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Spring Savings With Cindy

Cindy Livesey, Author/Frugal Living Expert: Living Rich With Coupons, Empowering Smart Shoppers to Live Rich. Found Editor:

If you are like me, spring gets you itching to tackle some home improvement projects. After a long, cold winter, I’ve usually got a mile-long list of things to have done around the outside of the house. Not only do these projects require time, they also require money.

But, as always, the frugal side of me is on the hunt for ways to trim that home improvement budget, yet still make a big dent in my list and at the same time, making some nice improvements on my home.

So, without further ado, here are some budget-friendly tips to get your home in tip-top shape this spring:

1. Edge your garden beds! This is such a simple, no cost task that, in my opinion, finishes off the entire garden. Simply take a lawn edger (you can get these at any home improvement store) and edge all around your garden beds. It makes for such a beautiful defined garden that makes it look like you just hired a landscaper.

2. Attack those weeds! Once the weather gets warmer and the gardens and trees start to blossom, so do the weeds. To get rid of them, use a simple solution of one gallon of white vinegar, one cup of table salt and one tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap (Dawn is best). Spray the weeds around your walkways on a nice, sunny day. In couple of days, those pesky weeds will disappear.

3. Expand your garden using plants that are already there. Simply divide the plants you already have, and replant the separated ones in new locations. To do this is so simple. You simply dig up the entire plant and separate it at the root into as many sections as you want. Then replant your original plant, and plant the divided ones in their new location.

4. Fill your pots with evergreen bushes instead of using flowers. The evergreens will last several years, so you won’t have to spend tons of money on annual flowers. Also, usually in April or May, Home Depot and/or Lowes will have super low prices on hanging fern plants. These are also great for pots as long as they are not in direct sun all day. Just a note: We bring our plants into our garage over the winter to get them out of the harsh cold.

5. Grow herbs and vegetables! Don’t have room for a big garden? No worries, simply find a small corner on a porch, at the side of your house or in the corner of deck. Put a few pots out and fill them up with the basics such as basil, parsley, cilantro and tomatoes (or choose your own combination of plants). Not only is it pretty for the space around your home, it will save you money at the grocery store. Win win!

6. Seal your driveway. While you can do this yourself to save even more money, it’s not that expensive to have someone do it for you. And the impact to the appearance of your home is worth the dollars spent. Plus it helps to extend the life of your paved driveway.

7. Paint or stain your front door. This is such a simple, low-cost project that can really make a big difference in the curb appeal of your home. Pick a color to make your door pop or go with a rich, deep black for a classic look.

8. Upgrade your garage door for less than $15. I’m totally serious on this one. Head over to or go to Lowes and pick up the magnetic decorative hardware set that includes a handle and hinges. They make your garage look amazing for a fraction of the cost of a new garage door plus they will take you two seconds to install. Literally! It will take you longer to open the package then to put them on your door.

By doing some of these low-cost projects, you can quickly and easily increase the curb appeal of your home, spruce up your garden and even provide your family with fresh herbs and vegetables at the same time. Now go start checking those items off your list!

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