10 Ways I Maximized Every Purchase in My New Home (+ What You Should Splurge On)

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woman sitting on white couch in living room

Get the most bang for your buck.

There’s plenty of home decor ideas out there, but I’m sharing the building blocks I’ve learned after buying & furnishing my new home that you might not have considered before.

With these tools, you’ll be on your way to maximizing every purchase you make and saving your hard-earned money while you’re at it. 🙌

Here are a bunch of home decor ideas & ways I’ve saved money when making my house a home:

1. Try “Open Box” items and you might even get them FREE.

black coffee table in middle of living room home decor ideas

You can find just about any major home appliance or piece of furniture at an open box price if you’re willing to be a little patient and accept a few defects. I was obsessing over this coffee table from Lulu and Georgia but ended up finding an identical one (shown above) at AllModern for a couple hundred less!

When I saw an open box pop up for this coffee table on Wayfair I knew I needed to go for it! Best of all, I already thought I was getting a great deal because it was so much cheaper! 😍

hands holding phone with all modern furniture return invoice on screen

Unfortunately, my open box came with a few manufacturing defects making assembly nearly impossible. The metal legs were uneven, the holes didn’t align, and we were ready to send it back. 😕

However, after calling Wayfair’s customer service, I had a full refund within minutes and I even got to keep the table! 🤩

While there are many cases items will need to be returned, I can whole-heartedly say it’s worth the risk. Worst case, you’ll end up having to send an item back, but you’ll get a refund either way. Needless to say, our coffee table legs may be uneven and it may be missing half the screws, but ya just can’t beat FREE! 🤣

hands typing on laptop with open box furniture listings on screen home decor ideas

Here are some popular stores that offer open box items:

2. Hold companies responsible for their shipping and you could get a full refund.

carrying amazon prime shipping boxes home decor ideas

Something a lot of people don’t know is that companies take pride in their guaranteed delivery dates – specifically, Amazon. Sure, companies can’t always be on point and delays are inevitable from time to time (especially during COVID), but when you pay for a monthly service, like Amazon Prime, you can ensure you’ll be compensated if your items aren’t delivered when they’re expected.

In fact, more than once I’ve received an entire refund when I didn’t receive something on time. 😱

Any time I don’t receive an item by the date it’s promised, I contact Amazon through their online chat and explain the situation which either ends with a partial or total refund!

large boxes delivered to front porch outside

Aside from Amazon, another company I ordered our new dining room table from notified me that our dining room table was delayed six more weeks from the original date (which was already quite some time after I ordered) and they compensated me 10% back from our total order! Anything’s better than nothing, right! 👏

3. Stalk Facebook Marketplace for high-end items.

hands holding phone with facebook marketplace studio mcgee on screen

You can find some incredible deals on Facebook Marketplace whether someone wasn’t able to affordably return a piece of furniture or their style and home decor ideas change with the seasons. Either way, their loss is your gain!

After one quick search, I saw many listings for high-end items like Studio McGee, who also just launched their own line with Target!

girl sitting in front of large wooden dollhouse

I also happened to find a huge wooden dollhouse for my daughter’s room for just $95 (complete with all the furniture!) which is currently being sold at Crate & Kids for almost $400 without furniture!

Of course, if you’re particular about the items you’re looking to buy, you’ll have to be a little more patient until the right things pop up.

4. Sell stuff you already own or plan to replace to fund your next project.

large drum shaped lighting fixture sitting on wood floor home decor ideas

The invention of Facebook Marketplace has also made it pretty convenient to not only find great deals but earn some cash too! It’s simple to list any item you no longer want so you have cash for the replacement once you get into your new home.

Selling items such as lighting fixtures, cabinets, and more can help fund your next home decor idea, reno project, or whatever you plan to replace it with. Just as an example, I wanted to replace our dining room lighting fixture which I ended up selling in a month on Facebook Marketplace for $100 (retails for $220!). Needless to say, it was a good chunk of change to put towards our new light, table, and chairs.

