Author Archive

August 26

Save Money Organizing For Back To School

Posted by on August 26, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money Organizing For Back To School

Sometimes it takes me the entire month of September to get back on track to get organized and ready for back to school.  Sometimes it just takes me a week or two.  No matter the amount of time it takes for you to get you and your family organized for back to school,  organizing for it is a necessity for a productive and happy school year.  There are great ways to get organized, and most of these do not require that you spend a fortune to do so.

Here are some ideas and way to save money while you are organizing for back to school.  Many of these are do it yourself projects and do not require expensive supplies.  In fact, most of these supplies can be picked up at your local dollar store. Read the rest of this entry »

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August 23

4 Ways to Upcycle Old Tires

Posted by on August 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM

4 Ways to Upcycle Old Tires

Not sure what to do with your old tires that you can’t seem to get rid of on Craigslist and that don’t have very much tread on them?  Feel bad about adding it to the junk yard?  Have enough space in your backyard and outdoor space area (or even living room)?  Well, have no fear, for here are some ideas on how to upcycle your old tires. Repurposing the tires to something beautiful will have your house guests in awe and disbelief of what it was in its former life. Read the rest of this entry »

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August 20

Save Money on Your Summer Staycation

Posted by on August 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Your Summer Staycation

Summer holidays are halfway over now that we are in August, but that does not mean that you should start panicking about your lack of vacation plans.  If you have some time off in the summer but aren’t planning to use your passport for your summer vacation because of our slow economy, or the expensive US dollar currency or the expensive fuel surcharges on international flights, you still have some time to make your staycation a memorable and great vacation.  Here are some ways to save money on your summer vacation through doing a staycation.

What Makes a Staycation Great?

According to Moneysense, what makes a staycation great (and feeling like you just had a vacation) is being able to switch off from the typical grind or day-to-day routines. Read the rest of this entry »

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August 16

Save Money for Back to School by Upcycling

Posted by on August 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money for Back to School by Upcycling

The days are getting shorter and the school season is about to start.  Unfortunately it is that time of the year again when summer holidays are coming to an end and all the back to school supplies are displayed on store shelves.  Back to school is usually an expensive time of year because children get new shoes, new book bags, new lunch boxes, and of course, new clothes.  In order to offset some of these costs, try upcycling or recycling.  This will hopefully help you save a bit of money in your budget to spend on your children for things that matter more, like extra-curricular activities and team sports or lessons.

Here are a few ways to save money on back to school, by upcycling: Read the rest of this entry »

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August 12

How to Save Money at Universal Studios

Posted by on August 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money at Universal Studios

Universal Studios theme park has a location in both Hollywood, California and Orlando, Florida.  As a kid, I was lucky enough to have gone to both.  It is often the quintessential addition to a trip to Disneyland (especially since they are both in the same locations).  A day at Universal Studios, the ultimate Hollywood experience, doesn’t come cheap though.  The usual price of a one day pass to Universal Studios is $99 US Dollars and $199 US Dollars for a Front of Line ticket.  With the poor conversion rate, it is even more expensive for us Canadians.  A trip with your family can add up to hundreds of dollars very quickly, and that does not include the flight or the accommodation.

Despite the high cost, it’s a great place to visit and there are indeed small ways that you can save that will pay off big time for your trip to Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Studios Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

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August 1

Save Money on Your Landline

Posted by on August 1, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Your Landline

According to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) the average monthly cost for a landline varies from $35 to $55 a month.  Annually, the landline costs anywhere from $420 to $660 a year.  The lower end is for a basic landline with  no caller ID, no voicemail, no call waiting, and no bells and whistles.  When you add caller ID and call waiting and other necessities to a landline, that adds up a lot more monthly.  Over $600 is a lot of money for something that isn’t considered a necessity.  These days, the Internet is considered more of a necessity, something that we need to use on a daily basis, more than the landline telephone.

Who still has a landline?  Well my mom still does and I do call her on that even though she has a cell phone (she has limited daytime minutes). Read the rest of this entry »

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July 26

Save More Money on Your Vet Bill

Posted by on July 26, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save More Money on Your Vet Bill

Last year, Bargainmoose shared 4 Tips to Save Money on Your Vet Bill, and it focused on preventative care like brushing your dog’s teeth to avoid tooth decay and shopping around with your veterinarian for quotes.  Pets are expensive so you should think twice about whether you can afford a pet before you get one.  However, if you are planning to get a pet, check out this Bargainmoose post on how to save money on a new animal.

