Whether you are furnishing your first apartment or are low on funds and drastically need a few pad upgrades, you’re in luck. It’s simple to find affordable apartment furniture that still has tons of style appeal. Here are a few tips for decorating on a budget:

Time the Sales

Furniture categories go on sale during particular seasons, so plan your purchase according to the time of the year. For example, in January you are more likely to find inexpensive office equipment like bookshelves, task chairs and desks. Dining room furniture, on the other hand, is super affordable in October. Mattresses and other bedding items, like box springs, are available for a great price in May, during the fall and on major holidays. Bedroom furniture is purchased throughout the year, so there isn’t a particular pattern to sales–just monitor your local retailers to find out when is the right time to buy.

Visit Online Classifieds

Depending on the city you live in, there might be a local classifieds site where people can sell their used goods. Some of the sites have geo-specific filters and offer photos and descriptions of the furniture. Just type the item you are seeking in the search field and a bunch of options will appear on the screen. Oh, and negotiation is the norm–bonus!

Secondhand Retailers

Secondhand furniture is very popular these days. Why buy a brand new end table when you can pick up a much cheaper version that you can revamp yourself? So before you head to a big-box store, see what you can find at your local thrift shop. Many of the larger establishments get some of their furniture from estate sales and other places that have quality pieces. You just have to be up for the hunt because you never know what type of treasure you can score on the cheap.

Buy in Bulk

You’ll save much more money if you purchase furniture as a set rather than choosing individual pieces. Calculate the savings–it could be hundreds of dollars or more!

Search Online Retailers

Retailers that solely operate online often have bigger sales. This is because they don’t have to rent showroom spaces or hire tons of sales people. And the savings end up in your pocket. Additionally, it’s a hassle-free way of shopping. Look for the piece of furniture you want, like a love seat or a bed frame, and you can comparison shop very easily. Some search engines even do the work for you. Just go to their shopping section and enter the item you are looking to buy.

Refurbish What You Have

You can also transform the furniture you already have with a bit of DIY skill. For wood pieces, like a table or chairs, just sand it down and add a fresh coat of paint. As for your fabric-covered belongings, such as a sofa or cushion, simply reupholster the item in a different fabric for a new twist on an old item.