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Our home is our castle -- but without the royal staff. No problem: Most houseware retailers, such as Williams-Sonoma, regularly hold free classes on cooking and kitchen gadgets for the domestically challenged. (Rachael Ray got her start teaching cooking classes at an Albany, N.Y., store.)

Other places will teach you how to primp your pad without paying a king's ransom. Home Depot has the online Home Improver Club that, like other major chains, offers free classes and instruction on all kinds of home repairs and cosmetic improvements.

And don't forget free advice from your local hardware store, says Jeff Yeager, author of "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches." Their advice and tips could save you thousands on the repairs. Another free benefit: An hour of remodeling work burns an estimated 500 calories.


 

 

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