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Never Financing Furniture Again!


Remember when I came to you with my nitty gritty debt details post. I admitted that we had financed a bed last summer to the tune of $2500. Insanity. I know.

And yet the urge has struck again. No worries, we didn’t rush off and finance new furniture (we will NEVER finance furniture again!!!). But if we weren’t up to our eyeballs in debt right now, buying furniture would be on the top of the list! Specifically….a dining room table.

For those readers who have been around since my first post (hi!! *waves*), you may recall this little tidbit about us. Remember, my husband and I are originally from Austin, TX but had been living in Florida for two years so I could get my Master’s degree (this is also where we accumulated the majority of our $150,000 debt). When we moved from Florida to Arizona we left just about everything behind. The honest truth is we were too broke to even pay for the U-Haul (estimated costs were around $5,000), so we just left everything behind that couldn’t fit in our trusty Kia Spectra.

When we got to Arizona we spent about $2,000 refurnishing an apartment, mostly with stuff from Goodwill, Big Lots, craigslist, and the like. Our kitchen table, for example, was a floor model at Big Lots so we got it for a steal – maybe $75 if I remember correctly? But it’s a tall barstool style table that is only meant for two people. We’re now a family of four.

At first with the babies it wasn’t a big deal because they were in high chairs. When they outgrew those, we transitioned our high chairs into a kids’ sized table and chairs (we had bought this set from Target < NOT a referral link, just an FYI in case you’re interested because I’ve found that a lot of people have no idea that convertible high chairs exist). This worked fine for awhile, but now the girls are growing and becoming less satisfied with the scenario. Every night at dinner is a battle because they want to sit with us, which translates to sitting on our laps since we can’t accommodate them at the table.

This is certainly a want versus needs thing. Obviously a new table is, in our situation, considered a “luxury” item and not a necessity. But it hasn’t stopped me from longing for one. A quick online browse told me that even “modest” tables are in the $2,000ish range.

So we’ll continue to make do with our 2-person kitchen table + baby table combo. A new table is definitely not in our immediate plans. But I’d be lying if I said my wheels weren’t spinning to try to figure out how to fit a used one into our budget (maybe save money from our regular budget for a few months and find a used one cheap at a moving sale or on craigslist??).

Be honest – is it ridiculous that I’m even considering buying a new (or new-to-us/used) kitchen table? Does anyone have experience scoring awesome deals on a used table and chairs? How much did you spend and where was it from? IF (big “if”) we even get one, I’d like to stay in the $200 or less range. Is this still too much? Should I just learn to make do with what we have and put this out of my mind for now??? But we’ll still be paying off debt for years to come, so eventually (before our debt is all gone) we HAVE to buy a table that will accommodate our family, right? Am I just making excuses now? UGH!!! NO GOOD OPTIONS – SOMEONE GIVE ME A TABLE FOR FREE!!!! : )


  • Reply Heather |

    Try freecycle or craigslist. There also have been a bunch of yardsale and free pages pop up on facebook. maybe post on there what you are looking for.

    I SO understand about a table.

  • Reply Joe |


    $2000 for a dining table at this point is insanity for a lot if reasons. First, it’s ridiculous to begin with (and you will fork over a couple hundred dollars each if you want matching chairs for that table BTW). Second, your kids will destroy it immediately. Third, you will likely move after your job search next year so you will have to pay to move this expensive table which may not even fit your new place.

    • Reply Ashley |

      So, So true on all points! The closest IKEA is in Phoenix (a couple hours away). It’s an option, but I think I’d still to growing Craigslist in our area for cheap/free tables. It would be ideal if we could find someone moving an in a bind to get rid of their stuff. We’ve gotten great deals that way in the past (and also been on the other side – giving the great deals, too)

  • Reply Den |

    I’m a big believer is eating together as a family, so this would be very important to me too!

    I would keep your eye on Craigslist, classified ads, and heavy item pick up day (if your community has those). You could even advertise on Craigslist that you are looking for a table.

