We're always looking for ways to save when we're shopping, whether it's coupon clipping and price matching on our weekly grocery shop or discount store shopping for the kids' clothes and shoes or comparing prices and seeking out sales on housewares we need or home decor items we want. Saving money on the things we want and need is a great way to stay within budget - and sometimes leave a little bit left over! Before hitting the stores for home items you've been looking for, consider re-using items you already have around the house. Re-purposing is a fantastic way to save.
Consider using a kids' bedroom dresser with the drawers removed as a bookshelf in the playroom or a bookshelf as an entertainment unit or TV stand for the family room. A quick sanding and a simple coat of paint can give new life to old or battered furniture.
Try thinking about the things you own in a different way - that crystal salad bowl you received as a wedding gift that sits collecting dust on the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard would look lovely on a coffee table filled with fruit. The Mason jars left over from the strawberry jam your grandma gives you every year would be the perfect solution to organize all those pouches and envelopes of spices and baking supplies in the pantry.
If your decor is feeling stale and you've been wanting to change things up, before you go shopping try moving things around to a new space in your home: could the throw pillows on your bed work in the family room? could that armchair in the corner of the family room move to the basement and the chaise from the bedroom work in its place? Switch up vases and photos and table lamps. Swap out collections. See if you can give the items you already own new life just by finding them a new home or a new purpose.
Our dining room drink cabinet / dry bar is actually an inexpensive bookshelf that once lived in the kids' playroom. We fitted it with glass-front doors, topped it with a decorative mirror (formerly a resident of our front hall) and filled it with all our crystal, stemware, and decanters. (And booze - of course booze.) Voila - a cute little corner bar using furniture we already had.
What are some ways that you have saved by re-purposing items you already own? Please share your ideas!