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With a little ingenuity, shopping on a shoestring can look like a million bucks.

Shopping: What Can You Get for $100?

With a little ingenuity, shopping on a shoestring can look like a million bucks.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.overstock.com.

    Ideal for a powder room, this handmade tempered glass vessel sink has striking color variations, and features a smooth interior and textured exterior. Priced at $56, the piece measures 16.5 inches wide and 6 inches deep. www.overstock.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.mrdirectint.com.

    For $94 you can buy this 32-inch-wide undermount sink. It’s made from 16-gauge 304 stainless steel and features a brushed satin finish. Fabricated with rubber pads to reduce noise, the unit measures 18 inches from front to back and 9 inches deep. www.mrdirectint.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.thehardwarehut.com.

    These Schlage interior door levers are good for a modern interior, but their $35 price tag makes them perfect. At this price, why not buy a few? www.thehardwarehut.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.chiasso.com.

    Sure, you can find a door bell for a lot less, but would it be as cool as this one? Measuring 2 1/2 inches, the Botto is made from anodized aluminium and features an inviting blue light that will make visitors stop and stare. It’s priced at $38. www.chiasso.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.hardwoodhome.com.

    For $100 you can get a little more than 14 square feet of this masaranduba hardwood windmill-style deck tile. The UV-resistant piece features an interlocking base that snaps together for easy installation. It’s priced at $6.99 per 11.5-inch-by-11.5-inch tile. www.hardwoodhome.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.fastfloors.com.

    This Stepco Milano cork tile costs a mere $2.95 per square foot ($3.11 after August 31, 2011), so you could easily outfit a room for $100. Made in Portugal, the 12-inch tiles are durable, environmentally friendly, and easy on the feet. www.fastfloors.com.

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    Photo: Couortesy www.mosaictilesupplies.com.

    This glass tile costs $6.95 for 1.15 square feet. If you can find cheaper, buy it. The 13-inch-by-13-inch product is made up of 3/4-inch pieces that are face-mounted on paper for easy installation. Because you can get about 14 square feet for $100, it's perfect for a small backsplash in a bathroom or a kitchen. Various colors are available. www.mosaictilesupplies.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.overstock.com.

    Decorative architectural pieces are overpowering in large doses, but used sparingly they can be dramatic. For $44, you get three of these fancy handmade 4-inch solid brass hinges. Pieces have a polished and lacquered brass finish. While you’re at it, get two sets. www.overstock.com.

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    Photo: Courtesy www.faucetdepot.com.

    This Pfister Contempra lavatory faucet is a perfect fit for your modern bathrooms. Priced at $82, the chrome unit features ceramic disc valves for reliability and a joystick lever like some higher-end products. www.faucetdepot.com.

In 1971 the price of a house was about $29,000, a gallon of gas cost 36 cents, a dozen eggs set you back a whopping 53 cents, and you could mail a letter for a mere 8 cents. Back then, you could get a lot for $100.

Conventional wisdom says that the same amount of money would get you nowhere today, especially if you’re shopping for building and architectural products. But that is not entirely the case. The truth is that with a little bargain hunting and some innovative thinking, your c-note will get you a lot more than you might think.

The first step to getting a good deal, though, is avoiding conventional thinking. Instead of simply buying builder-grade products from home supply stores, take a little time to find other outlets where higher quality items are offered at lower prices—sometimes at deep discounts.

Look to other industries for items that can be adapted to architectural uses for areas such as storage, hardware, and exterior and landscaping elements.

Compare conventional products to newer alternatives. It may require a little more investigation and research, but new materials and surfaces are often more durable and stronger than standard offerings.

Finally, embrace the potential of the web. Most builders undervalue the endless possibilities that are just a click away—often for a very small delivery charge or for free.

“Order as much as you can online, meaning the hardware, door pulls, sinks, faucets, and backsplash tiles,” writes the blog The Desi Mag. “Online stores are usually cheaper, offer free shipping, and can save you the sales tax (find an online store that’s not in your state; that means no sales tax on your purchase).”