Redoing your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Use these easy tricks to get what you want without going broke.
1. Upcycle what you have
Upcycling is a way of restoring or transforming your stuff—”the art of taking something old and used for one purpose and turning it into something fresh and, oftentimes, unique,” said the Times Union.
When it comes to furniture, upcycling is a way to preserve history, keep an eye on the environment, and hold on to quality you may not easily find today. “Furniture is discarded a lot of times for new trendy designs and finishes,” they said. “This is sad because so much of the new stuff is low-quality pieces. We are keeping the quality and the history and incorporating that into pieces that would otherwise be junk.”
2. Make a trade
If you want something new, get rid of something old. Put that unused or unliked armoire on Craigslist or eBay. When it sells, use the money to purchase something new. It might just start a trend in your house!
Get a pair of headphones you don’t want for Christmas instead of the set of cast-iron pans you need? Head to a site like BarterOnly.com. Their mantra of “One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure” says it all!”
List your unwanted items for free on Craigslist. The benefit to using this site over eBay is that you can keep it local and forgo the need to deal with expensive and clunky shipping. As it is always smart to protect yourself against strangers in your home, you’ll want to take precautions. Make sure you’re not alone and try to do transactions outside of your home, like in the front yard or garage.
5. Craigslist’s free section
Be sure to check Craigslist’s free section on a regular basis. You never know what you’ll find! (Our own two-second search yielded everything from an Epson Printer to toilets to 10 packs of beef ramen.)
Garage sale shoppers aren’t just fond of the process. They’re bordering on fanatical, and for good reason. The savviest shoppers can find more than a few great deals. They can also make some real money, if they know what to look for.
“The best way to become what I call a ‘garage sale millionaire’ is to become an expert on a handful of items, so when you come across those items, you know how much, if anything, they’re worth on the market,” said Mint.
Becoming a part of your local Nextdoor community can help you find a babysitter, a plumber, and a new bedroom set. Because the site is community based, transactions will be local.
This retail store is widely embraced for its affordable designs. If you don’t have a HomeGoods in your area, check out Marshalls and T.J, Maxx. Because all three stores are owned by the same company, they overlap merchandise.
9. Home Improvement Stores
Home Depot, Lowe’s and other home improvement stores are often great places to look for furniture and other household items—but you’ll find the best choices online. Some supermarkets also carry housewares and offer great prices on items like bedding, storage, and kitchen items.
10. Thrift Stores
You may not think a thrift store is the place to go for furniture and home furnishings, but if you pick the right thrift store, you might be surprised what you’ll find.
“The fact is, we all would like to save money, especially when it comes to home items,” said the Huffington Post. “Furniture, tableware and accessories can be staggeringly overpriced and/or shoddily constructed. Visiting a thrift store can yield genuinely high-quality items that have withstood the test of time for far, far less.”
Among their tips:
• Check the kitchen section. “There are more genuine vintage sets of china lingering in the aisles of thrift stores than there are bridal registries in America. They usually cost less than what you’d pay for a single tea cup in a new set.”
• Shop in the suburbs. “Actually, shop near ‘Grandma neighborhoods.’ You’re more likely to come across genuine old-school furniture of a higher caliber. Plus, there’s less competition for the goods.
We have also personally had great luck shopping in or near upscale neighborhoods, scoring deals on housewares and electronics that were worth far more than the person who donated—and the person who priced—the item realized.