10 Places To Shop For Decorating Your Home On A Budget

Happy Monday, friends!  I’m excited to announce today that I am partnering with Apartment Guide as an official Apartment Guide Décor Blogger for the next three months. This month I will be sharing tips for decorating on a budget! Yay!! Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for making the most of a space on a budget.

decorating on a budget tips

Today, I’m super pumped to share ten of my favorite places to shop when decorating a home {or apartment} on a budget. I’m sure for some of you long-time readers a few of these will be no surprise at all! :)

1.  Thrift Shops

I love shopping at three or four various thrift shops in my area.  I typically don’t spend a lot of time browsing, but I swoop in and out. If there’s nothing awesome just begging to come home with me, then I move on. Shopping at thrift stores requires that you get over a fear of bugs, germs and “digging.”.

2.  ReStores

Oh my, oh my!  How my heart goes pitter-pat when I enter a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The merchandise changes constantly, so I could go every day and find a new treasure…but because of my budget, I don’t.  ReStores are often located in an older part of town, so I usually take someone with me or make sure that someone in my family knows where I am. #fraidycat

3.  Consignment Shops

Consignment stores that focus on home decor items and furniture are excellent places to shop for new items for your home.  You may be able to bargain with the item’s owner to get the best deal possible!

4. Online Classifieds

I have many friends {and my sister, who is also my friend…} who have found amazing deals from online classified ads! For example, my sister and brother-in-law just scored a beautiful dresser from an online ad.  I never bought anything from an online classified ad myself, but it’s a great option especially if you have a truck to go pick up your purchases.

5.  TJMaxx or Homegoods

I love shopping at TJMaxx!  We don’t have a Homegoods locally, but those are great too!  Lamps, pillows, vases, baskets, dishes, towels, bathroom accessories, bedding and more are all available at marked-down prices at TJ’s.  You’ve got to love a deal!

6.  Yard Sales

Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for yard sale season to start up this Spring?  I’m so excited! At yard sales, I’m always on the lookout for rulers and yard sticks, furniture, books, art, fabric, vintage sewing supplies…and vintage anything.  Few things are sweeter than falling in love with someone else’s junk!

7. Estate Sales

Much like yard sales, estate sales are amazing resources for inexpensive home decor.  If you arrive early enough to the sale, you can get “first dibs” on furniture, artwork, accessories, lamps and more.  I think I feel much like a game hunter when I’m yard sale-ing or estate sale-ing…the hunt is exhilarating!

 8.  Salvage Shops

It may seem a bit redundant to mention salvage shops after sharing about the love I have for the ReStore, but the two are different, I promise.  My favorite salvage shop is Southern Accents. The place is phenomenal. They literally go into houses and buildings that are going to be torn down and they save everything worth salvaging. Floors, windows, mantels, newel posts from staircases, molding, door knobs, light fixtures and more.  Southern Accents even has a wood working shop on location and if you can dream it up…they can create it.

9. Antique Malls

Shopping at an antique mall is completely different than shopping at a yard sale, thrift shop or the ReStore.  Typically, antique sellers are not only proud of their merchandise, but they make you pay for their “proudness.” Yes, I just made up that word. :)  However, it is possible to find inexpensive treasures at antique stores.  My word of advice…don’t throw caution to the wind when you are on a budget and shopping at an antique mall.

10.  The Side Of The Road

Have you been waiting for this one?  My husband humors me as I squeal and make him turn around to go see what was in a pile of “junk.” I got over my self-respect a long time ago and I have no problem digging through stuff on the side of the road. I’ve dug out some neat old windows that my mother-in-law wanted to fight me over {not really!}.  My friend Beckie is a RoadKill Rescue queen. :)

Where is your favorite budget-friendly place to shop??

Sharing at – Chic & Crafty!


Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. have partnered with bloggers like me as Official Apartment Guide Bloggers. As part of this program, I have received compensation. They have not told me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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  1. says

    We love the thrift shops, antique stores and garage sales as well. I call my husband the trash many because every week on trash night he comes home with something new. Often it is something we can clean up or quickly fix and sell for a few extra bucks.
    Jenifer´s last blog post ..Victorian Hotels and Fuzzy Socks

  2. says

    I just posted about our local salvage store today! I love searching for treasures there. And I love knowing that I’m not wasting and I’m getting stuff with history. Great recommendations and congrats on partnering with Apartment Therapy!
    Heidi´s last blog post ..The ReBuilding Center

  3. says

    This is a great list. I’ve just started to get into decorating my house but I never know where to find stuff. Of course I’ve gone to walmart and target and while there stuff is cute I can’t help but think how many other people have the same thing. I’ve never thought of going to an Estate sell but I think I’m going to give that a try. I bet you can find some great stuff at those.
    Ashley {The North Carolina Cowgirl}´s last blog post ..Another Horse Lost to Abuse – RIP Sonny

  4. Patti says

    Every Spring and fall we have clean up week in our town. Everyone throws anything they don’t want to the curb and you can drive around all week looking through stuff and on the Friday what’s left gets hauled away to the dump. Last year I got an oak rocking chair in mint condition and a wooden side table someone had painted in a folksy checker board. It came complete with unique checker board pieces as well! My friend got a dinning room suite, table, 6 chairs and a hutch! She sanded it down and varnished it and it looks like a million bucks! You can find some awesome stuff if you are prepared to look at these off the wall places. I love thrifting!

  5. Kary says

    You can find can find good deals at Goodwilll when you are on a budget. I have found furniture when decorating for college kids.

  6. Merilee says

    I love your suggestions, and shop the same way. I’ve performed several of what I call “curbside rescues”, too. An old, rather large corner World globe, wicker coffee table (all I needed was the plate glass) a demi-lune hall / console table, just needed a drawer knob and a leg tightening. My all-time BEST find was a huge Fisher-Price kid’s kitchen for my little girl in near-perfect condition. I found while I was looking for a friend’s house, in a new neighborhood. Just a few Clorox wipes later and it was good to go, and my little got endless hours of play time from it. I could go on all day! =:o)

  7. Amber says

    In our family we call, “on the side of the road,” Curb-side Boutique-ing. There are some places my parents have lived, where their neighborhood does not have the concept of donating, so they just put all their stuff on the side of the road the night before garbage day.

  8. Margaret says

    I agree with so many of these ideas. TJ Maxx, Thrift Stores, Craigs List and Yard Sales are all on my list.
    I also like inheriting random things from my parents and my in laws. They like seeing them put to use.

    Also I like to shop high end online stores when they are having sales or events. Then I can get a couple high pieces that can really pull the room together and get inspired to recreate their pricey things on the cheap.

  9. says

    I live in England and I always here people talking about “thrift stores” in american films or TV series. Are they the same as what we call charity shops? Like where people give in their old stuff and you can buy it for cheap and then the proceeds go to charity?

    • charis natal says

      Yes..as an English woman living in the US..it is hard to always know what people are talking about, but yes, thrift stores are charity shops..The Salvation Army have shops throughout but there are many others where people take their unused, unwanted items and they are sold off and proceeds donated. It’s also a tax deduction for the donator so they are widely used over here. Plus people typically sell or donate furniture if they move cross country and buy again when they get to their new place (this practice amazed me when I first moved here and worked in a furniture store).

  10. Louise says

    I live in Cincinnati and my husbnd and i go to Flea markets all the time….Traders world and Cesears creek flea markets are two big ones. Plus my daughter and i go to Goodwill and Big Lots alot. Some fantastic finds there too. Home Goods is great too except when i see a sale i wonder ” would Big Lots have this any cheaper?” lol And I’m not above a good “curb side sale” haha….why pay full price when you can get it so much cheaper at thrift stores? and i love to get junk jewelry and rework it to make something new and different…Love it…………

  11. Stacey says

    Goodwill’s Bargin Barn! Yes, you have to dig thru bins and use a bit of imagination,but it’s sooooo worth it! Just the other day I found a floor lamp still in the box that Walmart is currently selling for $40, I paid $3. Plus the Brahmin tote I picked up for $1. I am addicted!

  12. Claire says

    Did anyone mention Freecycle? Its like an online version of roadkill. People post free stuff and you just have to go get it. Typically its on the porch. Definitely Ross.

  13. says

    I’ve had great luck on CraigsList.com finding cheap furniture and antique items. And don’t forget to look under FREE STUFF! You would not believe what folks will just give away if someone will come get it.
    And we call #10 “Curb-side Pick Ups!” Our dog is even a curb-side pick up! Best dog I’ve ever had!

