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I absolutely LOVE shopping thrift stores for my home decor. It’s a cheap hobby that challenges my creativity, BUT for those new to thrifting it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by, how do I put this nicely? Vast amounts of junk.

To help you cut though the clutter and get straight to the good stuff, I’ve made a list of 10 Home Decor Items to Buy at Thrift Stores. Keep an eye out for these things every time you shop and you’re sure to have your first thrift-store-score in no time!

1. Lamps & Lampshades

When purchased new, lamps & lampshades can be EXPENSIVE! Instead of shelling out $80-$100, check your local thrift store first. With a little creativity, an outdated lamp can look as good as new! Here’s a little inspiration to get you started!

DIY Farmhouse Inspired Burlap and Zinc Finished Lamps by Rustique Restoration

2. Vintage Books

Instead of buying vintage books at antique stores where they can cost anywhere from $5-$25 a piece, keep an eye open for them at thrift stores. I usually find them for about $.50 each! Check out my post below to learn how to recreate the antique look for less!

 

DIY Vintage Book Hack by The OklaHomemaker

DIY Vintage Book Hack by The OklaHomemaker

3. Silver Trays

I feel like I see 10 of these every time I hit the thrift store and I have to restrain myself from buying them all! Maybe one of these days I’ll buy a few and create a stunning gallery wall like this one from Jillian Harris.

Love It Or List It Vancouver: Gina & Jeff by Jillian Harris

 

4. Antique Furniture

I love antique furniture because it has quality and character that todays mass-produced pieces seem to lack. The possibilities here are endless! Here’s a great post by Love of Family and Home. Pinterest is a wonderful resources for thrift store makeover inspiration so check it out when you’re ready to start your first project!

Goodwill Chair Makeover by Love of Family and Home

 

5. Baskets

Baskets are a fantastic thrift store find for those of us looking to add a little organization to our lives. Here’s a great tutorial for staining and stenciling out-of-date baskets to give them new life!

 

Updated Storage Baskets with Stain and Number Stencils by Making Home Base

 

6. Picture Frames

You can never have too many because there are just SO many things you can do with them! Fill them with printable art, group them together to form a gallery wall, turn them into chalkboards to display important messages, or repurpose them into serving trays! Let your creativity run wild!

Reclaimed Wood Tray by Confessions of a Serial DIYer

 

7. Mismatched China

I love the look a mismatched set of china creates! Display it on a wall or in a hutch to add a little southern flair to your decor!

A New Decorative Plate Wall in Our Dining Room by Driven by Decor

 

8. Vases

Please, never ever EVER pay full price for a vase. I see HUNDREDS of them at thrift stores just begging for a little TLC. Use some pretty vase fillers, ribbon, twine, or spray paint to create a style you love.

DIY Mercury Glass Vase by Hammer and Heels Blog

 

9. Chandliers

One persons trash is a DIY’ers treasure! Chandeliers are a beautiful way to add character to your home, but purchased new they come with a hefty price tag! Try searching your local thrift store first. A little elbow grease and some spray paint work wonders on outdated brass fixtures!

Brass Chandelier Makeover by Reasons to Come Home

 

10. Fabrics

The textiles section of the thrift store is a great place to find fabrics that can be used for recovering throw pillows, reupholstering seat cushions, or sewing curtains. Check out these beautiful ruffled curtains Rachel from Maison de Pax made using old sheets!

DIY Ruffled Curtains by Maison de Pax

 

April 18, 2016 1 comment
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Since we were in high school, this has been one of James and I’s favorite frugal date-nights so I’m excited to share it with you! We pick a store, agree on a budget, set a timer on our phones for 30 minutes, and then split up to find each other the perfect gifts. When the timer goes off, we meet up and “open” our presents.

The first time we did this, we went to Wal-mart and each spent $10 on each other. I got him a few small things he needed, and surprised him with a bag of live gold fish which we kept together as our first “pets”. It’s something we still remember and laugh about to this day.

This Valentines day, we went to Target and had a budget of $25 each. Our Target has a Starbucks so we met there to enjoy a drink while we opened our gifts. He bought me the beautiful Chesapeake Bay candle pictured above, and a container of my favorite body lotion. I bought him a set of nerf guns (he’s still a kid at heart!) and we had a blast chasing each other around the house during the inevitable nerf gun war that ensued later that night.

The great thing about this date idea is that you can adjust it to suit your budget. It’s not about how much money you spend, but having fun and creating memories together as a couple! I hope you’ll give it a try! Let me know about your adventures in the comments section below!

February 16, 2016 1 comment
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This is the third and final post in my series on How to Coupon (for Beginners!). I’ve had so much fun sharing this passion of mine with you, and hope that you’ve learned a thing or two along the way! Todays post will be all about rebate and reward programs you can use to maximize your couponing savings! I’ll also talk about a few of my favorite time-saving apps, because anything that makes life easier is worth sharing! Untitled

Rebates & Rewards:

When stacked with coupons, and great sale prices, rebate and reward programs can stretch your savings even further! Sometimes I even MAKE more money than I spend on these deals!

