3 ways to save big

With the recession wreaking havoc, SALE! signs abound. But a lower price doesn't mean a great deal. Three places to find true steals. Illustrations by Tamara Shopsin.

1 of 3
Hype: Furniture stores are offering screaming bargains now.
Real deal: Mom-and-pop stores

Yes, furniture prices have fallen over the past couple of years. But large chains like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware still charge big mark-ups. An independently owned retailer has more wiggle room to lower prices. Or head to a furniture maker's factory outlet, where you can save 40% to 70%, says furniture expert Kimberly Causey.
NEXT: Stuff
Last updated March 06 2009: 4:48 PM ET
More Galleries
8 great summer vacation deals Want the perfect summer getaway? MONEY searched for destinations with balmy weather, unique attractions, fun stuff to do, and great deals from four different categories: beach, mountain, culture and city. More
Best ways to catch up on your retirement savings Even the most financially responsible people make a few mistakes or run into obstacles along the way. These tips -- from cutting taxes to selling securities -- can preserve a safe retirement. More
Nearing retirement? Fortify your finances Your financial goals are within reach. Here are tips and tools to make sure you achieve them. More

Special Offer