under $5 http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8214/all en-US 15 Fun Things to Buy for Under $5 http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-things-to-buy-for-under-5 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-fun-things-to-buy-for-under-5" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reading_magazine.jpg" alt="Couple reading a magazine" title="Couple reading a magazine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know what's fun? Pampering. Eating. Learning. Drinking. Socializing.&nbsp;Helping People. Basically &mdash; lots of things. And while there is a lot of free fun to be had out there, it's not unreasonable to buy yourself a little bit enjoyment on occasion (as long as you're spending consciously). With that in mind, here are 15 fun, (mostly) useful things that can be yours for a five spot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</a>)</p> <h3>1. A Magazine Subscription</h3> <p>You could blow your $5 on one magazine at the newsstand, or you could take advantage of one of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/magazines/b/ref=topnav_storetab_mag?ie=UTF8&amp;node=599858">Amazon's frequent magazine sales</a> and snag a full year's worth of issues for $5. Don't see something you like for $5? There are usually plenty of $7 subscriptions too.</p> <h3>2. The Ubiquitous Latte</h3> <p>If you read enough frugal living websites, you know that you're not supposed to regularly buy lattes (because, yeah, those little savings make a big difference over time). But an occasional latte &mdash; especially if you're sharing conversation with a good friend &mdash; can be a very worthwhile treat.</p> <h3>3. Fresh&nbsp;Flowers</h3> <p>I consider fresh flowers to be one of the ultimate indulgences &mdash; they're not practical, and they have a very limited lifespan. That said, I love the vibrancy they bring to a room. On my birthday this year,&nbsp;I spent $4 to buy fresh Gerbera Daisies, and it made me really happy to see them in my kitchen over the next week.</p> <h3>4.&nbsp;Exotic Fruit</h3> <p>Enjoy a bit of fruit you don't have regularly &mdash; lychees are my favorite. If your regular grocery store's &quot;exotic&quot; fruit collection is a few kiwis tucked next to the bananas, visit an Asian grocery store to find more unusual fruits like dragon fruit, mangosteens, and Asian pears.</p> <h3>5. An Accessory</h3> <p>Whether it's a scarf, new belt, or even just socks, perk up your wardrobe with a new accessory. Try scoping out discount stores like&nbsp;TJ Maxx, Ross, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-the-most-of-shopping-at-marshalls">Marshalls</a>.</p> <h3>6. A Bath or Makeup Product You've Never Tried</h3> <p>One-time packets of bath salts, nice bars of soap, trial size shampoos, and lots of nail polishes fall well under $5. Pick one and pamper yourself.</p> <h3>7. A Nice Beer</h3> <p>I've seen stores in more and more states where you can buy beer by the single bottle. If you like a nice beer (but not the dear price of a six pack), buy a single bottle. Personally, I love sour beers, and I'd recommend Flemish red ale. The Monk's Cafe one is good.</p> <h3>8. New Pens</h3> <p>Most of my pens are freebie ballpoint ones branded with company logos, but I love the feel of writing with something a bit nicer. Consider splurging on something that will allow you to write without constantly shaking the pen to try to get more ink out.</p> <h3>9. A Small Toy</h3> <p>I'm a fidgeter, and I love things like squishy balls that I can fiddle around with. I'll also never get tired of high-bouncing super balls. This is extra fun if you're with a kid.</p> <h3>10. Fresh Herbs</h3> <p>Fresh herbs can add such a wonderful flavor to food and drinks (mojito, anyone?). Or, instead of just buying some at the grocery store, purchase a small herb plant so you can have fresh herbs all year round.</p> <h3>11. A Kickstarter Project Donation</h3> <p>Lynn wrote last year about how spending money on other people is a way that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">money can buy happiness</a>. Help fund someone's dream project by donating through <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/">Kickstarter</a>, where people raise funds for everything from making movies to recording concept albums to opening theaters and more.</p> <h3>12. A Cheap Show</h3> <p>From music to comedy to theater, there are always plenty of $5 or &quot;donation accepted&quot; shows going on. Check your local listings.</p> <h3>13. Used Books</h3> <p>Depending on your used book store and what you want to read, $5 could mean one book or 50 books.</p> <h3>14. A Nice Greeting Card</h3> <p>...which you can then use to write a note to someone.</p> <h3>15. New-to-You Thrift Store Clothes</h3> <p>&nbsp;A new shirt, new pants, or new dress could all be yours at the thrift store.<em><br /> </em></p> <p><em>What are your favorite things to buy for under $5?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-things-to-buy-for-under-5">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-little-luxuries-that-go-a-long-way">8 Little Luxuries That Go a Long Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less">10 Ways to Improve Yourself for $100 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">Gift Giving Hacks That Will Save Your Money and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping cheap treats fun under $5 Mon, 30 Jan 2012 11:24:18 +0000 Meg Favreau 879972 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5 http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/framed_head_0.jpg" alt="Framed Face" title="Framed Face" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m constantly on the lookout for ways to change up my home d├ęcor &mdash; whether it be to change with the seasons, for an upcoming holiday, or just an overall update. Constant change, though, can get expensive. So to keep the cost low while also keeping my inner decorating diva satisfied, I&rsquo;ve come up with my top 25 decorating ideas for under $5. