You can find great deals on paint at your local hardware/paint store - just ask for the "mistinted paint section". These paints are the same high quality and average $5 a gallon compared to full price at $20 + up a gallon. The colors are usually up with the current trends and if you don't see a color you like don't be afraid to mix colors together as long as the paints are the same kind (latex with latex, oil with oil). Also check out neighborhood garage sales as many people give their leftover paint away for free.
Another way to save on paint is to see if your community offers recycled paint at a discount. In my area (Portland, OR), they will collect leftover paint to prevent it from going into the landfill. Then they mix up big batches and sell them in 5 gallon buckets for approximately $20-30. They have basic shades, like light brown and green.
I used it in my living room and it is just wonderful paint. We are going to do the outside with recycled paint too. Just be sure to buy enough paint the first time because there is no guarantee that the "brown" color will be exactly the same from batch to batch.
Our county offers recycled paint but it's FREE. They always have a lot of white, too, which can be tinted to whatever color you need. We painted our entire house with free paint and it still looks great three years later.
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