Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bargain Hunting 101

I will be moving into my new apartment in less than one week. I have been out of college and in the working world for a little over a year now. For now, I am a substitute teacher, which may come as a shock but it doesn't exactly bring in the big bucks (sense my sarcasm?). I have to be really smart with my money and try to stretch it as far as it can. Having to fill an empty apartment is a task on it's own but doing it on a tight (emphasis on "tight") budget can be a whole other ballgame. I was actually really excited and up for the challenge.

I have been doing some bargain hunting the last month and I wanted to share some tips and steps for successful bargain hunting.

1. Decide what you need!

Do not, I repeat, do not just wander into yard sales without some vague sense of a plan. You will end up buying things you will not need or use.

This a picture of the kitchen in the model unit of the apartment we will be moving into.

The kitchen itself is very spacious, which I love! But there is a lack of storage and drawers so I knew I was going to need some sort of baker's rack or dresser I could spruce up for some extra storage. I would place it where you see that lovely pink oval.

I began looking at my normal spots, Target and Wal-mart.

 Target had baker's racks for about $150

Even their kitchen carts were over $170.

While this kitchen cart fit my kitchen needs perfectly it did not fit my wallet needs. I knew I needed a solution to my kitchen problem but I wasn't willing to shell out $150. This is where I decided what I was going to need, but with a better price tag.

2. Start your hunting....and be patient

There are many resources to find cheap furniture.

- Yard Sales
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Goodwill
- Salvation Army
- local thrift shops
- Craiglist
- and always family or friends :)

I went to many yard sales and walked away empty handed and that's OKAY. Just because you are searching for someone's used goods doesn't mean you have to settle.

I finally found my kitchen cart on craigslist. I know craigslist can be a little sketchy at times. So no matter what you do, always go to pick up your item with a friend. Don't go alone - that's just silly.

This was the magical ad that helped solve all of my kitchen storage problems. I emailed back and forth with the seller and then went this morning to pick it up with my boyfriend, Dave. Your eyes are not deceiving you, the cart was priced at $20. The family I bought this from had recently redone their kitchen and had no use for this great conditioned kitchen cart. I am happy to be the proud owner of it.

I am still looking for a cute and dainty desk. I have been searching around and have not had much luck. I am stubborn and am not going to spend over $75 on a desk so I am going to continue bargain hunting until I find one. I am okay using my old foldable desk in our apartment until I find one. Decorating and filling an apartment or house is a process. Don't lose hope if it is not all done at once, you'll get to the place you want to be!

What are some of your greatest bargain finds?

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