Waking up and going to yard sales is as natural to me as the air I breathe.
But for many of you, it’s new and a bit overwhelming. My goal is to have a concise Yard Sale 101 summary, but I am going to begin in baby steps, and use what I purchased in one hour last week. The tutorial will come in detail. I am, after all, typing this while listening to the crashing waves at Myrtle Beach…baby steps. 🙂

So you have decided to give yard sale-ing a try, but have been intimidated as to where to start.
1. Buy your local newspaper the day before yard sale weekend or go to Craig’s list and search for garage sales, yard sales etc. Depending on where you live, they have various names.
Learn the higher end neighborhoods, and zip codes. If you are just beginning, I recommend looking for neighborhood/subdivision sales. This is where anywhere from 5-55 homes will be selling their items.
2. Map out your plan of attack – seriously. Since I live in the country, I don’t have the extra time or gas money to wander aimlessly. I have a “route” that I take most Saturday, which takes me about 15 miles from home. I look in the paper first to see which homes are advertised on that route, and then browse for any exceptional sales that will take me to a different section of town. If you are in the city, you can probably find many sales within a few blocks, but that’s an exception.
3. You MUST go out early, and you must shop fast. Sleeping in isn’t an option if you are looking for choice items.
“The early bird gets the worm” has never been truer than with yard sales. The quality items go fast, especially furniture. I attempt to get in 10 sales within the first hour. If you’re at a neighborhood sale, then this number may be much higher. Now of course, if you hit the jack pot, then there’s no reason to rush.
Now, don’t fret if that alarm clock was accidentally set to P.M. instead of A.M. That happens to the best of us. There are still miscellaneous treasures to be found, and typically by the end of a yard sale day, owners are “giving” things away.
Do you remember my free spray paint from this post? Yes, it was at the end of a moving sale day and the owner gave me an entire box of spray paint, household cleaners, garbage bags and other misc. items for $1.
This weekend, a woman had twenty beautiful designer handbags/purses that she was selling for $3 a piece. They were going like hotcakes, and if you were not at her yard sale within the first hour, you would never have known the gems that she had. With that being said…
4. If you’re deciding on whether or not you want to purchase something, do NOT put it down.
Ponder your purchase with it IN hand.
When I first asked how much her purses were, she said, “$4.” In my frugal yard sale mentality of making a point, I just politely put down the purse I was coveting. 🙂 She saw that and said, “well, I’ll take $3.” When I went to grab it, another woman had already claimed it.
AHHH….I know better. Novice mistake…it will not happen again.
So, I enjoyed my new Frugal Fashionista $3 red purse and $1 cool black shirt and tried to let go of the “one that got away.” (But I was kicking myself the whole morning).

Wilson Leather purse that looks brand new – $1. I googled it and it sold for anwhere between $49-$69.
Great low length leather black boots – $1, like new.
5. Think outside of the box with purchases that typically end up being impulse buys.
My daughter’s very first “friend” birthday party is coming up at the end of May.
Whenever I see new toys, stocking stuffers, or prize type items, I buy them all.
I bought all of these brand new items for $1.
Not showed: Hannah Montana lip glosses that have already been confiscated much to the chagrin of this mother.
I also do not pass up brand new jewelry. Whether for myself or others, these make great stocking stuffers.

6. No need to buy brand new childrens books again. Used books are at most yard sales. I have a target price of $0.25 – $0.50 per book. For those of you who home school, I hit the jack pot at a former home schooler’s yard sale. I bought this entire box of various used curriculum for
mere dollars. Value of it new: $225.
7. Think repurposing when you find house decor or furniture. Don’t let color stand in the way of your goal. If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that spray paint/paint transforms anything in minutes. I love the details on this mirror, but have no use for it “as is.”

Painted white, it will be ideal in my shabby chic great room. The owner told me she wanted $10 for it. I asked her what she would take for it, and she said, “$5.” It’s sold.
I can’t wait to use this white treasure as a centerpiece with some of my flowers. Again, thinking outside the box. It’s more than a food serving dish, but I just loved this piece and splurged – $4.50. 🙂

I was thrilled to find this antique egg tray for $0.50. At our Easter gathering, I mentioned wanting one to display our eggs, not to mention bringing deviled eggs to gatherings. The Lord blessed me with this find the very same month. Again, it wasn’t a need. I wouldn’t have gone to the store to buy one, but it sure was delightful to find.

I have SO much more to post on this topic, but my room mates on this ladies retreat are sleeping, and I do believe my light is keeping them awake…
Can’t wait to hear what you all found this weekend.

Posted at: Rhoda’s Thrifty Tuesday Life as Mom,