5. Buy washable rugs so they last longer. 

boys room with two beds and rug home decor ideas

Rugs are an investment and if you have kids or pets running around, that’s all the more reason to invest in a rug that can easily be cleaned. As one home decor idea, you can find quality washable rugs from brands like Lorena Canals or Ruggable. Just keep in mind, these are not the most inexpensive rugs BUT considering they’re a cinch to clean and very well made, you can ensure they’re in it for the long haul and will more than pay for themselves over time!

I’ve had this Lorena Canals rug in my boy’s room for over 4 years now (which moved with us to our new home) and it still looks completely brand new! I never panic when the boys and their friends track all their dirty shoes upstairs, when we do popcorn movie nights, and so much more because cleaning their rug is as simple as throwing it in the wash!

6. Go to consignment shops frequently to score great deals.

modern leather sling chair sitting in living room with white side table

There’s no denying the best home decor items go fast when we’re talking consignment shopping. When I was on the hunt for new furniture and decor pieces, I was making a point to scope out all my favorite consignment shops about twice a week or whenever I knew they put new items out.

I know this may seem excessive, but when you’re looking for trendy items, they’re not going to stick around for long so knowing when to shop is crucial. With some patience, persistence, and a little bargaining, you can score some awesome deals!

hands typing on laptop with wayfair chair listing on screen home decor ideas

After months of searching, I scored a modern leather accent chair for CHEAP at my local consignment – exactly what my vision had in mind! Best of all, I did some online searching after I brought it home, and turns out the EXACT same chair is currently on Wayfair for over $900! 😱😱😱 (Which isn’t even close to what I paid buying it second-hand!)

7. Ask friends to keep an eye out.

modern sling chair sitting in store with tag

Anyone who knows you likely knows what your style is or what you still need for your new home, so having a good friend or some family to keep an eye out is another great way to score awesome finds. Plus, it allows you to have an eye out in two places at once, so to speak!

Whenever they pop into a yard sale, consignment store, or think they may have found a thrift store find you’d love, they can easily snap a photo to send to you or even do a FaceTime if time’s of the essence so you know whether or not you need to make a run to the store.

8. Buy paint when it’s 40% off to save hundreds on your home projects.

Sherwin Williams Paint Can with stick home decor ideas

Sherwin Williams offers quality paint and frequently has sales on their paint. While there’s no actual schedule for these sales, you can expect paints to be on sale about every couple of months. Plus, in between their 40% off sales you can likely always score 30% off if you’re in a pinch.

As a tip, you can buy untinted paint and get it colored later, so don’t be afraid to stock up on gallons of it when you’re getting 40% off.

Even better, these sales almost always include 40% off all their paint supplies too so if you need brushes, rollers, and everything in between, you can always count on a good deal.

Get $5 off some Samplize paint samples while you’re still deciding.

woman putting large square paint sample on wall home decor ideas

Unlike traditional paper paint samples that are dyed to mimic the paint color you love, Samplize uses a larger scale, 12″x 12″ square that’s hand-painted with two coats of the exact color you want!

I was excited to learn they even use high-quality paints from Sherwin Williams, Farrow & Ball, PPG, and Benjamin Moore so you can guarantee you’ll get the exact paint sample you’re looking for! Plus, they’re quickly shipped right to your door so no more waiting in line at the paint store! 👏

Read more about Samplize and why we love it HERE!

Hip Tip: Head to their site so you can score $5 OFF your first sample with promo code FIRSTFIVE at checkout!

9. Go for walks around your neighborhood on bulk trash night.

before and after of wooden playhouse makeover

In my neighborhood, homeowners are able to put out bulky & heavy items like furniture, appliances, and whatever else they’re getting rid of for trash pick-up once a week. If you’re out at the right time, this is a fantastic time to score FREE deals!

