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Stretching Your Decorating Dollars at Flea Markets and Discount Stores

By Alyssa Davis

When decorating your home, it's important to keep your household budget in mind. There are many ways you can save money, as well as create a unique one-of-a-kind look, by shopping for decorating items and ideas at flea markets and discount stores. Discount stores often offer new items at a fraction of the cost that you would pay if you bought them elsewhere. And, flea markets can provide not only discounted new items, but affordable used items as well. After all, new isn't always better. Vintage flea market finds can add a lot of style and charm to your home, while saving a lot of money in the process.

Go With Your Instincts

One of the best ways of shopping for decorating items at flea markets and discount stores is to always go with your instincts. If you are attracted to a particular item, take this as a sign that you would probably enjoy living with the piece and that it would fit in well with your overall style and preferences. You can often use one or two great finds as the inspiration for an entire decorating plan.

Look For Quality

When shopping at flea markets and discount stores, it's important to look for quality. For example, it's easy to give a furniture item a fresh coat of paint, but if the item wasn't made with good craftsmanship, it's probably not an item you'd want in your home. On the other hand, some items might have seen better days for their original intended use, but would be perfectly fine in other types of uses. An example would be a cookware pot with a missing handle and perhaps a scratched or damaged interior. While you wouldn't want to cook with this item, it could make a unique and attractive planter. Often, the imperfections and small defects in vintage items actually add to their charm.

Make a List and Bring Along Color Samples

It can help keep you focused when shopping at flea markets and discount stores if you have a list of the types of items you are looking for. You won't always stick to this list, especially if you find a particularly interesting and inspirational item, but it can help you at least focus on the types of items you are most interested in finding. It can also help to have color samples with you, so that you can make sure items will match your decor. Before purchasing an item, ask yourself if you are really going to use it, and if you have a space in your home for the item. This can help you prevent spending money on things that you end up selling in your own garage sale, because you don't use them once you get the items home.

Negotiate for the Best Price

Sometimes prices are too high for your budget even when shopping at a flea market. Keep in mind that vendors are often open to price negotiation. Also, if you find an item you love that is too expensive for your budget, stopping back near the end of the day and asking to negotiate price can be very effective. Of course, you need to remember that the item might also be gone by the end of the day, so if you see that item you really love, it might be best to grab it before somebody else does.

Alyssa Davis is the top writer and creative design specialist for She specializes in designing with turtles metal wall art and coffee metal wall sculptures.

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