Spring is here and I love it. We've been enjoying the great outdoors and last week I enjoyed one of my favorite part things about spring, garage sales. You can say I'm a recent convert to garage sales. There was a point in my life that I hated digging through other peoples junk, but now I love it, it's the thrill of finding a great deal. This past week my best deal was scoring Mother-Ease Cloth diapers for $50, and I got a whole set including 6 covers. I am still giddy over this purchase. I've been looking into them and was a little hesitant because of the upfront cost of purchasing them. What a blessing to find them at a garage sale.
I do believe you must go into a garage sale with a clear idea of your needs. Make a list before you go so that you know what you are looking for. Last summer I stocked up on clothes for the whole year for my son. After each day of shopping I came home I entered what I bought into an excel spreadsheet, so I knew exactly how many long sleeved shirts, shorts, pants, etc. I'm really not that organized, I just flipped through the clothes I had stock piled and realized that I had purchased six 18 month jackets. I decided that it was time to take inventory after this, and hence the excel sheet. What I love about it is that I can print it out so I always know what I'm looking for. It helps me be accountable and to not purchase something if we don't need it. Also don't forget to budget for garage sales and only bring the amount of cash you have budgeted for.
Set a price on how much you are willing to spend on a specific item. It helps knowing how much you would spend for an item brand new. I have hardly ever bought a new toy for my son, everything he owns was either given to him, I found it on Craig's list or came from a garage sale. Since I scour the ads each week I have an idea of how much things are based on sale prices, so I know a good deal when I see it. Having a price in your head going into to a garage sale will also help you bargain. I have also found if I purchase several peices of clothing most people will give you a better bargain.
Also try not to buy something you don't love. A rule of thumb for me is that if I wouldn't buy it at the store I won't buy it at a garage sale. When flipping through clothes I tend to pull out everything I like then look over each item for stains, missing buttons, etc then I decide what I want to buy.
If possible try to hit neighborhood sales or city wide garage sales and walk. If you are bringing your kiddos bring a stroller or a wagon. You can always swing by and pick up large items on your way out. My son hates getting in and out of his carseat, so this garage sale season you better believe I'll be on the look out for those great neighborhood sales.
If you are bringing you kiddos make sure you pack some most loved snacks and if your kids are older why not have them earn some money before hand so they can buy something too. When the money runs out it's time to play with what they purchased. Know your limits with your kids, don't try to push them into going one more place. It's tempting I know, but I've found almost always my son has melted when we should have just gone home. Trust that motherly instinct, God gave it to us for a reason.
For more great tips this week Check out We Are THAT Family on Wednesday.
Here are the city wides around the Wichita area this season:(If you see an error please let me know)
April 25th – Valley Center (24th & 25th), Peabody, Oxford, Rose Hill, Benton
May 2nd – Goddard, Mulvane, Wellington, Sedgwick, Sedan, Garden Plain, Bentley, Inman
May 9th – Fredonia & Buhler
May 16th – Towanda
May 30th – Belaire (29th & 30th) & Smith Center June
June 6th – Garden Plain, Derby, Clearwater, Howard, Park City, Andover, Hesston, Halstead, Cheney
June 13th – Kechi
June 20th – Augusta
June 27th – Potwin
August 8th – Haysville
August 15th – Minneapolis
September 19th – Council Grove & Marysville (18th & 19th)
September 26th – Park City
October 3rd – Sedan & Howard
Happy Garage Saleing!