I have an interesting way to avoid needing an alignment from the shop whenever you work on parts that may upset the whole system. The one caveat is that the alignment has to be good or perfect before you start. In other words, the alignment when you are done will only be as good as the alignment was before you started the job to, lets say, change tie rod ends. It works for changing struts too. I don't have pictures so words are going to have to be enough to get the method across... Here it goes.
After you take your wheel off the hub, get your laser level out and secure it as best you can to the rotor, pointing at the inside cover of the wheel well. I taped mine secure with duct tape. Turn the laser level on and you should see a tiny but very clear and defined red or green dot (depending on your laser color) shinning on your inside wheel well splash guard. Take a nail or center punch and put a dent exactly over the laser dot. Proceed to change you tie rod ends or struts or whatever (without touching your steering wheel!!) and after you are finished changing the part, turn your laser level on again and "dial in" your "alignment" to exactly where it was before you started the work. There you go... Worked like a charm for me the last time I did my tie rod ends. I didn't want to pay the shop to align my car... I kept thinking, "my alignment is perfect right now before I start, how can I keep it there.... There must be a way..." Hope this helps.