Well here is a post we all need, right?! 5 ways to save money when shopping? Tell me ALL the secrets! For some of you these may be secrets and for some of you they may be no brainers, but I'm sharing them anyway!
1. Easy...Shop you OWN home first! This is a tip that truly does seem too good to be true, but I promise, the items already in your home are a great place to start. After all, you must like them, you bought them in the first place right?! For me this can be as simple as taking 1 or two pieces from the dining room and swapping them out for 1 or 2 pieces in the family room and "voila", feels new again. Other times, when I'm feeling more ambitious, I will move a piece of furniture and that really gets the ball rolling! Another trick I kind of learned from my mom is to put away decor pieces for a few months. When my brothers and I were young it seemed we bothered my mom when she was on the phone! What?! Kids DO that? (haha) To fix that problem, my mom would set aside some of our toys into a basket that she only took out when she needed to make a phone call, we thought we had new toys to play with! Every month or so, she would swap out the toys in the basket and the rotation worked like gold! I apply the same theory to home accessories. I have an area of storage in my basement where I just, put things away! When I feel the decorating "itch" I head there first to see what pieces might give me a new vision, and earn a spot back upstairs again!
2. Head to your local Thrift store, Good Will, Salvation Army or Consignment Shop. These places hold pure gold my friends! Some of my favorite things to look for every time I go in are, furniture pieces that could use a painted makeover, dishes (ahhhhh the dishes I have found!), seasonal decor, and fabric. Fabric, you say? Yes "fabric" as in tablecloths, curtain panels and bedding. I look at these items only for their color, pattern and material. I use them just as I would fabric by the yard, only at a fraction of the cost! Think of it this way, I picked up a pair of brand new 96" long curtain panels for $9.99 in a print that ended up looking fabulous as new pillows! If you do the math that is 8 yards of fabric, per panel, which means I scored 16 yards of fabric for $10! Even with coupons, could you get that good of a deal at any store? Probably not even on your best day!
3. DIY it girlfriend! When I visit "big box shops" my camera on my cell phone is my favorite tool. This habit started for me out of need. In the beginning stages of my home decor, we simply could NOT afford to buy all things new. That didn't stop me from wanting the look I saw in all the stores. Rather than be all depressed and whiny about it, I changed the way I looked at my shopping trips. I began to see them as inspiration trips! I would put my favorite items in my cart, then, instead of checking out with everything in my cart, I would see what could I try to make on my own and what I could never reproduce. I would snap a photo of the item(s) that I wanted to DIY and choose 1 thing to purchase and be on my way! (Yes I would restock my non-purchases) It's almost always cheaper to DIY a favorite decor trend than to buy it off the shelf.
4. Craig's List is your friend! When used wisely, Craig's list is a treasure trove of key pieces! When I say key pieces, I am referring to larger, furniture pieces and awesome "antique" or vintage items. I use Craig's List when looking for something specific. I do not recommend just browsing through ALL the items for sale, most of it is truly not worth bringing into your home. The search bar on the main page is where you need to go. Looking for awesome vintage lockers for your mudroom redesign? Type in lockers! Need an old wooden tool bench to repurpose into a fabulous kitchen island? Just search it! Looking for shutters for your next DIY, type shutters into the search bar and see what comes up! I think you'll be surprised! I often have my Pinterest window open right next to my Craig's list window! Just 2 nights ago I saw a Christmas display with a red, radio flyer tricycle that I loooooved!!! I typed radio flyer into the search bar, and by 5pm the next evening, I had an awesome little red bike with the perfect amount of rust to add to my Christmas decor! Afraid of picking a piece up from a strangers home? Good, you should be! Ask to meet at your local police station parking lot. If that seems to drastic, ask to meet somewhere public, like the grocery store parking lot. If the seller isn't willing to do that, you probably don't want to be buying from them anyways! Whenever possible, bring a friend! Better safe than sorry!
5. Make friends with the employees at your favorite shops! Just can't stay away from your favorite, trendy store? It's hard, I know! If you can't pull yourself away, at least make friends with the employees! Shop on the same day and time and take notice of who is stocking the shelves or rearranging products. Chat with them a bit. Don't be all creepy and ask too many personal questions (!!!) but be friendly! Often times they will be willing to share when certain items will be going on sale, or when the final clearance mark down will be made. That is good info to know, soak it up! They can also offer tips like when new products are coming in (often when new comes in the old has to go out) and if other locations have an item they may not carry. For example, I have 2 Home Goods near me (lucky, I know!). One seems to stock more dishes and kitchen ware and the other more wall decor. If I find 1 set of 4 decorative plates at store 1, the employees (I'm kind to) are a lot more willing to check the other store to see if they have more, saving me a trip across town. I realize they may be "required" to do so, but isn't a much more pleasant experience when they want to help you? Plus I'm always looking for ways to make those around me smile, aren't you?
So there you have it, my 5 money saving tips when shopping for home decor. I hope you found something new, and if not, at least I solidified your great idea, right!?
Thanks for stopping by and as always, let me know if you have comments or questions. Leave them below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org