Get the Best Bargains on Living Room Basics

Savings Experiment: Big Box Living Room Challenge

You've moved into a great new place, but now you're tasked with filling it with furniture. There are plenty of stores where you can buy your essentials, but which will give you the most bang for your buck? Here, our experts determine which discount retailer is your best bet.

We came up with a list of living room essentials, including a couch, coffee table, two lamps, five picture frames, an end table, a light fixture, TV stand, candles, a magazine rack and shelving. Then we hit three major big box stores: Kmart, Target and Walmart. Comparatively, our shopping items cost $374.57 at Kmart, $359.12 at Target and $342.55 at Walmart, making Walmart the clear winner on price.

However, if you're willing to spend a little more for better quality, that will affect your overall total. If the lowest price is still your No. 1 goal, here's the best way to stretch your dollar.

coffee tableOur experts found that the coffee table is the biggest variable when it comes to furnishing your living room. When you subtract the cost of the coffee table from the equation, everything changes.

So, to get the best deal, cover the majority of your list at Kmart, but head to Target for your coffee table. The retailer's $30 model will land you the biggest savings, bringing the cost of your total list to $304.58. Now that's a bargain.
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