10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate Their Homes For Less


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Our house by no means looks like something out of the pages of a home decorating magazine. However, it has come a long way from the milk crate and futon couch decor we started out with.

10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate Their Homes For Less How to save money on home decor items

Here are a few thrifty tips I have learned about decorating a home on a tight budget.

10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate Their Homes For Less

1. Yard sales

A lot of our home furnishings come from yard sales, from the couch found in my son’s room to the end tables in our family room, the night tables in our master bedroom, the sideboard in our dinning room, and the list goes on.

Sometimes these items do need a new coat of paint or new hardware but even adding in the time and cost, these yard sale finds are still significantly less than items bought new on clearance.

2. Clearance Sales

Most of the curtains in our home were bought from various clearance sales. Our 100% leather couches in our family room, are also a clearance find–they were bought 50% off .

The trick with finding great clearance items to decorate with is to shop with a flexible “wants” and “needs” list. If your list is so specific that is states, “I want brown wooden lamps with baby bird blue silk shades that stand exactly 2 feet high,” then chances are you are going to be disappointed with clearance shopping.

However, when I got the leather couches for sale 50% off all I had on my needs list was, “A couch that sits three and is 100% leather in black or brown, with either a love seat or chair to match.”  As you can see, my want list left me with more options than the one searching for lamps.

3. Daily Deal Sites

A while back my son needed a duvet cover for his down comforter. I looked all yard sale season long for one but found nothing suitable. Summer turned to fall and it was time to get out his down comforter and I still had no cover. That is when Zulily came to the rescue with a 50% off daily deal on high quality duvet covers.

Here are a few sites that offer daily deals on  home accessories, some even offer furniture…

I have personally used Zulily several times with great success…the rest of the sites on this list, however, I have just researched briefly and have not personally used. I included them for your convenience so you can sign up for the ones that suit your taste and budget best.

  Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Crafts for the home on Pinterest.

4. DIY

I really wanted a long table to fill in this one wall. I wanted it to be a very specific height and width. The chances of me finding something that exact at a yard sale or on clearance was going to be slim so my husband suggested he just make it for me. It turned out great and it was pretty inexpensive.

Now you might not be that handy or have a handy spouse like I do but there are a ton of simple home accessory projects all over Pinterest. Chances are a few are at your skill level and will save you money over purchasing ready made.

5. Buy Unfinished

In my dining room stand two bookshelves with doors that I use like china cabinets. I am always getting compliments on them even thought they are still not finished. You see, I bought them at an unfinished furniture store and still have not fully made up my mind how to finish them {I bought them 5 years ago}.

By purchasing them unfinished though, I saved $2,000 over buying similar cabinets in retail stores finished.

6. Pick Durable Pieces

All the couches in the main living areas of our home are currently leather. This is after having bought one set in leather and one set in cloth at around the same time and having the cloth set fall apart while the original leather set is still going strong.

I also refuse to buy what I call “fake wood” furniture unless I get it dirt cheap at a yard sale–and even then it is a “make-do” item until I can find a real wood piece at a great price.

The trick to picking out long wearing pieces is to make sure they  have lines that will stand the test of time. Stay away from fad pieces and stick to traditional lines. If you like following home decor fads, make your accessories like pillows and throws be this year’s latest colors and textures.

7. Maintain What You Have

This point right here can save your significant cash. It is so much cheaper to make an item last longer than it is to replace it.

Learn how to tighten screws, polish wood, grease hinges, stain treat fabrics, etc . These simple DIY skills are essential to being a thrifty decorator.

8. Discounted Gift Cards

I love buying discounted gift cards from Cardpool for stores I shop at so that I can stack a discount on top of a discount. Cardpool has gift cards for home decor stores such as The Container Store (9% off), Bed Bath & Beyond (9.5% 0ff), and T.J.Maxx (19% off).

9. Don’t Just Shop Furniture Stores

Honestly, I can think of perhaps two items in our entire house that actually came from a furniture store. A lot of our new items have come from warehouse stores like Sam’s Club. A lot of our sheets and pillows come from TJMaxx . Our towels were bought on deep clearance from Mejier. Our curtains came from Big Lots. Keep your eyes open and you will see home decor items and furniture for sale in many stores you might not think of at first.

10. Shop Through Cash Back Sites

If you are going to buy your home decor items online, make sure to check and see if you can use a cash back site to earn yourself a bit of a financial bonus in return for your purchase.

A few cash back sites to consider

A few point programs that offer cash back

*The benefit of using a point program for cash backs instead of a purely cash back site is because you have more ways to earn points so that you can cash out for a gift card faster. Swagbucks offers over 20 ways to earn and I have some readers reporting earnings of up to $100 a month.

Got any tips on how to save money on home decorating to add to my list? Add them in the comments below.

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  1. That is awesome that you saved so much money buying unfinished furniture! I’m getting married soon and I’m looking for home decor for sale. Unfortunately I’ve really struggled to find things that are nice and on sale. I will have to start looking for furniture stores that sell unfinished furniture. Are there stores that just sell unfinished stuff?

    • Victoria says:

      I would suggest doing a google search for “stores that sell unfinished furniture” that is how I found the store I bought my unfinished furniture from.

  2. I love my furniture I have, and the best things is that NONE of it was purchased new. I have used all of these tips that your shared to fill my house. Some of it came from thrift stores (okay, most of it), used furniture stores, craigslist, and yard sales. I think I love everything in my house more because I didn’t buy it new from a furniture room floor. My bookshelves came from a friend and I ripped off the back and repainted them, I get so many compliments on them and they are just the cheap $30 wal-mart ones that I didn’t pay a cent for.
    Thank you for sharing these great tips. I enjoyed reading them!

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