How To Furnish Your Home For a Fraction of the Cost


So, you want to furnish your home, or maybe you want to re-vamp it… buuut you don’t want to break the bank.

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase. 

 You may have limited money, or maybe you just don’t want to blow all of that hard-earned money to furnish your space.  I completely understand.

This post will show you the path to create a beautifully decorated home for a fraction of the cost!  Like, seriously, a tiny amount of money compared to what people usually spend. Let me know you some seriously cheap ways to buy furniture.

Using the methods that I am about to describe, we were able to furnish our 2 bedroom apartment for only $530. 

That’s how much some people spend on one couch! 


You do not need to buy brand new stuff at full price

Not only is it a waste of precious things that are completely useable and recyclable but it is a complete waste of your money.  Buying brand new is, most of the time, a crappy idea.  


…But I Deserve New Stuff Because I Work Hard

Yes, you do work hard!!  You deserve amazing stuff!!

This is all fine and good, but what if I told you you can get even nicer things if you don’t buy all of your things brand new.  It doesn’t mean they’re going to be icky or garbage – generally, when you really search for the things that you want with the methods I will show you, you will be able to find things that are new or even very gently used.  They just won’t have that ridiculous – make you wanna barf – price tag. 

You do work hard so why waste all of that hard-earned money when it isn’t necessary?

Seriously, I promise that your mother-in-law won’t even notice that it’s secondhand and she’ll be impressed with the sheer beauty of your place 😉


How To Begin

  1. Make a list of the items wanted.  For example: couch, coffee table, TV stand, end tables x2, nightstands x2, desk, dresser, etc.  Get a complete list so you can stay on track and check off the box when you find an item.
  2. Plan a budget.  How much are you willing to spend?  When there is a budget in place, you will know how much you can spend on each item. This will ensure you’re not overspending, too. If you score a dresser for free, maybe you can afford to spend a little more on the couch.

Where To Shop!

Thrift Stores

  • You will find: Furniture such as couches, kitchen tables, end tables, dressers, coffee tables, chairs, hutches; decorative items, dishes, glasses, bowls, pots, pans, rugs, mirrors, etc.  Basically, most things.
  • Go often!! You must go often to thrift stores, like, twice a week.  This is important if you want to get your place furnished quickly.  Find out if you’re eligible for any of their discount days; or find out when their discount days for furniture are.  Most thrift stores have some kind of weekly discount days.
  • Bring a vehicle: If you can, bring a larger vehicle, especially if you’re aiming for a couch or dresser that day.  If not, make sure they can hold your furniture and see if you can borrow a friend or family members’.  When you don’t have either of those, you can rent a van with an hourly price to transport the furniture.  Try to find the big stuff in one day if possible when renting a transporting vehicle!  Then you won’t spend too much money just on transporting your items home.
  • Be patient: I just need to really say here that you need to be patient.  This will take a lot of time. Sometimes there’s an amazing piece of furniture, but it is still way over-priced.  Just because it’s from the thrift store doesn’t mean you should buy it. Make sure you stick within budget and wait it out.  If you stay disciplined and go frequently, it will pay up.
  • To find thrift stores near you: Simply search “thrift stores near me.” They can differ depending on where you live.  It also helps to go to stores in other cities because some are definitely nicer than others although they may be the same company.  Going to many of them will provide you with a wide range of items to choose from and you’ll find which places are worth visiting.

Facebook Marketplace

  • Easy to navigate: Facebook Marketplace is a great resource to find people’s used stuff!  In an easy-to-read format it displays items in your area with pictures.  You can set distance from your location that you’re willing to drive.  Another feature is that you can enter items you’re interested in.  The engine will remember your interest in said item and will alert you on your Facebook when a new item in your search category is listed. 
  • Communication:  Facebook messenger is how you communicate with the seller.  You can set up a time and place to meet this way. It is kind of nice that it’s Facebook because most of the time,  you can tell it’s a real person.  Generally, it turns out to be more personable and a little less sketchy than Craigslist, in my opinion.  Regardless, make sure you meet in a safe place, and confirm that someone knows where you are if not taking someone with you!
  • Free stuff: There’s a free section that includes all sorts of free stuff.  If you check this once a day, believe me, you’ll find something awesome!

