How We Save Money with Google and YouTube

posted by Andrea | 07/11/2013

how we save money with google and youtube

If you’re reading this blog post right now, I’m guessing that you are internet-savvy enough to know what both Google and YouTube are.

Google (the all-powerful internet search engine, founded in 1998) and YouTube (the crazy popular and free video-sharing website, launched in 2005) have both dramatically changed the way we find information, the speed at which we find information, and the amount of information we find.

How many times haven’t you heard or said “just Google it” or “look it up on YouTube” in response to a question?

If you’re like Dave and me, probably A LOT!

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We both utilize the mass amounts of FREE information available on Google and YouTube to help us answer questions, solve problems… and save a whole bunch of money by figuring out how to do things ourselves instead of paying someone else to do it for us!

For example…

Last month, Dave used information he found on Google and several different YouTube videos to figure out how to install our fencing — something neither one of us had ever done before. This saved us a cool THREE GRAND by not paying Lowe’s or Home Depot to do the installation for us.

I’ll keep that $3000, thank you very much!

And just last week, we watched a few more YouTube videos explaining how to install and repair different types of underground irrigation – and two days later, Dave had fixed a handful of our current sprinklers and added a new line of sprinklers to cover one of our new planting areas. This easily saved us about $400 based on a quote from an area irrigation company.

sprinkler

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Over the past years we’ve saved our pennies and dollars by fixing smaller issues with our lawn equipment, vehicles, furnace, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

We’ve also been able to search for (and find) most of the manuals, instructions, and information for the items we buy used (that rarely come with paperwork). This has saved us tons of money — not only because we can buy used products over new — but also because we don’t have to pay someone else to help us fix any issues that may arise.

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I’ve used Google information and YouTube videos to figure out blogging issues that would have otherwise cost me hundreds of dollars to pay someone else to do for me. I’ve found free sewing patterns for projects like Nora’s quilt and some of my curtains at our old house. I’ve utilized that mass amounts of free recipes and cooking demonstrations to learn new kitchen tips and eliminate the need for expensive, bulky cookbooks.

I’ve even used YouTube to help me figure out how to use some of our baby equipment (like the used Moby Wrap I got at a garage sale and had NO idea how to wear!) After watching a couple quick videos, I was wearing my $3 garage sale Moby Wrap like a champ and enjoying my $45 savings!

wearing the moby wrap

Searching on Google and YouTube is almost always the very first thing Dave and I do when we have a question, a problem, or want to learn more about something… it’s become second nature, and we are rarely left without an answer (or multiple answers.)

Yes, Google and YouTube provide tons of valuable information on almost any subject matter — but they also have the potential to provide huge cost savings to anyone willing to be brave and try “doing it yourself” every now and then.

I know I’m amazed how much we’ve learned, and how much money we’ve saved thanks to Google and YouTube — and if WE can DIY, there’s a pretty good chance YOU can too! 

Have you ever saved money as a direct result of using Google and/or YouTube?

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25 comments

  1. Kristia

    07/11/2013

    We came home from a vacation last year and when I went to do all of that vacay laundry, our washing machine didn’t work. The machine is 13 years old and my first thought was that it was getting too old, but when we googled the problem, we found a video to help us fix it. I just needed to order a part from Sears. It was $40, but beats buying a new washing machine.

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  2. Kim

    07/11/2013

    Just recently, my husband found a YouTube video on how to make a backyard fire pit for about $100. We were both amazed! He had looked at the kits at Home Depot/Lowe’s and they go for about $250…so just by watching this video, we will be able to make one for the house we are currently renting for only $100. We don’t plan on staying for longer than 3 years, so we will get good use out of it and then won’t feel bad leaving it for the next tenants.

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    Francine Reply:

    Hi, Kim! I’ve been thinking of DIYing a fire pit myself – would you mind sharing the link, since it seemed to work well for you guys?

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  3. zoa

    07/11/2013

    Hi,
    I usually search in Youtube and Google for everything. I’ve repaired many things that way.
    Actually my boyfriend repaired the washing machine door that way. (It couldn’t be closed)

    BUT I recommend to be very careful with any information on the Internet, because I’ve seen a lot of wrong things.
    Maybe it’s not a big deal with a fence, but it is with electricity and chemistry. Any electrical appliance can be dangerous even unplugged, making home-made soap, house cleaners, or even jam without some knowledge about it can be really dangerous.

    My cousin changed the oil in his car, but did it wrong, and something exploded (sorry, I don’t remember what exactly). And he was lucky because he just broke his car and no one was around

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  4. Jen

    07/11/2013

    All the time! My husband was able to fix our dryer and build a really nice set of steps for our back door using Google and Youtube. I learned how to frost cupcakes on Youtube, too.

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  5. Aa.

    07/11/2013

    I learned how to do some hand made gifts and I did them! That saved me some money, of course! Also, you can compare prices and decide easier how to buy and you can read reviews so you save yourself from spending money on items that won’t work well for you.

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  6. Deb

    07/11/2013

    The trunk latch on our van got broken and the dealer wanted a LOT of money, so we looked it up on You Tube and my husband fixed it for free with a screw we already had laying around. Still works 5 years later. It is always a good place to start and sometimes you learn from google what cannot really be fixed or what NOT to do. ;)

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  7. Lisa

    07/11/2013

    Just learned this recently and found a youtube video to build a pool cover pump with a soda bottle and a piece of garden hose…. it worked….and I saved $100 buying a new pump that we use once a year!!!

