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How to save money by using what you have around the home

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It might be an overused phrase, but the idea that one's man trash is another one's treasure can certainly work in your favour if you're looking for ways to save money or make extra cash.

The most obvious way to do this is to go through your home and garage to find things you no longer use or want.

If you've found quite a few items then consider having a garage sale. If you've only got a handful, sites such as eBay and Gumtree or a local Facebook group might be a better bet.

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An alternative to selling these items, especially if you don't think you'll get much for them, is to have a "swap party" with family and friends. You get a group of people together to swap clothes, books, toys, DVDs etc.

You bring along good-quality items you no longer want and exchange each for a token. You then exchange the token for items brought by others. Not only will you save money, it's great for the environment.

Many Aussie schools, councils and workplaces will be part of the "Big Aussie Swap" hosting swap parties as part of Planet Ark National Recycling Week in November. See recyclingweek.planetark.org for events near you, and tips on having your own swap party.

Then there is "upcycling". Basically it means taking something you'd normally throw away and turning it into something you can use. For example, a friend of mine uses wine bottles as candleholders and of course wine bottles can make great vases.

We've heard of people using plastic cereal bags to store lettuce and this really keeps it fresh longer!

Used coffee grounds are meant to be a great fertiliser because they add nitrogen to the soil, according to Ecosalon. It also recommends turning clothes you don't use anymore into quilts, or even "wrapping cloth" to wrap presents the Japanese way.

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