Moving into and furnishing a new place can be expensive—but it doesn’t have to be! Before you rush out to buy the fanciest furniture you can find, consider these alternative methods for filling your space without emptying your pockets and bank account.

1. ASK YOUR LOVED ONES.

Friends and family members can be a great source for cheap or even free stuff when it comes time to make it on your own. Ask directly for those old chairs and tables that you know are not getting much use, or list the things you need on a housewarming gift registry and watch the goodies pour in. Even if the styles don’t match your own, buying a bucket of paint or covering an old couch costs less than picking one out in a showroom. 

2. SHOP ONLINE MARKETPLACES.

E-commerce websites that list items secondhand are perfect for finding local people that want to trade their unwanted furniture for a few dollars. The best part is that those sites are updated constantly, and the people who use them are usually open to making deals. And when it comes to used furniture, it is always a buyer’s market. 

3. EXPLORE WAREHOUSE SALES.

Big companies and dealers sometime mark down old furniture to make room for new shipments, which can translate to big savings for you. Also, don’t assume that just because a piece is heavily discounted that the price can’t go lower. Ask and you may receive. 

4. BE THRIFTY.

Cleanliness is obviously a major factor when acquiring cheap furniture, but there are often great deals to be had at thrift stores, donation centers, and even stoop sales. Some people recoil at the thought of inheriting other people’s germs, but a little dirt should not be a total deal breaker.  Just like the hand-me-downs from your family, make sure you inspect the items first, and keep in mind that you can always restore or reupholster worn out pieces for far less than what you would pay for a brand-new item. 

5. GET CREATIVE.

When acquiring used furniture, think outside the piece’s original purpose. An old door could make for an amazing headboard, or a vintage traveling trunk could be repurposed into a bench (complete with storage).

6. DIY IT.

Building a couch from scratch probably won’t save you any money, but some things are less expensive when made by hand. If you’re willing to put in the work, home supply stores and salvage yards have all the materials you need to make a cool mirror, coffee table, headboard, or bookcase, and there are tons of instructional videos and photo tutorials online that will guide you.