29 Smart Ways to Furnish Your New Home for Less

29 Ways to Furnish Your Home for Less

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting journey, and it’s natural to envision your home’s look and feel. It can be tempting to go out and start purchasing furnishing and decor for your new home; however, before you embark on a shopping spree, pause and consider these guidelines. Furnishing a whole house can get expensive, so you want to make sure to plan so you make smart purchases. Furthermore, when you are in the process of obtaining a mortgage, you don’t want new credit opened or large balances to appear on your current credit lines. Large outlays can put your mortgage approval in jeopardy, so make sure you window shop until after closing day.

Keep reading for a treasure trove of budget-friendly tips to help you furnish your home with style.

Prioritize and Plan

According to Home Advisor, the national average to furnish a new house is $16,000, but it can easily go higher than that (citation). When you begin your home furnishing journey it is important that you:

1) Start with a detailed list of what you need, room by room.

2) Take inventory of what you already own, crossing off items as you go.

3) Categorize items into must-haves, soon-to-haves, and can-wait items.

4) Set a budget and research to ensure your priorities align with it.

5) Consider keeping older items as placeholders while your budget recovers.

Timing Matters

Certain items tend to go on sale during specific times of the year, letting you save more if you can wait. Here are the prime times to snag deals:

  • Bedding and linens: January
  • TVs: Black Friday/Cyber Monday, late January
  • Furniture: February, August, Black Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day
  • Large appliances: Labor Day through October
  • Small kitchen appliances: May
  • Mattresses: Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July
  • Vacuum cleaners: April
  • Tools: June
  • Outdoor furniture: August through October

Holiday weekends as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are usually great times to find all kinds of deals. End-of-season sales are also great for seasonal items like patio furniture or holiday decorations.

Alternative Shopping Sources

Look beyond traditional big-box stores for unique deals.

1) Overstock and liquidation stores offer unsold items at steep discounts.

2) Try private membership/warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club for exclusive offers.

3) Consider open-box items from online retailers like Wayfair and Amazon Warehouse or local stores.

4) Scratch-and-dent appliances can save you money, just be vigilant and inquire about warranties.

5) Explore budget-friendly window treatment options, including online discount suppliers.

6) Thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist can hide valuable gems.

7) Local Freecycle or “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook often offer items for free.

Negotiate for Savings


Most people don’t realize that prices for home furnishings and appliances are often negotiable. Typically you are more likely to be able to negotiate a deal at independently owned stores as opposed to large national retailers. A few tips to help with your negotiations:

  1. Compare prices before entering the store – if you can find a lower price for the same item elsewhere, many retailers will match the price.
  2. Ask store associates or managers for the best deals – there may be coupons or additional discounts that they can offer
  3. Paying in cash might score you a discount.
  4. Inquire about applicable discounts, like those for military, veterans, teachers, first responders, or senior citizens.
  5. Mention any imperfections like scratches or dings, which could lead to a discount.
  6. Consider floor models for like-new pieces at lower prices.

Don’t forget to request free or discounted delivery after negotiating a great deal; some retailers will offer free delivery and/or installation if you spend a certain amount or if you buy multiple items.

Unlock Rewards and Discounts

Maximize reward programs and discounts to make every penny count.

  1. Sign up for a USPS change of address kit for valuable coupons.
  2. Join your favorite retailers’ email lists and follow them on social media for discounts and sale alerts.
  3. Take advantage of loyalty programs and introductory coupons.
  4. Consider store credit cards (but be careful). These cards can offer discounts on your purchase or could offer a low or no interest rate period for you to pay off, but be sure to only charge what you can afford to pay off immediately. And don’t forget – DO NOT apply for any new credit until your home purchase is complete, as it could put your mortgage process in jeopardy.
  5. Enroll in coupon and cashback programs like Rakuten and Honey.
  6. Consider setting up a housewarming registry to score discounts on unpurchased items. You can share with friends and family who might be looking for a housewarming gift, and some retailers might offer you a discount on unpurchased items from your list.

Get Creative

To give your home a unique touch and avoid a “cookie-cutter” home aesthetic, try reimagining some of the pieces you already have. Consider how the pieces you might already have may be modified in look and/or function to fit into your new place. Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Repurpose your existing furniture to serve new purposes.
  • Upgrade items with a fresh coat of paint, varnish, or new fixtures.
  • Reupholster worn furniture rather than replacing it.
  • Consider DIY projects or simple repairs if you’re handy.

If DIY isn’t your forte, we have a list of recommended service providers to help you achieve your vision.

Budgeting for a new home is an important part of your home-buying process. Contact the experts at The Zahn Group to learn more about budgeting for your home purchase, and then follow these tips to help you stay on track after closing as you furnish your new home. Happy homemaking!

The Zahn Group is a dynamic real estate group serving the great Charlotte, NC area and upstate South Carolina.  We specialize in helping buyers and sellers in the South Charlotte area.  Contact us to learn more.