This must have list of top 10 yard sale bargains will save you thousands with all the tips you need on what to shop for at yard and garage sales, thrift stores and craigslist!
Want to create a beautiful home but you’re short on money and time?
Maybe you think staying at home with the kids isn’t possible because there are too many bills and responsibilities.
Probably you’re just looking to save a few bucks.
Either way, I’m here to help!
I was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom for over 20 years, and although we sacrificed many things to make that happen I never felt cheated or like a second class citizen.
In fact, I looked at my job of saving money as crucial to the success of our family through the years.
I even used my competitive spirit and eye for bargains to have some fun along the way.
Back in the old days (you know, before COMPUTERS) I read books and magazines and learned all the tricks for squeezing every penny out of the dollar.
How can YOU find ways to have the home you want and still enjoy your life?
Today I want to show you my top 10 yard sale bargains, what to buy and how to save tons of money!
(And even though I’m a work from home business woman now I still go out almost every Saturday during yard sale season! I love a good deal!)
Here’s my first freebie tip for you.
Stay local and save gas
I try to stay within 10 miles or less of my home to save on gas and group all the sales together as I plan.
Plus, if I find a great deal and need to drop it back by the house I’m close! (Make sure and clean out the car in advance to make room for your deals!)
I also plan out my route the night before. I use my local newspaper, Craigslist (under garage sales) and an app on my iPhone called Yard Sale Treasure Map and group according to location.
Time is money
I actually use a strange combination of speed shopping and rummaging. As soon as I park the car I’m out the door, scanning over the sale for large items before quickly rummaging through the boxes and tables.
Yardsaling for me is generally not a social activity (unless it means hanging out with my best gal pals.)
In the early years of homeschooling I considered it a learning experience for my kids, but generally I’m a woman on a mission each Saturday! (Some cities have yard sales on Friday as well so check your ads each week.)
Quick notes on the best things to buy at yard sales and how to save money:
- Furniture – make sure it’s solid or can be repurposed with paint or stain.
- Home Decor – one man’s trash is another one’s treasure!
- Electronics – ask to plug them in or make sure they function well.
- Baby items – furniture, clothes, supplies and anything else you might need.
- Toys – make sure all the parts are in working condition and age appropriate.
- Clothes – make sure buttons and zippers work with no stains or rips.
- Seasonal items – stock up on holiday items while they’re cheap!
- Books – yard sales are perfect for adding to your collection, whether homeschooling or reading for fun.
- Kitchen products, bakeware and dishes – mix and match is in style so don’t be afraid to pick up a few inexpensive pieces.
- Gifts – often times you can find brand new, still in the box, presents for just pennies on the dollar.
Here are my top 10 yard sale bargains and ways I’ve saved us thousands of dollars over the last 25 years by being a smart yard sale shopper! (These tips can also apply to Craigslist, Facebook marketplace and thrift stores.)
Top 10 Yard Sale Bargains:
Make sure that your selection is well made or able to be painted, (chalk painting is the creative, inexpensive answer!), distressed or upcycled. Think outside the box.
This DIY garden cart (decorated for Christmas) was a $15 changing table. Now it’s an accent piece for our front deck.
2. Home Decor
Garage and yard sales contain priceless treasures. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
I love buying lamps, pictures, frames, candle holders and knick knacks at a fraction of the cost new. (This post shows how I decorated my home for practically nothing!)
You can find some great deals in this area but know what you need and whether it’s compatible with newer computers and gaming systems.
This post gives good advice to always plug the electronics in and test them before you buy them. (My hubby ALWAYS tells me this!)
4. Baby Items
This includes furniture, clothes, supplies and anything else you might need.
Price merchandise before you go so you will know if the item is a bargain or exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also possible to get new items to save for baby gifts as well.
It seems like almost every sale has a wide variety of toys. Just make sure all the parts are in working condition and age appropriate to the child you’re buying for.
Since I’m a nana now I keep a stash of yard sale toys at my house for my weekly playdates with Aiden and Henry.
Great deals can be found on clothing but keep a list of sizes, preferences and styles. Always check to see if buttons, zippers and elastic work and make sure the pieces are stain free.
You can also ask yourself (like the KonMari technique) if the clothing sparks joy. Don’t buy it just because it’s a good deal! (Preaching to the choir here!)
7. Seasonal Items
Yard sales are great places to stock up on Christmas and holiday decorations. Pick up just a few ornaments or luck up on an entire set of Christmas china. You’ll be amazed at what you can find!
As a homeschooler I always bought a lot of used reading books, text books and games to supplement our curriculum each year.
I also love using vintage or castoff books in my home decor. You’ll spend just pennies compared to new ones.
9. Kitchen Products, Bakeware and Dishes
Since mix and match is in style collect dishes of all kinds and combine vintage and new without hesitation!
This simple tablescape features a beautiful vintage tablecloth and china, all yard sale bargains picked up at different times.
Just a few more tips: It’s helpful to have an idea of the retail prices so you can know if what you’re paying for is really a bargain. Set your price limit ahead of time so you won’t be tempted to overspend.
Keep a wish list of items you’re interested in and even paint chips if you’re trying to match colors.
Now go shopping and save some money!
What do you think of my list of top 10 yard sale bargains? Anything you would add?
Here are more tips to help you distinguish between trash and treasure!