My Story: Quality Furniture for Less

contributed by Karen

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I just found your website while looking for some help in finding "quality" furniture for a decent price. My daughter, who is a single mom with a three-year-old, has recently bought her first house. (We really are proud of her, as this is an accomplishment for a 34-year-old woman with a three-year-old.)

We started looking for furniture at furniture stores. This was way too expensive and we tried to steer her away from those stores that entice people with "no payments for two years." Even if there is no "accrued" charges, it is to your advantage to pay the payment immediately or you will find it difficult to start making payments on two-year-old inferior quality furniture.

We then decided to check out our local thrift stores. This is where we have found the majority of her furniture. The bed she has always wanted (four poster "pineapple" bed) was sitting in the middle of the Salvation Army Thrift Store! She had to work the day after Christmas, so I made the deal.

She was so happy with the bed that she went with me yesterday to look some more! Well, can you guess what we found at our local Habitat for Humanity Store? We found a couple of Broyhill love seats for $500. They were less than one year old, and the stain warranty was still intact. What a find! We missed out on the matching chair as the store sold it separately from the set. That's okay because we will find a matching side chair.

She also found a beautiful chandelier for her foyer for $20 (brand new!). People donate fixtures when they don't care for the ones installed by the housing builders.

They also had a glass case for "rare" finds. I spotted a cute Ukrainian pancake warmer (a peasant woman who sits on a plate and her dress covers the food). They wanted $25. I questioned why this piece was in the store. They said that they had one lady who did nothing but research items on the Internet and found this to be a real rarity. It was worth much more than they were asking so we bought it.

Believe it or not, it can be worth the time spent driving around to check out the various thrift stores. Everyone who saw the love seats wanted them, but we spotted them first. It turns out the older couple (with lots of money!) bought the set on a whim, and then did not have a spot for the set. So they donated it. They even had the original papers, which the shop gave us. The set had sold for over $3000 (including the missing side chair) nine months ago. We also found a used Kenmore dryer for $100 at the Salvation Army store. There is not a thing wrong with it!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by

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