The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the tag “save money”

Antelope Valley Inexpensive BoxBike Build

A boxbike (bakfiets) is a kind of cargo bike popularized in the Netherlands. They can be a really useful way to get around — and to move your stuff around – but they are also very expensive to buy (prices are in the thousands).

Here’s an inexpensive boxbike build tutorial by a member of the High Desert Cyclists Club of Antelope Valley, California:

S/he writes “I started this over two weeks ago and spent $50 total [my emphasis]. It took 2 complete bikes and one old long-john project bike to complete it. Many parts were re-purposed. Cantilever brake bosses were used for the steering linkage along with go-kart heim joints.”


How to Make Powdered Eggs

Here’s a video on how to make powdered eggs using a flour mill. The eggs are cooked in a nonstick pan, dehydrated and then run through a flour mill a couple times until powdered.

Teflon is nasty stuff, so I hope she uses a ceramic coated non-stick pan — and probably things would be more efficient in a dehydrator (store bought or rigged).

Apparently eggs prepared this way can be rehydrated to make scrambled eggs and other egg dishes or added without rehydrating to baked goods recipes and can last 5-10 years if stored in an airtight container.

How to Shampoo with Baking Soda and Vinegar

DIY “Air Conditioner” for Cheap

This “air conditioner” design uses a fan to force cold air out of a cooler stocked with ice. elliotdeg says it only cost him about $11 to make.

Make Fromage Blanc/Farmer’s Cheese

This is a fresh cheese, similar to Indian paneer (except that it isn’t pressed or cut into cubes). This recipe makes a luscious, spreadable, fresh cheese.

Chef John of foodwishes demnostrates how he makes fromage blanc with milk, buttermilk, salt and lemon juice. He notes that the ingredient amounts are crucial — you can view his recipe with exact amounts here.

Bike Trailer From A Hand Truck

“Anyone (in 10 mins) can create their own $30 very strong bicycle trailer out of an ordinary hand truck as a bike trailer.

Bruce Thomson in New Zealand explains in a slide show demo of many he’s made & used in the past decade. Also gives some ‘surprise tips’ on safety attaching and carrying loads. These trailers take almost no space to store.

Note: With years of hard work, the wheel bearings can fail, keep an eye on them for wobbly wheels, replace the wheels if that happens. With huge weights, the tubeless wheels shear their bolts going over a big, sharp pothole, so don’t put more than about 250kg while towing. Walking it is safer. ”

Converting A Lawn Into A Food Garden

Joanne in Northeast Seattle (she gets some help from the community) converts her front lawn into a food-growing garden. She talks about and shows us the various steps in the process.

DIY Boxbike (bakfiets)

DIY boxbike

DIY Boxbike from

Nick Johnson in Princeton, New Jersey details his build of a boxbike cargo bike. These go for thousands of dollars, so building one himself would have saved a lot of money.

He was looking for a bike that would allow him to transport groceries as well as let him get around.

He writes, “Sure, I could simply buy a trailer, but I don’t really like trailers. I had built a trailer back in my Virginia days, but I didn’t like how it affected the feel of the ride. The joint between the frame and the weight added an unsettling resonance to the ride, especially around corners. I wanted a design that offeres a more rigid ride.

The dutch have long ago perfected a design known as the Bakfiets (“box bike”) for transporting cargo. These literally are the SUVs of Holland; Dutch moms even use these to carry their children to school. I thought about it, and the design seemed perfect for my needs. In short, the design is a two-wheel bicycle, with a large cargo platform between a 20″ front wheel and the steering column.”

For materials for his boxbike Nick used steel piping he bought at Lowes, a scavenged child’s Huffy bike and scrap plywood he found in a dumpster.

Check out what Nick did here.

Chamois and Fan Swamp Cooler

Pepemapache writes:

“This video isn’t great but it shows in a very simple and cheap way how to make a swamp cooler at home. Get a shammie or its famous equivalent: a shamwow. Get it wet and place it in the back of a regular 20” fan that you probably already own or can be bought for cheap at any store.

The wet shammie will cool down the flowing air about 15° F to 25° F but ONLY if you live in a dry environment, like Arizona or some parts of California. It doesn’t work well in high humidity places like Florida or Georgia.

This is perfect when you have 100+° F outside temperature and your room or apartment is rapidly heating up, even with all those fans in the windows running at a 100%.

Now, remember, this is not an air conditioner. Do not expect air conditioner temperatures. It only cools down the air so your place isn’t burning hot when it is time to go to bed. Keep the shammie constantly wet so it keeps cooling down the flowing air.

This is a very cheap, energy efficient trick to cool down your room or apartment when it’s really hot outside. If you need more cooling power for a bigger place, just do the same in several rooms and remember to keep the shammie moist. Hope it works for you just as well it worked for me.

The What, How and Why of Sourdough Starter

From Wardeh Harmon in Oregon. She discusses the science and the benefits of sourdough:

No need to buy your yeast – the wild yeasts and lactobacilli in sourdough starter are everywhere in the environment, you just need to encourage them.

Sourdough breads don’t stale as quickly.

-Sourdough starter is more versatile and resilient than store-bought yeast (for example, sourdough starter can tolerate a wider range of temperature and ph than storebought yeast).

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