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Saving Money at Yard Sales is Fun

By Cyndi Roberts

In some areas they are mostly called garage sales, or rummage sales. Sometimes they are called yard sales.  In Britain, I believe they have what they call "car-boot" sales.

Whatever the name, it is a fun part of a frugal lifestyle.  Here are some of the ways I have found to save money by shopping yard sales.

Expecting your first child?  Yard sales can be a great place to stock up on necessities.  Everything from cribs to rocking chairs to bumper pads, blankets and clothing can be bought at much less than new prices. 

  Of course, you must use your good judgment as to safety and cleanliness issues.

If you have small children, be on the lookout for clothes

in the next size your child will need.  We all know how quickly children outgrow their clothes!

Clothes for older children can be picked up for a song, too.

Are your older children picky about brand names? Do what I did--I told mine to think of these clothes as brand new, they've just already been washed a few times!

Found just the shirt or dress you need, but it has a stain on it?  Here's a pre-soak trick to try: Dissolve 1/2 cup of dry dishwasher soap in about a gallon of warm water.  Add your garment and keep it submerged for 24 hours or up to 3 days.  Do remember to test the fabric first.

Big money can be saved by buying toys and books for Christmas and birthday gifts at yard sales.  Many sales will have brand new toys and games in the box at a greatly reduced price. If the boxes are not sealed, always be sure to check carefully and make sure all the pieces are included.

Toys to be repaired or refurbished are a big money-saver.  Are your children ready for a bike?  You'll finds lots of outgrown bikes at yard sales that just need a little cleaning up or maybe a coat of paint.

If you are a reader, as I am, you can save big bucks by buying books for next to nothing at yard sales.  Even if you don't find a book you want to read yourself, if a book is very cheap, buy it and trade it for credit at the used bookstore!

Joke gifts for adults are another item to look for.  Buying in the spring or summer means you aren't running around in December trying to find something suitable for that office Christmas party.

Always watch for gift wrapping supplies. Use your imagination! Grab that partial roll of wallpaper with border to match. Wrap a gift in the wallpaper and wrap a length of border around it; no need for ribbon or a bow!

Sometimes, you will even find actual wrapping paper and ribbon for sale at a yard sale.  Never pass up a bargain.

Do you have a young adult going off to college next fall?  Or one moving into his first apartment?  Help out by looking for small appliances, sets of glasses, flatware, pots and pans or utensils. Then they won't be raiding your home for whatever they need!

Does your family love to work jigsaw puzzles?  New puzzles can be pretty pricey--so just visit the yard sales.  I've bought puzzles for as little as 50 cents and very seldom have I bought one that had any pieces missing.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure" is certainly true at yard sales.  Some people just do not have the imagination to see the many uses of different items.  Money-saving opportunities abound for those who are able to see potential in unlikely objects.

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Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another", bringing you practical, money-saving tips, recipes and ideas.  Visit her online at to subscribe and receive the Free e-course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".  


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Category: | Shopping Help |

Related Links:  | Clothing |

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