An Unusual Way To Save Money For A Make-Over

save money for a make overBeing on a budget means I have to carefully plan out our meals and only make purchases for things that the family needs. When it comes to tending to household repairs or maintenance updates it’s only for those things that are a must. In other words, nothing will get fixed or repaired unless it’s an absolute must.

So when it was time to update my bedroom with a fresh coat of paint, new bedding, and window fixtures, I knew there wasn’t money in the budget for it. I had to be smart in how I was going to come up with the money for this project. It took me three months but I recycled our change and when I cashed it out, it was enough to give my room the make-over it so badly needed.

How It All Started

I have been recycling change for some time now but I was only filling up a 46 fluid-ounce jar and I would end up with about $50-$60, some mad money I would use to treat myself to a mani/pedi or a mini shopping spree.

One day I was telling my sweetie what my plans were for our bedroom and told him how I intended to come up with the money. He either felt sorry for me or it motivated him but he also contributed and started to throw in his change as well.

Recycling Change

Every day we would empty out our wallets and put our change and one-dollar bills in a one-gallon jar (the big pickle jar we can buy at a bulk store). Doing things like when I’d go to McDonald’s for my large coke, I’d pay with $2.00 and get .93 cents back starts to add up quick.

And oh my goodness was it tempting to dip into it. A little voice would say “Girl why don’t you cash it out and go shopping.” “Your bedroom isn’t that bad.” “You can recycle your change again and do it next time.”

bedroom makeoverBut as time went by I started to see the jar filling up and I became proud of myself for being dedicated and disciplined.

My Purchases and A Sweet Surprise

I was also motivated to be smart with my purchases. I shopped around for the best prices on paint, window fixtures and I took forever to find the right bedding at the right price. Here’s what I bought:

At Lowe’s I bought three mini blinds at $25.46 each. These were on sale from $31.96. I also bought a ceiling fan for $74.99. At Kohl’s I bought a set of curtains at $49.99 but with my 20 Kohl’s cash, I paid $29.99. At Target I bought the curtain rods at regular price for $39.99.

I shopped around for paint and the best price I found was at Walmart. It was by accident that I got the off brand because I left before I saw what paint the clerk picked out. It actually turned out okay. The brand was Color Place and at $11.47 per gallon, it did the job. I bought some art deco on sale at $24.88.

The sweet surprise? Well, the bedding I chose was $69.97 but the clerk did not scan it right and I ended up getting it for FREE! Score one for the little guys, LOL. In all, I spent about $280.00 for everything and I have a little money left over to put toward my next room make-over project!

Over To You

So what are you doing with your spare change? What are some creative ways you’ve saved money for the sake of staying within your means?


Corina Ramos

Corina is a work-from-home mom rolling with the punches while trying to balance a family and an online business. She is dealing with teens, grey hair, and wrinkles all at the same time! She recently launched a new blog known as Not Now Mom's Busy which talks about teen issues, juggling family life with work life, living on a budget, and so much more.

Follow Corina on Twitter at Corina Ramos or Facebook.


    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 06/05/2013 7:23 a.m. #

      Thanks Sicorra for letting share my story. It was fun and I can't wait to do it again. Although Mario can ;) LOL.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/05/2013 3:06 p.m. #

        Thank you for writing it for my blog Corina! Your room turned out beautiful, duvet and all :-)

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 06/05/2013 9:17 a.m. #

      My wife and I saved spare change and designated it as spending money for our cruise. It definitely was nice to have! It was good "fun" money to be spent at the casino or the bar :)

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/05/2013 9:47 a.m. #

        I heard that DC, made the trip even better, right! That is what I call guilt-free money. We can spend it however we wish.

        The only thing now is my I have a feeling my hubby's got dibs on the next one, now that he's seen how much we can get LOL :).

        Thanks for stopping by and sharing that with us. I'm sure folks are looking for jars :)

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

      Laurie @thefrugalfarmer 06/05/2013 9:18 a.m. #

      Way to go, Corina, on the great deals! We save change too, and either use it toward debt payoff or to cover unexpected expenses that we can't quite fit into our budget yet. It really does add up!

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/05/2013 9:51 a.m. #

        Been there, done that too Laurie! :)

        It's funny before I started saved our coins I can't remember what I ever did with them. Where did they go? LOL :)

        Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :) Have a great Wednesday!

