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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Decorating on a Dime!

Decorating on a Dime!

People are spending less. That is no secret in this economy, where many people are choosing to avoid major purchases. There are some purchases, such as home furnishings, that do not have to be put on the back burner if shoppers simply take the time to explore available options.

First, change your mindset about pre-owned furniture. There is nothing wrong with used furniture. In fact, some furniture is like new when taking into consideration quality, how often it was used, and how well it was pampered. Remember great-grandma’s den couch covered in plastic? Rare used finds like that abound if you know where to look.

Furnishing a house or apartment can be a major expense, but if you check out these 10 tips they may help when searching for furniture on a budget. Happy hunting!

Online/Printed Newspaper Classifieds, Free Classified Circulars, Facebook, Craigslist — Go to the library and peruse the classified sections of the local newspapers, which patrons are permitted to read for free. Or get online and search classified websites for free. Watch out for free printed classified circulars that can be found around town. Don’t forget Craigslist offers users free access to search items people are selling. Just type in where you are located and click on furniture. You can also place a free ad letting people know that you will pick up any furniture they don’t want in exchange for not being charged. Why not post an entry on Facebook letting friends and relatives know what you need? They might charge less because they know you, or just might decide to be charitable and give you free furniture!

Thrift Stores - Many are associated with religious organizations that use profits to fund operating costs of missions work. Furniture is normally used, but some thrift stores sell a combination of new and used. Get a friend to cover ground on the days you are not browsing. Good deals go fast!

Houses of Worship — If you are a member of a church, synagogue, or mosque, place an ad in the newsletter and let fellow congregants know your needs. Did somebody say free!

Furniture Stores - Many mom and pop furniture stores have a used section and in that area you can find great deals on furniture that was once hotel décor. There are some furniture stores that have a discount back room where cheaper pieces of furniture can be purchased without breaking the bank. It does not hurt to ask.

Garbage Day — If you don’t know, research when garbage trucks run in your city. Don’t laugh, some people might believe this is beneath them but surprising finds can be discovered sitting on the curb. Now, many people who are known to participate in curb pick-ups only visit the affluent parts of town. I’ve personally heard stories of beautiful dining room chairs and tables, televisions and patio furniture set out like trash, although it was perfectly fine, nary a scratch. As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Storage Warehouses — I’m not referring to “Storage Wars,” the popular reality television show on the A&E cable network. Sometimes, mostly weekends, these businesses sell unclaimed merchandise from storage units. There is no bidding because prices are already attached.

Antique Shops — You never know what kind of hidden jewels you might unearth in these establishments, many of which are usually filled to the gills. With most businesses experiencing a decrease in traffic, unbeatable deals might be yours for the asking.

Estate Sales — I have been to some impressive estate sales. Although prices are already determined for most furniture, there is always room for negotiation, unless it is an estate sale where an auction is involved.

Yard Sales — Most of the time anyone who has a yard sale won’t mind if you haggle over price. Just do it tactfully and show those pearly whites. You might be shocked just how much a good attitude can affect the bottom line.

Flea Market — This is another arena where negotiating for the best price is not an unheard practice. It can also be a place where custom-made furniture can be purchased for less than what you would pay at a pricey furniture store. Often vendors will give first-time customers a discount to keep them coming back.

5 comments

1 Nancy Dawn { 09.12.12 at 9:24 am }

I love thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. I just have a word of caution: Please be careful when acquiring used couches, mattresses, etc. Bed bugs have become a HUGE problem nowadays.

2 es { 08.22.12 at 6:37 pm }

I love thrift stores, and yard sales. My son moved back to town again after another divorce and of course he needed a lot of things. He got on Cragis list and found a beautiful heavy set of furniture for $600 they said but the first thing they did was reduce it by 10% and gave my son $50 to help deliver it cause they needed the help. Good, eh? I bot him stand for the microwave for $3 at the thrift store, They had it marked at $6 but they had a sticker on top and I asked why they did’nt put the tags somewhere else cause it made the coating come off the stand and she reduced it to $3. I have gotten him and my daughter some pans that are $150 on the internet, Ebay, for $5.99. I have found just about anything he has ever mentioned, right at the thrift stores. I have an awful lot in my own house too. It is fun to see something for a fraction of the cost that u would pay in a store and then u dont have to keep it forever if u dont want to.

3 Barbara { 08.22.12 at 11:13 am }

recently went to a yard sale, bought a necklace for $1.50. Looked on the Crabclaw clasp and it said 14K , Italy. So I looked on the internet and it is worth $1945.00. Never thought I would find such treasure , had heard of people doing so, but never dreamed I would.

4 Red { 08.22.12 at 9:52 am }

Really agreed with, and enjoyed, this article…I have to admit, I’ve furnished most of my 2700 sqft home with second hand funiture and decor from thrift shops, flea markets and so forth. When my friends come over they refer to my home as “the museum”, but little do they realize, I spent pennies on the dollor creating my extravegant looking living spaces…and bonus, since I didn’t pay much, I don’t have to be uptight about my young children using the furniture, we can actually LIVE in our home…as long as they clean up after themselves, of course. ;o)

5 missjane { 08.21.12 at 9:21 am }

I recently helped my daughter furnish her part of a rented house with all flea market finds and yard sale items. For under $150, we purchased a full sized bed frame, desk, wing-back chair, small storage cabinet, very large sewing basket for storage, and two end tables, all in sound condition. It takes time and some savy shopping, but it can be done. You have to be patient, check frequently, and buy things when you see them because they may be gone when you go back if you wait.

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