This year, my article will focus on another way to save more money on your vet bill, and it is related to the dispensing of medications. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 25

Save Money on Real Estate Commissions

Posted by on July 25, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Real Estate Commissions

With the hot Canadian housing market in full force, many Canadians are thinking about selling their home and cashing in on the high prices from the real estate market.  The average price of a detached Toronto home in 2015 has recently hit $1.052 million (a record so far) and the average price of a detached Vancouver home in 2015 is $1.27 million.  For many people, they believe that it certainly makes sense to find a good realtor. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 19

6 Ways to Repurpose Wine Bottles

Posted by on July 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM

6 Ways to Repurpose Wine Bottles

Most women have a few wine bottles hanging around (either to be recycled or to be diligently returned to the liquor store for a deposit refund).  I love the way wine bottles look- so elegant, the glass is so smooth, and it just looks classy.  If you’re on a DIY kick, here are some ways that you can have that elegant wine-bottle look without it just being localized to your wine rack.  If you’re looking to also repurpose the wine corks alongside the wine bottles, check out this great Bargainmoose post on 9 Fun Ways to Repurpose Wine Corks.

Here are six ways to repurpose wine bottles: Read the rest of this entry »

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July 12

Save Money on Emergency Preparedness by Making Your Own Kit

Posted by on July 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Emergency Preparedness by Making Your Own Kit

Preparing for emergencies is not something that most people do, but is something that definitely should be done.  With the exception of a emergency preparedness kit in my car (that was already pre-packaged), I, like most people, am guilty of not preparing myself if an emergency were to ever happen.  According to a survey done by American Family Safety (unfortunately with American data, but I expect that this data can be extrapolated to us Canadians) over 80% of Americans would be worried about their family members in the event of an emergency, but only 13% of Americans surveyed have an emergency preparedness kit of some sort with essential supplies.  Here are some ways to save money on an emergency preparedness kit.

Pre-made Emergency Preparedness Kits

Of course you can save the time and hassle of preparing your own emergency preparedness kit by simply purchasing a pre-made one.

The Canadian Red Cross has a lovely emergency preparedness kit that is very well stocked in a red backpack.  It however costs $59.95, which is pretty reasonable considering it includes a backpack and a first aid kit, not including shipping.  It provides enough supplies for the first 72 hours of an emergency for you and your family.  Unfortunately it doesn’t include all the food that would be necessary.

In addition, Costco.ca has an emergency preparedness kit suitable for four people for just under $150 a kit and it includes shipping and handling.  The cool thing about this one from Costco is that it has a colouring book and crayons for your kids to keep them busy.  The other great thing about this is that the food and water rations have a 5 year shelf life (which means less work for you to upkeep the kit).

If you don’t have $59 or $150 to spare for something that you will use “in case” (well, better never used, I suppose), here is what you can do to make your own emergency preparedness kit.

What You Need to Make your Own Emergency Preparedness Kit to Save Money

Get Prepared (a Canadian government website) has a great checklist that you can use to check off the items needed in your 72 hour Emergency Kit.  The main things that you need are water (at least 2 litres per person per day in your family), food (non-perishable such as canned foods, energy bars, or dried fruit and nuts), and a flashlight (ideally one that does not require a battery to operate or one with batteries), a can opener, a battery powered wind-up radio, a first aid kit, and an warm lightweight blanket (the ones that reflect light to keep you warm e.g., mylar or emergency foil).

For the food and water portion of your DIY emergency kit for four people, it is important to remember to replace these annually.

  • 20L Gallon container $9.50  (Canadian Red Cross)
  • Canned meat (Spam or Corned Beef may be a good option here) for those who eat meat ($10 worth)
  • Dried nuts or trail mix in a sealed bag ($10 for a bag)
  • Granola bars (something with protein, Clif bars may be a good option $12 for 12 bars)
  • Canned pasta or soups ($10)
  • 4 thermal blankets ($1.80 each from Canadian Red Cross)
  • 8- 12 hour hand warmers ($1-2 each)
  • Flashlight with batteries (can be bought at your local dollar store)
  • Can opener (at your local dollar store)
  • First Aid Kit (main things to include are gauze, normal saline, alcohol wipes, tweezers, band-aids, gloves, antiseptic towlettes, and a sling bandage/ compression bandage)
  • 4 dust masks (can be found at your local hardware store)
  • Garbage bags, Ziplock bags
  • Waterproof matches, emergency whistles, nylon rope can be found at your local camping store
  • Hand sanitizer (local dollar store)
  • Rain ponchos (your local dollar store may have some)
  • Hand crank radio- this is the most expensive item ($40), check out the Canadian Red Cross for some of these
  • Personal hygiene items (like sanitary pads)

These are just some of things that you might want to have in your own 72 hour emergency preparedness kit.

