Furniture can be expensive. And if you are moving out on your own for the first time you have to buy everything which can get really expensive. Of course, you can choose to be a minimalist and not buy loads of furniture. Or you can just be broke and not buy a lot of furniture 🙂
At my first apartment I had a year lease and I never bought a couch. Couches are expensive and at the time I didn’t know about things like Craigslist. At my current place we do not have a dining room table. We don’t have a need for it so we don’t waste the money.
If you do need furniture though there is no need to spend a fortune on things. In fact, you can get by with frugally furnishing your entire place.
The cheapest and most frugal way to furnish your home is with freebies. You can ask around and see if anyone has any furniture they want to get rid of. You can look online on places like Freecycle and Craigslist for free items. You can also look to places like churches that are getting rid of items. And if you are so inclined, there is always the curb or “dumpster diving” for furnishings. And if it is that time of year when college kids are leaving dorms and putting perfectly good furniture out for the trash man, be sure to stop by and see if it is okay if you take what you want.
As a quick note though, just remember that you could be bringing critters into your home. For instance, the couch you get for free could have a family of cockroaches or fleas living it in. And if you are allergic to pet hair how can you be sure there were no pets on it? Just some practical food for thought here.
Your next step of frugal furnishing is going used but cheap. You can look for these items on Craigslist also. But do not forget to stop by the Goodwill Store or the Salvation Army. And where I live there is a chain of used items stores called “New Uses” that sometimes carries furniture. You can also look in the classified section of the local newspaper or penny saver paper. And do not overlook yard sales and garage sales for cheap used furniture.
Then you come to cheap – new furniture. Can you say Big Lots? They have some amazingly nice furniture on their website. I had my eye on some dressers at Target that were around $300 and when I looked at the Big Lots website I found something almost identical in look for under $100 each. Sure, the quality is not quite as good as the Target ones but I am okay with that and it meets my current needs. Another website I have looked for furniture on is Overstock.com. They are especially nice thanks to product reviews. It is awesome to read if someone bought something and it was nicer than expected or that it fell apart a week later.
And for my desks, I wait for a coupon for an office supply store like Staples and then go to their fold-up table section – not the expensive desks section – and get a nice fold up table and a nice chair. It comes out way cheaper, I end up with more space to work and when I get ready to move all I have to do is fold it up!
The important thing to remember about buying furniture is do not buy it if you do not need it. If you are single, do you really need a couch and a loveseat? Honestly? Do you really need a table and chairs or can you get by with tv trays?