You can do it!

DIY options for thrifty, adventurous dwellers

As life continues to move faster and more things get put onto your plate, it seems a lot easier to shell out money than to do it yourself. But one look at your bank account may force you to rethink some of the spending habits that have become second nature.

Next time you are about to outsource a home or garden chore, ask this question: “Can I do it myself?” The answer may surprise you, particularly after you look to TV, magazines and the Web.

For instance, among many projects that aim to save money, shows the work of an inventive and desperate college student who created an air conditioner using an aquarium pump that pushes cool air through a tube submerged in ice water—all for around $30.

Another example: has many videos that give helpful hints on how to successfully grow your own produce. Taking care of a garden, watching produce grow and flourish, and being able to literally eat the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor will help put healthier foods on the table, save money and give a sense of accomplishment.

Need some skills and not sure where to start? Keep an eye out for classes, such as those at Meek’s Lumber & Hardware in Chico, which offers free instructional sessions every other month. Past topics have ranged from how to re-install the flapper on your toilet to fixing your water heater to replacing the hardware on your cabinets. For more information, call 342-1886—and start doing it yourself!