5 money-saving home habits we came up with, along with ways to implement them...
Cooking at Home: To save the most, cut back on ordering in or going out to eat. For tips on home cooking, recipes, and advice, check out our sister site, the Kitchn. Just to get you started, we're linking to a few of their ideas for cooking at home on a budget: • Recipes for Vegetarians (and Vegans Too) • More With Less: Frugal and Budget Cooking • Cupboard Challenges (working with what you've got) • Cheap Wines for Tough Times • Could You Eat on $25 a Week?
Repurposing and Reusing: Before you buy something new, try "shopping" within your own home. Look for items that could have a second life as something else. For instance, Rachel transformed this tea tray into a magnetic board for her kitchen. For a few repurposing ideas from AT, see these posts: • 20 Ways to Reuse from AT:Chicago • House Tour: Rachel's Repurposed Mid-Century Place • Recycline: 10 Best Ways to Reuse an Empty Plastic Bottle • 10 Upcycled Uses for Old Things • Creative Reuse: Best of 2008
Cleaning and Organizing: A chaotic, messy apartment is loaded with spending traps. You're more likely to overspend when you can't find something, you have no clean laundry, or you just feel depressed about your home. Before you throw any cash at the problem, start with a clean slate. You'll probably find that what you really need is less, not more. A few starting points from AT: • Cleaning & Organizing Tip: Start with the Bedroom • 4 Steps for a Successful Closet Cleanse: S.H.E.D. • Tips, Tricks, and Tools: AT Cleans it All • Can Cleaning Your House Change Your Mood? • Clip File: 8 Great Cleaning How-To's
Thrifting and Scavenging: You know those people who always have a story to tell about how they scored an Eames chair on Craigslist for $20 or a set of antique silver at a garage sale for pocket change? You could be that person; it just takes a little effort and training. Begin your education in thrifting by reading these posts: • How To: Restore Thrift Store Furniture • How To: Collect Quality Furniture When You Don't Have Much Money • Flea Market Shopping with Eddie Ross • Craigslist Buying and Selling Etiquette • Clip File: 10 Thrifty Tips
Sewing: We learned the basics of sewing in our Girl Scout Troop, and those skills have paid off much more than the training we used to earn our horseback riding or campfire badges. With our very basic abilities, we've made everything from bedspreads to curtains to pillowcases, saving lots of money in the process. Our advice to learning a new craft is to start small and work your way up. Here are a few basic how-to's to begin: • How To: Sew An Envelope Pillowcase • How To: Make a Simple Bed Skirt • How To: Sew Lined Curtains • How To: Make Your Own Cloth Napkins • How To: Luxe Faux Fur Throw Photos: Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles from the Kitchn, Rachel's Repurposed Mid-Century Place, Cleaning & Organizing Tip: Start with the Bedroom, How To: Restore Thrift Store Furniture, Amy Butler's Midwest Modern