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  8. Diane*

    07/11/2013

    I used You Trube to try and fix a problem at the kitchen sink. While there is undoubtedly mega savings involved doing it yourself, it really stresses me out because it just adds to the dismal job prospects. More and more jobs are taken away every single day. I see it in my own family. Just had to put my two cents worth in.

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    Andrea Reply:

    I guess I see where you are coming from — but at the same time, if we didn’t figure out how to do many of these things ourselves, we just would NOT have done them. Either way, we wouldn’t have spent the money to pay someone else to do it for us. Maybe we’re just cheap though :)

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    Deb Reply:

    There are always people willing to pay for ridiculous services, my parents are a prime example. We pay for nothing and they pay for EVERYTHING and I do mean EVERYTHING, didn’t even know you could pay people to do what they pay them to do, so I think we even out! ;)

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    Luba Reply:

    Yes, I agree with you Deb. Once someone told me they were having a water heater delivered *AND* installed. They were people that claimed not to have much money at all. Go figure?

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  9. Organize 365

    07/11/2013

    :) YouTube was how we learned to set the RAT traps when I had a RAT living in my car!

    :)
    Lisa

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  10. Dallas

    07/11/2013

    I also save money by using YouTube for yoga/fitness videos instead of buying fitness DVDs. Every little bit helps!

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  11. Heidi

    07/11/2013

    Diane — I agree with you to a certain degree, but I know if I am looking online for a way to fix something it means I do not have the money to pay somebody to fix or replace someting. No money lost to repair professionals because I didn’t have the funds to pay anyone to begin with. It means we would have watered our yard with a hose if my hubs hadn’t figured out how to fix it himself.

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  12. Melinda

    07/11/2013

    Love this post! We do the same thing with Google & YouTube.

    If you don’t mind, I would like to add one more internet site that we use for free advice. It’s Craigslist Forums. They are forums where people offer all kinds of advice on many different subjects. We just used the automotive forum this weekend to get help on removing and installing a radiator plug on my husband’s service van. That saved us hundreds of dollars, because with their help, my husband did all of the work and the part only cost us $4.

    Yes, there are people on there that are just looking to give someone a bad time, but if you can get past those few, it’s a great resource for offering/receiving help. Ex: I posted on there one time that I needed help with fixing the blinker on my Toyota. Someone responded by asking me why I’d own a Toyota. Pretty worthless post by them, but others chimed in and helped me fix it.

    Another great post Andrea!

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  13. Ann

    07/11/2013

    I use Swagbucks as my search engine, because it awards me with POINTS, for something I am doing anyway. When you earn enough points, you can redeem them at the SWAG STORE!!!
    So far, I have “won” 44 FIVE DOLLAR GIFT CARDS FROM AMAZON!! That is $220 that I got for doing what I would have done anyway…searched the internet for information!!

    Another cool thing, I invited a friend to join Swagbucks & she did. Then, whenever she “won”,
    I won also- up to the limit of 1000 points per friend. So I was earning my own points, but also
    winning extra points when she got points! YAY!!! I would be glad to invite you to join, TOO!

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  14. Liz

    07/11/2013

    Isn’t it a great thing to have a “handy man” who is also your husband?! My husband has used YouTube for a variety of reasons to fix things and/or put things together around the home, which in turn has saved us A LOT of money. :)

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    Andrea Reply:

    Well actually Liz, Dave wasn’t handy at ALL when we were first married. We had to ask or look up how to do everything — but it’s paying off and we’re reaping the benefits of being more handy :)

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  15. Lori

    07/11/2013

    We installed a wood floor in our kitchen and when we reinstalled dishwasher–we had run a tube low instead of high which we figured out watching a youtube video and then figured out how to drain the dishwasher by watching another youtube. We were so grateful! We even watched a few videos before installing the wood floors. We have definitely saved money using these free videos.

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  16. Karin

    07/13/2013

    On the flip side, my husband and 19-year-old son earn credits toward purchases on automotive websites by posting video how-tos that they make.

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  17. Andrea

    07/16/2013

    Andrea,
    I’m sure there are a bajillion videos about how to build a fence…Yours looks fantastic by the way. Would you might distilling the offerings down to the ones that were the most helpful for you? Links would be immensely helpful.

    Thanks so much!

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  18. Tshanina @ Thrifty T's Treasures

    07/18/2013

    We had a leaky kitchen sink and I figured out how to fix it via a YouTube video. Needless to say, I was quite proud of myself when the project was complete!

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  19. Jacqueline Morris

    08/14/2013

    I loved your post! I don’t know where I would be without Google and YouTube. “Just Google it” is the first thing out of my mouth when I need to fix something or figure out how to do something. Just the other day I had to self-install Comcast services in my house. I was not paying the crazy fees and waiting on them to come do it. Now, it is supposed to be an easy thing to do. It turned out not to be. Apparently the signal wasn’t coming to the box. So I YouTubed it. Watched a video and made sure all the connections were hooked up right. Then I thought to go outside and check the wires on the side of the house. Apparently my last service provider had cut the lines. So I figured out what wires go to what and connected the wires myself. All it takes is not giving up and a little Google or YouTube. My brother has also used YouTube to fix issues with his smartphone.

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  20. 10 Ways Thrifty People Landscape - Snail Pace Transformations

    09/06/2013

    [...] from the children. If my husband doesn’t know how to do it he consults the internet for help (youtube is wonderful)  or the local library for books. Both sources are free. My husband also likes having a small [...]

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