An excellent reader tip from Jacob: "You may or may not have heard about the Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores, but they're GREAT!
Essentially, Habitat receives a lot of donations from companies that they never use for the homes. Instead, they sell the donations to the public and use the proceeds to build future houses. "
"For example, while re-doing my bathroom (coincidentally coinciding with Bathroom Month!) I got real slate tile for $.90/sq. ft. I also got a number of tools and other things at a great value. Just a tip, for what it's worth!"
It sounds like a great resource. We checked the Habitat for Humanity site and while there were none in Chicago we did find multiple locations throughout Illinois and beyond...check for all the locations here.