconut milk a couple weeks ago, I decided not to re-buy because no one else in the house drinks it and one of the unwritten rules of The $20 Challenge is that in terms of groceries, I’m try to purchase only items that we ALL enjoy. So I made my own nut milk! (Is that DIY or just cooking? I don’t think it matters — it was delicious and I used up every last drop.) I feel accomplished; I saved about $10 over the course of 2 weeks and I used up the nuts that were collecting dust in my cabinet.

I’ve been patting myself on the back for other changes, too: I know it’s not good to store food in plastic, so not only did I somehow suddenly find the time to make two batches of nut milk but I also transferred five types of dry goods from their plastic bags to my favorite glass storage containers. I reorganized my fridge so that the produce is front and center and leftovers and less healthy items are hidden in the “crisper” drawers where usually things go to die. I’ve spent more time de-cluttering my unused basement space, trying to figure out what I want to do with it.

How is all of this happening? Why do I suddenly have more time, not just more money? Were we really spending THAT much time running useless errands, spending too much and coming up empty? I don’t know if that’s a happy or sad realization, but I suppose you have to be grateful for where you were, because it dropped you off right where you are now.

I’m so glad I started The $20 Challenge. Sometimes change feels like it’s going to hurt, but when you rip the Band-Aid off, what’s underneath is already healed.

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