    Another thought is the hard plastic tables (usually 6 foot length – kinda like a banquet table, but not quite as big) available at Target, Walmart, Home Depot, etc…..usually on sale for $35-45. They are sturdy and with a nice table cloth may be good until something nicer is found (and then can be used as a party table or extra table at the holidays). They are also great for craft tables, homework tables, workbenches, etc.

    Last thought – if your hubby is handy, he could make you a table? I’ve even seen old doors used as table tops with some homemade legs (or legs purchased at Home Depot). Check pinterest for ideas.

    Good luck!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Never even thought about the homemade table route! I would LOVE to see a table made from an old door – how creative!

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    You should be able to find a resonable table on Craigslist that will fit your needs without breaking the bank. I seen many articles attesting to the family dinner time as being important. Here is a link to just one…http://www.families.com/blog/why-families-should-eat-dinner-together.

    When my children were growing up, that was the time of the evening where everything stopped and we just enjoyed each other’s company and shared about our day without distraction of TV (this was also before everyone – including children had cell phones). I believe this is an important bonding time. Keep your eyes peeled and you will find something suitable. I would, at this point, consider this a need…now a $2,000 set – that’s another story. 🙂

    • Reply Ashley |

      This is how I was raised, too. I didn’t even realize people eat other ways (like in front of a TV), because my Mom always made a point to have us sit down together at the table in the dining room (before the day of open-concept dining/living combos, so it was really a designated eating-only area). I loved that time together!

  • Reply Freckles |

    I second the suggestion regarding Freecycle. If there’s not a table already being advertised for offer, put in a “Wanted” ad.

    I’ve mentioned Freecycle before on this blog, and will mention it again. Its purpose is not charity so don’t be put off by any stigma of that, its purpose is to re-home items so they don’t end up in the garbage dump. And no, that doesn’t mean you’re going to end up with garbage. I was lucky enough to go on Freecycle in my city one day and an Ikea Leksvik 6person dining table was being offered. Even if you were to end up with a dated, 1980s kitchen table or 1970s dinette table with vinyl chairs … throw a table cloth over it and call it a day. If you don’t have a table cloth and don’t want to buy one, take a clean sheet, peruse Pinterest for a DIY project, and use that as a tablecloth. The purpose is to be sitting at a functional table with your children. And when you are in a position to upgrade and want to get rid of your Freecycle table, just advertise this table again on Freecycle and someone will come to your home and pick it up from you. Or, at the very least, if you want to donate it to charity you can usually find a charity that will do a pickups of furniture.

    It shouldn’t be that hard to get a FREE table. Looks don’t matter as it will only be temporary. And, if the looks of it bother you, it’s an easy DIY project (this coming from me who has no artistic or crafting ability whatsoever). If, after a month’s time you still don’t have a free table, visit any Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other thrift store in the area. Shouldn’t cost you any more than $20 for a sturdy functional TEMPORARY table that can be used until your debt is paid off. Your kids don’t care what it looks like, they just want to sit with you! And you may just luck out and get a nice looking table. Like I said, I received a nice looking Ikea Leksvik 6-seater dining table complete with chairs …

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’ve never used Freecycle before (not because of a “charity” stigma or anything – don’t even know why!), but now I really want to check it out!! Thanks for the tip! Fingers crossed I’ll find something awesome!

  • Reply Kristine |

    Check out garage and estate sales! You can find good quality furniture for great prices and you can often negotiate to get it cheaper.

  • Reply Mysti |

    I got our solid wood table, which seats 6 comfortably, for $50 (no chairs) on Craigslist. They usually have a ton of them.

  • Reply TPol |

    USD 2,000? For a dining set? And you have two year old twins? Seriously? I am not a parent but I have seen many homes destroyed by even one toddler. I would not buy any good furniture till they are 15 or something…

    I would give you my dining set right this minute since it is hardly ever used but it is not practical due to the few thousand miles between us.

