How to (Re)Decorate Your Apartment on a Dime

Have you just moved into a new place that you would love to decorate?Have you been dreaming about redecorating your apartment but you aren’t sure if you really have the time or the money to do it? Does your apartment still feel reminiscent of your college dorm room? Never fear! You can decorate or redecorate your apartment on a small budget, check out these tips to help you get started:

  • Get Inspired: Start out by finding some photos of rooms, apartments or items that you like. Check out Pinterest or Apartment Therapy for ideas. Apartment Therapy has a great section on Decor Styles that offers examples of different styles so you can hone in on yours. You might also want to go out to some furniture stores, like Ikea, if you live close by so you can get a feel for different spaces that you like.
  • Start Small: If you are on a tight budget it may be best to start small. Pick out one room that you want to (re)decorate and imagine what items you would like to add to it. You don’t have to completely overhaul the space. Shifting the furniture and adding a touch of color with paint, new lamps or window treatments may be all that you need. Pick the space, and figure out the things that you would like to change.
  • Set a Budget: Next, set a budget and be stick to it. You would be surprised how much you can do with a small amount of money if you are careful about. Get some ideas for inexpensive DIY projects that you can take on. Check out Better Homes and Garden’s Ideas to steal for your apartment, HGTV’s 15 budget decorating tips, apartment therapy’s 25 DIY project that cost less than $50 and Budget DIY tips for stretching your project dollars.
  • Get Shopping: Now is the perfect time to hit garage and estate sales while the weather is still warm. Check out Goodwill, Freecycle, Craigslist and other thrift stores in your area. You will be surprised what treasures you can find.
  • Need a Little More Help? That’s ok! Apartment Therapy has the Style Cure to help you redecorate a room over a month. They will send you an email each day with a specific assignment to help you keep on task. Best of all, it’s free!

You can (re)decorate your apartment on a budget! So stop pinning photos on Pinterest and get moving! 🙂

Join the Conversation: What apartment DIY projects have you tackled?

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Frugal Fashion: Thrift Shop

One of my favorite songs on the radio is “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis because it is so catchy and it has a really great overall message – you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good! A few weeks ago, I went thrift shopping with a friend and had a wonderful time. It is amazing what kind of clothes you can find with such great prices!

I absolutely love fashion, clothes, and accessories but I have found ways to express my love for fashion in a frugal way. I am overjoyed to offer you a few tips on fun and frugal fashion this week. Whether you’re a budding fashionista or you could care less about fashion, I hope that you will find a few helpful tips about shopping and keeping your style in tip top shape!

  • Get Inspired: Fashion magazines, websites, and blogs are great inspiration for reinventing your style and your closet. Lucky Magazine is all about shopping and the subscription is very cheap. For online inspiration check out frugal-fashionistas or The Fab & Frugal blog.
  • Reinvent Your Closet: If your style feels flat and you’re out of money the best thing to do is to take some time to sift through your closet. How many new outfits can you create by mixing and matching some of your old pieces? You may even find that gem that stuck in the back of the closet!
  • Tailoring: If you really enjoy an old piece of clothing or a pair of shoes it is often easier to get them repaired than buy new ones. Just make sure to find a good tailor and/or cobbler.
  • DIY: Update something old. Put new buttons on an old jacket. Dye your old jeans. For inspiration check out these DIY fashion blogs. I recently added some sparkle to one of my dresses using a silk sash and vintage pin that I already had in my closet.
  • Real Vintage: There is always talk of “vintage” style, instead of investing money in “vintage” clothing why not scour some of your mother or grandmother’s old clothes and accessories? Some of my favorite jewelry came from my great aunt; it is fashionable and it tells a story.
  • Clothes Swap: Clean out your closets, grab some friends and have a clothes swap. Your old clothes will find new life and you might just find a new treasure!
  • Borrow: In college I had an “open closet” policy, many of my friends borrowed my dresses for dances or dates. If you have a special event coming up, consider borrowing instead of buying new and encourage your friends to do the same.
  • Invest In Quality: Although it can be alluring to buy a lot of pieces from a cheaper clothing store, instead of just a few from a more expensive store it is often better to invest in quality over quantity. Invest in quality, versatile pieces that you can reinvent for any season. Then you can buy a few, cheaper, seasonal pieces.
  • Sales: My mom is a fantastic shopper and her cardinal rule is to beeline for the sales, you can see the other items when they go on sale. Collect coupons, many stores will let you combine deals just keep an eye on the small print. Limit yourself to shopping during big sales, just be careful not to overbuy.
  • Thrift Shops: Thrift/Second Hand Stores can be hit or miss, but often they are chock full of good deals if you are willing to sift through everything. My favorite second hand store in the Twin Cities is Second Debut 2. The one I went to last week is called Turn Style. There are many great boutique and chain thrift stores you just have to do a little research to find them.

