Whether you are a newlywed or homeowner for years, decorating your dream home (or temporary home) can be expensive. Even with the emergence of cheap retailers like Ikea, you can spend thousands of dollars making your house into a home.

But these with simple tips, you can make your house into a designer home with minimal dollars to spend.

Dumpster dive. OK, I don’t really think you should jump into a dumpster to find decor for your home, but the idea is a good one. Have you ever heard one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Often times you can find literal treasures just sitting on the side of the road. My family had an extra bike that fit no one. We left it on our street with a FREE sign and it was gone before we even got back into the house. If you don’t want to spend your hours driving through the streets finding people’s trash, take your search online. Classifieds like Craigslist.com have a free section. Or check out freecycle.org, a website dedicated to swapping unwanted items in order to better the world through recycling. (get it? free-recycling = freecycle). Whatever you get for free, wash and/or sanitize before daily use. You never know where it has been.

Thrifting. Thrifting has become trendy due to the recent economic downfall. Ever heard of a Recessionista? That is a girl (or savvy guy) who still gets great things and looks great but for a fraction of the cost. And a thrift store is the recessionista’s secret weapon. Chain thrift stores like Salvation Army and Savers sell items that have been donated to them.The key to thrifting is to go often. Find out when your favorite store puts out new items and avoid the weekend since the store is generally more busy and typically picked over. And look between the racks. Often thrift stores will discount items depending on how long they have been on the rack. Don’t be surprised if you find the perfect candelabra hidden among the dingy frames.

Garage sales. A close sister to a thrift store, garage sales are traveling treasure troves. Sure, 90 percent of everything sold is actually garbage, but you can find that diamond in the rough. A lady nearby my house was selling kid’s Halloween costumes for $1 each. Typically, garage salers try to have one big ticket item to draw in buyers. The key with garage sales is to haggle. The sticker price is never the actual price. Most garage salers are anxious to sell their items toward the end of a sale, but do not wait if you see a big ticket item. Someone else might snag it before you do.

Do it yourself. Thanks to craft stores like Hobby Lobby and websites like Pinterest.com, the DIY movement is booming. Instead of buying a $20 wreath to hang on my front door, I used foam piping and tulle to make a cuter one for a fraction of the cost. Consider the cost to do most home decor projects yourself.

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