Christmas is expensive and January is traditionally the month when we tighten our purse strings and, lets be honest, mope about. But what if someone told you that you could decorate your entire home without parting with a single penny? Thought that would get your interest!

Meet enterprising Australian, Cat Fletcher who was so 'inspired by seeing so much usable stuff being discarded' she went one step further than most bargain hunters, by furnishing her home entirely for free using recycling websites such as Freegle.

For over 30 years, Cat has used 'second hand furniture, hand-me-downs and all sorts of finds from the street and friends' to furnish and decorate her homes, both in Brighton and in Sydney, Australia. Her current three-bedroom semi in East Sussex is decorated completely with items left in skips or found online.

A quick scour of the site by Housetohome revealed an impressive assortment of greenhouses, sofas and, ahem, a job lot of garden gnomes, all available for free. Yes - you read that right!

So if you can bear to embrace a lucky-dip element to your interior style you might be onto a winner. As Cat explains, 'it has meant that over the years I have had money for travelling, cultural experiences, quality food and not had large expenditures on household essentials'. 

This devil-may-care approach to home furnishing might not be to everyone's taste and Cat herself will freely admit that her home is, let's say, eclectic: 'it's a little 'Bohemian rhapsody' rather than 'Vogue living'', she explains. But the beauty of not splashing the cash is that, as she admits, 'I am just as likely on a whim to have a big change, give away all my goods on Freegle and get new items to create a whole new look. That's so easy to do and virtually costs nothing!

But aside from a 15ft palm tree in the front garden, Cat has made some impressive finds - a Bosch dishwasher and a rather stylish chest of Habitat drawers are among her recent top trades.

So if you're feeling frugal this January, try furnishing your home for free. Go on, give a garden gnome a new home.

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