  14. says

    I love to shop Real Deals on Home Decor. Their prices are like warehouse prices, and IMHO better than Home Goods 😉 It’s a franchise so they are pretty much all over now but only open 2 days a week.

  15. says

    I love how you said you “got over your self-respect a long time ago” when it comes to “Roadkill Rescue” [love that term]. The hubs came home the other day, I handed over the baby, took the keys and told him I would be right back. I went three doors down and picked up this giant old trunk. Hubs watched the whole thing and was mortified! I said, “Well, help me unload and then do try to get over it…I have to go get a chair one street over.”

  16. Mary says

    I love Craig’s List. Also have scored on Freecycle and bought some vintage jewelry for Christmas gifts on Goodwill.com last season.

  17. Sheli says

    A great one to add – Christmas Tree Shoppes! Now that they are owned by Bed, Bath, and Beyond, they are beginning to make appearances outside of the northeast. Also, Old Time Pottery. Don’t let the name deceive you – they have tons more than pottery!

  18. TinkerLou says

    lol… the side of the road one made me laugh 😀 I am married to a “junk-a-holic” who shops at the side of the road… The first time he took me to a nearby town to junk shop on their throwaway days, I thought I would melt, but we found some pretty amazing stuff! A leather recliner, that was undamaged, YES, REALLY! a computer armoire with slight water damage that my handy husband fixed pretty easily, and he even at one time went through an abandoned building that was about to be torn down bringing out some amazing bookshelves that he “built in” to our dining room along with a window seat, the amazing thing is, that people can’t believe it when he tells them he got them for FREE, and that he put them in… they look like they’ve always been there! Sometimes he brings home stuff that really is junk… or gets on a kick with something… (really, how many floor lamps could you possibly have in one house!?) but I forgive him because of all the amazing treasures he’s found!

  19. Lee Ann says

    I just found your blog, and I love your list! We also shop at most of these places. My husband “shops” at the side of the road and has upcycled a bunch. I often see things as well, but I’m always a bit unsure about stopping in front of someone’s house and looking at their garbage. :) My husband just finished fixing up a house to sell, and he found some great stuff at the Restore. We tend to not buy things at our local thrift store since they price their things at outrageous prices. No budget-shopping there!

  20. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for the shout out to local ReStores!!! I work for Habitat and do their fundraising and events… Every penny you spend at your ReStore goes to fund LOCAL home construction for hardworking families!

  21. Lemonade says

    Side of the road tip: Know how to check for bedbugs. My upstairs neighbor pulled a couch from the side of the road and got an infestation. It can be up to $5000 to get rid of them, and more if you live in an apartment complex and are responsible for either preventative steps or actually infesting other places. It’s not necessarily run-down parts of town that get them, it’s people who can afford to go overseas on vacation and then bring them back. They love wood, too. So if you do your homework you could avoid extra expense.

  22. Handy Mandy says

    Great tips!! I love our local “freecycle group”. It’s a group on yahoo that is grouped by counties. It’s easy to sign up once you answer a few questions regarding your location, etc.. Anyway, it’s designed to keep “junk” out of landfills so when someone has something they no longer want they just post it on freecycle!! I have been gifted with amazing stuff!! And it’s a great way to get rid of stuff that you don’t know what to do with and don’t want to throw away. :)

  23. Chari' says

    I absolutely LOVE to shop at Kirkland’s and Hobby Lobby. Between their low prices & the fact that both places email weekly coupons, you can’t beat them for decorating on a budget.

  24. Jackie B says

    You forgot Marshall’s and my Number One place to shop (well, equal to Home Goods and TJ Maxx) is eBay!!!! I check there FIRST before I ever hit the others. BUT I found that a lot of people have found deals at TJ Maxx and then try and sell them on eBay. I found my favorite Banana Republic perfume that retails for $37.50 for the small size at TJ Maxx last week – get this – TWO of them (in one package) for ten bucks!!! Score!!!! Loved meeting you at Haven too!

  25. Corina says

    Dollar stores are great too. I mean mostly its really bad and cheap home decor but with some careful looking and some creative ideas you can come up with some great things. I made a great Halloween wreath last year with a stick craft wreath, Halloween ribbon and a crow. I just spray painted the wreath black. All for $4.00. I have also found glass vases and wooden spoons and some neat knick knacks.

  26. Mary says

    Looks like where you live you don’t have a Gordmans, I am so sorry. Because if you did it would have been on the list. Gordmans by far is the best place to buy really nice inexpensive items to decorate a home.

