This time of year, there are few things I love more than sitting outside to read, listen to music or soak up the sunshine (with the right SPF, of course!). Since our back patio effectively functions as another room during these warmer months, investing in decent outdoor furniture is a must. However, we had a hard time finding the right patio furniture on our budget because some vendors really mark up those prices. This week I want to share some easy ways to buy and save on patio furniture.
By the Numbers
While you absolutely should watch the Sunday circulars for upcoming holiday sales, the first place to look for good outdoor furniture is garage sales, Craigslist https://kansascity.craigslist.org/ or classified ads. Before you go out surfing the Web or scouting the neighborhood sales (and after you’ve set a budget), take measurements of your backyard or patio. Nothing is more frustrating than finding an awesome deal and then discovering that your new hammock won’t fit in that perfect shady spot near the fence.
If you purchase your patio set secondhand, consider adding an inexpensive coat of weather-resistant spray paint to help make it your own. At your local home improvement store, there are a variety of different colors and even textures to choose from. If you’re willing to mix and match styles of chairs, tables and loungers, you can score some even better deals. Add paint, planters, pillows and perhaps a cheap outdoor rug to tie everything together, and you’ll have a beautiful outdoor oasis in no time.
Put It All Together
The best time to pick up outdoor furniture is at the end of the previous summer season, but that won’t help you now. My husband and I have had some great luck at outlet stores, such as Sears, and can generally find some pretty good deals. The same goes for the clearance section at furniture stores. Ask about a price reduction for floor models if there’s a set available that catches your eye. Build-it-yourself megastore IKEA has an impressive range of styles and prices and is definitely worth checking out – don’t forget to sign up for the free IKEA family card for added savings.
If you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors in the summer and already have furniture you like, consider making some smaller additions that add to your enjoyment, such as an outdoor ceiling fan or a fire pit. Even something as simple as adding a string of pretty lights can make a huge difference.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.