Family & Friends

When you're setting up a house or apartment your family and friends will very likely offer you all kinds of stuff. We advise you to take it all! You can use it until you find things more to your liking and not be forced to go out and pay full price for anything!

From Anna in Texas: My advice is when someone you know is moving offer to help! You may be gifted with a piece of furniture that won't fit easily in the moving truck and you are doing a friend a favor. Also if you see someone hauling furniture to the corner to be put out for garbage, don't be afraid to go and ask if you can have anything. We got a beautiful chest of drawers and dressers that way. We have received so much from either gifting or just by asking that we have a three bedroom house full of furniture now. With a little creativity, we were able to make all the mixed match furniture blend well together and saved thousands of dollars.

WARNING! If you choose to buy new things be careful of the quality. It's far more frugal to buy a good set of pots and pans (such as Revereware or T-Fal) than to buy one of those sets for $9.99 only to have the nonstick finish start wearing off and the handles fall off in about 3 months.

The same applies to furniture. Some of the cheap stuff we looked at was literally made of cardboard under the upholstery. And cheap kitchen chairs will get wobbly in less than a year.

Be frugal but be smart!