Low-Cost Home Improvement Tips

Veterans have a special appreciation for their home after spending so much time away from it, but military salaries and pensions can limit how much money is available to dedicate to home improvement. Thanks to discount retailers and websites such as Pinterest, inexpensive ideas abound for sprucing up your home on a budget.

Decluttering

Decluttering is a totally cost-free way to improve the look of your home. Get three boxes and label them "Keep," "Toss" and "Donate," then tackle your home one room at a time, sorting items into the boxes. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven't used or worn in six months.

Painting

Painting is one of the easiest yet most drastic ways to brighten a room or refresh an old piece of furniture. High-quality paint can be expensive, but there are ways to obtain it without spending a fortune. Ask if your home improvement store sells paint that has been returned. Usually these cans of "mis-tinted" paint are deeply discounted and might be just the right color for you. Don't forget to ask at checkout for information on veteran discounts.

Some communities encourage people to dispose of unused paint at recycling centers instead of risking environmental harm by putting it in the trash. Often, the center gives this paint away for free to anyone interested in picking it up. Call your local recycling center to see if they participate in these events.

Kitchens

Add a splash of color to your kitchen by displaying beautiful items that you already own. Buy inexpensive wall hooks or small shelves, and use them to show off decorative towels or colorful mugs. Or, go for a vintage look in the kitchen by searching thrift stores for old graters and other vintage kitchen tools to hang on the wall. Replacing cabinet knobs and drawer handles can give a kitchen a fresh new look, as can the addition of a new throw rug or mat in front of the sink.

Living Rooms

When living areas begin looking tired, it can be tempting to invest in all new furniture. Thankfully, there are ways of sprucing up these rooms without incurring a large expense. Try rearranging your living room furniture after researching tips on optimal room layouts. While online, shop for pillow covers to place on existing throw pillows, or sew them yourself if you are able. If new-to-you furniture is a must, consider buying secondhand pieces at yard sales, thrift stores or through online buy/sell/trade groups. A large area rug can serve as an anchor point in the room, especially if it contains most of the colors represented in the walls, furniture and accessories.

Bedrooms

Refresh a tired or chipped headboard with paint, or create an entirely new one by hanging an old door on the wall horizontally above the bed. Improve bedroom closet storage by rearranging hanging bars or adding a wire shelving unit. Inexpensive plastic bins can be rolled under the bed to store away off-season clothing or extra shoes. Because the bed is generally the biggest feature in the room, a new quilt or comforter set makes the most dramatic impact on the room's design. But if that is cost-prohibitive, try rearranging the furniture and adding inexpensive throw pillows in a new color or pattern.

Bathrooms

Improve a bathroom with a relatively small investment by purchasing new light fixtures, towel bars or sink faucets. Visit a local Habitat for Humanity resale store to find builder-donated bathroom hardware at a deep discount. Another way of refreshing a bathroom's appearance is to replace the caulk and thoroughly clean tile grout. As with other rooms, paint can drastically brighten a bathroom. If time prohibits painting the entire room, try painting just the cabinets and adding new knobs.


What Are Food Stamps?

Food Stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal- and state-funded program that provides low-income Americans with food assistance benefits. Eligible individuals and families can use their state-issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which are regularly replenished with a set amount of benefits, to purchase approved food items. Learn more about the SNAP program and how you can start receiving benefits here.


Who Is Eligible to Receive Food Stamp Benefits?

Before you can begin obtaining food items with state SNAP benefits, you must apply to the program and prove that you are eligible. All applicants are subject to various requirements established by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. These involve household income limits, resource limits, work requirements and more. To find out if you qualify for SNAP benefits, download our guide today.

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