    I agree with all the above commenters. Freecycle, cheap plastic, IKEA, Craiglist…. I would be on the lookout for one for free and if that doesn’t work, I would get something really inexpensive, something I would not be upset if the twins blew it up.

    IKEA has many options below USD 100.

    Oh and by the way, in my book anything around USD 2,000 is never near “modest”. My definition of modest would be leaning towards IKEA.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I have joked about the toddler thing before. THIS is why we can’t have nice things (motion to latest toddler mess). And, yeah, you THINK that when they grow up you can get nice stuff, but then they start having kids and your grandkids come over and destroy all your stuff! lol ; )
      Also – wish we lived closer so I could take you up on the table offer! Thanks!

  • Reply Scooze |

    You are doing so very well on your debt payoff plan! I think that a fancy new table is out of the question when 1) you are in so much debt and 2) you have young children.

    I think that this table should be an incentive for you – it can be the first thing you get when you pay off your debt. Until then, don’t get sidetracked!

  • Reply Jackie |

    Holy crap $2000 for a table is insane. Try craigslist, big lots or garage sales/moving sales.
    I know we can always find stuff like that for $200 or less sometimes even free. I didn’t even pay $2000 for some of my cars lol. You’ll find something if you take your time and look around.

    You could always buy a utility table for like $30-50 put a table cloth over it and find some cheap chairs, maybe just folding chairs to get you buy. That would be less than $100 spent. I would check the estate sales. My sister bought a beautiful 6 person table with chairs for $100 at an estate sale.

  • Reply Walnut |

    I recently sold a decent table and four chairs on Craigslist for $50, so you can definitely find some deals. Keep in mind that even the ugliest of tables can be covered up with a table cloth. One of my favorite Craigslist strategies when I’m not a discerning customer is to click to the ads that have been lurking for a couple weeks. These people are more likely to strike up a deal to get rid of their goods.

    Also on the budget point, don’t forget to Craigslist your old table! You can put that cash toward the new-to-you one.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Good point! Our current table is pretty beat up, but I bet we could get at least $25 for it – might make a nice addition to a college kids’ apartment.

  • Reply Mel |

    Great comments here! I agree with most…an expensive table doesn’t fit your budget right now, the girls would be hard on it, and it would be just another thing to move if you relocate.

    When first on my own about 13 years ago, I bought a wooden table and chairs for barely $100 at Shopko (similar to Walmart, not sure if they’re in your area…) Some assembly required. Not the greatest looks or quality, but served my needs great. The table is sturdy and still going strong.

    I bought a new table and chairs a few years later for around $200 at a nice furniture store. Metal chairs and table frame, glass top table, but everything is sturdy and I get many compliments on looks. I love the set! Although I always use a tablecloth because kiddo fingerprints on the glass were endlessly driving me crazy 😀

    Love the freecycle, craigslist, estate sale, etc ideas, but if you can’t find anything, there are cheap options and they can be great!

  • Reply Pam E-P |

    Is anyone around you handy? I had my father-in-law cut the legs down on my first dining room table, making it into a coffee table. If you could do this to make it regular height, it might be easier to incorporate the twins, either by moving their table adjacent or finding 2 more chairs and scrunching everyone in.

  • Reply Shaun |

    You can probably buy that same $2000 table on CL for $150 once someone is moving or tired of it. 🙂 Try “Treasure” sites on Facebook-the are neighborhood buy/sell/trade sites. I agree that a table you can all sit at together is important.

  • Reply Angella |

    Definitely keep an eye on Craigslist! I bought my gorgeous solid wood Lane dining room set (table w/leaf, 6 chairs, buffet) for $100!! It’s from the 60’s, but I love the mid-century style. You can find any style you want for cheap. Dining room sets never hold their value, so definitely go used.

  • Reply Alexandria |

    Do you know anyone moving? Even just ask on Facebook or something if anyone has a dining table to sell. You will find something.

