Update every room in your home with these smart money-saving decorating ideas!
You don't have to spring for new furniture to give the bedroom a makeover. Just update the room's centerpiece: the bed. Pick up a comforter or duvet cover, matching sheets and pillow shams that you find on sale.
From time to time, department stores such as JCPenney and Sears heavily discount curtains and blinds (up to 80 percent off!). Make friends with an employee and ask when a clearance sale will be taking place.
Watch for semiannual bedding blowouts to get deep discounts at retailers—many hold a Memorial Day sale. Smartbargains.com, overstock.com and similar sites are the best online sources for high-quality sheets (and other items such as comforters, towels and curtains) at low prices; check them regularly.
Rather than buy individual hand soaps just buy a large, inexpensive bottle of shampoo. Fill a pump container with half water and half shampoo and use as hand soap. Also you can use it as body wash and bubble bath. (Join the Sally Beauty Club for $5 to get discounts on hair products at sallybeauty.com and in stores.)
There is no need to spend on pricey bath products. You can save money by making your own body scrub. Just put 1 cup sugar
in an airtight container; pour in enough olive oil to cover. Add a few drops lemon or orange extract and stir. This homemade
scrub will keep your skin soft and smelling fresh.
A new set of colorful, plush towels perks up the bathroom. Find options at closeout stores, like T.J. Maxx and Big Lots, or at overstock Web sites, where you can get name-brand items for a fraction of the retail price.
Reduce spending on the kitchen basics and you'll be surprised how much money you can save. For example, extend the life of your kitchen sponge by tossing it in with a load of dishes in the dishwasher every couple of days or so. This will sanitize it and give you several additional weeks' use.
In addition to being a money-saving move, repurposing old T-shirts and cloth diapers as dishrags and cleaning cloths cuts down on waste, so it's better for the environment.
Stock up when the prices are low on your favorite grocery items. Toss them in deep freeze so they'll be fresh when you need
them. Buy shredded cheese in bulk when you see a deal. Sprinkle in cornstarch to prevent sticking, then freeze. Consider storing
herbs and spices and loaves of bread in the freezer, too, to extend their shelf life.
After the dishwasher's final rinse, open the door and pull out the racks. Let the dishes air-dry to save electricity.
New pillows can brighten a room, as well as hide stains on worn couches and chairs. Buy inexpensive pillow covers ($5 to $10 each) at stores such as Ikea or Bed Bath and Beyond for a quick update and splash of color from season to season.
Design a photo display instead of buying expensive art. Find affordable frames at a craft store, like Hobby Lobby, which sells frames for half off several times a year. Choose different sizes but the same color, and place them together on a wall.
Make your own cleaning solution for your floors. Pick up some wood floor restorer at a hardware store. Just mop it on your
floors to make them look shiny and new. One product to try: Rejuvenate floor restorer and protectant ($18; homedepot.com).