The above DIY kit will cost you about $100, but you can just omit things that you don’t need, like for example, a dust mask or hand warmers, or rain ponchos.

Not Only Do you Need a Kit, You also Need a Plan

Emergency contact numbers, a plan of where to meet and how is also important to discuss with your family.  The kit should also have a photocopy of your family’s important documents  and some cash in small denominations.

Bargainmoosers, do you have an emergency preparedness kit?  Did you buy it or DIY?

Photo credit: Matthew Rogers

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July 4

6 Ways to Save Money on Dry Cleaning

Posted by on July 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM

6 Ways to Save Money on Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is expensive but there are ways to save money on dry cleaning without “being taken to the cleaners” (pun intended).  The main way to save money is to have awareness of what needs to be taken to the dry cleaner and what doesn’t.  There are also ways to extend the life of your clothing between dry cleaning cycles.

Here are six different ways to save money on your next dry cleaning bill.

Read the Label and Take it With a Grain of Salt

By taking with a grain of salt, I mean don’t read the label and follow the instructions to a tee.  According to Good Housekeeping, if a label says “dry clean only” then it means that you really should dry clean that item only.  If a label says “dry clean” it means that you don’t need to dry clean but it would be preferable, but it is not a necessity.  If it says “dry clean” you could either wash it by hand or wash it in cold water on the delicate cycle and then tumble dry low in the dryer.  I have a cashmere sweater that said “dry clean” on the care label (I bought the sweater at Old Navy years ago for under $30) that I routinely wash in the washer and dryer and it has held up well.

Spray Water to Remove Watermarks

According to Frugality Magazine, the two most dangerous fabrics you should be wary of when you purchase are silk and linen.  Oftentimes even if you take these to the dry cleaner, the stain will still appear as it did before you spent the money taking it to the dry cleaner.  If you do buy silk and you end up getting watermark stains on your silk clothing (be it from rain, sweat or whatnot), dry cleaning won’t necessarily remove them and washing them in the machine will likely ruin them.  Instead, Frugality Magazine suggests that you hang it up, spray it with a houseplant mister (full of water) and let it be.  Usually the water mark disappears or it improves greatly.  For other ways to remove watermark stains on silk, check out this Wikihow article.

Curtain Call

Instead of taking your curtains to the dry cleaner to remove dust and pet hair, Good Housekeeping also suggests that you can put the curtains into your dryer for 10 minutes under the air only option and then remove and hang up again.  Although I don’t have curtains in my home, this is a great idea to save money on dry cleaning your curtains when you do that spring cleaning.

Prevention is Key

Readers Digest dispenses sage advice by recommending that the earlier you treat a stain before it has time to set, the better.  Be vigilant about stains on your clothes during meal times and try your best not remove it as soon as possible.  Also, never iron your stained cottoning or it will cause the stain to set and be likely difficult or impossible to remove.  Keep a Tide to Go pen always handy and make the effort to remove the stain before it has time to set in.

Home Dry Cleaning Kits

About.com suggests that home dry cleaning kits are a great alternative to dry cleaning and can make your clothes last longer between dry cleaning trips.  I have a friend who swears by the dry cleaning kit Dryel that she bought at London Drugs.  The Dryel starter kit is $9.99.  I personally have not tried using this yet.

Know What Fabrics are High Maintenance

According to Popsugar, there are certain fabrics that can do relatively well being washed by hand.  These fabrics are cashmere, wool, silk, cotton, and satin.  Contrarily, there are certain fabrics that usually have to be taken into the dry cleaners to be cleaned and these are suede, velvet, and leather.

Hopefully these six tips save you money on your next trip the dry cleaners (or will save you money from having to go to the dry cleaners, period!).

Bargainmoosers, do have other ways that you save money on the dry cleaners?  How often do go to the dry cleaners?  Have you tried Dryel before?

