When it comes to decorating your home – and equipping it with everything you need to make the most out of it – it’s easy to get lost in a sea of sites and stores. It’s also easy to develop a routine that feels comfortable, but ultimately holds you back from the deals and the outside-the-box thinking that can score you major rewards, along with a host of items you’ll love having around your house.
There’s no reason to be intimidated by options when shopping for home goods. With a few tips and tricks, you can develop a different way of shopping that maximises savings, while minimising your time investment. We’ve assembled a list of our five favourite secrets below – keep reading to learn how you can score more while spending less.
1. Never shop without a strategy
If you’ve just moved into a new space, or are looking to redecorate a large portion of your home, your best shopping skills won’t manifest unless you’ve already got a plan. This doesn’t mean you already have to know exactly what you want, it just means not going in blind. A strategy doesn’t have to be intricate, but a little pause before shopping can save you a whole lot of time later. Below are three examples that illustrate the point.
● Measure – Measure the spaces you’re buying items for. This shouldn’t be considered a secret, but it’s a step that’s skipped by too many shoppers to ignore. This extends beyond furniture, however – even if you’re just buying a simple coffee maker, make sure to measure the counter you’re putting it on. Before buying anything that’s going to alter the look of a room, or take up even a moderate amount of space, make sure you’ve got room to fit it in, without overcrowding the area.
● Create a look board – For bigger projects that involve shopping for several items, it’s always good to see the big picture. Whether you use Pinterest, or create an old-fashioned collage from magazines, tie everything you’re looking to accomplish together through theme and aesthetics before you start shopping. The better sense you have of how an area should look (or feel), the better you’ll be able to shop for it.
● Start with the biggest room – For large-scale projects involving your whole home (or at least multiple rooms), shop for the biggest room first, or at least for the biggest priority. It might be tempting to bounce around, but by starting big and focusing room to room, you’ll have an easier time navigating all your options, and will be less likely to waste money on items and ideas that don’t make sense in the end.
2. Start with the sales section
Whether you’re shopping in-person or shopping online, the sales section is where you want to start looking. If nothing else, it can tell you a lot about how that store chooses to price its entire inventory. Don’t just stop there, though. Compare those sale prices to those of their competitors – in many cases, stores will match those prices if they happen to be lower, whether they advertise that policy or not.
On top of that logic rests a more obvious benefit – you might find something that still fits your original idea, but saves you a lot of money. Finally, check the original release date of the items you find in the sales section, or ask when the next major sale is planned for. It might clue you in on how long – or how short – you have until that pricey item you need to finish your room might become more affordable.
3. Write reviews
Feedback – it’s not just for venting. Plenty of sites offer rewards and discounts in exchange for simply telling them how you feel. Different online stores offer different perks. It’s an easy way to save on all sorts of items you won’t find on sale. Most importantly, you’ll be taking part in the movement to make online reviews reliable.
4. Stay logged in to social media
By leaving your Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter account open while you shop, you’ll often find exclusive deals. Maybe you’re not the biggest fan of social media, which is understandable. But in an era where engagement ranks nearly as high as sales, many stores unlock discounts, or offer access first to those already paying attention to them online. If you want to skip checking endless pages and brand profiles on loop, you can even sign up for alerts – so you’ll know exactly when to log on and claim your deal.
5. Shop unlikely sources
Discount stores can make for unlikely success stories; often providing the decor and items you’ve been looking everywhere for. Before breaking the bank at a premium retailer, make a visit to one of these shops. The drawbacks here are obvious – these stores are often out of date, but you might just complete your vision for half the cost you expected.