    • krantcents

      krantcents 06/05/2013 9:53 a.m. #

      I used to throw my change in a jar every day. At the end of the month, I had $30-40 saved! I no longer do this because I stopped buying lunch or spending cash at all.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/05/2013 8:55 p.m. #

        Ah but it came in handy, right? :) and now you're saving even more money by brown-bagging it for lunch.

        I don't keep my bank card because it's too tempting. I keep a little cash on hand and that's my allowance. I don't know why but my husband loves using that word on me :)

        Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    • Pauline

      Pauline 06/05/2013 10:10 a.m. #

      I don't really do spare change because it would be a mess to offload. I do like to do it when I travel and the change ads up to a treat or a souvenir at the end of the trip.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:18 p.m. #

        Oh yeah, lugging that big ole jar around was a challenge for was very heavy :)

        I like using my spare change as mad-money. I can enjoy a mini shopping spree without the guilt :)

        Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Pauline :)

    • John S @ Frugal Rules

      John S @ Frugal Rules 06/05/2013 10:16 a.m. #

      Saving your spare change can really be a nice little way to further stretch your budget. We save ours and usually use it as spending money when we go on vacation. We're usually able to get at least several hundred dollars that way.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:21 p.m. #

        I'm learning lots of folks save their spare change and use it toward vacation...that's so cool.

        I'm not a traveler so my spare change is for those mini shopping sprees I wouldn't be able to do ordinarily.

        You can save a pretty dollar, right? Thanks for sharing your thoughts John :).

    • CarolB

      CarolB 06/05/2013 10:31 a.m. #

      It's amazing how change adds up. My family didn't have much growing up, and I remember my mom saving her change in a "travel jar." Every two years she'd use that same money to visit her sister about 1000 miles away. I never gave it much thought until my son started asking for our change when he was about 3. We'd hand over our change and he'd run and put it in his piggy bank. At 6 we decided to take that piggy bank and open up an account for him with it. That little stinker had over $400 in change! My change! Now I know why my mom did it.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:38 p.m. #

        You're son didn't miss a beat there Carol, that's too funny! LOL. $400 is a good chunk of change for a 6-year-old :) Did you ask for a percentage ;)

        We had it pretty tough growing up too. I remember seeing my mom and my aunt rolling coins and I thought what are they doing that for...

    • Debbie

      Debbie 06/05/2013 10:40 a.m. #

      Good for you, Corina! Here in Canada we have $1 and $2 coins, (no more bills). Hubby and I save those for Christmas spending, etc. Your room looks great!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/05/2013 3:09 p.m. #

        Debbie, we save the loonies and toonies as well. It adds up a lot quicker then the old pennies did :-)

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:42 p.m. #

        Sicorra mentioned that to me. I think the U.S. wants to do away with the pennies. We have $1 dollar coins and I have some $2 bills but those aren't really in circulation.

        I love my room Debbie! I don't want to get out of it, LOL! And my dogs love it to although I think I'm going to get them their own mats :)

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Have a great weekend my friend :)

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 06/05/2013 1:51 p.m. #

      It's interesting to me when I talk to kids about money, how later a few parents always confess to throwing out loose change. It boggles my mind. Beyond throwing away money is just a bad habit to teach your kids, it's adds up quickly when you throw it a jar - like you did. Smart move to finance your bedroom makeover that way. Looks great too!

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:46 p.m. #

        Before I started saving, I don't know what I did with my change...I can't remember.

        Now I'm more aware of my change and I've gotten used to the jar. In fact, the kids are doing that too. They each have a jar they fill up.

        I'm actually proud of myself. I was really focused on my budget and tried very hard no to go over and it worked. It's not easy have to shop around and compare prices but if you take the time it pays off!

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Shannon! Have a fabulous weekend :)

    • David Leonhardt

      David Leonhardt 06/05/2013 5:12 p.m. #

      So you paid with pickle change? lol

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:47 p.m. #

        I sure did LOL! Just wish they came like that :)

    • Brian @ Luke1428

      Brian @ Luke1428 06/06/2013 8:22 a.m. #

      Cool post Corina! Sounds like you got some great deals. I used to do this a lot and saved a bunch over time to use for purchases. Now I don't have so much change as I pay most everything with our debit card.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 06/07/2013 8:50 p.m. #

        I'm more of an old school kind of gal...I keep cash on hand to use for spending and once I'm out, I'm out.

        The debit card are for bills and purchases like gas and groceries. But a trip to Target or a drive thru comes out of the cash flow...

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