Let's get the obvious out of the way. Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Menards, Home Depot, Lowe's and even Costco and Sam's Club sell Oriental-style and contemporary rugs at decent prices. Some are nylon or olefin and some are wool. Selection is hit and miss, especially at the warehouse clubs. If you run across a rug sale at Costco or Sam's, know that prices are negotiable. These are the occasional sales they have with hundreds of rugs of various sizes for $200 to $5,000, not the $19.97 bath rug with a no-skid backing. Good luck trying to negotiate a lower price on the bath mat. 

If you're on a limited budget, check out Building Materials Outlet in Eagan. The outlet just received a new shipment of rugs by Gulistan. It's not a high-end name, but it's common enough that you can comparison shop online to check prices. For example, a 4 by 6-ft. nylon Gulistan rug with an Oriental design at BMO is $67 ($59 before the 12 percent buyer's premium). Online it's $204. If you want wool, a 5 by8-ft. Gulistan rug is $189 ($500 online) and and 8 by 10-ft. rug is $299. 

If you want a step-up, try the sale in The Rug Annex/American Rug Laundry through Monday, Feb. 22. Owned by Sam and Far Navab of Navab Brothers fine rugs in St. Louis Park, the Annex includes less expensive rugs that may have lower knot counts or last season's colors said co-owner Far Navab. Prices are higher at The Annex than at BMO but the selection, variety and quality are higher too. Sample prices: 3 by 5-ft. rugs for $150, 3 by 6-ft. for $300, 5 by 8-ft. for $450 and 8 by 10-ft. for $800.

Rugs can be expensive enough to be considered an investment, but the recession has hit the industry hard. Deals are out there. 

If you've got a favorite rug spot with low prices, share away. And give an example of the savings.