    We have two dining tables and paid $20 for all of our dining furniture. Bought our kitchen table from my old roommate when she moved (is perfect for our current house/family) and inherited the other one from Grandma – formal dining set. All of our chairs were free (a friend gave me the rest for our kitchen dining table), and they are all very nice furniture. Even if the tables were ugly, we just cover them with pretty table clothes. (They aren’t ugly, but I just can’t imagine being too picky about a table. I have beautiful table clothes with plastic coverings so that they can weather the kids).

  • Reply Tammy |

    I think you should definitely get a table so that your entire family can eat together. I think that’s so important. I think you should look for used or inexpensive from a discount store. Even a card table and four chairs would do until you are in a better financial situation.

    Let us know what you decide!

  • Reply Morgan |

    I’m not sure where you live exactly, but I looked at the Phoniex area Craigslist and found at least 10 tables for less than $150. Some with chairs, some without.

    Another option is to build your own. We built ours from wood purchased at Lowes and it was about $110 for a large farm style table that holds 8-10 people.

    • Reply Ashley |

      We actually live in Tucson (a couple hours south of Phoenix). I did check out craigslist and there were a number of tables in the $200 or less range, but I’m still holding out….it just feels like a lot of money right now! I think since this isn’t anything urgent that I’m going to wait and see if anything pops up on freecycle (there’s nothing currently, but I placed a wanted post). It would be FABULOUS to get something for free! If not, then I’ll probably turn back to the craigslist route.

  • Reply Theresa |

    I hate dinner time battles with my children no matter what they are. I would spend less than $100 on a table and do what others suggest, Craigslist, Freecycle and Facebook groups. And remember that you can probably get $20 out of selling your current table.

  • Reply Financial Fan |

    Except for mattresses and an Ikea sectional (don’t want to even think about bugs), I will never buy new furniture again. Our large metro area has a super craigslist that lists tons of quality furniture. Don’t ever, ever spend $2,000 on a dining set! You can get a quality table and chairs set for $100 easy.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Ha! Funny story about used couches……a couple years ago when we bought ours my husband had gone to check out a couch he found on craigslist. The FIRST thing the seller said was, “Yeah, it’s great – Never been peed on!” Ummmm…..if you have to advertise that its “never been peed on”….its probably been peed on. lol. Needless to say, we did not purchase the couch.

  • Reply Maggie |

    Like other readers, Yes to a table, no to $2000 one. Cover up a less-than-desirable table with a table cloth. Good Luck!

    • Reply Walnut |

      I have not once, but twice in my life used lawn chairs as living room furniture. And for longer than a couple months each time. The second time, I even entertained (gasp!). I have no shame in saving money by waiting for the right deal.

  • Reply Helene |

    To me, yes, it is utter insanity to buy wood furniture that hasn’t been previously used/loved. There’s just no reason for it if you’re on a budget, and especially since kids wreck almost everything (often without meaning to). A coat of paint can work absolute wonders.

    Craigslist, baby. Ain’t no shame in it.

  • Reply Mary |

    I hear your pain. I want a new dining room table but I have one right now that will do until then.

    $200 is way too much for a table right now, even used. Your used budget should be $75 tops for a table and 4 chairs. Tops! Totally doable! And you don’t have to get stuff on Craigslist that looks like your Granny’s! Stick to classic lines. I think we have to teach you how to shop used, lol. To prove my point, I am going to give you a challenge: you need to find a kitchen table that will seat 4 for $25 and under. That’s your budget. You can choose a 48 inch round or rectangle. You have one month to do this. Are you up for it? I expect that you’ll clean it up, sand and probably paint it but that shouldn’t add more than another $10 and it will look great. Craigslist is good but so is Goodwill. Actually, I think you can get some great furniture deals at Goodwill, more so than Craigslist!

