Readers' Tips

Inexpensive Ways to Increase Property Value

When we were planning to put our house up for sale, the main thing we did was to remove as much clutter as possible and clean the house from top to bottom. Go through each room and clean it and arrange it as if it were going to be photographed, because it will. Baseboards, doors, air vents and windows should be cleaned. Make sure it smells good. On the outside of the house, we put fresh mulch in the landscaping, pressure washed the house and driveway, and painted the mailbox and post. First impressions are everything. Our realtor commented that the first thing henoticed was that we had wood stairs instead of carpeted stairs, which is a plus. This was one of the first things we did when we moved in because I hate vacuuming stairs, but it might also increase the chances of a sale.

editor's note: Visit here for more inexpensive ways to increase property value.

Better Cookware

The best affordable cookware can be found at a restaurant supply store. Look for strong aluminum pans. They can handle high temperatures and a lot of hard use. Also, they're cheaper than the name brands you'll find at a regular store.

Additional TDS Resource: Visit our library section on "Frugal Cookware"

Simple Halloween Costume

I needed a last-minute costume idea and came up with this idea. I dressed up as a beauty pageant contestant. I wore a simple black evening dress. I added a ribbon for my shoulder like the contestants wear, and on it, I pasted the letters for "Miss Minnesota." It only cost me a couple of dollars for the ribbon!

Additional TDS Resource: More Halloween costume ideas

Thrift Store Diva

My sister and I love to shop at thrift stores for clothing. To make it super easy, we wear leggings, a tank top, and flip-flops when we shop. That way, we can try on slacks, blouses, jackets, dresses, or shoes in just seconds. My closet is full of thrift store finds.

End of Summer Savings

Here are a few things that I do at the end of summer.

  1. I sell off or give away my son's outgrown summer clothes and buy or trade for someone else's for his next size up.
  2. I sew all of last year's school pants into shorts that he can wear to start school in August.
  3. Stores are clearancing stuff out to make room for fall and winter, so I stock up on Christmas gifts and stuff for next year.

Karen via Facebook

Scoring Quality Luggage

The best place to look for high quality luggage at a cheap price is an estate sale. Older people often travel and they buy the best luggage. They also take good care of it. You can buy expensive luggage for just a few dollars.

Additional TDS Resource: More ways to save on luggage

Rental Car Savings

Before you sign the paperwork on a rental car, you should ask about discounts. For instance, you'll pay for a second driver, but your AARP or AAA membership could provide that perk for free. The same thing is true when you check into your hotel. Any discount or perk you get costs you nothing!

Additional TDS Resource: Visit our library section on "Budget Travel"

Lower Insurance Rates

If you have a good credit score, call your insurance company (either home or auto). Some companies will give you a discount if your score is above a certain amount. You've worked hard to get and keep a good score. Now's the time to cash in on it.

Additional TDS Resource: Compare auto insurance rates

Fall Party Idea

Here's an idea for a party you can host that'll cost you almost nothing. I call it "Pumpkins and Potluck." On the Saturday before Halloween, we invite our friends and neighbors to our house. They bring a pumpkin to carve and a dish to share. The guys tend to get a bit competitive with the carving, but it's all in good fun. We supply the carving tools and drinks. Everyone has a good time, and it cost us almost nothing.

Additional TDS Resource: Visit our library section on "Halloween Party and Decorating Ideas"

Easy Shower Clean

An easy way to remove soap scum from your shower is to make a past of borax and water. Using a soft bristle brush, a little scrubbing will make your shower look like new!

Additional TDS Resource: Don't miss these tricks for cleaning fiberglass showers

Autopay Oversight

We all use autopay for bills because it's so convenient, but you need to pay attention to your bill. This is not only true for charges for things that you didn't authorize, but also for automatic renewals. If you're on auto renew, companies rarely give you any discount, but if you go to their website or call them, you'll get one. Therefore, make sure to watch for renewal dates and get the price break you can.

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