Craigslist 

  • Similar to Facebook Marketplace:  Now this is pretty similar to Facebook Marketplace: people sell their things they no longer want or need.
  • How it Works: search your area, then put in the amount of miles you’re willing to travel to find something.  When you find the item you’d like to purchase, either text, call, or email the person who posted the ad.  Then confirm a meeting place and time.
  • A Difference: with Craigslist is that you really don’t have a face to the name, so again, always be sure you meet in a safe and public area.  Be sure someone knows where you’re going if you go alone, and preferably take someone with you! Safety first.
  • Free Stuff: Don’t forget about the “free” section on Craigslist too!  They always have some awesome dressers and things like that.

Amazon

  • Discounted home items:  You may have to do some digging and comparing, but I did find that Amazon usually has the same discount prices that other furnishing sites would have, plus the bonus of free shipping and 2-day delivery if you have Amazon prime.
  • A good example of something we bought new from Amazon was our rug.  Not that we had to – I actually found some great rugs on Facebook Marketplace.  They kept on get snatched up before I was able to get them! Anyway, I really wanted a nice, huge rug for our living room. Being impatient, I decided to find the cheapest nice rug I could find online.  I searched at Overstock.com for a while, but then I realized even their “discount” prices were the same prices that Amazon was advertising. Amazon Prime is something we have so I preferred to get the fast shipping. I am still obsessed with my rug, so, I guess it wasn’t the worst idea. 🙂 
  • Here’s a rug imilar to the one we found 

Other places like Ebay, discount internet sites such as Overstock, friends & family… get creative!  You never know what you will find!


Ask and You Shall Receive

Another great way to score some cheap-or-free furniture is from family and friends!  I understand that sometimes this is easier said than done.  Maybe you live far away from everyone. 

I get it! But!

You never know until you ask.  

When I was in college,  I had a whole apartment to furnish, I was completely broke and had no furniture of my own.  I posted something on my Facebook page along the lines of “if anybody has any furniture they want to get rid of or are willing to part with for this college student, it would be much appreciated!”

And just like that I basically furnished my entire apartment.  I mean, it was pretty ugly, but I didn’t care at the time.  I was more happy for a place to sit instead of the floor.  A lot of people want to get rid of stuff but don’t know where to put it or don’t want to do the work of getting rid of it.  Offer to help move it and it can be a done deal. 

Never be afraid to ask!

It Does Take Patience

One thing I really want to emphasize is that it’s going to take a lot of patience. 

It’s really a process that you can make as fast or as slow as you want.  If you are on top of it and daily (sometimes more) check the internet for new postings of what you want, you’ll get your place set in no time!  Going to thrift stores so often that the employees know you by name (like us) then most likely your place will be furnished quickly.

If I’m being dramatic here, it really can be devastating to see the perfect piece of furniture of your dreams on Craigslist and then find out that it is PPU or – “pending pick up” by another person. 

You will find something else, you really will.  Just be consistent and be ready to pick up the item that you want.  It may seem like a huge nuisance, but when you’re finished, you’ll have a beautiful space for little cost!!


Our Success

Using these methods, my husband and I conclude that we spent about $530 on furnishing our 2 bedroom apartment.

This includes the things we did not already have: a new rug, two couches, a coffee table, two end tables, one TV stand, one flat screen TV, kitchen table and chairs, one rolling kitchen cabinet, one desk, one dresser, a filing cabinet, and one office chair.  These things were (and still are) worth wayyyyy more than $530 combined.  

I think we did pretty well considering $530 is a price someone may pay for a new couch! 

It took about 5 months for our apartment to be furnished.  We were kind of lacksidaisical after we got the basics. We definitely could’ve had it done much faster.

Another perk of shopping this way is that you can wind up with some really unique stuff!

Here’s my favorite chair we found at a thrift store for $15

You can do it!

Start with creating a budget and making a plan of attack. Then, list the items that you want.  Be sure you frequent thrift stores.  Keep your eyes on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or any other app where you can find recycled items.  These cheap ways to buy furniture are key in not breaking the bank!

You’ll have you dream home in no time! 🙂

We’d love to hear your ways for finding cheap furniture! Please feel free to comment below.

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