Monday, June 2, 2014

59 How We Save On Purchases For The Home

We all know that purchases for the home can quickly add up and it is always nice to save some extra cash on those purchases whenever we can.  There are times when we inherent home items for free from family or from a nearby curb, and times we splurge on the perfect piece of full price furniture.  There are definitely different levels of being "thrifty", and although I am sure we still have a lot to learn, I thought I would take a moment to share a few of the ways we have saved on some of our bigger home purchases over the years.

 

Wait for Holidays

I am not the most patient person in the world; I always ruin surprises and shake presents days before Christmas in my attempt to figure out the contents.  But if I know that we have a larger home purchase coming up, I always wait for a holiday to roll around.  It seems that many of the big retailers offer their best deals and sales around major holidays, such as President's Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Black Friday is an obvious time to save and we always keep a small Black Friday fund which we have used to snag deals on our treadmill, our lower level TV, our desktop computer and our floor vac {we let ourselves make up to one home purchase on Black Friday per year based on our needs}.  By saving throughout the year and shopping the ads a day or two in advance to find the best deals, we have found that it is worth the wait.  We waited to purchase our sofa until a President's Day {50% off sale} and saved hundreds on our fridge by waiting until a big Labor Day sale at Lowes and purchasing a discontinued model.  Do I think that many of these "sales" are a little gimicky at times?  Absolutely.  It is important to keep an eye on prices throughout the year and be sure you really are saving when those holidays roll around.



Purchase Refurbished

I have never been against purchasing used when it comes to our vehicles, and major home purchases are no different.  In fact, some of our biggest savings have been on refurbished electronics, which we have been using and loving for years now.

For us, the key is purchasing from a trusted source.  I haven't had experience purchasing refurbished on auction sites out of hesitation, however, I have purchased a refurbished Dyson from Woot and my laptop from Apple.  My son also saved up and purchased his iPod refurbished from Mac and my husband purchased a tablet refurbished from Woot as well.  Each of those items have come to us in pristine condition, and I never would have even known that they were ever used or weren't brand new.


How do you know who to trust?  That is always the tricky part and when I am most grateful for online reviews.  Many online retailers have begun offering refurbished items, so I tend to search sites that I would trust for anything new and that has a good reputation and still stick with brands I trust.  Also, I look for "factory certified refurbished" descriptions and items that offer warranties.


Craigslist

I am not going to get too much into thrifting because we all know the steels and deals that can be found at thrift stores and yard sales, but I did want to make sure to mention Craigslist for a moment.  It is definitely hit or miss but you can never go wrong checking in from time to time on home wish list items.  There is nothing you can't find on Craigslist; everything from dining tables to lamps to rugs and art.  Some things can be found in pristine condition and other items need some lovin'.  I just know we wouldn't have found our favorite piece of furniture if it wasn't for Craigslist, and we definitely wouldn't have found it at such a great price if we wouldn't have purchased it from a couple looking to downsize in a huge hurry.  And now that Craigslist shows images right within the search, it has gotten even easier to find that perfect item.



Poach it!

This is one of my new favorite ways to save.  Poach It helps you monitor the prices and coupon codes for your wish list items.  Shopping is always a gamble, isn't it?  Do you wait for the item to go on clearance and risk losing it forever or not being able to snag it in the right color or size?  Do you risk purchasing now, only to have the item go on sale in a few days or even weeks?  I always have a hard time paying full price for something that I know will eventually be on sale or clearance, and Poach it now watches my favorite items for me and notifies me when something on my list has a change in price!  How great is that?  All you have to do is add the "Poach it" button to your bookmark bar {just like the "Pin it" button for Pinterest}, and when you are doing your online shopping and find something you love, you click that button and it saves it to your profile.  Then, when the price changes because the item has gone on sale, you will receive an email notification.  No more daily check-ins, I just let Poach It do the work for me.