    Three years ago, I downsized to a 650 square foot studio apartment (bought my townhome that was all redone last year and is beautiful) and had to sell most of my living room and all of my dining room furniture because it wouldn’t fit the studio. I needed a table for the studio that would double as a desk so I found a maple table in rough condition for $25. I sanded the table down and painted it a semi gloss black. I added a monogram to the top and a glass top to it. It looked amazing. Now even though the glass top and monogram added to the cost, you could do a lot with just $25. I added a Goodwill leather chair for $2.99, a printer stand table for $5 and a suede bench from Walmart ($50 or so) that added storage and could be used for seating. But the table was just $25 and the paint another $5. It looked amazing. Recently, I went looking for a table and chairs on Craigslist or Goodwill until I can afford the new table I want. I found one at Goodwill for $12.99-it was a 48 inch round table with a wrought iron scroll base and wood top that was nicked up. The table top needed to be sanded down and stained and the base needed to be cleaned. I would have spray painted the base. I didn’t get it because I couldn’t fit in in my car but I know you have an Explorer so that opens up options for you. Used doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. You do have to do something to make it look nice but honestly, it can be done. I used to stage homes and bought used all the time and made things over. I like really nice things and if I can’t afford something, I can usually make something look really good. I also love to give myself a challenge since I don’t typically like to spend money twice so if I know I am saving for a new table, I want to spend the minimum on a used table. In my studio apartment, I knew I wouldn’t be there long, so I bought only used stuff then painted all my furniture black so that everything went. The picture of my son’s side of the apartment was one of the most downloaded photos from my blog on Pinterest.

    Good luck. You can do this. And it is o.k. to want a table and chairs for you and your family for dinner:)

    • Reply Lily |

      Mary, I’m freaking dying to see your painted table/desk. Is there any way you could link a picture?

      • Reply Maryld |

        No, just start with a table for $25 or less. My point is just to get you thinking outside of the box and to start looking at things differently. Quite honestly, I never even stepped into a Walmart 15 years ago, lol, and I love really expensive furniture so I know where you are coming from. My sister is the frugal one and kind of taught me to think outside the box and she’s really great at getting amazing bargains. You can look for chairs separately-you can find some you can paint or even some that you can replace the fabric and make it nice. Sometimes I give myself a challenge when money is tight to do something amazing on a small budget and it’s kind of fun. A little paint does wonders. I am also not a DIY pro so I think you could find something and fix it up nice. You’ll feel good and if the girls mess it up, it will still be o.k. I do enjoy watching a lot of DIY shows on HGTV, etc., lol. Also, keep your eyes open…you might be amazed and find a table for free. The strangest things happen sometimes when you put it out in the universe. Good luck. You are doing great.

    • Reply Ashley |

      lol, I’m not talking about running out today to get something, but I’m certainly starting to lurk on free cycle! : )

  • Reply Heather |

    Echoing everyone else to say: Craigslist! You could also list your table and say you’ll trade for a “regular” table and chairs. I’m sure somewhere in your city there is someone with a regular table that is too big for their space and they are looking for exactly what you have 🙂

  • Reply ECD |

    We recently moved and 3/4 of our ‘new’ furniture is from Craigslist. And none of our visitors could tell. Everyone complimented me on how nicely I had decorated our home. When I told them everything was from either Craiglist, TJ Maxx/Homegoods, or Kohls….they were shocked!! One of my favorite finds was a Pier1 rattan arm chair. These are still sold in the store for about $350….I paid $35 on Craigslist!! There were some scratches, but a simple wood stain marker made it look like new. However, I was patient and hunted through the furniture ads at least twice a day.

    I am positive you can find an alternative to a $2000 table that works within your current budget. Good luck! Post pictures once you find one!

    • Reply Ashley |

      One of my favorite buys was our coffee table that we got from Goodwill 4 years ago (and still have). It’s very simple; made from 2 separate pieces: a solid wood base, and a thick sheet of glass that sits on top. We put it in our garage for awhile while the girls were learning to walk, but now its back in the living room again. We paid $30 from Goodwill and I would guess it easily cost ten times that much when it was new.

