Although it is perhaps most well known for job and real estate listings, Craigslist is also a hot spot for finding used furniture for sale in your neighborhood. Simply go to the “for sale” section and look for the categories titled “furniture” or “free.” You’d be surprised by how many high-quality furniture pieces are available. Even if you snag a less-than-perfect item from a local seller, you can make it look at home in your space with a fresh coat of paint.
Related: 18 Sneaky Ways to DIY Top-Dollar Decor
Post on Freecycle
If you don't have time to browse the web in search of a good deal on furniture, let the deals find you. Create an account on Freecycle—an online community for people who want to give and receive items for free. Once you've connected to your local Freecycle chapter, post a wanted ad that lists exactly what you need. Depending on where you live, you could be inundated with offers in a matter of days. When it's time to switch up your decor, consider paying it forward by re-listing your furniture on the site.
Related: The 10 Best Things to Buy Secondhand
Shop Your Friends' Moving Sales
When people make a big move, many prefer to part with large or clunky furniture rather than pay to haul it. Many would-be nomads will hold a moving sale, and give friends first pick of their stuff. If you get wind of a friend's moving sale, don’t skip it. You can usually pick up top quality stuff, and your friends will love that their precious furniture has found a good home.
Related: 10 Ways to Score Big at a Yard Sale
Repurpose Things You Already Have
Out with the old and in with the—old? You may not know it, but a lot of outdated items can look brand new with a little DIY ingenuity. For instance, if the finish on a table doesn't match your newly upholstered chairs, strip it and stain it in a new hue. A worn bedside table can be painted and repurposed as an end table for a screened porch. No matter what you have on hand, if it's in relatively good condition, it can probably be salvaged. And when in doubt, give something a quick coat of paint—sometimes that's all it takes.
Related: 16 New Things You Can Do with Old Furniture
Buy Floor Samples
If you’re in love with that couch on display at your local shop, but can't afford the retail price, don’t just walk away. Talk to the shop owner to see if they’d be willing to part with the item on the floor. A lot of times, they’ll give you the piece at a discount—or at least take your name down and call you when they're changing over their merchandise. Moral of the story: It never hurts to ask!
Related: Editors' Picks: 10 Favorite Sofas Under $1,000
Make Your Own Abstract Art
If you long for a refined gallery wall, but can't pay top dollar for original art, take heart. Creating your own colorful abstract art is an inexpensive fix. Pick up a cheap canvas, quality brush, and paint at a local craft store, then get to work. Your creative efforts will bring life to your living room walls until you can afford to splurge on your favorite artists' work.
Related: 10 Ways to Fill a Blank Wall for Under $20
Don't Be Afraid to Haggle
In most furniture stores, the price tag is not the end of the story. A lot of stores actually expect you to negotiate. Sales clerks often have wiggle room to cut you a deal, so be direct and ask. The worst they’ll say is "no."
Related: The 15 Best Cheap Furniture Makeovers We've Ever Seen
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!