Like that time I scored this wooden kid’s playhouse and spent almost nothing to make it look new again! 😍

In addition to the incredible playhouse I scored, I’ve also found numerous other free items out for trash like painting supplies, scrap wood, an entire box of old vinyl, dining chairs, and so much more! Of course, every street and week will be different (and just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s always worth taking), but this is also a great way to meet some new neighbors.

As a bonus, you’ll also be getting some exercise while you shop around your block so even if you don’t find something every week, you’re still coming out ahead. 😏

*You can find out when your neighborhood bulk trash night is by calling your local township number.

10. Replace outlets & light switches for a more updated look.

yellow and white light switches side by side

If you’re moving into an older home that’s rocking some dirty, old light switches & outlets, swapping them out for something new is a very inexpensive update that also makes a huge impact. Plus, they’ll make all that painting you just did look even better and so much crisper. After all, when it comes to home decor ideas, it’s all in the details, am I right?!

In all seriousness though, these little updates will make every room look more updated. If you’re comfortable enough on your own, you can replace these in just minutes or hire a professional to tackle your entire home in a day’s work. To make the DIY seem less daunting, we swapped each room with new outlets and switches as we painted, that way redoing the entire house didn’t seem like such a task and before you know it, they’ll all be done!

Shop these popular & affordable options:

Here’s one thing I’ve splurged on:

woman laying on white sofa in living room

Splurge on the things that matter to you most.

This home decor idea will be totally different for everyone from the budget to the actual item you’re splurging on. It’s great to save money on many things in life, but if there are a few must-have items you want for your home, then treat yourself to these items when you’re able to work them in your budget. Sometimes there’s no substitute for having that high-end item you’ve been obsessing over and many times they end up paying for themselves in the long haul.

For me, it was my beloved couch. I knew I wanted a white couch, but the only way that would be possible with active kiddos running around was to invest in something washable and built to last. It was pricey but totally worth the splurge and I have ZERO regrets.

Sell your house fast with these tips!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 43

  1. V

    Love this post! So many great ideas!

    • Sara

      Thank you, V! So glad you found this post helpful!

  2. Kylie

    I LOVE your couch! Can you share where it’s from?

    • Sara

      Thanks so much, Kylie! It’s from Sixpenny. We actually have a post on my couch (and a bunch of our other top comfy couch picks) coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled! 🙂

  3. Mell

    Anyone know if Amazon still has chat?

    • Sara

      Hey, Mell! Yes, they do! I use it anytime I need assistance from Amazon and it’s so easy to use! If you google “Amazon Chat” it should come right up. Hope this helps!

  4. laura-24

    I’m switching out my outlets now. It’s easy enough to do on your own and saves a lot of money. The old outlets had yellowed over time. Plus the new version are tamper resistant which is a plus if you have little ones.

    • Sara

      Yes! It’s such a wonderful and easy update with so much bang for your buck! Glad you’re loving the switch in your home too, Laura!

  5. Kb

    I’m not sure that Amazon is really honoring their shipping refunds any longer. In my experience, Amazon has been completely unwilling to budge with refunds on shipping timeframes in the last year since COVID. We went several months where not a single package was delivered on time. No refunds issued despite attempts via chat and phone. COVID was the continued excuse. I had an item not delivered for weeks after the delivery date and couldn’t get anything besides a sorry. I had even contacted them previously about the fact that everything is taking a week despite being Prime, and they said there was nothing they could do about it. The trend that I have seen is that they don’t ship the item for several days, but it is delivered within two days from the shipped date.

    • Sara

      Sorry to hear that, Kb! I have noticed they’re a little more lenient since COVID, however, I’ve still been refunded when some items didn’t arrive on their scheduled date. If it’s any help, they do write a note at the top of your order on which date you can contact them for a refund if you still don’t receive your item by that date. Hopefully, this helps in the future!