  27. KO says

    A couple times a year our sanitation department offers a “large item pick-up” day when you can put out “garbage” that does not fit in your standard trash bin at no extra charge (the rest of the year you pay extra for a sticker to have large items picked up). Over the years, these days have become city-wide swap meets where people cruise around town to see what treasures they can find on someone else’s curb.

  28. says

    I enjoy thrifting when I have the time. We recently picked up a 1940’s dresser — just needs a little love — originally priced $200, marked down to $100, negotiated to $60. Can’t wait to tackle it!

    Don’t know if you and your readers heard that Willow House, formerly Southern Living at Home, is discontinuing their decor division. This means GREAT deals on decor over the next several months. You can see what’s available here: http://bit.ly/oGp7G1
    Suzanne @ Welcome to Willow House´s last blog post ..What’s so special about Sara Blaine & Willow House?

  29. Marciae says

    I LOVE Goodwill and Habitat! I bought my dining chairs after searching all summer, every weekend, every garage sale, at Goodwill for $5 each! I walked in and it was like, “Aaahhh” and I grabbed the tags to claim them. After a few cans of dark expresso spray paint and the perfect fabric remnant ($5 on clearance at Hancock), they are PERFECT and so much nicer than the country windsor chairs that came with my set (also bought at a garage sale for $50). I’m in major DIY mode with the cold weather but will pin my own pictures eventually when I’m finished painting. I even tiled my own backsplash in my kitchen (tiles $2.29/foot, Menards).

  30. says

    Yes! Online Classifieds and TX Maxx are my constant go-to’s!

    As a big budgeter, I would buy decor more often from thrift, re-use, and yard-sales, but usually I just find things like bulky laminate furniture pieces, and tiny old figurines.

  31. says

    Sounds awkward, but you would not believe how many things my parents have found at their local trash dump. They live kind of out in the country so there aren’t really “curbs” to put things on, which means people carry their stuff to the trash dump. Over the years a little section has formed for large pieces of furniture, electronics, toys, etc that are in good shape but simply not wanted by the original owners anymore.

  32. Reggie says

    You’ve got great suggestions for finding deals! I used to be a huge thrift store and “side of the road” shopper, and then I got bed bugs. Having bed bugs was the most horrific experience of my life! First, there was the horrible itching from the bites themselves and the fatigue from the nightly blood loss and tossing and turning and the open sore from scratching in my sleep. From that experience, I no longer buy clothing, baskets, upholstered, or wood furniture from thrift shops and side of the road. So when you say “get over your fear of bugs”, this is a lot easier said than done. I think it’s important to note that if you DO buy second hand or side of the road that cleaning and sterilization are a MUST before the item enters your home. It’s also important to note that some items can not be thoroughly cleaned because of their depth or density (couches, cushions, wood furniture). There is simply no way to ensure that all eggs are killed in some of these pieces without destroying the furniture itself. I know I sound paranoid, but when it comes to bed bugs, you just can’t tell if a piece of furniture is carrying live bugs or eggs. Case in point: my husband and I had to throw out our beautiful rot iron and pine sleigh bed because the bugs had crawled into the wood. We put it on the side of the road and the next day it was gone. Some poor person now has our bugs!

  33. Bonnie says

    Great ideas for shopping on a budget.
    My husband and I lived in an appartment
    complex between houses for 6 months. I
    found many treasures in or around the
    dumpsters, tables, chairs, etc…

  34. Linda says

    For all you dumpster divers….I heard that if you check around apartment buildings near the end or beginning of the month, this is when people move and leave stuff near the trash. I actually found a nice silk ficus this way – didn’t even intend to “go shopping!”

