In the midwest, Estate sale auctions occur quite frequently, and you can pick up antiques and vintage decorating items for next to nothing. If you're interested in items that need refinishing or repainting and reupholstered, you can sometimes even get them for free or for pennies. Finish them the way you like, or have them professionally refinished. Sometimes that's even cheaper than buying brand new. Inspect each piece for quality construction and lack of structural damage.
While furniture is sometimes available at flea markets, most often you will find knick knacks, and serving ware. Casserole dishes, figurines, and coffee cups are popular at flea markets.
Second hand stores are fantastic places to find dishes, cookware, serving ware and countertop appliances. Wall art, giant frames in need of refinishing, and linens are items commonly found at thrift shops. When people donate linens and countertop appliances to thrift shops, it's usually because they've had them for years and haven't used them.
Internet Wall Art Vendors
Buying Art in an art store costs a fortune. It's nice, because you can pick up the pieces, flip through the giant poster displays and match it up to a frame to see how it looks, but to be honest, you're getting ripped off. All that merchandise is just sitting there in the store taking up space. Space they pay rent on. When you buy wall art prints online, you choose from their digital catalog and some suppliers don't even print it until you order it, which means they're not paying the overhead expenses of a big warehouse.
Almost every hardware store that custom-mixes paints has an "oops" shelf. Something went wrong. Some picky customer thought it was just a little too green, or a little too dark and had them remix it. Or maybe even brought it home, painted a few strokes and chickened out. Or maybe the person mixing the paint went a little overboard with the tinting. Either way, their loss can be your gain. Since painting a room is the fastest, cheapest way to get an instant makeover, make a habit of browsing through the "oops" paint shelf. If you're not terribly picky, if the room isn't extremely large, or if you're adventurous enough to dump a few similar colors into a 5 gallon bucket and try your luck, the oops paint shelf is sometimes less than half the price of the paint itself.
Happy decorating. Embrace the joy of discount shopping, browsing through stores full of hidden treasures, finding the perfect whatever you need, and bringing it home without breaking the bank. Enjoy!