Surprise Sofa Sale

The same day I posted my ideas for a debt repayment rewards system we stumbled on a successful garage sale in our neighborhood with an sofa sale offer that was too good to refuse. For the last several months we’ve been casually keeping an eye out for a new (used) sofa. Nothing elaborate, but something in better condition than the hand-me-down sofa we inherited after a family member moved several years ago.

Hard to turn down a free piece of furniture, particularly when you are just starting out, but our family has outgrown the three small seats on that old couch. When we got it a few years back one of the legs was broken, so I propped up one end with a few pieces of wood. Over time, the stress on the remaining three legs began to take its toll, and I found myself turning it over and adjusting the legs on a weekly basis.

Two weeks ago, we discussed saving for a new sofa as a reward for paying off all but one credit card. At the time we decided we would save and pay cash for a new sofa and loveseat, or sectional, to increase seating space on the occasion family or friends dropped by.


Simmons Paris Wine Leather Sofa

Then it happened. We rounded the corner Saturday morning and saw a sign “For Sale: Sofa and Loveseat.” Across the street was a large yard sale, and I suspected the owners of the sofa were hoping to piggyback on the attention it drew. In our case, it worked!

In the driveway we saw two wine-colored pieces (I’m not good at describing colors, but it looks very much like the one shown above) – a reclining leather sofa and loveseat. The owner told us one of the reclining sections was broken and “would not stay in.” Fine with us; I’d figure out a way to “lock” it in the closed position. We could live without one seat reclining for a good price.

We offered $50 less than the asking price and it was ours. After some struggle getting the pieces in my van, and out at our house, we managed to get everything in place, and the old sofa out. We’ll probably offer it to a family member, and if they aren’t interested, we’ll donate it to a local shelter or Goodwill. With a little work the legs could be repaired or replaced and it might suit a smaller family, or single person, just fine.

After making a relatively large purchase I tend to suffer from buyer’s remorse. Before I could even sit on the new sofa I started thinking I had made a mistake. Had I fallen for the trap of an impulse purchase? Couldn’t our old sofa last a little longer? Should we have waited until we were completely debt free? But then I reminded myself of the positive aspects of our purchase.

  • We paid for the sofa and loveseat with cash (unlike our bedroom furniture purchase a few years ago).
  • We bought it used and saved several hundred dollars off the price of new, retail furniture.
  • Though there was some spontaneity to our purchase, it was something we had decided we would like to buy for a long, long time.

My wife and I both agreed that this was not a purchase to lament. We should be proud of our purchase because we finally did it the right way. We could make the argument that it was a little too soon, but sometimes you have to take advantage of these types of deals and make adjustments accordingly. With our schedules compressed we’ve decided to postpone a mini-vacation until the Fall, leaving us plenty of room to save up for the trip.

Between now and then we’ll enjoy more comfortable seating. In fact, I’m off to renew a Sunday afternoon tradition – time to catch a quick nap. I’m getting in shape for football season!


  1. Congratulations on the new arrival!
    Okay so i have a weird sense of humor…

  2. This is why I like you FD. You had a piece of furniture propped up by wood. Who among us frugalists have not had that? LOL
    When we purchsed two rooms of furniture for our new home two years ago, I go physically sick at the $1500 we spent. We got a six month no interest cc at the store and paid it all off on time but the buyers remorse almost made me not ENJOY the purchase at all!
    Before this we had used boxes covered with material and goodwill purchases and stuff from family they no longer wanted.
    It was nice to have something new for a real change.
    I love your new sofa – enjoy enjoy enjoy!

  3. Yep – wood block for a leg sounds just like home 🙂

    Yep – you did it right. You had already decided on the purchase of it (thought about it), it was on your waiting list, you took advantage when the opportunity presented itself, you paid cash, and there should be no remorse. Enjoy knowing you did it right!

  4. Hello! It is so amazing that God loves us so that He provides these unexpected blessings for us. Whenever I need anything I try to prya and ask God to provide, and He does. Sometimes a friend is giving away the same item I need, sometimes I get it used, or He provides the money for me to buy it new.

    God really does care about all the details.

  5. To me, frugal means being a careful steward of your money. You and your wife have been thinking of this for some time and while the purchase was an impulse of sorts, it was considered, paid for with cash and at a bargain rate that you could afford. I say replenish the cash into your accounts as soon as possible but in the meantime, enjoy with no guilt!!

  6. First….enjoy! Those pieces look really comfortable….I’m already thinking it’s nap time!

    I bought a few really nice pieces of furniture maybe 10 years ago and had the same experience. But here’s the good news…..I’m still LOVING that furniture. It was a great investment.

    The way I got through my buyers remorse was calculating a quick amortization schedule. I new the furniture would last at least 10 years so the cost per year was so low I didn’t bother about it.

    Now…when I get worried about money I just take a nap on that couch anyway so it’s all worked out.

  7. Great buy!

    Nobody in your family will be injured or develop a bad back from sleeping on such a sofa, and the fact you didn’t have to go into debt to get it is even better.

  8. Nothing to be upset about here as it seems like the purchase was planned on and thought over…and from the sound of your old sofa, necessary. The fact that you had the money when the opportunity popped up, even though it might have been a month or 2 in advance of your plan, is a good thing. Enjoy it.

  9. Nice addition to the house! I still have the sofa that I “borrowed” from my cousin four years ago (he keeps saying that he doesn’t need it yet since everything else is in his storage) so I can definitely relate to this story 🙂

    On a side note and as an extension to some of the other comments, I’ve been using newspaper to level desks and chairs so wood pieces are too complicated for me!

  10. I found myself in a very similar situation earlier this year. The hand me down sofa’s were long gone and we sacrificed without one for a long time. After my recliner gave up the ghost despite my years of rigging it back together, we decided we needed a couch.

    Unfortunately we did not find anything used, so we did save up the money a little every month and in January we bought a new couch and paid cash upfront (something we had never done).

    I understand your lamenting… I too doubted myself on the purchase for weeks thinking the money would have been better spent servicing debt.

    In the end, I came to terms with it, thinking of it as a reward for all the hard work attacking our debts thus far.

    Sometimes you just have to break down and spend a little money on yourself. It’s hard to do, especially in a debt reduction/frugal state of mind, but it needs to be done.

    Now sit down and enjoy your couch! I know we enjoy ours.

  11. Congrats on your new purchase. That’s a very nice couch! My husband and I wait until things go on sale if we need something. Do you clean off the furniture before using it? Back when I was shopping for dorm and apartment furniture, my parents always told me not to buy plushy furniture (beds, sofas, etc.) unless you knew the person. Have you ever had a problem with bugs or anything? Just curious!

  12. Although the “deal” was unexpected the fact that you had discussed the need for the piece of furniture allowed you to act when the “deal” arrived, thereby saving you money versus purchasing an item new retail. You need to be ready to act to save money and you did! This is an item that you will get many happy returns on – not an item that will wear out soon. Leather is very versatile (wipes easy) therefore should last you many years. I think you made a great choice.

  13. I always look at every big purchase by how many times/how many hours i am going to actually use the item. I don’t feel as bad spending money on furniture because I know I will be using it almost on a daily basis.

  14. Frugal Dad you crack me up. I’ve been lamenting about finally purchasing a couch for months! Agonizing, measuring, searching the web and show rooms…trying to find something small enough for my apartment, comfortable enough, and frugal enough for my budget! LOL! Congrats on your new purchase! Your article couldn’t have been more timely for me!