Friday, May 15, 2009

I really (heart) garage sales!

Bryan and I started shopping garage sales the spring after Zach was born. The area where we live is a mecca of kids' garage sales, so it's been a great place to find great clothes for about $2/piece (sometimes a little more, sometimes less). It's also easy to find toys, books, movies, jogging strollers, etc. Just the stuff every parent needs for their child. We currently have more tubs than we need of like-new clothing for the boys, so I am having fun searching primarily for things we can use around the house. Home dec stuff is generally easy to find, but furniture (and SINKS!) are fewer and farther between.

A couple of tips for successful garage sale shopping... Know what you are looking for and what they retail for. During the "off season" I keep a running list of things I'd like to watch for at garage sales. This year my list included like-new soccer shoes for Zach (I bought two pairs of Nikes for $1 and Adidas for $5 - each retail for at least $40 - all different sizes), curtains for my scrapbooking room (paid $4), soccer socks, shin guards and shorts for Zach (paid $1 for one pair of shorts, 50 and 25 cents for the other items), and a chair for my scrapbooking room (paid $3).

Here are some of our finds from the last week.

"Come Gather at Our Table", similar to Uppercase Living. Not sure of the UL price, but I'm sure it's upwards of $20. I paid $4. (It's a vinyl rub-on thing.)

I know this chair is ridiculous, but I LOVE IT! I sat in it while I scrapbooked last night. PERFECT! I paid $3 for it. (These are my garage sale curtains in the background.)

This looks better in person... I bought it for our entryway, but it was too deep. So, now it sits between the door and the dog food in our garage and holds life jackets and shoes (not exactly what I'd envisioned). Maybe someday we'll find a place for it inside the house... $20

And another unusual find... A granite sink! The previous owners installed it one year ago and then decide to upgrade to granite countertops w/a sink that installed under the countertop. So, their loss was our gain. Retails for over $350 -- we paid $35.
I can't wait for Bryan to install it!

My other tips would be to check Craig's List for neighborhood garage sales - this gives you the opportunity to hit as many sales as possible without having to drive all over town. If you have kids, bring snacks and bottled water - this will hold them over when you're not quite ready to drive thru for lunch (if you're really ambitious, you could pack sack lunches). Allow your kids to select a little toy out of a "free box" or pick something for 50 cents early in the day - that will keep them from begging at every sale! If you have a DVD player in the car, spend $3 on a kids DVD you find at a sale - a new movie will keep them occupied for two hours. Empty your trunk before heading out! If you pass a park with a bathroom (or run across a very nice family having a sale) have your kids go to the restroom - avoid emergencies or you'll have to buy clean pants and a new car seat while you're out!

Happy garage saling! It is a wonderful time of the year!!

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