Furnish an apartment for under $1,000

CLEAR LAKE, TX -- If you are looking to spruce up your home with new furniture, you don't have to pay full retail.

When 19-year-old Amanda Medrano saved enough money for the deposit and first month's rent for her first place, she had very little money left to furnish the space. But she still had a vision.

"I wanted my living room to be couture. I wanted people to walk in and say Oh my God," Medrano said.

With only $1,000, it was not going to be easy, but she turned to Craig's List to find pieces for her place. Her mom helped her in the search that took them all over the greater Houston area.

She picked up a bed in like-new condition for $250 from someone who was moving. But the real work was in the living room. The first piece the mother-daughter duo picked up was a chaise for $75.

"This was the inspiration for the rest of the room," Medrano said.

Then the search was on for a sofa that would complement the chaise. She got lucky and found a sofa in almost the same fabric from another Craig's List seller.

"It's brand new. No one has sat on it," Medrano said.

Another big score is the coffee table and end tables set. It was posted from an owner in Pasadena and was originally priced at $150. But they used their negotiating tactics since the post was aleady a week old.

"My daughter said offer him $80, and I thought well let's do it for $75. He came back and said you have a deal for $80," said mother Bertha.

The next find wasn't even for sale. While the pair were on a Craig's List run, an owner offered them an old and dusty entertainment center for free. Even though it was brown and Madrano wanted black, they took it home and decided to work with it.

Because they saved so much money, the ladies had enough money left to splurge on two brand new chairs from Ross for $119 each.

"We had to go to four different stores," they said.

But they found the match! With some patience and determination, they furnished the place for just under $1,000.

Their tips are to always take a partner when picking up items from Craig's List sellers. Try to meet in a public area during the day and communicate with a seller over the phone to make the arrangements.

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