This weeks frugal living article is on garage sales. I have been going to sales since I was a little girl. My mom would pack us all in her tiny little car and we’d drive around for hours scoring the best deals. Of course that was back when gas was a small amount of the budget and families could splurge on what has now become a burden but necessary for most of us to survive.
I think going on a garage sale hunt is still worth the extra cost of gas but only when you plan ahead, because it can of course become expensive if you have no plan or reason for hunting for deals. For the average American family it pays to look go garage saling but only if you have a master plan. You can find common household necessities for pennies on the dollar but you have to know how to look and what areas to focus on.
My first tip is to not drive around mindlessly looking for garage sale signs. I know that that’s how we were taught growing up but in today’s gas guzzling economy it just doesn’t pay to do that. You’ve got to plan your route ahead of time. Know what neighborhood you’re going to hit that week and stick to that neighborhood.
Have a list of items you need or want. What I do is look for items that I need for my home such as dishes or décor. Recently I got a set of Pottery Barn dishes for $5, 3 metal candle wall holders and a picture frame for $1.50, and a set of beautiful lamps for $5. It can be too easy to buy .25 cent clothing and then you end up on a season of Hoarders but if you plan ahead you are less likely to do buy unnecessary items. Don’t buy things you do not need. Stick to the plan!
Don’t be afraid to haggle. When I’m purchasing items from a garage sales, I rarely buy at their asking price. If an item is listed for $1 I’ll ask them if they will take .50 cents. Sometimes people won’t budge on the price and I will likely walk away from the sale.
Do not be afraid of the junk sales, you never know what you will find. If you talk to someone who flips garage sale items they will tell you they find their most valuable pieces at junk sales. Bring your smart phone with you if you are thinking about flipping garage sale items as it’s your best friend when you need to look up pricing in a hurry.
My biggest tip is to just have fun!
Do you have any garage sale tips you would like to share? Leave me a comment and if I like the tip I’ll add it to the article and link back!