Instructables for the Extreme Cheap Lifestyle

By Xin Lu on 1 February 2008 (Updated 18 August 2011) 4 comments

I am a pretty early adopter of Instructables because one of my ex-coworkers is
the fourth or fifth employee there. Previously I compiled a list of Instructables that help people save money and energy , and today I shall highlight some interesting instructables that would delight any extreme cheapskate. As with all Instructables you should try these at your own risk, and some of these require you to have no shame.

1. Super Cheap Mousepads - Too cheap to buy a mousepad? I found two different instructables on making super cheap mousepads for under $1 a piece. The first employs transparencies and sand paper , and the second uses wax paper .

2. $10 Bed made out of boxes - I love how the author of this instructable put in a step called "hiding the shame". If you want to be an extreme cheapskate you certainly need to shed some pride and be shameless.

3. Free or super cheap hardwood - I guess if the guy in the previous instructable read this instructable he could have made himself a bed out of hardwood. This is a good tip for people who are handy and could make their own furniture out of wood.

4. Homemade air conditioner - I am not sure how well this air conditioner works, but it sure seems like a cheap alternative to installing a brand new air conditioner in your house.

5. Cheap designer lampshades - This is a very cool instructable that teaches you how to make designer lampshades out of plastic or paper modules. I have seen lights like these sell for a pretty penny in places like Design Within Reach. So if you are a cheapskate with an itch for interior decorating this is the lesson for you.

6. Free and cheap food - What do extreme cheapskates eat? Well, ramen of course . Then there is cinnamony baked garbage from this instructable. I am not sure if these guys are freegans , but their directions for finding discarded cinnamon roll dough in the garbage and then baking it is quite a riot. This is definitely a personal favorite of mine and the photos on it were taken by my ex-coworker

7. $5 burglar alarm - This is an excellent video instructable on how to create a cheap door alarm with household items. It never hurts to try to protect all the ultra cheap gear you poured so much hard labor into.

8. Build a taser for free - Suppose the $5 burglar alarm sounds off. What can you do? A homemade taser may help ! The instructable tells you how to make a defensive weapon out of a discarded camera.

Instructables is an extremely frightening and fascinating website that can occupy your mind and hands for hours. Like any other information that is from the internet, please exercise caution and restraint when you go through Instructables. Have fun!

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Guest's picture
Minimum Wage

Do they have any instrructables that DON'T require video???

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

erm.. most of the ones I listed don't have video.

David DeFranza's picture

I also love instuctables. It is a great place to go if you are convinced you can make a better product than those available in the store. Two of my favorites are the tyvek wallet and this album cover notebook.

Guest's picture
IO

I loved the Duct Tape Roses. I made a dozen of those in multiple colors for my friend last year and she loved them!