If you’ve ever visited a furniture store, you know that sometimes the prices make you want to sit down.
It can be hard to find the money, or even the desire to spend the money, on something that is basically used to support your rear end.
One of the best things I’ve learned from my cheapskate ways is that it is possible to have nice quality furniture on a budget. It takes a bit more time and a bit more work, but you can save money on furniture when you know how.
How to Save Money on Furniture
Before you shop, make sure you have at least a vague idea of the type and style of furniture you’re looking for and what you are willing to pay. This will save you from wasting time looking at stores that don’t have what you want. Spend some time with some decorating magazines (available at your library!) or online on sites like Pinterest to get a feel for what’s out there. Once you’ve got some ideas, you’re ready to shop.
If only new will do:
Shop the outlet stores. Many major furniture retailers have outlet stores and places like Overstock.com can also carry name brand furniture at a discount. For items like mattresses or recliners, you may even want to check warehouse clubs for deals.
Take advantage of sales and discounts. Furniture stores almost always have sales during holiday weekends (Memorial Day, President’s Day, etc), so watch for sales flyers. Sign up for your local furniture store’s mailing list, e-mail newsletter, and like their Facebook page. You’ll receive notifications about special deals and sales you may not know about. Some stores even give you discount coupons on your birthday.
Consider making it yourself. If you’ve already got the tools, can find deals on quality materials, and love a good project, you may be able to save money by building your own furniture. Ana White’s fabulous website has a ton of free and easy DIY plans almost anyone can tackle.
If slightly used will do:
Ask your inner circles. Ask family and friends if they have the items you’re looking for. My parents gave me end tables that were just sitting in a garage. We picked up an upholstered chair that a neighbor was giving away, and when we were done with it, it made the rounds to other family members.
Re-purpose what you already have. Sometimes you don’t really need new furniture, you just need a new look. Consider adding slipcovers to cover worn fabric. A new finish or paint to a table or hutch can breathe new life into a room without spending a lot of money. Swap out drawer pulls and knobs for a new look. Even just a good cleaning and a little homemade fabric refresher can give some new life into your old furniture.
Shop for secondhand furniture. My favorite way to save money on furniture is to buy it secondhand. It does take longer to find what you need, but you can ofen find great quality items for a fraction of what you’d pay new.
You can shop the classified ads, check out Facebook selling groups, use Craigslist and Freecycle, shop garage sales or visit thrift stores to find deals. I especially like shopping at estate sales. The items are usually good quality and if they’re in the house, you probably don’t have to worry as much about them being infested with bed bugs or other critters.
The best part of secondhand furniture – you’ll save money AND you’re helping the environment, too!
More Ways to Save Money on Furniture
Always try before you buy. Before you bring a new piece of furniture home, try it out. Sit on those chairs, lay on the couch, bounce on the bed, and just try to get the extra leaf out of the table. Give your items a sniff and be sure to look at the undersides of furniture. The more you know about what you’re buying, the easier it will be to make a good buy.
Make sure you have an affordable way to get your furniture home. If you have to bribe a friend with a few beers to let you use his truck, or you have to pay excessive delivery charges, the deal you find may not be worth it. Determine how much you’re willing to spend to get the item home safely and stick to it.
Don’t be too trendy. Classic styles will always retain their value and usefulness much longer. Instead of spending a bunch of money on a funky couch you hate two years from now, buy something more classic and splurge on funky pillows instead. It’s much easier to swap out the accessories than it is to replace the furniture.
Buy the very best quality furniture you can afford. Good quality furniture − think high quality, durable upholstery fabrics, classic styling, solid wood, dovetailed drawers − will last decades. It can be worth it to pay a little bit more up front for an item you know will be with you for a long time.
Now it’s your turn: How do you save money on furniture?