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk

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June 27

4 Ways to Save Money on your Mortgage

Posted by on June 27, 2015 at 8:00 PM

4 Ways to Save Money on your Mortgage

The mortgage is singlehandedly the biggest investment and biggest fixed cost in our lifestyle (if you choose to have a mortgage instead of rent, that is).  Mortgage, rent, and shelter constitutes the largest part of the household budget for most people.  When we have a mortgage, we are bound to work to pay the mortgage, of course.  Most of the time, people pay their mortgage according to the bank’s schedule and think nothing more of it.  However, if you think about the tens of thousands of dollars that end up going to the bank as the form of mortgage interest, you might want to think about different ways to pay off your mortgage earlier so that you and your family can reach financial freedom faster.

Make Two Half Payments instead of a Monthly Payment

According to Bankrate, making two half payments instead of a monthly payment can shave as much as 6 years off of a 30 year mortgage loan.  The accelerated biweekly payment is a great way to pay off your mortgage and take off a few years from the total mortgage.  It works especially well with those who get biweekly paycheques from their employer.  With the two half payments, you’ll barely notice that you are paying more to pay off your mortgage.

Re-Finance your Mortgage

This might be an option for you depending on how much time you have left on your mortgage term.  If the mortgage savings outweighs the inevitable mortgage penalty for refinancing your mortgage, refinancing might not be a bad idea, especially in the absolute low-rate  environment that we have had for the  past couple of years (and more so recently).  The low mortgage interest rate environment is not going to last (however, that’s what the financial experts have been saying for the past couple of years).  Yahoo Finance estimates that on average, people have refinanced their homes twice since 2009.

The key aspect to refinancing your mortgage to the lower rate is to ensure that you are paying the same amount of monthly payment per month.  So with the lower cost of the mortgage, you should pay extra to knock down the principle and reduce the time you have to be paying the mortgage.

Make a Pre-payment

Pre-payments can take many different forms.  For example, you could make a lump sum payment, or you can pay up the total amount of your mortgage payment (check with your mortgage’s financial institution to see what your terms are).  On the Financial Consumer Agency website created by the government of Canada, they give an example of a man with a $150,000 principle mortgage at at 5.45% rate over a 25 year amortization.  With his pre-payment maximum, he was able to contribute up to 10% of his original mortgage loan, which is $15,000.  With that, he was able to reduce his total mortgage by $33,000.  One thing to be cognizant of is to make sure you don’t pay more than the lender allows, otherwise, you will be subject to fees and fines of course.

Put your Tax Refund into your Mortgage

Finally, if it is difficult to find money for a pre-payment, one option is to use your tax return money towards your mortgage.  Of course, most people like to treat themselves with the tax return proceeds, but if you divide it up into money for your ‘splurge’ and divide it up into money towards your home, that helps you use the money effectively for both ‘fun’ and ‘mortgage pay down’. Doing this on an annual basis will save you thousands of dollars over the course of your amortization.

Although it might not seem like much, paying any little bit towards your mortgage saves you lot of money on your mortgage. This is because mortgages work with an amortization- that means that even though the mortgage payment stays the same every time you pay a mortgage payment, you are actually paying more interest than paying down the principal.  That’s why when you pay down your principal, you are actually chipping away at the base of the iceberg, rather than attacking it from the top (which is obviously less effective).

Bargainmoosers, do you have any other ways in which you saved on your mortgage?

Photo credit: The Truth About

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June 21

How to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

Posted by on June 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

They say that the best bang for your buck in terms of renovations and increasing the value of your home are to focus on updating the kitchen and the bathroom.  Personally when I first bought my apartment a few years ago, I decided that the motel-esque bathroom had to go and I re-modeled the bathroom with the help of a contractor.  I did this before I moved into the apartment and it didn’t take very long to renovate.

The average cost of a mid-range bathroom remodel (in the United States) is, according to Remodelling magazine’s 2005 cost vs value report (as mentioned by HGTV), approximately $10,500.  According to Porch.com it is even higher. In 2013, the average cost of a bathroom renovation was $16,000 (I suppose inflation had something to do with it).  I was able to remodel the bathroom for about $3000, however I do have a smallish bathroom.  I added a shower door, changed the sink and countertop, changed the light fixtures, changed the shower head, and added glass subway tiles in an aquamarine blue/ aqua blue (my favourite colour) instead of the square white ceramic tiles that were previously there.  I could have just spent less but I wanted my bathroom to have a spa-like feel with the glass tiles.  About two years later I still look at my glass tiles and smile because the colour makes me happy.

Here are some ways in which you can update your bathroom on a budget.