Extra Care by CVS

CVS’s  Extra Care rewards program is by far my favorite one out there! Download their app or create an account in-store to get the special members-only discounts advertised in their sales circular, receive coupons in your e-mail, and earn Extra Care Bucks rewards. Extra care bucks are coupons that can be redeemed towards your next purchase. They are earned by purchasing select items as advertised, plus you will get $5 for every $50 spent on beauty, and $5 for every 10 pharmacy credits. Any Extra Care Bucks earned will print at the bottom of your receipt, but watch out! Unlike gift-cards they do expire. “Roll” your extra care bucks by using them to pay for your future purchases and you will reduce your out-of-pocket expenses!

iBotta

The iBotta app is a rebate app that helps you earn cash back on your every day purchases. Choose from a list of rebates available at your favorite store, then unlock and redeem them by submitting a photo of your receipt. Once you’ve reached $20 you can transfer your rebates to your PayPal or Venmo account, or with a $25 minimum you can purchase gift cards to select retailers. Taking advantage of available rebate offers is a great way to maximize your savings! I’ve even used the app to “make” money off of items I received for free after coupons!

Apps:

I’ve rounded up the best of the best when it comes to apps for couponing! These free apps will save you time & money! Download them and start taking advantage of these incredible resources!

Coupons.com

The Coupons.com app is my favorite place to find printable coupons. Just browse the list of available coupons, “clip” the ones you want, then print them right from your phone! They have a large database of online sales and coupon codes as well. Printable coupons can only printed two times from each device.

Flipp

The Flipp app is a great resource containing up-to-date sales circulars for all your favorite places to shop. It has a filter to help you search for the best discounts, and has a “Clip” feature so you can add sales to your list for later. It is SO convenient to have all that information available in one place!

Cartwheel

Target’s Cartwheel app has a barcode scanner to make searching for discounts quick and simple. I scan every item as I put it into my cart just to make sure I don’t miss anything! If the item scanned doesn’t match any offers, the app will suggest a similar item that does. Once I find an offer I want to use, I add it to my barcode and have the cashier scan it at the register. I find some unexpected savings every time I shop! Cartwheel offers can be stacked with one Target coupon AND one manufacturers coupon per item, and can be used over and over again until the offer expires.

Krazy Coupon Lady

This app is basically everything a couponer needs compiled in one place! So so so helpful! Select your favorite stores to “follow” a feed of their sales, coupon deals, and clearance finds. Browse printable coupons, create a shopping list, and share a “brag” post to pass the fantastic savings along! Check out their “Learn” section for money saving hacks, educational videos, and a super awesome Transform Your Shopping Habits in 10 Days e-book. This is a great app for beginning couponers because it contains so much helpful information!

That wraps up our series on How to Coupon (for Beginners!) If you have any questions, or care to share some of your money saving tips leave a comment below!

January 21, 2016 0 comment
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Hey there! Welcome to part 2 of my 3 part series on How to Coupon (for beginners!). In my last post, we talked about the basics including where to shop, where to get coupons, and when to buy. I also shared a few fantastic resources for beginning couponers so if you haven’t read that post yet, make sure you go here and check it out!

Today we will be talking about the different types of coupons available, and how to “stack” them. I’ll also be breaking down a few different deals for you can you see the magic happen for yourself & hopefully this will all start to make sense!

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Types of Coupons:

There are three different types of coupons: manufacturers coupons, store coupons and category coupons. Don’t know how to tell the difference? It’s easy. Look for a box somewhere on your coupon, usually at the top:

curad coupon

As you can see, this one has a green box at the top that says “Manufacturer’s Coupon”.

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Similarly, this one has a black box at the top that says it is a Target coupon. Coupons that say “Redeemable at” or contain a store logo are not necessarily store coupons, so it’s important to read the coupon carefully!

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This is an example of category coupon. Since it doesn’t apply to one single item, you can use it in combination with other coupons as long as the items are all within the “Baby” category. Coupons that say things like $5 off a $25 purchase, etc. work the same way! Since it’s also a Target coupon, it can only be used at Target stores.

Coupon Stacking:

Now that you know and understand the three different types of coupons, lets take a look at how they can be used. Most stores will let you use one of each type of coupon on any single item, this is referred to as “stacking”. When combined with an already low sale price, coupon stacking is the most effective way to save money by couponing. Here’s an example:

Herbal-Essences-Coupons1

This is a manufacturer coupon for Buy One Get One Free Herbal Essences shampoo (my favorite!) When this coupon came out, Herbal Essences shampoos were on sale at Target for $4.99 and they had a special running that if I bought four I would receive a $5 gift card after checkout. I also had a category coupon for $5 off a $15 beauty purchase at Target. When I combined these deals, I walked out of Target with 8 FREE bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Here’s how it worked:

