The other day, I asked some of my readers about their biggest challenges when it comes to decorating their homes.
Not surprisingly, one of the top responses I heard was money. More specifically, finding a way to purchase enough items to make a room feel complete, without spreading that out over the course of months or even years.
Every single person I know can relate to this challenge (including me!). And while some might suggest shopping sales or tackling a few DIY projects — both of which are good suggestions — I know that many of you are crazy busy juggling work and family life, and simply don’t have the time to always shop around for the best deal or, ya know, build your own kitchen table on a weekend afternoon.
So then how exactly is it possible to save money on home decor without sacrificing lots of time to chase deals and projects?
I recently wrote about shopping your own home to refresh your space without spending a dime, which you can read about right here. But if shopping your own home won’t cut it, and you need to completely start from scratch, then keep reading.
Here are four strategies I use frequently that help me to save money on all things related to decorating my home.
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Make a plan. Before I decorate any space in my home, I always make a plan. This typically includes a “mood board” and an Excel spreadsheet of what I want to buy and how much that item costs. Making a mood board doesn’t need to be complicated at all, so don’t feel intimidated by the term “mood board.” This can be as simple as saving images on your computer of the decor you want to purchase for a room, and then pasting those all into a Word document or a PowerPoint slide.
Making a plan before I shop helps me not only keep my budget under control, but also ensures that I spend money on only the items that I need that will fit into my decor theme for the room. It’s also a great tool for helping me ensure that I skip unnecessary or impulse purchases. Because if an item isn’t on my mood board, then I don’t need to buy it. End of story.
Here’s an example of a mood board I created a few years ago. I used PowerPoint and simply pasted the images of the things to buy onto that slide:
Use Google. Come again? Yes, I know it sounds weird to suggest that you, well, do a search online, but let me explain.
If you’re like me, you have champagne taste but many times prefer to stick to a beer (good beer, not the crappy kind — just so we’re clear, okay?) budget. So if you discover that a few of the items you’ve added to your mood board are just a bit far out of reach, then start Googling for other options.
Let’s use an example from the mood board I shared above. See that beautiful driftwood mirror? It’s $840.
If I Google “driftwood mirror,” suddenly I have some similar options to choose from that are better suited to my budget, like these:
If my “driftwood mirror” search doesn’t produce results I like, then I can always try a similar search phrase, such as “nautical mirror” to find items that will coordinate with the rest of my mood board and help me achieve a similar look:
Subscribe to home decor flash deal sites. I have scored so many great home decor deals by taking advantage of flash sale-type sites such as Joss & Main and Jane.com. Just like a trip to your local HomeGoods, these sites aren’t always going to have things you love, but I find that it’s worth it to keep tabs on what they’re offering because you just never know when a must-have item at a bargain price will be available.
There are many flash deal sites out there for home decor aside from the ones I mentioned above, but I find that Joss & Main and Jane.com offer good items at price points I like. One Kings Lane can be great too — I’ve gotten a few gorgeous accessories there — but they often offer deals on higher-end items, which means that much of the decor and furniture I find there still isn’t quite in my price range.
Joss & Main is good for everything from sofas to storage solutions, and Jane.com is especially good for inexpensive (but stylish!) wall decor. Below is a photo of one of the several adorable 11×14 laundry room prints I purchased from Jane.com — for a whopping $6!
You can check out Jane.com’s selection of home finds right here. (Side note: The site also offers clothing for women, men and kids, among other things — and below I’ve shared an example of some prints that I love that are on sale through the site right now.)
Use Ebates. I hate to admit this, but for years I thought Ebates was a scam. I’d see my friends post on Facebook about it, and I completely wrote it off. I thought it sounded too good to be true.
Well, guess what? Apparently the joke was on me, because Ebates is awesome. I finally signed up for the service earlier this year and have already received about $60 cash back from my online purchases.
If you’re not familar with Ebates, it’s essentially a service where you receive a percentage of cash back at select retailers when you shop online. Ebates offers cash back at lots of retailers — not just those that sell home decor and furniture — but here are just a few of the home stores that offer cash back through the program:
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Crate & Barrel
- The Container Store
- Cost Plus World Market
- Hobby Lobby
- Lamps Plus
- Pier 1 Imports
These four strategies work really well and help me save money when I’m decorating. I also try and shop within my own home whenever I can — you can read all about how I do that right here, and how you can try it, too.
What other strategies do you use to save money on home decor? Leave me a comment below!
If you try any of the strategies I’ve shared above, I’d love to hear about how they’re working for you!