    • Kay

      Same here. Pre-covid, we have received items late. Whenever I chat with them, they just explain that what they guarantee is 2-day delivery once item leaves warehouse. How long it takes from order date to leaving the warehouse could b days. Suckaroo!

  6. Marie

    Anyone have a Wayfair 10% coupon? maridoc94 at yahoo dot com please !!

    • Toni Potts

      I just purchased a vacation house. And we were buying a ton on wayfair. I purchased wayfair coupons on eBay for a couple of bucks.

    • Christina A Nelson

      I might. IF I do, I will email it to you by 8pm.

  7. Alyssa

    Great post! We purchased our first home back in November and my husband didn’t know what a consignment shop was. Now every few weeks we make a day of it and go check them out (they’re a bit far for us). I follow the stores on social media too to see if they post anything we’re interested in. We picked up a table for $400 that was $2700 when I looked it up, and a patio sectional for $500 that goes for $2000! I will look forward to the upcoming couch post as we have been looking for one for the family room!

    • Sara

      That is so amazing, Alyssa! Love hearing about your consignment deals!

  8. Christina

    Such good ideas here! I always search through Facebook Marketplace when looking for furniture. I also use things like Rakuten and Swagbucks to get cashback on the big ticket items, because every little bit helps!

    • Sara

      That’s exactly right, Christina, every little bit helps! So glad you loved this post. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  9. Shelly

    Funny…. after reading this post I saw a very similar coffee table on an other deal site from Walmart only for $71

    • Sara

      Wow! Thanks for sharing, Shelly!

  10. Maria

    I have similar taste and love how you decorated your home on a budget! I have another tip for paint… I always check the oops section when I’m in Lowe’s or Home Depot and grab anything light or almost white. Then I custom mix my own, I like shades of gray and just did a peachy terra cotta color for our new nursery. Not for everyone, but I love using what’s available and I have a background in fine art… a lot of these tips are also very sustainable and good for the next generation to learn.

    • Sara

      I think that’s a wonderful tip, Maria! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Virtualmare

    Great post! I’ve looked at some of the Lorena washable rigs just wondering how do you fit them in your washer!? I have a front loader cannot imagine their rugs fitting

    • Sara

      Hey there! That’s a great question! We have a 5’x8′ in the boy’s room and it fits in our washer just fine and we don’t have a large washer. I actually find it takes up less room than king-size bedding and such. Worst case, you could always take it to a laundry mat where they have commercial-sized appliances. Hope this was helpful!

  12. BeckyReads

    Great post and the home looks beautiful! Sara – I’d love to know what kind of makeup you use! It’s so hard to get makeup with glasses looking right and you look great!

    • Sara

      Aww, thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post – you made my day with your sweet comment! I try to keep my makeup routine really simple and use a light coat of Nars tinted moisturizer with SPF then finish with a powder layer of Makeup Forever Matte Velvet Skin Foundation (I would really like to find something cleaner for my skin though that looks good). Hope this helps, I know makeup can be so hard to figure out so I tend to cling to things when they work for me. 🙂

  13. LisaC.

    Awesome post! We lost almost everything in our home after the two hurricanes this past year and hopefully soon our house will be ready to start rebuilding! Thank you!

    • Sara

      Oh my goodness, Lisa! I’m so sorry to hear that and can’t imagine what you’ve been going through! I hope your home is done soon for you and your family!

  14. Rebecca

    Sara, your home is beautiful! Thanks for this post. Can you share what paint color you used on your walls? I’m doing some painting and want to stick with a lighter color and there are several shades of white! I didn’t think it would be this hard to pick a paint color.

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Rebecca! I would have to agree – whites are so HARD! Who would have thought there could be so many?! LOL! And they all look so different depending on your lighting. We ended up using Sherwin Williams, Pure White in Satin finish on the walls, and the same color in eggshell for all of the trim. (I like more of a matte finish so that’s why I picked those finishes.) If you’re needing some great samples, check out our Samplize post where you can score a deal on your first order!