  • Reply adam |

    lots of ideas here. don’t buy that table for 2 grand.

    everybody already said craigslist and yard sales. but combine them – look on the craigslist yard sale listings for this weekend – you can find the sales that will have tables instead of driving all over town looking. also estate sales.

    also, i would suggest other thrift stores like salvation army or one of the local chains that are not goodwill. they tend to carry more furniture than goodwill. we also have used furniture consignment stores here.

    we got our table at the four hands furniture outlet for $300. There may be other outlet stores in your area – we have seen surprisingly decent deals at pottery barn outlet.

    finally – you could build one!

  • Reply Emily N. |

    Oh, dining room tables! You can definitely get something for a reasonable price. At my last apartment I bought a table, six chairs, and the matching custom table pad for $100 from a guy down the street. I painted it, recovered the chair seats, and it was great. And then I moved and it wouldn’t fit in the new tiny kitchen 🙁

    The other place to look for an inexpensive dining set is Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, if there’s one in your area. Ours always has such gorgeous wood furniture for reasonable prices (I bought a matching set of solid wood carved nightstands for $50).

    Oh, and here’s an anecdote to keep in mind just in case you feel the temptation to spend a bunch of money on a new dining table: When my husband was young (toddler? preschooler?) his parents bought a new wood dining room table. Within a few weeks my husband had pretty much ruined it by running his toy trucks across the surface. Luckily, they let him live 🙂

    • Reply Ashley |

      Lol about your husband! Thanks for the tip about the ReStore! I’m familiar with them but hadn’t even thought to check there for a dining set!

  • Reply first step |

    You’re in a college town–you missed the move out, but check the move in. Students may have brought tables and chairs that won’t fit. Does U of A have a bulletin board (online or paper) for students, staff and faculty to post classifieds? Appalachian State University in Boone, NC has a “Big Sale” on move-in weekend for stuff that they collected when students moved out in the spring. Check to see if something like that is available in your area or check thrift stores.

  • Reply Louise |

    $2000!!!! No way. I’ve always bought my tables from eBay and I’ve never paid more than $150. The best deal I ever got was a new table from a furniture warehouse that was shutting down. They had sold the chairs and we got a gorgeous ash 8-10 seat table for $130 plus $50 delivery. Keep an eye out and you will find something lovely for not much money. Also put the word out to friends, neighbours, child care, anyone you meet – there are often tables to be had for free or for nearly free that way. Just be patient and I’m sure in 6 months you will have something either lovely or good-enough-and-nearly-free. All you need really is a good sturdy clean surface at the right height. If your current table has wooden legs you could even cut them down, or remove whatever legs it has and replace them with new ones (eg ikea sells table legs).

  • Reply Jesort415 |

    Don’t know if you have any near you but Bob’s furniture store is my go to for cheap-y (but cute) furniture while I have little ones. Most stuff is cheap enough I’m not too worried about it getting wrecked and I’m saving for the nice furniture I want to get when we buy a home.

  • Reply Kelly |

    If we were in this situation we would post the 2 current table sets you have on Craigslist. When those sell you then have your “budget” to find a new to you table on Craigslist. It may not be your dream table but it would be no money out of pocket and something that fits your current needs. I have followed a deorating blogger that has done this multiple times as her family needs change.

  • Reply Jeni |

    $2000!!!!! I would have a hard time spending $2,000 on a whole house full of furniture but then again, I custom make furniture so I know the real cost of materials.

    A cheap alternative would be to stop at Lowes or HD and pick up a 4×8 sheet of plywood ($25) and then go down the plumbing aisle and pick up 8 – 4″ pvc toilet flanges and a 10′ section of 4″ pvc (another $25). Pick up a pack of self drilling screws and a cheap hacksaw.

    Screw a toilet flange onto all four corners, stick a piece of pvc in it (cut at 2.5′ length with hacksaw) and stick the remaining toilet flanges on the bottoms of the pvc legs.

    Slap a tablecloth on it and you’re done!

  • Reply Mrs. Moto |

    Try Casa de los Ninos thrift store on Prince for tables. They have the best selection of furniture.

