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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to ShoppingShopping Arrow to Home FurnishingsHousehold

Think of the web as your own personal department store?

You should.

As online shopping becomes less cutting edge and more the norm, shoppers are finding out what early adopters have known all along. There are ways to save big online.

Prices tend to be lower than in traditional department stores because there are fewer costs to cover - and the savings get passed on to customers. With plenty of online stores to choose from, competition is fierce - as consumers carefully choose the best prices and quality at comparison shopping sites - with no pressure from salespeople.

Whether you are decorating a first home, redecorating or remodeling a kitchen or bath, or just in the market for some new furniture, drapes and blinds, or backyard garden equipment, shopping online can save you big in time and money.

When to buy what

In addition, look to special times of year when certain items traditional items go on sale like sheets and linens during January white sales, or holiday wrap and greeting cards during after Christmas sales.

Here's a good survey of other times you may want to keep in mind for shopping the seasonal sales and for finding great bargains on furnishings and equipment for every room of the house:

Furniture - Look for prices to plummet on dining room sets, beds and living room furniture in January and July. That's when new models are introduced and furniture stores lower prices to move last year's merchandise.

Paint - Sprucing up the house for the holidays? Plan ahead by buying paint and painting equipment in July or August. Retailers know that It's generally too hot to take on a major paint job, so prices on materials and equipment are much lower during the summer.

Cookware - As the weather warms, many families head for outdoor restaurants or the backyard barbecue, so look for great sales on pots, pans, and cooking gadgets starting in early summer.

Garden & lawn equipment - As the summer wanes, August is the time to hit your local garden center for great deals on lawn and garden equipment including lawnmowers.

Televisions - Get a great deal on a flat screen or other model TVs during Black Friday sales and other blowout sales leading up to Christmas.

Vacuum cleaners - Get your best deal of the year on vacuum cleaners in April when new models are introduced and old inventory is put on sale -- just in time for spring cleaning.

Flowers - If you like to keep your foyer or living room decorated with fresh flowers, always buy them in season (if you're not sure, ask your local florist.) Also save big on Mother's Day or holiday flowers by having them delivered several days to a week in advance -- before prices jump around the holiday rush.

Start clicking on topics showcased here for more tips and advice on finding the best deals on furnishing your home and garden - with the focus on shopping online for your home, right from home...

More about household shopping around the Web:

Things to Buy After Buying a Home - Figuring Your Home Start-Up Budget - New homeowner? Check out this survey of what you'll need to get up and running with insider tips on buying appliances, lawn and garden supplies, snow removal equipment, and more.

10 Things You Should Buy in Bulk - The HowStuffWorks guide to shoppinng your favorite warehouse club with smart tips on stocking up, especially if you have a large household.

101 Grocery & Household & Cost Cutting Tips - The mega-checklist of smart ideas and money savers for buying food and groceries with related storage and freezing tips.

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