How to save cash buying furniture

Strapped for cash, but need furniture? Don't turn your nose up at buying second-hand.

Interior designer LeeAnn Yare says you could get much better quality visiting the Sallies than K Mart.

"Furniture that was built in New Zealand in the '50s and '60s was really great quality, and that sort of furniture is going to last and last and last," she told The AM Show on Thursday.

"If you are working on a budget, there are alternatives to just going and buying cheap and cheerful because you think that's all you can afford."

With house prices and rents forever rising, finding a way to fill the inside of your home without breaking the bank is more important than ever. Ms Yare said going cheap might look like an attractive option, but all too often leads to regret.

"They're going out and just buying thing after thing after thing because they are cheap and cheerful, but then a few months later it breaks, it stops working, they don't like it anymore... they end up wasting money."

But that doesn't mean it's always worth it to spend the big bucks. Sales are always happening somewhere, and sometimes you just need to take the time to look around, rather than diving in.

"Actually considering what you're buying, regardless of whether it's $2000 or $2. You still need to actually think, is this something I really need? How's it going to look in my house? Who wants a house that looks like a catalogue?"

And just because something's expensive, doesn't necessarily make it the best option.

"I just had a conversation with a supplier who sells sofas the other day. They're really well-priced - not bargain basement, but not uber-designer, they're what I consider really good quality for a really good price. He told me some stores buy from him and sell them for four times the price."

If there's one thing Ms Yare says you can go cheap on, it's art.

"Kids' art can look amazing."