I have mentioned a couple of times on the blog that I’m currently moving into my new house, which is undertaking a lot of painting and joinery work at the moment. However, it’s shaping up fairly fast, and I’ll soon be doing the all important shop for decorative items to decorate the place and make it ‘home’. As I’ll be living in the house by myself, and with just one income paying for everything, there’s one angle I’ll be focusing on as the main priority, and that is budgeting.
I had a pretty good idea of how much I would need to fork out before I opted to buy. Sofa’s, home insurance, bills, beds, curtains… some of the things that can be overlooked. However, the cost of carpet and fittings was the one thing I did misjudge – who knew carpets were so expensive!? I’m no budget queen or expert in home shopping, but I have been making this my little project for a while now; therefore I have put some tips together on ways to save those pennies.
1. Be creative: Why pay lots of money for expensive wall art when you can make your own? Create a statement by purchasing some bold wall frames from a value retailer, and use magazine pages, printed out quotes, a selection of postcards, an illustration… anything you like. If you are more of an arty, fashionable type, I find buying magazines such as ID and DAZED have some lovely photography which can be pulled out and framed, looking like an expensive print.
2. Seek out second hand: Sometimes you can find real gems at second hand stores and charity shops. Near where I live in Manchester, there is a second hand mill in my home town where I ventured to over the weekend. I came across this fantastic solid wood coffee table priced at £35, although I managed to knock it down to £30. That would have cost me at least £60 minimum from anywhere else! I love it and it is exactly what I had in mind.
3. Shop around and scope competition: Found your wallpaper online? Make sure you shop around. The wallpaper I fell in love with was the Superfresco Pearl Gloria paper, and as I stumbled across it one one homewear site, I didn’t shop around until it came to purchasing it. And a good job I did – other retailers were selling it too but with free delivery. Always shop around or use comparison sites.
4. Use voucher codes: Obviously I have to start thinking about things such as internet packages, Sky TV, electrical appliances etc… so many areas that need exploring. Before you do anything like this, try to take note to look into money saving and discount websites first for exclusive offers. I noticed some deals on SKY deliveries and also Argos electrical’s over at vouchacodes.co.uk, and these are both things that I need. It’s easy to go ahead with ordering online without stopping to think that there are lots of handy savings and offers available when you really do hunt around. Vouchacodes covers everything from fashion and home to baby and services, so give them a little look.
5. Ask around: Before you start searching the internet for local joiners, painters, electricians or whoever you need with a set skill, ask around first. There is always someone who knows someone, who might know someone, or can put you in touch with someone… you get my drift. Word of mouth recommendations is usually loved by the tradesman as they know they have been talked highly of. Before you take on your next plasterer, ask around at work or amongst friends first.
Just some little tips that have helped me so far, although the journey is far from over!