Sometimes it’s worth paying for convenience, especially if you are completely exhausted or stressed. However, regularly purchasing items for the sake of convenience when you could make them yourself wastes money. Many trendy items are particularly overpriced because they are popular and because they are convenient (not to mention that many of them have a wow factor when used for parties or as gifts), but you can cut costs dramatically and have the same affect by making them yourself at home. Many such items are actually fairly easy to make if you are willing to put the time in, and once you invest the time to learn (some of the items take hardly any time at all), you can use the items for parties or celebrations — all the while saving money by making them yourself. You will save money by making trend items yourself. Here are five such items.
1. Cake pops
If you’ve never had a cake pop, you’ve at least seen them at a party or online. The original use of cake pops was actually to use leftover cake, but cake pops have gained so much popularity that they are now often used in lieu of cake or cupcakes. Cake pops are fun because they come on a stick, but they are often more manageable than cake because they are small and compact. Some companies now even make cake pops with faces on them to represent popular movie or television characters.
As neat as cake pops are, they are also usually expensive if you purchase them from someone who will make them for you. Instead, you can try an at-home kit that you buy at the store (but these usually only make a few.) You can also purchase equipment in order to make them at home whenever you want. There are several cake pop makers on the market, and these might be worth the investment if you plan to make them frequently. If not, consider making them from scratch. You can find directions from Cake Pop Gallery here.
2. Cookies and specialty desserts
If you’re planning for a wedding or a huge event, you might want to pay someone to make you a giant cake or cupcake tower. However, if you just want to have a special desert for a party, or you want to surprise someone with a thoughtful gift (and the person enjoys sweets), there are many sweet treats you can make easily at home. Giant decorated cookies have become very popular as gifts over the past few years, but you can easily make cookies yourself at home. If you really want the wow factor, consider purchasing a basket for the cookies, and dressing them up with colored paper or ribbons. You can also find a recipe for Thick Cut-Out Cookies, like this one from Allrecipes.com. Fudge, truffles, and shortbread are three other desserts that are popular gifts but are pretty easy to make.
3. Fruit bouquets
Some people enjoy healthy gifts as well as cookies and cake pops, and shaped fruit bouquets have become very popular. These items are healthier than desserts, but just as cute. The fruit comes in several different shapes and designs, and usually come in a vase or other pretty arrangement. Fruit in general isn’t the cheapest food at the supermarket, but buying the fruit yourself and then shaping it at home will certainly save you money. All you really need to make these gifts at home are cookie cutters (or a knife if you are particularly talented), skewers, and the fruit itself. You can pretty your fruit bouquet by putting the skewers in a vase, or if you plan to keep the fruit for home (instead of giving it as a gift), consider just laying the skewers out on a baking dish. This snack is great for parties, or just as a fun enticement to encourage your kids to eat more fruit.
Flower bouquets are another item that many people purchase at the store for the sake of convenience, but that can easily be made at home. Flowers are more than just trendy; they will probably always be popular. However, Pinterest has an entire board dedicated to trendy flowers, and all the neat things you can make with flowers; there are many beautiful and unique items you can make with flowers. If you enjoy having fresh flower arrangements on your dining room table or around the house, flower arranging isn’t difficult to learn. Many people even purchase and arrange flowers for their weddings or celebrations in order to save money.
5. Clothing trends
Trying to keep up with the latest clothing trends is one of the easiest ways to blow all (or much) of your money. Clothing trends change constantly, which means that if you spend $700 on a pair of shoes this year, that same pair of shoes might be on a fashion faux pas list next year. Although you can’t make a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes at home, there are many fashion trends you can pull off yourself without spending a lot of money. For example, recently tie dye shorts have become very trendy. You could spend $30 or more on a pair of these at the store, or you could make them yourself. Frayed hems are also popular right now, and this is another item you can easily make at home using an old pair of jeans, shorts, or skirt.
There are many other trendy items you can make yourself; most things can be made at home if you are willing to invest the time and energy. Trends often change, so try to save a little money while you partake in the trend.
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