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Yard Sale Season

It's that time of year again! It's time to wake up extra early on Saturdays (and some Fridays), get out your cash, and hunt for great bargains. That's right... it's yard sale season!
We rarely buy anything truly new for our house. Why should we when we can buy it from someone else for less than half the price? This is definitely a huge reason we are able to live so frugally. It becomes a game of finding the best deals.
I keep my house ideas binder ready to go so that I know what I want for each area of my house. For example, I knew I wanted a laundry sorter that would fit between my washer and dryer and had three sections. 
I found the kind with the racks attached to the tops all over the place, but it wasn't until the end of the summer that I found exactly what I wanted. And I only paid $2 for it! I may have had to wait, but brand new, the cheapest ones I could find were over $40. Now I can use the money I saved to decorate elsewhere.

I also buy the boys' clothes this way. Well, my mom does! Where do you think I learned all of this?! (Don't tell her I'm letting you in on her secret.) This is also where most of their toys and other things are accumulated. I can't justify paying some of the prices for brand new things, when they will lose interest or grow out of them before I get my money's worth. I will share some tips that I have learned through the years about yard saling:
  1. Plan out your route. You can check your paper's yard sale section to see what's listed. Craig's List is another great resource. Even better, Yard Sale Treasure Map finds all of the yard sales that are listed on Craig's List when you enter your zip code or town and maps it out for you. There's even a feature where you can add other yard sales in for it to add to your map!
  2. Always try to bargain, but be nice about it. The best way to get a lower price is to ask if they can do any better or offer a little bit less. Even if it's just $1, there might be something else you can now buy.
  3. Be patient. Don't settle for something just because you want to get it now. I've tried that and am never happy with what I decided to get. Then you end up having to find what you truly wanted in the first place. This goes back to my story about the laundry sorter. What you want will come along.
  4. Also, don't pay more than what you think something is worth. You can probably find it cheaper at another yard sale, unless it's something unique. Then you might want to go for it.
  5. Keep an open mind. It might be July, but a yard sale has the cutest Christmas decoration. If the price is right, you'll have a great new addition to your house come December! The same goes for my boys' clothing. I have bins that go about 3 sizes bigger than my oldest. When you find Polo shirts for less than $1, it's hard to pass up.Be creative.  My mom and I have been getting really good at this lately.  For example, last Saturday, I bought an ash pail (They were asking $3, I got it for $2.) to use as a planter at our front entrance.  It's always fun to come up with new ways to use things as long as they fit your decor.
  6. Along with #4, a coat of paint goes a long way. If there's a piece you love, but it's the wrong color or has become a little worn on the edges, don't let that stop you. This also gives you leverage to bargain!
  7. Try to leave the kids at home, or have a great husband that will stay in the car with them while you dash through the loot. It can still be done with kids, it just takes a lot longer, and they want to play with and buy everything.
  8. If you have cash with you, you won't find anything. If you forget to get cash out of the ATM, you will find tons of stuff.  For some reason, this is just how it works!

I was so excited to share this with you, I haven't had time to put flowers in it yet :)
What tips do you have to share for great yard sale strategies?

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