When trying to keep within your home décor budget, finding ways to cut down on certain categories can be crucial.
Some of the easiest ways to do this is to look for alternative furniture and decoration options, as these items can often be responsible for inflating the amount spent on your project. Designer furniture and one-of-a-kind-art are very tempting, but often unnecessary. You can find cheaper versions of the items you have in your home décor vision without putting your budget over the edge.
Comparative shopping is always important. You may do this online, perhaps scouring flash sale sites or looking at deals available from large retailers. In-store shopping also benefits from careful comparison, as well as attention to sale and discount opportunities. Second hand furniture and decorations are often the very cheapest options. However, even these require some strategy to make sure you get the best deal possible.
Used furniture and décor items are usually less expensive than new purchases, unless you are intending to buy an antique. You can find great deals at garage sales, yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets. You may even be able to find an item through a classified advertisement, in a newspaper or online through various home décor apps.
These kinds of purchases will require something of an open mind, as it is hard to plan for exactly what you are going to buy. Try making a list of what you need to use the items for, rather than the items themselves. You may find a loveseat and armchair set instead of a long sofa, for example, or an unusual sculpture you could display instead of a painting. You can even use certain items for an alternative purpose, such as an old trunk as a nightstand or coffee table, especially if you need more storage for a smaller space.
Second-hand purchases are often of better quality when found in an affluent area, and you may want to plan a day to drive around any such areas in the region where you live. Having transportation is usually a must no matter where you search, as you will have to transport the item home yourself.
Remember second hand purchases are only a good deal if they are in good condition. If you buy an item requiring significant repairs and cleaning or will need to be replaced after a few months of use, then it may not be worth even the small amount of money spent to begin with.
When looking for new items, you can get the best possible savings by shopping around and comparing prices before you buy. Make sure to give yourself adequate time to make these comparisons, and do not be tempted to buy an item on impulse just because it seems like a good deal.
Many stores have discounts for those who sign up for loyalty programs. While these programs may sometimes make it all too easy to overspend, the initial reward may be worth getting a store card. If you find several items you wish to buy in one store, consider signing up for any program offering you a percentage off your first purchase. You may never even need to use the card again, but the savings could be well worth the time spent filling in an application.
Timing your purchases can also mean saving a lot of money. Many furniture stores hold sales over the holidays, for example. Try to find out when the stores you are interested in hold their sales, so you can plan your decorating projects accordingly. A store might also hold a sale shortly before a designer is expected to bring out a new range of products. This will often occur in spring, and so shopping near the end of winter could mean finding great deals.
Shopping online has a number of advantages. There are many speciality websites offering discounted items, perhaps clearing leftover stock or only selling items currently on sale. These sites may have a limited selection, or only have certain items available for brief periods at a time. However, if you have a list of items you are keeping an eye out for, you can monitor the sites and wait for the right deal.
There are also many large stores that will allow you to shop online instead of in person. The benefit here is the ability to immediately compare any item you are considering buying. You can even use the key terms describing the item on one site to find better deals on others. In addition, shopping online may give you access to stores too far away for you to visit in person, or even offer a wider selection than any one store could. Stores like Marshalls, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Walmart and Target can offer online catalogues of furniture and décor with in-store pickup and online ordering.
Many online furniture and décor stores also offer varying discounts each day, on anything from beds to curtains. Others will allow you free shipping once your order reaches a certain amount. Some of these stores include:
Sometimes, the cheapest option might mean no cost at all. Try approaching friends and family to see whether they have any pieces they have been planning to get rid of. This should be undertaken in the same manner as a second-hand sale from a thrift store or garage sale, requiring you to check whether the item is still in useable condition. However, you may have the added assurance the piece has been taken good care of.
You may even choose to borrow the piece if you are uncertain as to whether you want it in the long term, or if you might move soon and do not want to commit to any large purchases. However, you will have to be much more careful with any borrowed item than one you have purchased yourself. It might be the case your friend or family member was intending to sell the item, and you will have to purchase rather than borrow or receive it for free. However, you may get a steeply discounted rate, not least due to the speed of the transaction and the effort saved in advertising the item.