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Here's the trick to getting a tricked-out home office on a budget

Shane Murphy
·6 min read
Here's the trick to getting a tricked-out home office on a budget
Here's the trick to getting a tricked-out home office on a budget

Millions of Americans have been forced to work from home during the pandemic, and the research suggests remote work is here to stay.

The number of remote workers will nearly double over the next five years, reaching an estimated 36.2 million employees, the freelancing platform Upwork reports. That means it’s definitely worth investing some money into your home office to boost your productivity and morale.

These days you can get everything you need online through a single retail giant like Amazon. Unfortunately, the big one-stop shops don’t always have the best available prices.

To demonstrate, we used a free browser extension to instantly compare prices on Amazon against other online stores. Here’s how much this 30-second download can save you on your home office shopping spree.

Create your dream office for less

Once the browser extension is set up on your computer, just start browsing for stuff on Amazon like you usually would.

Whenever you click on an item, the extension will show you whether it’s available for a better price at another store.

For our hypothetical list, we gave ourselves a budget of $1,280 — the average weekly pay in the U.S., according to ZipRecruiter.

Standing desk

Savings found on Jan. 20, 2021. Savings may vary. Sample results shown.

Your desk is going to be the most heavily used item in your home office, so it’s worth investing in a good one. An adjustable standing desk will always fit your height perfectly and allow you to sit or stand as you please, freeing you from that hunched-over position.

Amazon did have the lowest available price on a standing desk from Flexispot ($250) — but through the browser add-on, we were able to find a coupon for $20 off.

Many free browser extensions don't just compare prices, but also find available coupon codes for your purchase and automatically apply them when you check out.

Office chair

When you do decide to sit at your desk, a comfy ergonomic office chair can make a world of difference.

We spotted a high-backed leather chair with lumbar support on Amazon for $209, but we were able to find us a slightly better deal on the same chair at Bed Bath & Beyond using the browser extension.

This free add-on also takes shipping and taxes into account, so you won’t have to worry about getting slapped with additional charges if you decide to follow its recommendations.

Computer monitor

If your primary work computer is a laptop, buying a monitor for your home office is a smart investment. It’ll allow you to have multiple documents and windows open at once, so you won’t have to sift through dozens of browser tabs.

We found a Samsung 24-inch 1080p monitor on Amazon for $159, but our extension landed us a slightly better deal from Office Depot.

Desk lamp

You’ll want a decent lamp in your home office for those nights when you’re burning the midnight oil. These days, many desk lamps also double as a charging station for your phone or tablet, which is always nice to have.

Amazon had a touch-controlled LED desk lamp with a charge port from TaoTronics listed at $80, and we were able to save $9 thanks to an automatically applied coupon.


Savings found on Jan. 20, 2021. Savings may vary. Sample results shown.

A whiteboard might not be an obvious addition to your home office, but the ability to map out your workflow on a large space can give your productivity a surprising boost.

Whiteboards come in all different sizes, so no matter how much space you have in your office, you’ll be able to find one that fits.

We went big and picked a 48-by-36-inch double-sided whiteboard from VIZ-PRO on Amazon, and our browser add-on instantly found us the same one on eBay for $42 less.

File cabinet

A file cabinet is another one of those organizational items you might not think you need at home, but once you get one you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.

We went with a simple two-drawer cabinet from Lorell, and the free extension was able to find it for $11 cheaper at Walmart than it was going for on Amazon.


Savings found on Jan. 20, 2021. Savings may vary. Sample results shown.

Whether you enjoy listening to music while you work or you just want to avoid broadcasting your confidential Zoom calls to your roommates, a good pair of headphones is key.

Apple AirPods provide great sound and are wireless, so you can pop into the kitchen for a snack without having to drop out of a teleconference.

Amazon had AirPods with a wireless charging case available for $170, but our extension found us the same pair on eBay for $54 less.

Wireless mouse

If you use a laptop for work, a wireless mouse will save you from fumbling around on your trackpad all day.

The Apple Magic Mouse 2 is super lightweight, and its Multi-Touch surface allows you to easily swipe and scroll. We were able to find one for $83 at Staples through the extension, which is $24 less than it was selling for on Amazon.

Wireless keyboard

Like a wireless mouse, a wireless keyboard provides more flexibility if your main work computer is a laptop. It’s especially useful if you have a second monitor in your home office.

The Apple Magic Keyboard goes for $100 on Amazon, but our browser add-on found one on eBay for $10 less.

Coffee maker

Savings found on Jan. 20, 2021. Savings may vary. Sample results shown.

If you’re a coffee drinker, you know the power of a fresh cup to perk you up during the workday.

You might already have a primo coffee setup in your kitchen, but an unobtrusive single-serve coffee maker in your office can help sustain you through those marathon meetings. Just remember to mute your mic while it’s percolating.

When we searched for a Keurig single-serve coffee brewer on Amazon, the extension showed us we could snag one for $76 on eBay and save ourselves $23.

This is how much we saved with our browser extension

Here’s everything we picked up for our hypothetical home office, with the original Amazon prices and the savings we found using our browser extension. The prices listed are the approximate totals after shipping and taxes.

Table of Capital One Shopping savings

With the help of the free browser extension we installed, we were able to get everything on our home office wish list for $1,264, coming in under budget.

In total, taking 30 seconds to install the add-on saved us $194.

So if you’re planning to invest some money into your home office this year, make sure to get a free browser extension before you start. It’s totally free to use, and it could save you cash on supplies — not to mention everything else you buy online.