Ebates

I signed up for Ebates last year, and now try to use it for all of our online purchases.  So far, I have saved over $200 just by using their free service, and I know that number would be higher if I would actually remember to use it every single time.  The process is simple, you just log into your Ebates account, search the retailer you are making an online purchase from, and it will pull up any sales/coupons for that retailer, as well as a cash back percentage.  Some of my favorite online retailers offer anywhere from 2-6% cash back on online purchases, and that definitely adds up over time!  And because there is no cost for using the service, it has been a sweet little bonus in our pockets.


Retail Me Not

I have shared this one in the past, but it is a long time favorite.  RetailMeNot is another online coupon code finder that I always rely on for both online and in store purchases.  Finding coupons for your favorite retailers is super simple, and what I love most is that they also have a smartphone app that allows you to use those coupons right within stores vs. online only.  I use this most frequently at JoAnn & Michaels on craft supplies, but I also often find coupons for clothing purchases and even some restaurants.


Daily Deal Sites

I don't always rely on daily deal sites because there is a risk of purchasing something impulsively because it is a "good deal" and not necessarily because I need it.  Caution is key with these sites, I tend to utilize them for very specific items and try to scroll past the rest.  For example, we have been looking for a small side table for the end of our sofa for almost two years now.  Knowing the specific dimensions and factors, I have been keeping my eyes peeled any time we are out and about, but also when new sales are released on my favorite daily deal sites.  I finally found one on Joss & Main by checking in frequently, and I love that I have never seen anything like it at any of the local mass retailers.  I tend to utilize Joss & Main the most, because not only do they offer a small savings on home decor pieces during their flash sales, but you can also earn credit to apply to those savings through referrals.  You do not have to be a blogger in order to earn credit, there are many ways for anyone to earn credits by sharing your favorite items or purchases on Facebook and Pinterest.  I tend to pin quite a few things I spot on Joss & Main because their sales rotate and many items come back on sale multiple times.  Therefore, if I see something I love, I can decide to save up for it and watch for it to return or I can use it as inspiration to DIY my own version, both which I have done in the past.  And if the sale does not come back on Joss, I can typically find the item at their sister site, Wayfair.com.  A few daily deal sites I utilize are Joss & Main, One Kings Lane {home decor and furnishings}, Zulily {kid's items, kitchen gadgets and home storage}, Woot {electronics and appliances}, Hautelook {furnishings and clothing/accessories} and GroopDealz {art prints, small gadgets and pillow covers}.



Google it!

Whenever I find an item that I am ready to pull the trigger on, I always paste it into my Google search and then click the "shopping" results link.  This will pull up multiple web results and retailers offering that item, as well as the selling price for that item.  This allows me to quickly determine if I am in fact, receiving the best price and provides me with alternative options I may not have considered.


Amazon

This is not necessarily the biggest money saver, however, I do make quite a few purchases on Amazon.com.  I love that I can receive free shipping on most everything {especially since upgrading to their Prime service}, that they stay fairly competitive pricing wise and that I can do a lot of my shopping all at once with their huge selection of items.  Amazon has helped me save a lot on my camera and photography equipment and even on some of my cleaning supplies!




My other "go to" sources for savings on home products:

Rugs:  Rugs can be incredibly expensive, especially once you start searching for larger options.  I have purchased rugs from quite a few retailers, however, RugsUSA seems to offer the best sale prices as well as frequent discount codes and free shipping.  They are definitely my first stop for over-sized options.

Fabric:  Fabric.com has a huge selection and offers free shipping on orders over $35 as well as free shipping on all returns {which I LOVE}.  They also frequently have discounts and coupon codes. 

{rug from RugsUSA / fabric from Fabric.com}

Furniture:  Overstock.com is a great place to check for discounted interior and exterior home items and furnishings.  I have only purchased from Overstock a few times, but I have been a happy customer every time.  And their return process is really quick and easy, and their selection ranges from rugs to lighting to bathroom fixtures.  We were recently shopping around for a new mattress and after finding a huge sale at a local mattress outlet, I found the same mattress for another $200 off at Overstock!  With free shipping, it was a huge win and an unexpected surprise.

Hardware:  I love Anthropologie hardware as much as the next person, but when looking for beautiful hardware on a budget, I turn to D. Lawless Hardware.  They have a huge selection of unique options, and even offer beautiful glass embellished hooks and beautiful label holders at great prices.

