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12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Attempt in 2011

I think it’s good to constantly be learning and trying new things. It encourages creativity and it allows you to explore new areas and attempt new skills.

One of the things I’m going to challenge myself to do in 2011 is to try one new do-it-yourself experiment each month. (Stay tuned on Monday for my full list of personal goals for 2011 plus my new blogging schedule/plan.)

Instead of just having a broad goal like that, I’ve made it more realistic by choosing 12 specific do-it-yourself projects I want to attempt. All of the projects I’ve chosen are things I’ve never done before — some I’ve wanted to try for years. Others (like the sewing projects!) are things I’ve added to my list in order to help me step outside of my comfort zone.

I’ll be blogging about each experiment on the third Friday of every month so you can follow along with my successes and get a good laugh out of the flops. 🙂

Here’s my list:

January: Make From-Scratch Chai Tea

February: Make Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

March: Make Homemade Hamburger Buns (Anyone have a fabulous recipe to pass along?)

April: Make Homemade Laundry Soap (I did attempt this one time before, but it was with a pre-made mix someone gave me. So I’m going to try again — this time completely from scratch!)

May: Make Appliqued Flower Tee

June: Make Homemade Hummus

July: Make Freezer Jam

August: Make Homemade Soap

September: Sew a Rag Quilt

October: Make Homemade Apple Butter

November: Make Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

December: Make Homemade Marshmallows

Do you have any goals to try new things in 2011?

photo by Methyl Lives; CodeFin

Yesterday’s Walmart Trip: Spent $8.94, Saved $32.38

I stopped by Walmart yesterday to use up a few of my coupons which were expiring today. Here’s what I ended up getting:

1 Woolite All-In-One Carpet Cleaner — used free product coupon

2 boxes of Tony’s Pizza — used free product coupons they sent to me

1 box Kashi Go Lean Crisp cereal — $3.28, used $3/1 coupon from a recent Vocalpoint mailer = $0.28

1 small bag of cornmeal — $1.22

2 packages of Nasoya Egg Roll Wraps — used free coupons they sent to me (anyone have suggestions on how to use these other than Egg Rolls?)

1 package of Nasoya Tofu — used free product coupons

2 sets of pajamas — marked down to $1 each

2 shirts (not shown, but you can see a picture here) — marked down to $1 each

4.8 pounds of bananas — priced matched to our local store’s Thursday $0.18/lb banana deal = $0.86

Total spent: $8.94 (thanks to the tax!)
Total saved: $32.38

Walmart: Shirts and pajama sets for only $1!

I headed into Walmart today to use some coupons which are expiring tomorrow (I’ll share pictures and details of what I got in a separate post) and was so excited to find four huge displays which said “All Holiday Apparel $1”.

There were hats, gloves, socks, jewelry, baby onesies, slippers, sweatpants and racks of shirts and pajamas — all for just $1. Yes, some were very much Christmas-y stuff, but lots of the items weren’t, they were just packaged for Christmas (i.e. see the red ribbon around the pajamas above?).

I was especially excited to find ladies’ pajama sets for $1. They were originally $12 and marked down to $6, but I took them up to the register and they rang up as $1! If I weren’t a minimalist, I probably would have snatched up a dozen of them at that price!

I also found these cute tops for the girls for, yes, just $1. They were so excited about them, and I was thrilled at the price.

Have you found any amazing after-Christmas bargains?

Today’s Dillon’s Shopping Trip: Spent $9.25, Saved $31.97

1 box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal — $1.99, used $2/1 coupon (no longer available) = free

1 bottle Xtra Laundry Detergent — $1.99, used $1/1 printable coupon = $0.99

1 jug Minute Maid Orange Juice — used free catalina coupon which printed from our last shopping trip (Don’t ask me why, but every time we use my husband’s Dillon’s Shopper Card, we get great catalina coupons!)

2 cartons of Silk — reduced to $0.99 each

2 cartons of Almond Breeze Almond Milk — $1.50, used $0.55/1 printable coupon (which doubled to $1 off) = $0.50 each

1 International Coffee Creamer — $1, used $0.55/1 printable coupon (which doubled to $1 off) = free

1 Horizon Organic Milk — $1, used $1/1 printable coupon = free

1 Marie Callender’s Bakes – used free product coupon they sent to me

1 Excedrin — used free product coupon

1 Roast — reduced to $5.03

2 Jalepenos — $0.28

Total spent: $9.25
Total saved (according to my receipt): $31.97

I couldn’t figure out why my total was as low as it was, until I realized later that they ended up taking off the full product value on the free Excedrin and Marie Callender’s coupons, which gave me overage on my order since these were on sale.

You can see a complete list of Dillon’s deals here.