Category Archives: Frugal Tips

The Art of Re-gifting

It’s Christmas time and officially my most favorite time of the year.  I love putting up Christmas decorations, going to holiday parties and of course…shopping.  Even though I love the shopping, I always overspend every year.  It’s hard to get presents for everyone on your list and stay within your budget because you have so much to choose from and once the Christmas shopping bug hits you…it becomes hard to stay focused and as a result, it gets a bit out of hand.  There are sales everywhere…especially on Black Friday.  If you find yourself in this situation, then I suggest re-gifting as a way to cross some of those items off your list without having to sell your left foot.

Now I know that I’ve just made someone turn their nose up at the notion of re-gifting.  For some, re-gifting can be somewhat of a taboo thing….but I think if you do it tastefully, then it becomes a genius idea and most of all, you can save money, which is something that is so hard to do when it comes to the holiday season.

Below are some guidelines for Re-gifting:

  1. Only give new items. Never re-gift an item that has been used and make sure that the packaging is in excellent condition…i.e. re-wrap the gift.
  2. Never re-gift an item you wouldn’t like as a gift or that you feel the person wouldn’t like.  (No, that’s not the whole point of re-gifting)
  3. Never re-gift an item back to the person who initially gave you the gift, no matter how long ago it was.
  4. Beware of re-gifting clothing items. (Scarves, hats, gloves or similar items are acceptable as long as they have not been worn).

Re-gifting ideas:

  1. Gift Cards (very popular)
  2. Books, Cd’s, Electronics, etc.
  3. Art, Picture Frames, etc.
  4. Gift Baskets, Perfume or Cologne, etc.
Regifting is smart

As you can see, it’s not a hard thing to do….anybody can do it just as long as they do it tastefully and respectfully.   You don’t have to wait until the Holidays to re-gift, it’s a great idea that can be used any time of the year and most of all, it helps you save money and the person receiving the gift will be just as happy as if you bought the gift…..keep in mind, it’s the thought that counts.

Happy re-gifting!

How to Decorate your Space on a Budget

Want to decorate a space or room in your house but it’s not in the budget?  Do you desire for your space to look like those beautiful spaces that you see on HGTV or in decorating magazines but think it cost too much to copy? Don’t despair; you can achieve the space of your dreams without breaking the bank. All you need is a little imagination, innovation and some sweat equity. Small changes can yield big results. Chances are you can decorate your space for less than what you normally pay for a great night out on the town. Below are some great ideas for decorating on a budget:

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

With summer here, it’s time to spruce up those drab walls and add a fresh splash of color. Painting your walls is one of the cheapest things you can do, that will make the biggest difference when decorating your space. You can easily get a quality gallon of paint for less than $20 dollars.  Most spaces only require 1-2 gallons depending on the size of the room.  Don’t have the time to paint the entire room?  Painting an accent wall will yield great results at a fraction of the price.  With most hardware stores having hundreds of colors and style suggestions, you can be assured you’ll find the perfect color to fit your décor.

Change Bed Linens and/or add Accent Pillows

The next biggest change you can make when decorating or redecorating is changing the bed linens or adding accent pillows.  You can find great deals on bed linens at places like Wal-mart, Bed Bath and Beyond and Anna’s Linens. You can’t go wrong with the “Bed-in-a-Bag” ensemble, which is very popular these days and can be purchased for less than $50 dollars depending on the style and size of your bed.  It definitely gives you the most bang for your buck because it’s all inclusive.  Meaning it includes a comforter, sheets, pillow cases and shams, etc.  For those of you who are in love with your comforter, changing the color of the sheets/pillow cases and/or adding accent pillows is a frugal way to spice it up. Pillows can be purchase for $10-$15, or if you’re handy with a sewing machine you can purchase fabric from a discount fabric store and make your own pillows for way less.

Curtains

Curtains are the next best thing after changing your bed linens when decorating your space.  If your “Bed-in-a-Bag” ensemble came with curtains, then you’re in luck.  If it didn’t, you can easily make your own curtains from the leftover fabric you used to make those nice accent pillows. Great deals on curtains can also be found at discount chain stores or most thrift store carry a plethora of curtains and fabric that can be purchase for less than $10 dollars.

Add Accent Pieces

Adding accent pieces to a room gives it the finishing or final touch. Turn old photographs into a collage and put it on the wall or perhaps you’re great at drawing or painting something abstract.  The sky’s the limit when using your imagination.  You can purchase picture frames and even prints for little or nothing from chain discount stores such as Ross, T.J. Maxx or Marshalls.  Better yet you can get pictures, candle holders, plants and even fabric, etc. at thrift stores such as Goodwill.  Chances are you might even have some pictures and other decorative accent pieces in other rooms in your house that you can use in your new decorative space. It doesn’t take a lot of pieces to add the finishing touch.  A couple of candle holders, a little greenery and pictures will do just fine.  Less is better sometimes when decorating….it’s about finding a balance.

Decorating your space doesn’t have to cost a fortune just a little creativity. You’d be surprised at how you can make a big impact with a little money.  If you implement some of the savvy ideas above, before you know it, you’ll be on your way to falling in love with your space all over again.

What spaces have you decorated on a budget

Frugal Friday: 10 Great Uses for Baking Soda

TGIF….whew!  Welcome to the Frugal Friday edition of My Take on Money.  As you guys know….I love to shop in thrift and consignment stores.  I love a bargain!  Recently, I purchased a used dehydrator at Goodwill for about $6 bucks.  I brought it home and was trying to clean it, but the price, which was written in some sort of wax crayon, wouldn’t come off.  I scrubbed and scrubbed but it wouldn’t budge. I became so frustrated that I actually called the store, where I purchased it from, and asked them for a suggestion to get it off.  The lady kindly told me that if I used some baking soda with water, it would come off.  So I went to my refrigerator, pulled out the baking soda and tried it….and viola!  It surprisingly came right off!!!!  I could slap myself…why in the world didn’t I think of that? 🙂

Baking soda is very effective yet it’s so inexpensive and can be used in so many ways that we don’t even think about.

Below are 10 great uses for baking soda:

  1. Laundry – Add a cup of it with your regular laundry detergent to get cleaner and whiter clothes.
  2. Shoes – It gets scuff marks off of patent leather shoes
  3. Dental – It’s a great whitener and cleanser for your teeth.  Just add a bit to your toothpaste.  It’s also great for soaking oral appliances
  4. Cleanser – It’s a basic non-toxic cleanser for several uses around the house.  You can use it practically to clean anything.
  5. Deodorizer – Of course we know that it can freshen your fridge and keep those bad odors at bay. You can also use it as a deodorant for under your arms; just mix it with about ten drops of your favorite essential oil.
  6. Shine Tarnished Silver – Believe it or not, baking soda along with aluminum foil, some salt and hot water will actually remove the tarnish from your silver.
  7.  Hair – Massage a bit of baking soda onto your scalp to get rid of dandruff.  It also removes build-up.
  8. Antacid – Baking soda will soothe stomach acid, heartburn, gas, and other tummy issues quickly because its slight alkalinity can neutralize the acid causing the problem. Just mix a teaspoon into a glass of warm water and drink it down.
  9. Skin Softener – Dissolve some into your bath for a soothing and skin-softening experience.
  10. Treat Insect Bites & Itchy Skin – For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.

What other uses do you have for baking soda?