{Cabinet Hardware from D. Lawless}

I am sure there are more that I may be forgetting, so I will be sure to update the post as I find new ways to save a penny or two on items for the home.  And I would love to hear your savvy shopping secrets as well!  What are your favorite resources for interior products?  Where have you scored your biggest savings?


59 comments:

  1. where have I scored my biggest savings? By looking at the item and thinking do we REALLY need this? And usually the answer is no, so I don't buy it. That's the real way to save money! By not buying stuff you don't need in the first place……

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  2. Ebates now has a browser button that flashes when you're on a site that can garner a rebate - it may even apply automatically in some cases. Gotta love tech!

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    1. Thanks for the sweet tip! Love Ebates even more now!

      Delete
    2. You can find the Ebates Cash Back Button here:
      http://www.ebates.com/button.htm?navigation_id=22516

      Delete
  3. Thank you for these great tips!

    Maria | marygoesround.de

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  4. thanks for sharing all these money savers! I use a few and love them!

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  5. We just bought a house and the only rooms with carpet are the bedrooms so I am in need of area rugs and I was literally just wondering the other day where you got that one in your living room! So glad you posted this!

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  6. Jen, I love this post! Love the recommendations! Oh and I am getting SUPER excited for the new website design! When is it going to launch?!

    Sarah

    Www.sarahsdaybook.wordpress.com

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    1. I am excited as well! :) Now that the branding piece is done, the website build will begin and I am hoping to tackle that piece on my own, so no ETA as of now.

      xo!

      Delete
  7. Thanks, Jen!!! I don't have much patience for shopping, unless it's craft related. :D So I rarely know where to search and I wasn't even aware of many of these sites/apps. This post is really handy and I will be referring to it often. Thanks for your help. :D

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  8. Thanks for sharing some of your fave sources. I get discouraged watching the designers find great stuff online on the HGTV show as I never know where to go look online for home stuff.

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  9. I've been holding off on finishing a dresser I repainted like 9 months ago, because I just couldn't justify spending $8+ for the 14 knobs I wanted from Anthro. I had never heard of D. Lawless before, and they have very similar stuff for at least half the price...thanks so much for the tip!

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  10. I have been using ebates, amazon, and craigslist for the longest time now. I also love diapers.com it saves me a lot on diapers for my little one.

    XOXO JuJu
    http://www.jujusmoments.com/

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  11. I have to know where you go that gold side table from? LOVE!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Melissa!

      The table is from Joss & Main.

      xo!

      Delete
  12. Love this! Thanks for all the great tips! I use Hukkster for my online clothing shopping. Very similar to poach it. I never pay full price for clothing and if I wait for a sale and miss my size, it wasn't meant to be.

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  13. I love coupons and getting the best deals possible. Never knew that Apple has refurbished products... I think I may just consider looking into that option for my new computer gadgets. Great post! Love your blog!

    Shanice
    www.cityofcreativedreams.blogspot.ca

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  14. We've had much luck with a few Facebook groups that are completely free in our area. They're like the Free section on Craigslist.

    CL was great to us in NoVa, the DIs were gems in Utah, and now in Washington, we just found a platform rocker that is ideal.

    With CL, a few things helped: search "free" in specific areas, negotiate cost if applicable, and factor in the drive time to the total item cost.

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  15. Wow! What a fabulous post! I was just getting ready to place an order at Crate & Barrel ~ after signing up with Ebates, I'll get 3% cash back plus a $10 gift card as a new member. Thank you!

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  16. Awesome tips Jen. Thanks so much for sharing them. We just shopped the Memorial Day sales for kitchen appliances and a mattress. We were able to score some major savings with additional discounts and by purchasing things that were a wrong delivery to someone else. Even though it was never used just because it left the warehouse we got it for just about half price!! I also like to shop by month. Every month theres something that's great to buy at that time. For instance, January is bedding and towels, May is mattresses, firdges, anything "mom" would like, and of course June is the time for tools. Ive got my eye on a circular say and nail gun which I know will be going on sale around fathers day:)

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  17. Great post Jennifer! How did I not know about Poach It? My only problem is being patient when shopping... sometimes, when I want to purchase something, I need to have it now and don't shop for deals. But it's good to know there are ways to save, especially on bigger ticket items.

