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Money Saving Tips for Decorating

March 4, 2010

We all have limited budgets.  The further we stretch our budgets, the more home projects we can tackle.  Here are some things I do to try to stretch my decorating dollar.

1.  Thrift – I use thrift stores a lot for accessories in my home.  Thrift store items and spray paint are huge in making your money go further.

2.  Wait for sales – if you can.  I love Pottery Barn, but I can’t handle their prices.  Luckily, I know that they can have decent markdowns from time to time.  So, I stalk their website and store waiting for my objects of desire to go on sale.  This is risky; I have definitely missed out on some items that were never marked down.  But, if you can handle the idea that you might not get an item, waiting can really pay off.

3.  ebay – If I am unwilling to risk an item from Pottery Barn or anywhere else never going on sale, I can always turn to ebay.  I have scored unopened bedding, oil paintings and accessories from ebay for cheap.  The trick is to watch the shipping cost; it can be a deal breaker.

4.  craigslist – When shipping costs are a concern (like with furniture), I turn to craigslist.  I have bought multiple pieces of furniture from people in my area for a fraction of the retail cost with no problems.  My best score was our computer desk set that I bought off craigslist for $75.  I saw the exact same set at Ashley Furniture a year later for around $600.

5.  Comparison Shop – I have several home decorating sites I visit over and over.  I check all of them before I commit to buying anything.  This way I know I made the best choice as well as the most economical one.

6.  Coupon codes – I NEVER buy anything online without googling the name of the store and the word code.  Some sites rarely have coupon codes, but some always have them.  I haven’t bought anything from JCPenney online in the last 3 years without using a code for a discount or free shipping.

7.  Knock-offs – Sometimes, when all else fails, you realize that you simply can’t afford an object you desire.  However, discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Home Goods and Marshall’s all have items inspired by some of the pricier home decorating stores.  Check your local discounter for a knock-off.  This can yield big savings.

8.  DIY – There are lots of opportunities to make decor similar to that found in your favorite catalog or magazine.  Get familiar with your local hardware store and your power tools for big savings.  In the past, I have made flowerpots, chalkboards, throw pillows and curtains all for a lot less than if I had just bought them.

9.  Don’t be a snob – I fall victim to this at times.  I really dislike Wal-Mart and a regional hardware chain called Menard’s.  I prefer Target and Lowe’s.  Why?  In part because I am a little bit snobby.  And, recently, I have learned that being snobby can keep me from great buys.  Wal-Mart has a fab new line of home decor products.  I recently scored two new throw pillow there for less than the cost of one I had my eye on at Target.  And, Menard’s recently saved me $20 on a light fixture swap.  Lesson – it pays to be more open-minded about where you shop.

10.  Children & Teen decor is cheaper – All the major home decor stores have a kids line and some have teen lines.  These lines are usually cheaper than the “parent” store.  And often, the decor will still work in grown-up spaces.  Check out the kiddie versions of your favorite retailers for bedding, lamps, rugs and light fixtures.

Do you have any money-saving tips to share?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Keryl permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:01 am

    You covered it really well.

    The only other idea I have is to let others know what you’re looking for. People NEVER seem to know what to get me for my birthday or Christmas. Therefore, I’ll tell them flat-out what I want if it’s a reasonably priced item or ask for a gift card to the store that carries a larger item that I’m looking at.

    This way, they know they’re getting or helping me get something that I’ll definitely like. No returns! Plus, I don’t have to cover the entire cost of a large item myself, which spares my budget. It’s a win-win all around.

  2. Linda permalink
    March 4, 2010 1:29 pm

    Great ideas. You are so smart! Time to check for all these bargains is what I don’t have now. Maybe in the fall!!!

  3. sherry permalink
    March 4, 2010 1:38 pm

    I clicked the print button on this one, Missy!! What great tips. In the clothes dept. for savings, I have a favorite consignment store an hour drive away where I find designer labels along with reg. ones for almost nothing; Talbot’s dresses for example at $6.50 or a little more, well known jean labels with no wear for $3.50 to $4.50; sweaters and blouses galore for even less. Some items still have the price tags. I shop Dillard’s Dept. store (you may not have) when they have their 70% off plus another 30% to 40% off that.

  4. mike permalink
    March 4, 2010 2:11 pm

    Garage or yard sales. Mama’s treasures.

  5. steven permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:23 pm

    TJ maxx has great deals on clothes that way more expensive at other places. I have a few apps on the iphone that have coupons and just look em up and they scan the barcode on the phone. also around UNM, they have great deals for students and some will even give you the discount if you arent a student 🙂

    Sherry’s right, when dillards has their big sale, there are some great deals but man its a madhouse. The womens shoe section, was a madhouse 🙂

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