2. Know Where to Shop
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Sometimes deals are found in unlikely places. A pretty obvious one is Ikea...there are lots of sturdy, but cheap pieces of furniture that will last you through at least five years. Amazon is also another great place to get more elective pieces. Surprisingly, stores like urban outfitters and anthropology, though expensive for clothes, actually have decent priced furniture. Additionally, floor models at traditional furniture stores are often quite cheap.
3. DIY and Double Purpose
Garage sales, yard sales, estate sales, goodwill. Thrifting, thrifting, thrifting. With a little DIY action and some love, you can often find great pieces here. The set of three glass vases I made a few weeks ago came from good will, and my mom has picked up quite a few large furniture finds at garage sales over the year (which gratefully graced my little playhouse). Finding anything that is not quite an antique yet (which means very expensive), but is in good condition and vintage (which means cheap), will be a good investment over the years.
5. Watch when, where, and how you buy
Watch places that advertise lower prices like Wayfair, Walmart, and Overstock, but that don't really have lower prices. Also watch what you buy--if you stagger your purchases and save up more for larger, better quality pieces, you'll have a lasting set of furniture. Lastly, though sales happen quite frequently, the best ones are on Fourth of July and Christmas, so if you can wait to buy larger purchases till then , you'll save a maximum amount of money.