    Or cut the legs shorter on your existing table and screw a plywood top to it to make it bigger. Then find some chairs the right height. They don’t even need to match according to the home magazines. Just paint them all the same color.

    I yard sale every week so contact me if you want some leads.

  • Reply Jane @ Degree Source |

    Oh yeah, get some free table and chairs from Freecycle or Craigslist, as long as it is the right shape, get it. Sand it down and paint it in chalk paint, which is made with emulsion and plaster of paris ( tutorials are online, easy to do). You can paint the whole thing and then rub hardware wax on it or you could pva glue the top with swanky paper and varnish seal.
    Same with the chairs, paint the wood, recover the pads using a staple gun and some second hand curtain fabric.

  • Reply Eviva |

    Have moved many times and though there are certain favorite pieces of furniture I won’t part with in each move, have VERY easily sold and replaced some things just as Kelly and a few of the other posts above described. It works and it couldn’t be easier.

    How about getting a temp table? If you can get a super cheap table very quickly at Goodwill (and believe me I’ve seen tons of full size tables in great shape for as little as $20) that’s not your favorite, but will hold you over as you search for a great bargain on a style you LOVE, or take your time refinishing a used one to your taste, that’s not a waste of money, it’s money very well spent. Then you can either sell or donate the temp table when you finally have the one you REALLY love.

    I find Amy Dacyczyn’s “wow factor” decision-making tool *really* useful, for me anyway, with stuff like this. So like, if you find a table for $25 at Goodwill, and one for $75 on Craigslist that you like more, you should determine that you love the $75 one at least three times as much, or the higher price wouldn’t be worth paying. If you love it ten times as much (esp if this is your permanent table) you should spend the extra money. Anyway just something to think about, and good luck deciding!

  • Reply scarr |

    A bit of a repeat here: Craigslist has been a wonderful buying/selling tool. In our experience selling furniture, it was easy-peasy. We put a couch up and within hours it was out the door; the same goes with our TV and TV stand, microwave, living room chair and kitchen table. We needed this stuff gone fast and took far less than what we paid for these items just to be rid of them. If you see something you life, haggle! I think a lot of people who list this stuff just need it gone ASAP and are willing to to be talked down from their listing price.

    We live in an apartment and decided that we are not buying nice furniture until we own a home. And even then, we will scour Craigslist and estate sales for the furniture. However, there is a very nice, local store that builds beautiful tables and chairs that we decided we will get our kitchen table from – and they are not expensive (in the $200-500 range, smaller tables of course since we learned the hard way that HUGE tables take up HUGE amounts of space).

    I think you will find something affordable easily, give us an update of how it goes when you find the set!

  • Reply Sarah |

    I haven’t read all the comments so don’t know if this has been suggested but buy a card table and four chairs (if you don’t have regular chairs). That was my first table and it worked fine. Now that I have a regular table, the card table is in a closet for when I need it again.

  • Reply hannah |

    Goodwill and other thrift stores always have tables. They tend to be ugly, but that is easily correctable with a coat of paint.
    when we were first married and broke ( still are, actually) we bought our table at Goodwill for $60. It was a solid table, and came with 6 chairs. It needs a paint job and the top needs to be re-stained, but it works wonderfully.
    I suggest you just buy a $30-$50 table from Craigslist or a garage sale , there are always tons of those.

  • Reply Noreen |

    I second Craigslist and Freecycle, but when you don’t have a big car (Kia Rio here) it’s kind of a moot point — unless the furniture comes apart easily or comes apart at all.

    My fiancee and I bought this six piece dining set (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Better-Homes-Farm-Dining-Set/10670901). It was on sale at $299.99 at one point, though. Free shipping, but we didn’t measure or take into account that the top would NOT fit in the car. We managed to do it with the trunk and the back doors open. We looked ridiculous, but we only live about 5 miles away from the Wal-Mart and had to get it home, lol.

So, what do you think ?