10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comThis post was another reader suggestion. I absolutely LOVE when you guys send over great ideas that are helpful for me to share with everyone… keep them coming, please! Renovations and home improvement can get expensive quickly. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money and stretch the budget! Click through for some of my tips and 10 ways to save money on major home buys. Even if you’re not renovating at the moment, this is a good post to pin for later!

01 : Find a Scratch & Dent Warehouse

I was surprised to receive so many messages after posting this image on Instagram last month. Upon moving into our new home, we needed to find laundry units immediately. Given our budget and timing, I knew the best solution was a quick trip to the scratch & dent warehouse for a washer and dryer. Most cities have businesses like this… I just googled “scratch and dent” and found multiple slightly damaged or gently used appliance warehouses in my city.

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comWould you guess the above Maytag units are damaged? The washer has a 3 inch scratch on the BACK side (nobody will ever see that), and the dryer couldn’t be sold because the box arrived damaged. After careful inspection, we couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it and here we are a month later- they both work like a charm. We saved a ton of money buying our appliances this way!

02 : Take Advantage of Outlets

I know outlets sometimes get a bad rep, but you can find some amazing deals if you’re willing to invest the time to dig. When living in Ohio, I often visited the Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn outlets. I was able to score some great furniture and decor at really discounted rates.

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comHere in Salt Lake, we have an Overstock outlet that I’ve visited a couple times. You can find basically anything… furniture, rugs, sinks, outdoor items, toilets, bathroom vanities, lighting, etc. Essentially anything that was returned, ends up at the outlet and you can score some great products for at least 50% off. Our previous Kohler farmhouse sink (pictured above) was on the floor the last time I stopped in. It retails for $950 and was marked to $200.

03 : Buy Vintage or Secondhand Furniture

You had to know this tip was coming! My favorite way to save money is by finding vintage or secondhand items. I actually devoted an entire post to my method for doing this… check it out here!

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comIronically, my most treasured pieces have been the least expensive… I think that is because I know what to look for when shopping for vintage furniture. The same goes for used items- you’d be surprised what people get rid of and how little they ask in regards to the price.

04 : Ask About Floor Models

Over the summer, I drove by Pottery Barn and decided to quickly swing in on a whim. I really wish I wouldn’t have, because our EXACT sofa (same configuration, but slightly different color) was on the showroom floor and it was being sold for half of what we paid for it. Half. I was pretty bummed. The store was  updating their showroom for fall and were getting rid of specific floor models.

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comYou can often speak with the store manager and ask what floor models will be switched out and when. I’ve even offered to put down a deposit on a floor model in the past, so they mark it sold right away. It’s another great way to save money!

05 : Don’t Forget About Remnants

I’m all about remnants! Whether I’m looking for stone, fabric, or any other material with leftovers, it’s an amazing way to save a lot of money. The niche behind our cooktop was lined with white marble. Rather than buying a larger expensive slab, I was able to buy remnants for all four sides for under $100. I also just bought marble remnants for our guest bathroom… stay tuned to see those installed!

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comI do this for fabric a lot too… people typically buy a bolt, have custom drapery made, and the designer fabric isn’t enough for more drapery, so I’ll buy the remnant to make cushion covers or something small. It’s a win / win- designer fabric for A LOT less.

06 : Find Discount Codes

It’s basically second nature to me now, but when shopping online, I always scan the internet to see if I can find a discount code or coupon before completing my purchase. Sometimes I’ll even buy coupons from eBay… yes- that’s a thing! You just have to do the math and see if it’s worth it.

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comMost of the time, I rely on sites like Retail Me Not and Coupon Cabin to find the discounts for me. Even if nothing appears, it makes me feel better knowing there are no current promotions that could be saving me money. There’s nothing worse than buyer’s remorse.

07 : Mark Your Calendar for Warehouse Sales

Here’s another Pottery Barn example… my local store hosts a “warehouse sale” once a year. They literally take palettes of furniture to a warehouse across the street and mark everything down. It’s basically like a big yard sale for product they need to get rid of quickly. Lots of other businesses do this too!

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comI like to scout the warehouse sales in advance, mark my calendar, and get there early for the best deals. It can be a little crowded and chaotic, but the savings are worth it. I ended up with some fun decor from the McGee & Co sale a couple summers ago- and theirs are really fun. They invite food trucks and everything! Who doesn’t love a shopping day- especially when bargains are involved?

08 : Purchase Quality the First Time Around

Emmett and I have a rule. We discuss big purchases with each other before buying, but most importantly- we stick to our philosophy. Even though it’s easier and cheaper to buy an inexpensive item of lower quality, we always opt to spend more for something we won’t need to replace in a couple years. If we have the budget, we always try to buy the ideal option.