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>Great Hang-Ups</h2> <p>Using some items you probably already have around the house and a few inexpensive dollar-store items can yield some spectacular wall art. Try these ideas to spruce up the walls.</p> <h3>1. Floating Invisible Bookshelf</h3> <p>Use old books and some L-brackets to create a <a href="http://www.homerejuvenation.com.sg/2008/03/build-your-own-invisible-bookshelf.html">floating shelf</a> for vases or, well, other books.</p> <h3>2. Cork Wreath</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve covered this one before in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-reuse-common-household-items">10 Ways to Reuse Common Household Items</a>, but wreaths are easy DIY decorations that yield maximum style for minimum cost. All you need are wine corks and a foam wreath from a craft store. Or, as an alternative, try this ultra-cute <a href="http://www.michaels.com/Blossom-Song-%22Paper-Wreath%22/e10315,default,pd.html">paper wreath</a>.</p> <h3>3. Garland</h3> <p>Use holiday cards or some of your favorite photos, some ribbon, and clothespins to create a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/new-uses-for-old-things/new-uses-decorating/holiday-card-display-00000000043179/index.html">decorative garland</a>.</p> <h3>4. Plates or Records</h3> <p><a href="http://www.casasugar.com/DIY-Hang-Plates-Wall-4389690">Hang visually interesting plates or several vinyl records</a> on your wall using <a href="http://www.dischangers.com/">adhesive disc plate hangers</a>.</p> <h2>Keep It Natural</h2> <p>The beauty of using natural materials to decorate your home is that the materials are free and plentiful! Try collecting some items from nature and pairing them with inexpensive items to change up your decor.</p> <h3>5. Pinecone Centerpiece</h3> <p>Fill three jars, vases, or hurricanes with pinecones in the winter. Arrange in the center of your table for a beautiful, seasonal centerpiece.</p> <h3>6. Shell Bookends</h3> <p>Pick up two large shells on your next beach vacation (if you&rsquo;re lucky enough to take one!) to use as beachy bookends. Tun, whelk, or conch (yes, I know they&rsquo;re rare) work best for this.</p> <h3>7. Seashell Soap Dish</h3> <p>Make a simple soap dish a piece of art by <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273013/seashell-soap-dish?czone=home%2Fdecorating-with-nature%2Fdecor-nature-seaside">affixing a large clam or scallop shell</a> (the dish portion) to a smaller shell (the base).</p> <h3>8. Natural Wall Art</h3> <p>Make a statement wall hanging by suspending a piece of driftwood or birch branch from the wall. Screw drywall screws into the wood, wrap picture hanging wire around the screws, and suspend from wall hooks.</p> <h3>9. Dried Grass Centerpiece</h3> <p>Fill an assortment of vases or glasses with dried grass purchased from your local craft store. Tie each bundle with a ribbon and arrange vases on a mantle or use several down the center of a dining table.</p> <h2>Picture This</h2> <p>I love using picture frames to decorate the walls in my home, and I often pick up inexpensive frames from garage sales or the dollar store. You don't need to put just family photos in your frames, though &mdash; try thinking outside the box with some of these ideas.</p> <h3>10. Letter Art</h3> <p>In recent years, it has become popular to make art out of a series of photos of objects that look like letters of the alphabet, spelling out a word or name. Try snapping your own series to spell out your last name and proudly displaying the results on your wall. Print the photos inexpensively using <a href="http://www.shutterfly.com/">Shutterfly</a> or <a href="http://www.snapfish.com/">Snapfish</a>.</p> <h3>11. Earring Organizer</h3> <p>Similar to the shadowbox idea above, use a picture frame (minus the glass) to display earrings as artwork. Stick flat-head pushpins into the back of the frame and use those to string picture wire or fishing wire horizontally across. Hang the frame and then hang earrings from the wire.</p> <h3>12. Word Art</h3> <p>I thought a gift I received from a friend years ago was ingenious as well as inexpensive. She simply printed off the definition of the word &ldquo;Grace,&rdquo; highlighted and bolded the word, and framed it for me. Try doing the same with a meaningful word or phrase, like &ldquo;peace,&rdquo; &ldquo;believe,&rdquo; or one of your favorite quotes. Or, as an alternative, frame one of the pages of a favorite book (I would frame the first page of <em>A Tree Grows in Brooklyn</em>, for example).</p> <h3>13. Shadowbox</h3> <p>Pick up a cheap photo frame from a dollar store or thrift store and toss the glass. Hang the picture on your wall and use it to frame something with some texture to add visual interest to an otherwise dull wall. Try framing dried flowers or some meaningful mementos from a trip, like a few photos, plane tickets, and cardboard coasters from a bar or restaurant you visited.</p> <h3>14. Wallpaper Art</h3> <p>Frame a wallpaper sample or fabric remnant. Try framing multiple pieces of the same pattern, with patterns facing different directions in each frame.</p> <h3>15. Good Fortune, Good Art</h3> <p>Ever get a fortune in your fortune cookie that you think is incredibly clever or speaks to you? Try framing the tiny scrap of paper. Putting a mat and frame around such a small object creates a more dramatic effect.</p> <p><em>What do you all think? Any ideas you&rsquo;re going to try here, or any decorating ideas for under $5 you&rsquo;d add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-design-ideas-for-a-kids-playroom">10 Budget Design Ideas for a Kids&#039; Playroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-remodel-your-bedroom-without-demolishing-a-thing">7 Ways to Remodel Your Bedroom (Without Demolishing a Thing)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-inexpensive-spring-spruce-up-ideas-for-your-home">10 Inexpensive Spring Spruce-Up Ideas for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home budget decorating frame art under $5 Wed, 18 May 2011 10:36:19 +0000 Janey Osterlind 543174 at http://www.wisebread.com