for Inexpensive Deals on Furniture
like to buy healthy, non toxic furniture that is either
solid wood, glass or metal at good prices. I know you can
get pressed wood products cheap at places like Target and
Ikea, but for me the off
gassing from the chemicals from pressed wood furniture
isn't worth the long term health issues.
below are my tips of where I've gotten nice furniture at
great prices over the years.
Estates sales - Whether this option works for you or
not I think depends on what part of the country you live
in. When we lived in the Midwest, we found great buys at
estate sales, but not so much when we lived in the South
or on the West coast.
buys from estate sales were all wood, antique pieces that
we used ourselves for decades. Only recently we remodeled
our home and replaced our old antique estate sale buys,
but they are still living on and in use at a friend's house.
Well made, solid wood pieces of furniture can literally
last for decades, so when you find pieces like this snatch
them up! Buying those antiques when we were young was one
of the best investments we ever made.
of the worst investments we ever made was buying stuffed
chairs at an estate sale. Anything with stuffing can get
moldy, so for things like couches and mattresses we now
only buy new at discounted prices.)
Garage sales - It is time consuming process but if you
have more time than money this can be a great option. Try
going early to get the best picks, or go later in the day
when prices are marked down. One of our frugal neighbors
told he furnished his whole home from garage sales, including
things like TVs. We once bought a brand new looking dining
room table at a garage sale for a fraction of what a new
table would have cost at the store.
Thrift stores - Most of the stuff I've seen at thrift
shops has been pretty beat up, but there are still bargains
here and there to be found. Many of the items that make
it to these shops are fairly beat up, but if you don't mind
doing a little painting or staining there can be some good
- There are some things that are great buys at Overstock
and many products where you can get better prices and faster
delivery at other sites like Amazon, but for wool rugs
and furniture, especially all wood furniture, the prices
at Overstock are pretty hard to beat.
prefer to buy all wood furniture to avoid the off gassing
of chemicals from particle board and engineered wood. With
Overstock they have descriptions online of the the kind
of wood used in all of the furniture products, while we've
found that furniture from the local stores is often either
unspecified as to the contents or is made from man made
bought a beautiful buffet table for my dining room at one
third the price of a similar table at Crate and Barrel.
My Overstock buffet is solid wood while the C+B table was
pressed wood. The drawback to Overstock is many of the pieces
have to be assembled. I just pay my kids to do that for
me, but if you don't have anyone mechanically inclined in
your household, then this may not be the best option for
- Cheap but not recommended. One of my sons and I are
sensitive to formaldehyde, and even just walking into an
Ikea store gives us headaches because of all of the man
made products with chemical components. I know other people
may not be as sensitive to formaldehyde as we are, but perhaps
we are like the parakeets the miners used to use to sniff
out dangerous fumes. If the furniture fumes make people
like me and my son sick, they probably aren't the best alternatives
even for less chemically sensitive people.
All Wood Furniture Specialty Stores - Much of the furniture
with four figure price tags at places like Macy's and Penney's
is actually made from pressed wood. We have found healthier,
better quality, less expensive, longer lasting furniture
on sale at stores that specialize in solid wood furniture.
Most of our bedroom furniture has come from sales at a local
wood furniture store.
Watch for sales at retail stores and seize the day when
you find a great sale. Years ago, a local retail store
had a scratch card sales event. Shoppers got a card when
they entered the store and scratched off a box to get a
percent off their purchases for they day, even sales prices.
On my card I got one of the rare 30% off pieces, so I went
wild and bought a dishwasher, a living room set and a rocking
chair and more. The pieces were already on sale, so I got
everything at below cost. (One of the sales clerks later
told me they lowered the maximum percent off of future scratch
card events specifically because of the money they lost
on my shopping spree.)
Negotiate - I know it isn't easy for everyone to do,
but you really can negotiate prices at retail stores on
big ticket items like furniture. What I do is just say.
"I can get this item for X amount at your competitor,
if you can beat that price I'll buy it here instead."
If you can get it online, then take in the screen shot of
the item's price online. I've done this with appliances
and have gotten Best Buy to beat the online prices posted
at Home Depot.
Unfinished furniture - If you have more time than money,
you can buy unfinished furniture and then stain or paint
it yourself. My mom used to buy unfinished furniture from
Penny's catalog and then just paint it over with regular
Slipcovers - Instead of getting new couches, this year
my plan is to buy slipcovers for our old couch and love
Consignment Stores - We've purchased a few things at
consignment stores, but because of the overhead involved
and the store and original owner both needing a cut of the
sales price, I've never found any earth shaking bargains
at consignment stores. In fact, the last store I went into
I thought I could have purchased most of the pieces cheaper
brand new at Overstock.
Make Your Own Furniture - Be creative and make a trendy
end table from a bunch
of cut logs. Or how about a plank over books or cinder
blocks for an instant coffee table, for a shabby chic look?
One of my first wall ornaments was an old wooden typesetters
drawer I bought at a flea market and filled with little
knickknacks. It was cheap, fun to decorate and a great conversation
Inflatable Furniture - For kid's rooms at home and college
dorm rooms, this may be a good option as air filled furniture
is easy to deflate and move to another location. Target
has an assortment of inflatable furniture you can buy online,
even a queen sofa bed!
Check out freecycle.org. You know the old saying, one
man's trash is another man's treasure. You probably won't
find an elegant, antique, mahogany coffee table to freecycle.org,
but then again it is hard to argue with a price of free
for the taking. Freecycle matches up people with used goods,
including furniture, to give away with those in need. You
can clear out your own clutter by offering items or put
in a request for something you need.
Scavenge - Much of the furniture from my first apartment
all came from my relatives' basements.
Scratch and Dent - check out the bargain sections at
your local retail stores. You could save a bundle by not
being too picky about small scratches or marks.
Buy plants - Plants can provide fresh air indoors, detoxify
harmful chemicals in the air, are colorful and can be an
inexpensive way to use up space in an otherwise sparsely
Use patio furniture on the inside - One of my first
dining room tables was a metal outdoor patio table and chairs
that I bought marked down at the end of summer and used
in my kitchen. Patio furniture is usually made to be durable
so it lasted quite a long time.
Cost Plus World Market
carry many trendy, all wood pieces of furniture at reasonable
prices. We bought a solid wood bookcase here for a little
over a hundred dollars. We liked it so much over the years
we've ended up with 4 of them in different room in the house.
Use tablecloths creatively - Buy cheap, beat up tables
at garage sales and Goodwill, and then cover them in floor
length table cloths.
Reupholster - Instead of buying new, see if you can
reupholster old chairs or couches.
Look for deals on Craigslist, including the free section.
Old fashioned luggage trunks can make trendy coffee tables.
I had one I found in my grandparents' basement that we used
in our homes for decades.
a little elbow grease, creativity and imagination it is
quite possible to furnish an entire home on a limited budget.
Chun, Cherie. "Inflatable furniture is cheap, hassle-free,
and just plain groovy!." Honolulu Star - Bulletin. Honolulu
Star Bulletin HI. 1998.
Hatherly, Joanne. "12 steps to finding good (and cheap)
furniture." Winnipeg Free Press. FP Canadian Newspapers
Limited Partnership. 2006.