Tips & Tricks of a self-professed Bargain Hunter

Monday, July 9, 2012

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Some call it cheap. Others call it thrifty. I call it smart. I truly believe there is absolutely zero reason to pay top dollar, or full-price for that matter, on anything. So this week, I thought I'd share a few tips with you. Some you may already know, some you may scoff at, others you just need to give a try. It's time to think outside the box and save some doe, dough, green. And don't worry, I'm not gonna talk to you about clipping coupons or anything like that. And I don't think I'm going to rock your world with anything insanely new. I just hope to challenge your thinking a bit. And while I've touched on this topic before, I wanted to cover more topics, more thoroughly - home, beauty and fashion.

Since it's Monday and I usually do my Around the House series, I thought I'd focus on items for the home today. Yeah, that's a pretty broad category. There's everything from furniture to bits and bobs. But there are also a lot of sources for one stop shopping.

The Truck Load: you know... the places you go to get everything. Because everyone and their dog shops online these days, great looks are no longer out of reach for the "average Joe", or Jane.

Home Depot/Lowe's - Yes, they're the big box DIY retailers we all know and love. But when's the last time you looked at Home Depot for trendy lighting or Lowe's for amazing curtains? They've got 'em. Trust me. I've hunted and found 'em. In fact, we got modern house numbers at Home Depot for under $10.00 ea. while other sites online are charging over $25.00 a number. Ca-ching.
modern house numbers via home depot
Hobby Lobby - My personal opinion, this craft store is a million times better than Michael's. They are always having sales - big ones, like 50% off. And, as you've heard me say a million times on this blog, they are my go to source for Anthropologie-type knobs, pulls and hooks. Oh, and baskets... oh my mercy do they have great baskets right now. I kinda flipped my lid the other day, salivating all over the aisle upon aisle of woven goodness.

Home Goods - The Dallas location opened not long ago and I just recently went. Whoa! What was I waiting for? They have great deals on everything to fill and decorate your home for a song. They have an amazing brass floor lamp that's calling my name right now. But, it's not something we need, so it isn't coming home with me anytime soon.

Target - No secret here. With lines from Missoni, Todd Oldham and Orla Keily, this one stop shop is a frequent haunt of many a bargain hunter. But, knowing when to shop based on their mark-down schedule is a very handy thing for all hunters to have in their ammo pouch.

The Used but not Abused: It's all about finding the treasures that others before you have cherished, but have simply out-grown. You'll do more hunting here, perhaps needing binoculars and frequent trips, but the hunt is so worth the deals that you'll find.

Thrift Stores - If you don't shop thrift stores, I need to introduce you to some of my dearest friends... Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Town. They have been a part of my life for years and I highly recommend you get to know them. Not only do they offer great deals on vintage gear, many thrift stores provide a number of great things to their community. Philanthropy and shopping in one. Love. Simply do a google search to find the ones in your neighborhood.

Estate Sales - blah, blah, blah...I know, I talk about this a lot. But seriously, you get to shop someone's entire home, closets and all! This is the best place to find vintage goods. And it's a heck of a lot easier than garage sales - you get to view the merchandise before you go with the help of the internet. If you don't know how to find one in your area, go to Estate or 24-7 Estate Sales or Craigslist (on craigs, simply type in "estate sale" and your city).
Garage Sales - I'm not gonna talk much about 'em. You can find great deals, but it's a lot of work. My sister loves garage sales and goes on the hunt every saturday morning at the butt-crack-of-dawn. It's not my cup of tea; but I have found a treasure here and there in my neighborhood, doing drive-bys. I scored my mid-century modern kitchen chairs at a garage sale for $100.00.
yup, all four - $100.00

The World Wide Web: Bargains are waiting to be had at every corner. The key is to search well and utilize the abundance of data floating around out there. My hubs uses Pricegrabber and Bizrate before he buys anything online. They do the shopping and comparing of prices for you. Awesome-sauce.

Craigslist - Again, nothing new here. But, there are tips and tricks on how to shop here. Kelly, over at View Along the Way, shared all of her online shopping tips. Check it. It will save you loads of precious searching time. I mean, we're busy people. Who has time to click link after link of stuff you probably aren't even looking for? Once I found the genius sites like craiggers and craigs easy... finding new lights for our house was sooo less painful.
all of these modernica lights were scored for $200.00 - they just need a good cleanin' and some minor repairs (ps - that's a peak of our new casa with new windows and new cement flooring!)

Ebay - I think ebay has been getting overlooked lately. There are still amazing deals to be found. I mean, that is where The Brick House found her amazing fiber art. Need I say more? Seriously.

The Locals: Many cities have amazing local companies that produce stellar products. Even better, many have "flea markets" or outlets that give buyers deep discounts. In Dallas we have a few locals that need mentioning...

Wisteria - Amaze-balls. Nothing else can describe their "flea market". Go to the back of the store for marked downs, overstocked goods and slightly damaged items that are dirt cheap.

Crate and Barrel - Their outlet on Inwood is awesome for basics.

Nadeau - Although they can be found in other big cities, the Dallas location has deals galore in a part of town that most don't venture to.

Here's the biggest tip I can give you... Don't let what you think you know, trip you up. Check out those stores you generally wouldn't step foot into. Ask friends where they shop. Dig, dig, dig. Nothing is off limits when it comes to finding a bargain. Nothing. You may have to stretch yourself a bit or get your hands dirty, but isn't stewarding God's money well worth it? I think so.

By the way, what's your favorite source for a good bargain? xo


  1. So many great ideas brooke! Even for a self proclaimed serious shopper I learned quite a bit-cannot wait to see your new pad! Awesome modernica lights !


  2. Thanks lady! Cant wait to show you the new house. Miss you like mad. xo

  3. Great stuff, thank you. I am slowly but surely putting things in our home. We are on the brink of climbing out of a pit of debt and want to steward wisely as well.

    Thanks! Great tips!

  4. great post! i really like estate sales, and have recently discovered salvage shops (for knobs, lights, ect) Do you ever shop flea markets? I want to find one but wonder if they are more common in the country than the city?

  5. love those lights...can't wait to see them hanging a featured in future blog post!

  6. Shon - Go get em girl! Freedom is insight! Keep up the good work. Being debt free is so noble!xo

    Julia - Yes, I love flea markets as well. We have a few near by that run once a month and then there the inafamous Roundtop. Do a google search to find some in your area. Love 'em all.xo

    Nicole - thanks girlie!xo


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