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  18. I also got my dyson from Woot about 6 years ago and I still love it! I'm also an Amazon junkie. If I come across something in a store i'm not sure is priced well I'll scan it with my amazon app and if it's a better deal I'll order it right there. Where do you purchase your vinyl for your silhouette from?

    Erin
    upsideofchaos.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Erin!

      I do the same with Amazon, especially when shopping at Target. As far as vinyl goes, expressionsvinyl.com has reasonable price options, otherwise, I wait for promotions at silhouette.com.

      xo!

      Delete
  19. I love ebates! They have a toolbar you can install that will remind you if you forget to use the site.

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  20. Where did you get the black picture frames from? They are exactly what I need for a project I am working on!

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The frames are from IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30109782/#/30109782

      xo!

      Delete
  21. Really enjoyed this article! I am really glad you didn't go into favorite stores down the street since, personally, I'm stuck to pretty much online shopping (locally, we only have a Walmart....a small JcPenney, and another small retail store!!! Major stores are 100+ and 250+ miles away!). I guess I'm with you...totally not patient but will try to wait for a good sale if I can!

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    Replies
    1. Although major retailers are not quite as far away from us, we are in a very small town and larger home retail options are about an hour from us as well, so I also do a bit of our shopping online. Glad you are able to use a few of the tips!

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  22. Thanks for spilling all of your sources. I've never tried refurbished. I'm definitely going to investigate that option. This is a very useful post that sparked some new ideas for me.

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  23. Great post! I use camelcamelcamel to track prices on amazon. Its a good way to see a price history and you can get notifications when an item you are watching drops in price.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! I will have to look into that one as I always have a slew of items stashed in my amazon cart. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  24. this is great to see your list as such a collection, all together!

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  25. This is a great post, thank you!

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  26. What great tips and resources! And the photos are very inspiring! Thanks!

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  27. Great post- thanks for sharing! I use rebate apps like Snap Saves and Check Out 51 when planning my grocery shopping for the week. I have also found out what time my favourite children's store updates their clearance selections on their website so I can get the best deals before they run out.

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    1. Ooh! I will definitely have to check those out! Thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  28. As usual Jen does not disappoint! I picked up some new tips here, so to pay it forward I will let all my fellow IHeart fans know my big saving tips, since I pretty much hyperventilate if I have to pay full price for anything! Similar to Ebates, I use Upromise. The difference is that instead of sending a check you can choose to have your savings automatically sent to a 529 college savings account (for little ones!) or directly to pay off your student loans if you have a Sallie Mae loan. You can also send links to friends and family to add you your account when they shop through the website. I use it a lot for best buy. I purchase the items online through Upromise and pick it up in store so I don't have to pay shipping! Also, with Amazon its important to know that more and more retailers are matching their prices as long as the product has the same sku and is sold and fulfilled by Amazon.Their wish list doest notify you with prices like Poach it, but you can see price differences between when you added the item and what it is now. If the item has gone up in price, wait a bit. I have noticed that when they are low on stock their prices go down so purchase then. And my biggest savings yet has been with retailer loyalty programs for clothing, notably Victorias Secret and American Eagle. I do have both retailers credit cards and they send me coupons for being a card holder as well as a different set of coupons for ordering online. Occasionally, during April/May and Oct/Nov you can stack these coupons. Last month I just paid $30 for $100 worth of panties taking advantage of all my coupons and also their promos (4/$28, 5/$26 etc.) Also, American Eagle has a separate rewards program that you do not need to have their credit card. Its tiered, so the more you spend, the bigger your reward is next quarter. Most of the time, they will let you use the coupons on clearance items and they alms always have free shipping specials 2-3 times a month. Thats when I use my coupons and I have gotten shirts as low as $3, jeans for my hubby and teenage brother for $10...thats cheaper than you can get at Walmart folks! Sorry this is longwinded but I get excited to save money!