I bought 8 at $4.99= $39.92
I used 2 $5 off $15 beauty coupons (-$10.00)= $29.92
I used 4 BOGO coupons (-$19.96)= $9.96 (paid this +tax out of pocket)
AND I got back $10 in Target gift cards to use on groceries, orrr that new scarf I had my eye on. 😉

Pretty awesome right?! Let’s try another one! This deal is called a money maker because I actually got back more money in gift cards than I spent! I don’t have  a photo of the coupon, but it was a manufacturer coupon for $2 off a Swiffer duster starter kit like the one pictured below.

swiffer

Target had the kits on sale for $3.99 each, and ran a special that if I bought 3 I would receive a $10 gift card after checkout. I made $4.03 off this deal! Here’s how it worked:

I bought 3 Swiffer duster starter kits at $3.99= $11.97
I used 3 $2 off one Swiffer duster starter kit coupons (-$6.00)= $5.97 (paid this +tax out of pocket)
AND I got back $10 on a Target gift card! YAY!

As you can see, coupon stacking is the key to getting AMAZING deals! Check your circulars for sales or promotions, and follow your couponing blogs closely so you don’t miss any match ups! When you find a match up, calculate your price and check it against this stock up price list from Passion for Savings to make sure it’s a good deal. Then write it all down on your shopping list, organize the coupons you need, and double check your math. These three steps are so important to a successful shopping trip! The couponing world moves quickly, and it takes some work and dedication but it is SO worth the effort!

Come back Thursday for the 3rd and last post in my How to Coupon (for Beginners!) series. We’ll talk about a few apps that will help you on your couponing journey, as well as some reward and rebate programs you can use to maximize your savings!

January 18, 2016 0 comment
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Here in Oklahoma we are lucky enough to experience all four seasons throughout the year; sometimes we even experience all four seasons in one day! Fall has finally arrived, and one of my favorite things about the change in seasons is that I get the chance to try something different with my home decor. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of looking at the same things for months on end, and find that rotating my decor for the seasons is a great way to keep my home fresh and interesting. Here I’ll share 5 of my favorite frugal ways to incorporate seasonal decor into my home.

  1. When choosing seasonal items, use colors and styles that complement your year-round decor (such as art, furniture, curtains, pillows, etc). This will save you money by allowing you to use pieces you already have and reducing the amount of “seasonal” decor you will need to purchase in order to create a unified look. For instance, during the spring and summer months I use lots of grey, blue, green, and yellow. So I kept these colors consistent with my fall decor, and simply added a few accents of a light orange shade. You’ll see more example of this in the photos below. The most important thing is to think of your home decor as a whole and look for pieces that interact well with each other. If you don’t think it would blend seamlessly with the items you already have, don’t buy it!
  2. Use a chalkboard to display seasonal messages! I got mine from Hobby Lobby for $9.99, and I use some chalk pencils to do the calligraphy myself.

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For this fall I chose “Eat, Drink, Give Thanks”. Here are some other phrase ideas to get you started.

Winter: “Eat Drink & Be Merry” “Baby it’s cold outside” “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” “O Holy night”
Spring: “Bless our nest” “Bloom where you are planted” “He makes all things beautiful”
Summer: “You are my sunshine” “Love, Laughter & Happily Ever After” “Amazing Grace”
Fall: “Happy fall y’all!” “Fall in love” “Autumn, the years last & loveliest smile”

The options here are endless, have fun with it!

3.Use vase fillers as a cheap and easy way to change up your decor! 

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I bought three boxes of this filler from Hobby Lobby for $8.39 each, and I’ve used it for literally everything from my apothecary jars, to decorative bowls, and centerpieces. For an even thriftier way update your home’s look, visit your back yard or a local park to find leaves, pinecones, acorns, flowers or other FREE items that can be incorporated into your decor. I’ll admit I’ve even used my fresh produce as a decoration from time to time, I guess I never really learned not to play with my food.

4. A good accent pillow and throw blanket are the #1 quick fix for your living area! They require almost no effort, and will make your home feel cozy and welcoming. Here is where shopping within your color scheme really saves you money. I could easily go out and spend $100 on a new set of pillows and blankets for every season, but instead I chose a pumpkin accent pillow and plaid throw blanket that compliment my year round color scheme so they can be mixed and matched with pieces I already own, like my paisly pillow. I’ll also be using the blanket through the winter season as well so it will do double duty. These two pieces ended up costing me about $35.

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5. Change out your framed photos! Almost everyone has access to a smart phone capable of taking great photos, and it only costs a few cents to get them printed at Walgreens or from websites like shutterfly.com, that’s what makes this my favorite frugal way to update my home for the seasons! Choose some of your favorite family “throwback” photos from the current season, or go outside and snap some of your own. Either way it will add a touch of character to your home, and you will enjoy seeing the faces of the people you love most. To make this even easier, store the unused photos behind the one currently being displayed so you can find them for next year.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my secrets for creating great seasonal style on a budget. I would love to see photos of how you use these tips and tricks in your own homes!

October 30, 2015 1 comment
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