*1.* Determine what you need and how much you can afford to spend. A plan keeps you on track and within budget. *2.* Be flexible. When my husband and I needed a bassinet for our newborn daughter, we didn't want to purchase one that would be used for only a few months. Instead, we improvised and used a drawer from an old dresser. Padded with foam and a sheet, it made a perfect bassinet until our daughter made the transition to a crib. *3.* Let family and friends know what you need. Chances are someone might have just the thing stored in an attic or a basement. We put out the word in our ward that we needed a twin sized bed. Within a week, we had two offers of beds. Similarly, when we had a sofa to give away, I let it be known and was pleased when the daughter of a friend, who was moving into her own apartment, could use it. *4.* Scout out garage sales and tag sales. Pay attention to those advertised as "moving sales." People moving out of state frequently cannot take all their belongings with them, especially bulky items like furniture. You may find a real bargain. *5.* If your tastes run to antiques, whether real or reproduction, head to estate sales. *6.* Don't forget local thrift shops. Make friends with the manager of the store. He or she may let you know when new pieces arrive. *7.* In traditional stores, look at floor samples. These are often marked down with substantial discounts. *8.* Learn to do simple refinishing and upholstery projects. New paint or fabric can add life and years to worn pieces.
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