Join the Conversation: What is your number one frugal fashion tip?

Frugal, Thoughtful Wedding Gifts

Are you dreading being invited to multiple weddings because you are worried about breaking the bank? Are you looking for an inexpensive gift to bring to a wedding that won’t make you look cheap? Don’t fear! Here are some wedding gift ideas that are both frugal and thoughtful:

  • Scrapbook: Create book of the couple’s favorite pictures together, relationship advice from family/friends, favorite recipes, or wedding pictures from close family/friends. Depending on your level of craftiness, you could create this yourself or use an online template like Snapfish.
  • Frame It: Put the couple’s wedding invitation, favorite picture, poem, or quote in a nice frame for the couple to hang in their home.
  • Experiences: Most of the gifts that the couple will receive will be gifts for their home, why not give them the gift of an experience? Here are a few ideas: concert tickets, one-year art museum or zoo membership, one-year national/state park passes, wine tasting vouchers, Netflix subscription, or a spa package.
  • Utensil Bouquet: Look at the couple’s wedding registry early and create a bouquet of all of the kitchen utensils (big spoons, whisks, spatulas, etc.) that they have on their list and wrap your bouquet together with a nice ribbon
  • Significance: Gift the couple a Christmas ornament with their wedding date on it or a watercolor picture from a significant spot for their relationship. Etsy has many good ideas for significant wedding gifts that are reasonably priced.
  • Better Together: Get some friends together and invest in a large gift like a Kitchen Aid Mixer, large camping tent, or a set of nice dishes.
  • Gift Basket: Pack a picnic basket for the couple (cutting board, cheese knife, wine glasses, bottle opener, plates, utensils, etc.). Find a storage container, like a laundry basket, and fill it with house essentials (Kleenex, toothbrushes, toothpaste, household cleaners, etc.) Create a home date night kit (DVD, popcorn, candy, wine, etc.) or a honeymoon basket (bottle of wine/champagne and chocolates).

For more frugal, crafty, wedding gift ideas check out this article. Happy wedding gifting!

Join the Conversation: What is your favorite frugal, thoughtful, wedding gift that you have ever given or received?

DIY Frugality

Looking for a fun way to save money? Look no further than DIY. “Doing it Yourself” can save you money, give you an exciting project to work on, and help the environment by limiting waste and harsh chemicals. Below you will find some DIY projects and suggested DIY websites:

  • Beauty DIY: Are you looking for low-cost beauty products? Look no further. TLC Style offers 50 different, natural beauty products everything from shampoo to face masks to lip gloss. Similarly, Cindy’s DIY Beauty Products Pinterest page features many DIY beauty and health remedies from nail polish to foaming hand soap to sugar scrub. Why not invite a couple of girl friend’s over for a DIY spa party instead of going to the salon?
  • Cleaning DIY: The cost of cleaning products can definitely add up and all of the harsh chemicals can make them very dangerous to use. The Daily Green offers some DIY cleaning recipes that are both natural and non-toxic. She has ideas for cleaning kitchen counters, hardwood floors, clothes, silverware, and a lot more.
  • Wedding Presents: We are right in the middle of wedding season. Even as a guest, weddings can really add up. Why not cut some of the cost by making your own gift that will be meaningful for the couple? The babble blog offers 25 different DIY wedding projects everything from painted spoons to a rolling bar to his/her pillowcases. I’ve experimented with DIY wedding gifts myself by creating my own word art with the couple’s favorite quote and framing it for their home.
  • Gifts: These gifts are perfect for any occasion! Martha Stewart offers a variety of different DIY project ideas. Even though she says these are for Christmas, most of them are not seasonal. She has 82 ideas for women covering everything from headbands to candles. She also has 31 ideas for men including a pegboard tool organizer and a car travel kit.
  • Wrapping Paper, Bags, Boxes, and Bows: Wrapping gifts can be very expensive. Check out Iris’ pinterest board on DIY Giftbags, Wrapping, and Bows. She has some great wrapping ideas using lace, paper and even Popsicle sticks.

Happy DIY-ing! You will have fun and so will your wallet.

Join the Conversation: What are some of your favorite DIY projects/recipes?

Everyday Frugality: Frugal Fashion

Is it really possible to look chic on a small budget? YES! I absolutely love fashion, clothes, and accessories but I have found ways to express my love for fashion in a frugal way. I am overjoyed to offer you a few tips on fun and frugal fashion this week. Whether you’re a budding fashionista or you could care less about fashion, I hope that you will find a few helpful tips about shopping and keeping your style in tip top shape!

  • Get Inspired: Fashion magazines and websites are great inspiration for reinventing your style and your closet. Lucky Magazine is all about shopping and the subscription is very cheap. For online inspiration check out frugal-fashionistas.
  • Reinvent Your Closet: If your style feels flat and you’re out of money the best thing to do is to take some time to sift through your closet. How many new outfits can you create by mixing and matching some of your old pieces? You may even find that gem that stuck in the back of the closet!
  • Tailoring: If you really enjoy an old piece of clothing or a pair of shoes it is often easier to get them repaired than buy new ones. Just make sure to find a good tailor and/or cobbler.
  • DIY: Update something old. Put new buttons on an old jacket. Dye your old jeans. For inspiration check out these DIY fashion blogs. Last weekend I added some sparkle to one of my dresses using a silk sash and vintage pin that I already had in my closet.
  • Real Vintage: There is always talk of “vintage” style, instead of investing money in “vintage” clothing why not scour some of your mother or grandmother’s old clothes and accessories? Some of my favorite jewelry came from my great aunt; it is fashionable and it tells a story.
  • Clothes Swap: Clean out your closets, grab some friends and have a clothes swap. Your old clothes will find new life and you might just find a new treasure!
  • Borrow: In college I had an “open closet” policy, many of my friends borrowed my dresses for dances or dates. If you have a special event coming up, consider borrowing instead of buying new and encourage your friends to do the same.
  • Invest In Quality: Although it can be alluring to buy a lot of pieces from a cheaper clothing store, instead of just a few from a more expensive store it is often better to invest in quality over quantity. Invest in quality, versatile pieces that you can reinvent for any season. Then you can buy a few, cheaper, seasonal pieces.
  • Sales: My mom is a fantastic shopper and her cardinal rule is to beeline for the sales, you can see the other items when they go on sale. Collect coupons, many stores will let you combine deals just keep an eye on the small print. Limit yourself to shopping during big sales, just be careful not to overbuy.
  • Second Hand Stores: Second Hand Stores can be hit or miss, but often they are chock full of good deals if you are willing to sift through everything. My favorite second hand store in the Twin Cities is Second Debut 2. Check out the comments section for maps of the different second hand stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Shopping Online can often be cheaper than shopping in the store, where do you find the best deals online? Leave a comment and let us know!