10 Best Things to Buy at Garage or Yard Sales to Save Money
What do you buy at yard sales?
I love the spring when garage sales and yard sales start popping up here and there. Summertime is a great time to take advantage of the many garage sales that appear in the neighborhood and all over town.
I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to go very far to scout out yard sales. I love in a nice, established neighborhood with lots of family homes. These middle class families know how to recycle their stuff by having yard sales. It seems like every weekend that several families are having sales.
I’ve loved going to yard sales since I went with my mom as a child. It’s fun to find things that I can use or that I collect. Since the economy has not been so good (understatement) for the past decade, more and more people are turning to buying used items in order to save money. I have been an avid garage saler off and on all my life.
Over the years, I have learned what items are worth looking for at garage sales. Many of these items are plentiful and can save a person a lot of money. Yard sales, to me, are addictive, and make me almost unable to ever buy anything new!
You can save a ton of money by buying your furniture at yard sales. People buy new furniture from time to time and will unload their older stuff for a fraction of what furniture costs new. Moving sales are great for buying furniture, as sometimes the furniture can be in really good shape, but the owners just don’t want to move it. Sometimes furniture is hard to find or worn out but often you can find a great deal. I have bought cute side tables and antique chairs. I’ve found storage ottomans and decorative footstools. Handy items like bookshelves or storage bins for the garage are items I often see at garage sales.
One of my favorite finds was an antique wood Queen Anne bed for $60. With my love for vintage and retro items anyway, I don’t know that I would ever again pay the price for a piece of new furniture at a furniture store. Brand new furniture certainly isn't as interesting as the older stuff--at least, to me. I'm like Phoebe in the series Friends, who believed that every piece of furniture should tell a story.
2. Household Decorations
Common household items abound at yard sales. People are always selling picture frames, many that are really nice. I have bought high count sheet sets that are luxiourously soft for just a few bucks instead of $50 or more. Look for home décor items, such as knick knacks, wall hangings, and lamps. I love decorative pillows, and I can buy them for next to nothing, often in great shape. I take them home and wash them before using, and they are like new. Think outside the box, though, as far as just items that you like. Think of common items you need that will save you money. I’ve bought light bulbs, towels, pot holders, and trash cans.
Yard sales are often great places to find items to add to your collections, too .You can purchase collectibles usually pretty cheaply. See the cat in the picture. It's unique, made in Africa, and I only had to pay a few bucks for it. Sometimes I get cat figurines for dollars or even quarters.
Kitchen items alone can save you lots of money. You can find dishes galore, including coffee cups and miscellaneous drinking glasses. I've had a Krups coffee pot for about ten years now, and a fancy salad spinner for about the same.
People always have too many cooking gadgets and supplies, which is your gain. People get tired of what they have. I've bought spatulas for ten cents and kitchen towels for a quarter. You're sure to always find kitchen supplies at garage sales.
4. Tools and Yard Implements
Tools and yard equipment are expensive! At garage sales, I often see lawn mowers and weed eaters. I see rakes, shovels, and axes. One summer, after a tough winter, I found a snow shovel for just two bucks. I would be prepared for the next winter! This summer I picked up a like-new hedge trimmer for only five dollars!
One morning, I saw a man pick up a roll of weed eater wire for only 50 cents. Dang! What was I thinking? I had just looked at that and not picked it up. After that, I started thinking that I really needed to change my way of thinking and really focus in on picking up necessities in order to really save money.
5. Lawn Furniture
I often see lawn and patio furniture at yard sales. I can’t imagine buying new lawn furniture when I can buy a whole set of table and chairs for $20--or even $10. So why spend $200 or more on a patio set? I’ve bought nice metal lawn furniture as well as plastic sets—while saving a significant amount of money!
6. Children's Clothing and Toys
If you’ve been to garage sales, you know that there are usually clothes for children at nearly every sale you see. Many of these clothes are often in like-new shape, as kids grow out of their clothes so quickly. Parents often opt to hold garage sales to recycle their kids’ clothing. Why ever buy new clothes for fast growing children?
Check out kids' toys while you're there. Skip the ones that are worn out or broken. Kids get tried of toys so quickly, so you may be lucky enough to find like-new toys in excellent shape.
You will find tons of books at most garage sales. If you’re a fiction reader, no problem. You’ll find novels on mystery and romance, as well as classic titles. You’ll find books on health and spirituality and a ton of other self-help type books. Like cookbooks? I've bought a bunch at yard sales--usually for a dollar at most. Children’s books, too. These are plentiful—and cheap!
8. DVDs and CDs
People watch movies, people get tired of movies, and people sell movies. You’ll find lots of DVDs at yard sales, and, if you still have a VHS player, you’ll find even more of the VHS tapes. And you’ll pay next to nothing. CDs are usually plentiful, too, usually costing only a dollar or maybe less. You may find cassettes or even cool old vinyl records, if you’re into collecting some of those.
9. Pet Supplies
I often see pet carriers—or taxis—at garage sales. These are expensive to buy new. I also often see pet beds, which you can take home and wash. I see lots of pet toys. Since I take my dog to sales with me, he often picks out his own toys. He is drawn to soft squeezable noise makers and will often find toys that he likes, whether intended for dogs or human children. Did I mention they’re usually about 25 cents or less?
10. Office Supplies
Stock up on your home office supplies with clipboards, stackers, folders, notebooks, and organizers. I’ve found file cabinets and organizational bins.
Everybody gets ambitious to get all organized at some point and then let it go, it seems. Take advantage of this and stock your own home office.
Bonus 11: Adult Clothing
Not everyone thinks about looking for adult clothing at garage sales, but you can get some great stuff at significant savings. At least think about purchasing your casual clothing at garage sales. Why pay full price for t-shirts and short for workouts or yard work or for painting jobs? Instead, buy them for 25 or 50 cents. I have also found nice dresses, skirts, and shirts for only a dollar or two—items that were appropriate for a professional job. I was thrilled to find a classic black jacket for only a couple of bucks.
More Garage and Yard Sale Tips
How much can you save?
Over the years, my yard sale shopping has gone away from shopping for cool deals on collectibles and decorations to steals on items that I need at home, anyway. To me, shopping at yard sales is fun, and it’s a challenge to see how much I can save on everyday items.
I feel like I splurge when I spend $20, an amount of money that goes nowhere when taking a shopping trip to the mall. I haven't been to the mall in ages. And just think of the thousands of dollars I have saved!
Welcome sign for backyard garden area!
More Tips on Going to or Having Your Own Garage Sales
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