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    1. Wow! I really appreciate you sharing all of your savings secrets with us! So many great tips and ways to save! I remember hearing about Upromise a few years ago and totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

      Delete
  29. Great post! I use Shoptagr to track items. They do a great job and they can notify me right down to my size and preferred color. Pretty cool and saves me a ton of time! http://shoptagr.com

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  30. Love these tips! As a new homeowner its so tempting to run out and buy everything we need to make the house look awesome right away. Waiting for holidays is such a great idea that I never would have thought of, especially for the big ticket items!

    Lauren | www.livelovelauren.com

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  31. Jenn do you have a printable to keep track of the items you wish to buy, the price and where you saw it? Don't you worry that if you wait for a bug holiday sale you might miss out because it's gone/sold out/discontinued ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Steph!

      I use to have a home wish list that I would just jot items down in a notebook, but now I either use my Pinterest account or the Poach It site to keep track of those items instead. I also add items to my Amazon cart to keep an eye on things as well. All which can be accessed from my phone. {Wow, did I just admit I may be going the techy route for once?}

      I do worry about waiting at times, however, I also have come to realize that something bigger and better is always around the corner, and that by waiting you can either snag really good deals on a previous model or find something similar. Shopping is always a gamble of course, but I can't really recall being regretfully upset about "the one that got away".

      xoxo!

      Delete
    2. Hi Jennifer,

      Great post! Now that Poach It shut down, I would highly recommend giving http://Shoptagr.com a chance :-)

      Delete
  32. This is great! I so appreciate this because I have come across other blogs that talk about saving money, DIY, etc. but then 2 days later there's a post about some pretty expensive furnishings, rugs, clothing, etc. and then I'm left with...oh...Thankfully you never fail with adding in something about saving $!
    BTW, hoping (looking forward to) some summertime posts now that the kids are out of school like schedules, summer fun change ups for décor/July 4th or outside fun ideas...I loved your posts in the past about that and really encouraged me after the kids have been out for about a week and you think "now what?" already! :)

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    1. I will definitely keep that in mind! My kiddos are still in school {we start late and end late}, but I am already getting trying to figure out how to switch my gears to have three little guys home with me all summer {and still try to get my work done as well}.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  33. shopathome.com is another great site! It is just like ebates only most of the time the percent of cash back is even higher. I usually check both to make sure I get the best deal :)

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  34. I'm glad you brought up Woot. I've had great experiences with them as well!

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  35. I totally forgot about ebates! And some of these I've never heard of before. Off to check them out! Thanks! :)

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  36. Love this post! I have never heard of some of these sites before, and I can't wait to try them out! My favorite score that we found recently was our couch-- we went in looking for a very specific model and color at IKEA, and there sitting in the as-is section was the exact one we were looking for, marked 25% off just because it was assembled! I couldn't believe it! Needless to say, I check the as-is section first thing every time I go in now! Thanks again for the tips, Jen! Have a great week!

    ~Abby =)

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  37. How about a site where you get cash back from favorite retailers: Target, Anthropolgie, Wayfair, Fabric.com, overstock, Home Depot, lowes, and thousands more; comparison shopping, price alerts, and coupon codes from third party sites provided so you don't don't have to leave the site to get the coupon codes. I love www.shoptodd.com!

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  38. Great post! Thanks for all the tips, so helpful. Also, love your couch, where is it from?!

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    1. Hi Ann!

      We found the sofa at Becker Furniture. You can snag all the details here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/01/our-sofa-story.html

      Thank you!
      Jen

      Delete
  39. Great post! I personally use http://shoptagr.com to track items I would love to buy once they go on sale. So far they are my favorite and I'm totally addicted to it :-)

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  40. I was seriously thinking just yesterday that there should be a sales alert website or app. Then I read about PoachIt in your article today. How timely! I will definitely use that.

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  41. Hi Jen, where did you get the black and white pillow on your couch? I looooove it!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It is IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00281892/ :)

      Delete
  42. What color gray did you paint your walls? I love it!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ciera!

      The color is Glidden's Smooth Stone.

      xoxo!

      Delete

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