    • Sara

      Oh, and we did repaint all of the ceilings too! We used Sherwin Williams flat ceiling paint in Pure White. 🙂

      • Rebecca

        Sara, thank you so much for sharing! This is very helpful. I never thought to do the the trim in eggshell. Yes, there are so many white colors to choose from! Thanks again! You all at H2S are, as Tuna Turner would put it, simply the best!

        • Rebecca

          Oops! Tina!

        • Sara

          Haha thank you so much!! You’re the best! We love our values readers! 🤗

      • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

        To piggyback off of this – I also have painted the entire interior of my home in Sherwin Williams Pure White after being inspired by Sara 😂 so I highly recommend this too, Rebecca! I looked at SW Extra White, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, and BM Decorator’s White, but Pure White was my favorite. (I used Samplize, too!)

        I used Cashmere in Low Lustre for my living room, bedrooms, and hallways, and then Duration in Satin for the kitchen and bathrooms. My trim is Pro Classic as is a Satin as well, but if I were to do it again, I might go for Eggshell instead for more matte-like finish as Sara mentioned.

        Definitely stock up during a Sherwin Williams sale as the cost can add up, and I’ll admit I didn’t have a hefty budget for this, but I can promise you it is SO worth investing in a quality paint up front! Happy painting!

        • Rebecca

          Thanks, Emily for sharing what paint colors you used. I LOVE Sherwin Williams paint and stock up when it’s 40% off too! I always used paint from Home Depot in the past and after reading one of your posts, I tried Sherwin Williams and let me tell you, I’ll never buy anything else! And, thanks for the tip on buying the paint and bringing it back to tint later! Genius!! I appreciate you and Sara sharing the colors you used and the sheen! You are are so helpful and it’s appreciated!

  15. Rainy

    I would love to know where your living room rug is from!!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey, Rainy! My rug is from Lulu and Georgia and is called the Kenzi Rug. I absolutely love the texture and it’s been holding up very well. It was definitely a splurge but it’s the main used room in our home so I really wanted a great quality rug that would last.

  16. lisa

    Your couch looks so comfy! Have you taken the cover off your couch and washed it yet? I would love to know how it washed up and if it fit well after? I love the look of white couches but with kids and a dog I’m just not sure, lol

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey, Lisa! I’m happy to report I have washed it multiple times and I love my couch! The kids and neighbor kiddos have got everything on it from muddy fingerprints to red candy cane juice over Christmas and every single thing has come out so easily! The linen honestly just keeps getting better with every wash. It’s slightly tight when putting it back on after washing, but nothing that makes it too difficult to slip on – it’s just the right amount to keep the fabric taut. I typically air dry all the pieces and then just throw it in the dryer on a wrinkle cycle to soften the pieces and it’s always worked perfectly. I hope this is helpful!

  17. Judy Trac

    How are you getting refunds from order not delivered on time? I have prime for years & lately they don’t deliver my items. Either they deliver empty packages or leave my packages at the stairway walking into my place where basically everyone walks over. My building has a door to go through but they always leave my packages outside the building on the steps! Or delivery would say it’s left at front door but I don’t see anything when I come home. Sometimes their delivery pictures are not even my house/building. Amazon would tell me to wait. Then I receive email from CS inquiring more details from me. When I answered back, another rep would say “Amazon is not responsible for after shipment”
    Wtf! Basically Amazon stalled then rub off responsibility. I don’t get my packages & Amazon won’t do anything about it. People get refunds for late packages? My packages never showed up & Amazon said it’s not their problem. Thinking about canceling my prime

  18. Mama6

    This is such a great post! Easy and practical ideas. I would definitely like to see more posts like this one.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so thrilled to hear how much you loved this post, Mama6! Thanks for the sweet comment and for being a valued Hip reader! 🙂

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