  35. says

    I’m 20 and I just started buying home decor since I never have hung anything on the walls of our rentals or put any thing decorative up to make our rentals seem like a home. I blog as well, although my blog isn’t up to par with yours I just did a blog with pictures on my yard sale finds! I found some great home decor/knick knack items at a steal! Love yard sales now, and I hated them when I was a child! Anyway I would love your advice on my blog, its kind of a little bit of everything =)
    Enlightenment´s last blog post ..Garage Sale Finds Day II

  36. Barbara Kane says

    I didn’t read the whole thread, but just in case it’s been missed, I want to add Overstock.com. You got all of my other favorites.
    Now Overstock does carry some merchandise that’s not anyone’s overstock, but then sometimes they have real steals! Twice I’ve been able to help friends find top of the line Eddie Bauer down duvets there. Now they don’t mention the brand in their write-up, but it’s a good reason to read customer reviews: customers who’ve received an Eddie Bauer duvet at a great price will crow about it in their comment.
    Otherwise the list is perfectly complete! Barbara

  37. tammy Sides says

    I have to add Hobby Lobby clearance items or damaged and then on clearance. I paid $5 for a huge tray that had a chip out of the black paint, so easy to fix. I paid $23 for $150.00 worth of decor. I also shop Ross’s and thrift stores. Garage Sales when I get to go. I admit that I am almost as addicted to the “find” as I am to the item.

  38. Joanne says

    All great and favorite places of mine as well. I’d also like to mention for anyone who lives near a college town, the end of the school year can be a great time to go “dumpster diving”. All the students are leaving behind the stuff they don’t want to take home. Another trick of mine is to take note of yard sales ( even if I didn’t get a chance to stop at them) and drive by the following Monday when often the people will have anything leftover set out for free. I got a huge empty frame, though it was a hideous gold, that I spray painted white and is now comparable to those seen in catalogs for hundreds of dollars.

  39. Sally says

    Marshall’s and Ross ‘s are also good sources for decorating. I recently remarried, and since we were both widowed, I had to figure out how to combined both household possessions and still make it “ours”. I did some rearranging, shopped my husband ‘s house, attic, and garage, then filled in with items from Home Goods, Marshall’s, and curtains and drapes from World Market, and JC Penney’s. I’m pretty satisfied with the results. It took me about a year and a half to do the whole house.

  40. Teresa says

    I love our Habitat for Humanity Restore – it’s AWESOME for deals and ideas too. I recently found a salvage yard/flea market in my small town but WORD TO THE WISE. Spray yourself before you go with a heavy duty bug spray! I managed to pick up some chiggers-nasty little microscopic bugs. You have to dig through a lot of stuff to find your treasures so BE WARNED!

  41. Mommabrick says

    wow!!! Great list. I’ve also shopped at Big Lots and Old Time Pottety. My latest find came yesterday when driving around with my husband and 2 teenaged sons. I found a Hotel Furniture Liquidator store in Jackson Mississippi. Thankfully they were with me- not only to lift & move items during my treasure hunt, but also bc it was in a risky part of town. We came home with a lovely King sized headboard and 2 matching side tables….for only $130.00. I could have bought much more but the was all that would fit into the suburban without leaving s child behind. My oldest is in school nearby, so next time we move him into his dorm I know where to go with my empty U-haul.

  42. says

    Reusing or repurposing items you already have is the ultimate in thrifty decorating. This is something I already do throughout the year; I am always moving things around and rearranging my decor.

  43. Tonya says

    i live near Columbia SC and there are several stores here I have never heard of that I have found some GREAT buys at: OLLIES, SOUTHEASTERN SALVAGE (both of the these are chains although I’m not sure where they’d have other stores); then like many others have said I go to local antiques stores, flee markets, and consignment stores. At Southeastern Salvage for example, I was able to get tile for kitchen backsplash for under $80 (my kitchen is approximately 12′ X 12′). Anywhere else the same tile would have cost $7 – $10 per square foot. Mine was 98 cents per sq ft. It turned out beautiful! Mirrors are also very well priced there. Bottom line, you just have to really look for deals! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  44. says

    These are all amazing suggestions and would be on my list too. I would have to say some of my favorite finds have been on the side of the road, yard sales, and home goods! Thanks for sharing this great content. This is a perfect list for someone shopping on a tighter budget. What are your thoughts on shopping at stores like Target? They are actually coming out with some cute home decor. Have you seen the Nate Berkus collection there recently? Looks legit. You rock!
    Meredith´s last blog post ..DIY Christmas Tree Project On A Budget

  45. says

    I agree that thrift shops are great places to go to get items for home decoration. People tend to throw out this idea because they want quality. What they don’t realize is that thrift shops do have quality, just for a lot less expensive.

  46. says

    Another great online home decor & furnishings is South Pier. They have a really good collection of different styles from rustic, modern, chic, you name it they prob have it. They are also affordable too, which is great for decorating on a budget but it looking fabulous! They also ship to Canada



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