Don’t Gut It

Just like with a kitchen remodel (for tips on how to save money on a kitchen remodel, check out this Bargainmoose post here), the major costs are incurred when you decide to rewire or redo the plumbing to the room.  If you are able to keep the configuration of the bathroom (e.g., the sink where the sink currently is and the toilet where the toilet currently is) then it will save you a lot of money on your bathroom remodel.

Like I Said…Don’t Gut It

Going even further, if you are able to keep certain aspects of the bathroom, then you will save even more money.  For example, with my bathroom renovation, I keep the tiles on the floor, I kept the cabinetry for the bathroom vanity (it was made out of wood, not MDF so it was good quality) but just changed the countertop from a granite to a light coloured Corian countertop.  I even kept the bathtub.  The bathtub was slightly chipped in one spot (the black was showing through a bit) and instead of buying a new bathtub, I got my contractor to paint over it with a white paint so it covers up the chip that was previously there.

Furthermore, I could have saved more money on the bathroom remodel by using a glass tile accent instead of just having the entire bathtub area tiled with glass tile.  The glass tiles cost me about $1000 by itself, which is pretty price (not including the labor).  You can choose a focal point for the more expensive tile (e.g., a long horizontal line on a white subway tile background) to save money.

Be Lavish on the Accessories

U.S. News suggests that if you spend a little more on the accessories (e.g., things that can be updated without needing a wrench), then it will save you money to update your bathroom without spending too much.  For example, they mention getting a nice shower head (like a rain shower head) to update your bathroom.  Or gett nice bamboo towels.  Or change the bathroom hardware.  Updating to stainless steel from gold coloured and nickel coloured accessories do a lot for updating your home.  For your accessories, you can save money by going to places like Winners to look for nice bathroom accessories at a discounted price.

A Coat of Paint Does Wonders

Just like with the rest of the home, an updated coat of paint can do wonders for your bathroom renovation, according to Bankrate.  For around $50 for a can of paint and some do it yourself eagerness and elbow grease, you can also paint your bathroom and update the look easily.

Bargainmoosers, do you have any other tips on how to save money on a bathroom remodel?  How much was your budget for your bathroom renovation?

Photo credit: MWMS1916

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June 20

How to Save Money on Checked Luggage

Posted by on June 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on Checked Luggage

With summer holidays coming up, many people are taking to the skies and traveling up in the air.  Much of the time, when you book your flight, you have to pay extra for checked luggage, depending on the airline that you are flying with.

Before discount airlines (for example, Allegiant Air) were available, the idea of paying for checked luggage was not something I thought about regularly or routinely.  I remember the days of traveling that you could have two pieces of checked luggage.  These days, you’re lucky if you can get one piece of checked luggage.  Nowadays, with increasing fuel costs increasing the cost of flying, more and more airlines are charging for your first checked luggage, including Air Canada on domestic  flights.  The checked luggage costs (not to mention the additional ‘select-your-seat’ costs) really add up and tend to make that discounted ticket something that isn’t much of a steal of a deal anymore.

According to CBC, Air Canada has already begun to charge $25 for your first checked piece of luggage.  Obviously, this will naturally cause an increase in people wanting to stuff everything into their carry-on, but Air Canada is training officers to enforce the size restrictions and asking you to check your luggage if they deem necessary.  So far, this has only been  happening at the Toronto Pearson airport.  At present, there aren’t any limits asking for your carry-on weight but it might be something they enforce in the future.

Here are some ways on how to save money on checked luggage.

Know Your Baggage Rules

Each airline has different baggage rules and carry on allowances, depending on the size of their aircraft.  That means, the carry-on luggage that you bought at the department store might not meet the requirements of the airlines.  That’s why it is important to do your research on the carry on and check-in baggage rules before you fly and preferably, before you book your flight.  For example, Air Canada’s baggage information is listed on this page.  For Air Canada, you are allowed one standard and one personal article, each weighing up to 22 lbs, and there are specific size restrictions.  Nerd wallet has a great link to an online web tool that tells you the carry on luggage allowances for American airlines.

In addition, knowing your baggage rules also means reviewing what you can pack as carry on, and what you cannot.

Pack Light

Of course, one way to save on checked luggage fees is to only use carry on baggage and pack light.  Invest in a good carry on bag that will fit on the airlines that you most frequent and make sure you weigh the products you pack into your bag.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can bring as a carry on.  The Independent Traveler goes so far as to suggest investing in a luggage scale to check how much your luggage weighs in at.