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comHere’s another sofa example… at our first house, we purchased a sofa from West Elm that was in a lower price range. We liked the way it looked (pictured above), but it was NOT comfortable, and it didn’t hold up very well. The cushions shifted and warped, and we basically hated it. Immediately after moving into our second home, we doubled our budget and bought a nice sofa. We splurged for quality material, a slipcover, and comfortable down cushions. Had we purchased this sofa right away, three years ago at our first home, we wouldn’t have wasted money and we would’ve had happier, more comfortable years. It’s true! Buying cheap, low quality products sometimes will end up costing you more in the long run. In fact, I had to buy down pillows to replace the back cushions because they were so terrible. Lesson learned.

09 : Do It Yourself

99% of the time, we only pay for materials and take care of the labor ourselves. You can save so much money doing projects yourself. With that being said, it’s also important to know when to hire or DIY… but most projects are easier to tackle than you’d expect.

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comWe’re big advocates for expanding our skillset and taking on new challenges… the icing on the cake is saving a LOT of money. We’ve asked contractors for estimates (just for fun), and are often appalled at the pricing. We had our entire backyard project quoted and it was an insane amount… around $40,000. Take a look at the budget in this post– we did every single thing ourselves and saved $24,000! Isn’t that crazy?

10 : Consider Increasing Quantity

If you’re planning to renovate multiple rooms, it might be worth it to think of increasing your quantity rather than buying supplies room-by-room. Often times purchasing larger quantities equals a greater discount. Are you using the same tile in two bathrooms? Go ahead and buy enough for both!

10 Ways to Save Money on Major Home Buys - roomfortuesday.comEmmett and I were appliance shopping on Black Friday before beginning our kitchen renovation. The deal at Lowe’s was for the purchase of two appliances… but since we were buying five– we were able to talk the salesman into an even larger discount. We weren’t planning to buy all five right then and there, but again- the savings proved to be worth it.

Are there any other ways you save money on major home or renovating purchases? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! I’m pretty sure we’re all looking for ways to save money and stretch the budget. We might as well help each other along the way!

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  1. I’ve saved a TON of money by timing appliance purchases with holidays. It seems like most stores are willing to put their stuff on sale for any reason, so if you can wait for a Labor Day/President’s day/Black Friday sale (seems like there’s always another holiday just around the corner) it makes a huge difference. I’ve found that the stores in my area also tend to do extended financing deals around the same time, so when I bought my kitchen appliances at Home Depot a while back, not only did I get a huge discount and free delivery, I also got two years to pay it off with no interest by using my store credit card.

    1. We did that too… Black Friday saved us lots of money! Thanks for the other great tips- free delivery was definitely a perk we enjoyed too :) Great ideas Stacy! xo

  2. I consider myself pretty thrifty, but these were some great tips! I need to become more savvy about coupon codes; I never think about it. (Also, still love looking at images of your previous house-I continue to covet that awesome blue chair. And those two innocent boys…😉)

    1. Yay, happy to hear there were a few new ideas in there! I know, I know… I miss those views too. As for the boys, if you were closer- I’d let you borrow them for a couple days. Haha!! They’re crazy. xo

  3. Lots of great tips here, worth the time to save the bucks! Even 30 second google shopping searches can save money, I found a rug on a blog that lead me to a site where it was $1500, then I found it on another site for under $700!

    I will say though that doing the labor yourself is definitely a luxury for you guys – the average joe and jolene should not be messing with construction. Maybe in addition to your DIY tip, we add that if you’re not a skilled DIY-er then finding a good contractor is just as important (and in the end, money-saving as you don’t want to re-do anything, or live through the headache of having to do so).

    1. I’ve found it’s certainly worth the time! The blogger in me is sad to hear that (clicking away and not getting a tiny commission for the hours put into finding sources), but I totally understand saving money and shopping around… especially that amount. Great point on the contract hiring note- it’s VERY important to hire the right contractor who will do a good job from the beginning. Great tips Karen! xo

  4. Cathy | the Grit and Polish says:

    Love when you talk money, Sarah! What a great list. You guys seem to always plan ahead, which impresses me and is such a great way to save money. Probably the biggest way we save money when renovating is by not buying certain things in the first place. Like for our kitchen, we’re going to rework and paint the existing cabinetry instead of buying new cabinets. Obviously that only works if what’s already there is quality and tasteful, but when you can work with what’s already in your home, it can save a ton of money.

  5. Great post Sarah! Could you please share details about the softened triangle shaped glass-top and wood coffee table that is in front of the grey West Elm sofa? It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to find. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Kim! Unfortunately that table came from West Elm and they no longer make it :(

  6. I’m not sure if stores still do this, but when I worked in management for Restoration Hardware about 12 years ago, you could sign up on a list for floor models if/when they went on sale. Many items had lists several people deep! This system only works as well as the management team, because change-outs happen quick and someone had to remember to consult “the list.” But it was a pretty awesome system for customers when it worked! Not through a list but through perfect timing, I found a perfect white linen chair-and-a-half floor model from Pottery Barn about 8 years ago for $1000 off. It was the best chair of all time (lots of naps on there when my son was an infant) but we had to get rid of it recently due to downsizing homes.

    1. Yes!! That’s another great tip Shannyn. Thanks for sharing! I’ve actually done that in the past at RH- I ended up with a nice dining table because I was next on the list :)