My husband and I are revamping our home a little, which necessitates new (to us) furniture, storage solutions, and home décor. Though it’s tempting to run out to the nearest home furnishing store and pick up the things we need, that’s not how we roll.

When making major purchases, we always consider our options, from most expensive to least expensive. Then we work our way up through the options, and settle on the least expensive option that meets our needs.

One of the purchases we’re considering is a new dining room table. Our current table is old and wobbly, and quite frankly, too small to meet our needs.

We want a table that expands to seat at least eight, as we host a lot of family holiday dinners. We can come up with a few extra chairs, but we’d like at least six chairs to come with the set. Our preferred color is black, as that’s what matches the rest of our décor, but we can be flexible. Here are some of our options.

Most Expensive – Retail Store

JC Penney
I found this table set at JC Penney. The most expensive option would actually be a furniture store, but the furniture stores in our area don’t post prices online. So for the purpose of this article, I’m going with a department store.

This is the West End Mocha Standard Height Group. The table is 36” x 54”, but expands to a 54” square. I’d much rather add length than have a big square table, but it is what it is. It comes with 6 chairs and costs $619, down from an original price of $1,249.

That’s actually not a bad buy, but I think I can do better.

Expensive – Second Hand


Another option is to try to buy used. I search Craigslist for furniture a lot. I like Craigslist, because you can often find good quality for a low price. The downside is, sometimes it takes a while to find what you’re looking for.

I found this set on Craigslist last night, and it’s very similar to the JC Penney set. The table can be expanded to seat eight, and it comes with six chairs. Craigslist Price: $300.

Least Expensive – Make Do With What I Have

Dining Table
The last option is to make do with what we have. Our table is 36” x 60”, and it’s not expandable. We have four chairs, thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to find more chairs that match.

The problem is that we bought the table nearly 10 years ago from Fred Meyer. It’s held up well for a cheap table, but at this point it’s wobbly from too many moves, stained from kiddie crafts, and scratched from an over-exuberant dog (not our current dog). In addition, it’s way too small for our family gatherings.

What will I do? I’ll probably continue to search Craigslist and wait for a table that is exactly what I want. Patience is the key to frugality.