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I have a fetish for decorating…. In fact it’s kind of a habit that use to be a bad habit since I would spend so much money on decorating a room but then get tired of my decor and want to re-decorate. I then would spend more money to re-decorate that same room that I just spent money on a couple months ago. See how that can be a bad habit?
Since then, I have figured out how to make this work for me. I am now able to re-decorate as often as I want and not feel guilty about it since I am saving a ton of money doing it.
Check out my tips below on Where to Shop while decorating on a budget (or addicted to changing up your decor too often ;-)).
Refinishing your furniture –
This is actually one of my favorite tips because you essentially do not have to pay a thing to do this (other than a few bucks for paint and supplies). If you’re not crafty or creative (or heck, even if you are) then I highly recommend checking out Pinterest (look under “Home Decor” or “DIY & Crafts” categories) where there are thousands of ideas, tips and tricks on how to paint furniture, change it, fix it, etc! Bored of your entryway table, how about painting it a different color and just swapping out the gadgets sitting on it. This is an easy way to change things up and you’d be surprised at the difference it makes!
Garage Sales –
People get tired of things…like I mentioned above 😉 and sell their decorations and furniture at garage sales! Or they are moving and need to get rid of bulky furniture, fragile glass decor and more. Garage sales are a great way to pick up some really nice stuff (and you could even use my tip above about refinishing things if needed).
Tired or your furniture/decor….Think about this idea; why not have a garage sale to sell the items you are tired of and then spend the money you make to purchase “new” decorations from a different garage sale. 😉
Thrift/Donation Stores –
This is kind of the same idea as above but since thrift stores are a little pickier on what they choose (since they only have a limited amount of space to display things), you may have an easier time finding some really nice things. Plus, you save gas money since you don’t have to drive around to each garage sale. You may pay a little more at a thrift store but you are still getting a huge discount off of retail prices!
Craft Stores –
And I don’t mean to make your own crafts for decor (although this is a great idea too)…I mean check out Michaels or Roberts craft stores for decorations. Since a lot of people don’t know they carry home decor, they often clearance out items that don’t sell. They also carry fake plants, rocks, vases, etc and if you get creative, you can piece together some really cute decorations.
One more thing you could do, head over to the scrapbook paper section and pick out some really cute paper (I like light blue Chevron, stripes, etc) and use them as the background of a picture frame. For example, if you have an 8×10 frame, buy 1 scrapbook paper and tape a 5×7 photo in the middle of it then place it in the frame. It really adds a cute touch to an entry way or hallway table top decoration.
TJ Maxx –
Not much to be said here other than, they have really, REALLY cute stuff! I buy a LOT of my home decorations here. In case you didn’t know, TJ Maxx Homegood stores (and even the normal TJ Maxx stores) get decorations from large department stores then they drastically mark them down. I have also found a LOT of really cute stuff in the clearance home decor section which is marked down 2 times (once from the department store and once from TJ Maxx’s price)!
Here are some things they carry….picture frames, bathroom decor, towels, toothbrush and soap holders, vases, kitchen towels, fake plants, furniture, mirrors, rugs, pillows, lamps, pictures (large ones too for around $40!), kid’s room decor, kitchen decor and signs AND they even have a TON of pet items!
Clearance Sections –
I highly recommend finding out where each store puts their clearance items. For example, Target usually puts clearance items on end caps, Walmart sometimes puts them in the garden section or right by it. Clearance sections are always a great place to find some cute decorations at a great price.
Craigslist (Online) or Facebook –
Craigslist is a GREAT place to find all kinds of really neat stuff people are selling. There are a ton of different categories so be sure to check them all and you can search “decorations” too! It’s kind of like an online garage sale. Speaking of online garage sales, a lot of people have started creating “Online garage sales” for nearly every city/state on FACEBOOK! You can search words like “San Diego Garage Sales” or something to that effect. They are usually groups you will need to ask permission to get into but they are free and an easy way to see pictures of items people are selling in your area (including lots of cute decor).
Find out when the roadside pick up is in your area (some areas do not do this but a lot do) and spend a little time that day driving around to see what treasures you may be able to find. I actually found a really nice Fisher Price outdoor slide and playset for little ones when driving home one day. I am guessing the families kids got too big for it and this was an easy way for them to get rid of it. You know how that saying goes…”One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. 😉
Trading with Friends or Family –
I LOVE this idea and have not tried it yet but I seriously think it is so smart! Trade some furniture you are tired of with a neighbor or family member! You can either trade it for good (that way they can paint it or whatever) or you can simply “borrow” the decorations or furniture. You trade your couch for their couch or whatever items it may be. LOVE this!
Consignment stores –
Once again, this is similar to the thrift stores but a little different. Here is the difference, a thrift/donation store is where people simply give their items to the store to sell and the store only profits from it and the “donator” does not get anything from it because they donated their items.
A consignment store is where people take their stuff to sell and the store will give them a percentage of what it sells for.
You can find some really nice decor in consignment stores. You may pay a little more than you would in a thrift store or at a garage sale but there is a pretty good chance the store will be filled with really nice treasures and at AWESOME prices still!
I would love to hear some of your ideas on where to shop when decorating on a budget!
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Audrey saysMarch 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm
Thank you so much for this great article! It was very helpful. my best friend and i are graduating from high school in a year and have been freaking out about money and how were going to pay for an apartment and decor down in Santa Cruz, CA. were from South Lake Tahoe, CA. I can not thank you enough for helping us get more ideas on how to save money! you’re truly a life saver!
Stephanie Lynn saysAugust 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm
You forgot Ross!! There’s always awesome bargains there!