Furniture can be so expensive. When I first moved out of my parent’s house in college, I remember not even being able to purchase a $500 couch.
We’re planning on moving in less than a year and the idea of getting new furniture has crossed my mind. Moving costs enough money, then when you’re hit with furniture expenses or even if you just want to upgrade certain rooms in your home, it can really drain your wallet.
It probably comes as no surprise that nowadays, I love buying used furniture because it’s so much more affordable and has just become a part of my frugal lifestyle.
There are a few things we need to get or replace when we move, so we’re budgeting to spend no more than $1,500 on everything. I highly doubt we’ll spend that much because the bulk of what we get will be used or discounted furniture, but I will need to buy my son a brand new bed.
There are so many benefits to buying used things, but the biggest one is that it simply allows you to keep more of your money to do other things.
Instead of buying expensive furniture, I can spend my money on experiences, paying off debt, saving for travel, and other values I have. Over the years, I’ve slowly been adding to my living room furniture and I’m pretty happy with all the pieces I have so far as it really makes my apartment feel very homey.
I work from home so feeling comfortable and like I can relax in my own home is a must. Here are a few of the affordable used and new furniture pieces I’ve been able to pick up over the years.
Here’s my kitchen table that I got used back on 2012. I found it at a resale shop and don’t remember how much I spent but I love that it has 6 chairs. Even though there’s just my husband, myself, and our son in the house, I like having a big table to accommodate guests when they come over.
We’ve had Easter dinner at my house a few times and my table has really come in handy for that.
My Favorite Sofa
This was the first piece of furniture I ever purchased. My mom picked it out at a resale store and even though it’s a pretty funky color scheme, it’s so comfortable and I love the ottoman that came with it. Sometimes I work on this couch and it’s my go-to place to sit whenever I’m in my living room. But today as you can see, someone else has taken over this cozy place. (Side note – I really took one for the team to get photos for this blog post 🙂 He’s making this face because he accidentally shot me with his Nerf gun after I took this photo.)
I actually bought these two black end tables new on Amazon. We used to have a coffee table in our living room but I didn’t like that it was a wood color and didn’t match with other pieces in my living room so we got rid of it.
I actually don’t know what to call this but I just refer to it as our DVD shelf since it’s where we store all our movies and some video games. I actually picked this up on the side of the road near my mom’s house.
I was dropping my younger brother off one day and noticed it was garbage day on my mom’s block then I spotted this on the curb near someone’s one.
It really caught my eye because of the size and I knew it would be perfect to store our movies in the living room so I picked it up and had my husband clean it off. The rest is history.
I got these lamp shades at a garage sale a few summers ago for $5 each. I love how they’re just simple and go with anything so as long as they work, I’ll definitely keep them around whenever I change things up in my living room.
The Infamous Financed Couch
Yes, I still have it. The couch I financed back in college. Due to interest costs and fees associated with the loan, I spent way more than $500 for the couch so I plan on it having a very extended life. After 5 years, this couch is still in mint condition.
I chose a plum color to match the odd-colored sofa my mom picked out for me at the resale store. Plus, purple is my favorite color so it’s interesting to use purple and green together in my living room.
Even though I love my couch, I do regret financing it and I’ll give share better options to obtain new furniture later in the post.
There’s a local resale shop in my area that sells used furniture and will pay you for furniture that you drop off. Since you can actually sell your old furniture to this store, the inventory is much better quality than general thrift stores.
Earlier this year, my husband and I found a really nice TV stand for $70. It doesn’t sound cheap, but the TV stand is pretty nice. It looks new, came with two glass shelves, and can hold a 70-inch TV.
Normally, a TV stand like that would cost us several hundred dollars new. I checked on Best Buy’s website and found one similar for $300.
Okay, so this isn’t in my living room, but I bought it used at the same time I bought my kitchen table and sofa. It’s in my room and I have no idea if there’s actually an official name for this type of furniture it so I named it ‘Big Bertha’ because it’s huge and holds everything like my T.V., clothes, and other random knick knacks.
It feels great to not have to finance bedroom furniture at places like Rent-a-Center and pay a ton of money in interest. If Big Bertha can survive our move in the spring, she’s definitely coming with us 🙂
Best Places to Shop Used to Save Money on Furniture
Now that I’ve gone over most of my furniture and how I’ve acquired it, you’ve noticed that most of it is used. That’s because I almost always shop used first, then I consider buying new if I can’t find that I’m looking for.
Buying used furniture doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. People get rid of quality items all the time and as you saw with my DVD shelf, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
- Garage sales
- Thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army
- Local resale shops (usually a step up from places like Goodwill especially the ones that offer to buy used furniture and resell it in the store. New Uses is my favorite store. They have locations in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio.
- On the side of the road. Don’t underestimate garbage days 🙂
- Estate sales
- On Facebook buy, sell, and trade groups (see if your local area has one) or the Facebook Marketplace
- Online – FleaPop, Etsy, EBTH (estate sale marketplace that stands for: Everything But The House), Apartment Therapy Marketplace (similar to Craigslist), and Etsy
Best Ways to Buy Affordable New Furniture
Just because I love getting used furniture doesn’t mean I’m completely against buying things brand new. There are some types of furniture I actually prefer new like mattresses and box springs and other items that are hard to clean for sanitary reasons.
If you’re trying to find a deal on new furniture, I’d highly recommend you try a few of these solutions.
Shop during holiday sale seasons – Shopping during holiday or end-of-year sales can be hectic but sometimes it’s worth it if there are huge deals and clearances.
Do your furniture shopping at a warehouse store – Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco offer better deals than department stores. The memberships are also very cheap and you can buy your groceries there too.
Shop Online – Sites like Amazon, Overstock, and Wayfair offer a ton of deals on new furniture from reputable brands. Also, try to make sure you qualify for free shipping when placing orders online for furniture if possible.
Avoid Financing At All Costs!!
Financing anything will likely cost you more money. With furniture, financing can make the purchasing process even more expensive. While obtaining furniture can be important, places that will allow you to finance thousands of dollars for your items are looking to make money off you with interest charges.
Even if you receive a 0% APR offer, the purchase price for the actual item could be extremely marked up. This was the case with my TempurPedic mattress that my husband and I financed for $3,000 (sigh). The bed is actually great and helps with my back problems but I probably could have gotten it for half the price, and we’re still paying it off.
If your furniture needs aren’t urgent, I’d highly recommend waiting for big-ticket items and doing your research while shopping around and considering gently-used items first.
How do you save money on furniture? Do you shop new or used?
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