Bulk Up What You Wear

Another way to save money on checked luggage is the wear your luggage on your sleeve!  Bulky down jackets, coats, and sweaters are probably not the most comfortable on the plane, but it drastically or significantly reduces the amount needed to put in the carry on luggage so the trade off can be worth it.  Therefore, wear that jacket on the plane if you can.

Get a Credit Card that Allows Free Checked Bags

Finally, if you have a credit card associated with an airline loyalty points program, it offers additional protection for airline fees such as baggage fees (depending on the airline and the credit card, for example).  With the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, if you book your flight from an Aeroplan reward, you will get the first checked bag for free (only if you book your flight via them of course).  A lot of credit cards have baggage perks like this and it’s a good idea to spend a little time reviewing what your credit card can offer you!

Hopefully these tips will help you save a bit of money on your next flight with or without checked baggage fees!

Bargainmoosers, do you have any tips that you want to share on how to save money on checked luggage?

Photo credit: Reinis Traidas

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June 14

How to Save Money on Your Kitchen Remodel

Posted by on June 14, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on Your Kitchen Remodel

Many Canadians spend a lot of money renovating and updating their homes, especially the kitchen and bathroom, where most renovations usually give the most ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of updates and increasing property value.  Renovating and remodeling the kitchen can be very costly, I have a friend who spent well over $50,000 renovating her kitchen, however, it did involve knocking down a portion of a wall to open up the kitchen to the living room.

Keep the Cabinets

New cabinets and re-doing the cabinets are the reason why most kitchen renovations are so costly.  If you have a way to keep your current cabinets and just update the paint or change the cabinet doors, that will save you a ton of money in the long run.  According to Houzz (one of my favourite renovation websites for ideas), custom cabinets can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 and $250 to $2500 per linear foot.

Stainless Steel Stick On

Stainless steel adds a sense of contemporary charm to most kitchens and is probably the most preferred colour of appliance currently.  If your kitchen appliances work perfectly fine, this is a good option for you.  If you have black appliances and want the updated look of stainless steel, think about adding a stainless steel stick on! I would love to use this for my own kitchen because I love the look of stainless steel, but unfortunately I have white appliances.    You can find these stainless steel stick on sheets on Amazon.com for around $60.  It’s an actual soft metal stainless steel film, it is not simply a sticker.

Keep the Layout

One of the other highest expenses for kitchen remodels is if you want to change the layout of your kitchen.  Changing the plumbing and the wiring requires an extensive job and is much more costly as you will have to hire a plumber who specializes in renovations etc.  Therefore if at all possible, consider keeping the layout of your kitchen to save money on your kitchen renovation.

Update the Knobs

Another frugal way to update your kitchen without spending too much money is to just update the knobs.  If you have round knobs and want a more modern look, updating the knobs is something anyone can do (if I can do it, you can!) without hiring a contractor.  For example, on Amazon.com you can find a pack of 25 knobs for cabinets for around $10.  There is a hardware/ upscale discounted dollar store that sells modern looking knobs for cabinets for around $1.25 a piece which is still a steal in my opinion!

Remodel Slowly if Necessary

If you have the luxury of time, remodel slowly if necessary.  Houzz states that you can put your backsplash up any old time and it doesn’t need to be done when the cabinets or the countertop is put in.  You can sell your old appliances on Craigslist before you buy new appliances.  This way you won’t have to dip into your emergency savings fund or into your line of credit to remodel your kitchen. Getting into debt for a kitchen remodel is not the most ideal way to start off your kitchen remodel!

Buy Scratch and Dent Appliances

To save money on your appliances, look for scratch and dent appliances and look for places where you can buy a package deal (for example, the fridge, stove, and dishwasher can be bought together).  Make sure that the scratch and dents are only cosmetic (and preferably in a spot where you can’t really see it).  This will save you hundreds of dollars in appliances.  There are many scratch and dent appliance dealers that only sell scratch and dent appliances and nothing else.

Skip the Recessed Lights

Recessed lights, or pot lights, look nice but they don’t really add that much to the look of your kitchen remodel, but they do add a lot of expense!  Each recessed light can cost around $150, and if you want two to four recessed lights, that really adds up.  This Old House recommends that you opt for track lighting or surface mounted ceiling light instead, which will save you the labour of someone cutting a hole in your ceiling and labour to make sure the electricity wiring works.

Bargainmoosers, do you have any other tips on how to save money on a kitchen remodel?

Photo credit: Sherwood CC

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