I consider frugality an art form and a religious conviction. I learned about paying cash for purchases, recycling and reusing just about everything and being generous to friends and those in need from my parents.
My faith instructs me all things are gifted by God and so I am compelled to be a good steward of my gifts. [The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16]
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Park 2-3 houses away from the yard sale location - the exercise is good for you and you have time to repeat over and over - I'm only looking today . . . I' m only looking today.
Leave your money in the car - if you want something enough to walk all the way back to the car, it's probably a keeper. Besides, you might change your mind and just head on to the next yard sale.
On Friday night get plenty of quarters and $1 bills. If you have $10 bills, you're more likely to spend them!
Never, ever pay the asked-for price. Even if it's something you really like and you honestly think it's priced fairly. You are not in Wal-Mart. These folks have no overhead. They don't want to haul it back into the house or the garage--or even worse--the dump.
Make an offer--they'll probably take it. It's okay to haggle a little. If they don't accept your offer - leave and come back in an hour - if it's still there: meant to be and at a lower price. If not, you didn't really need it anyway.
I'm not talking about racial profiling here! I'm referring to "scoping out" a yard sale before you get out of the car. If the front yard is full of baby clothes and toys and your youngest child is 12, you're probably not going to find anything you can use -- or should be spending your money on.
If you see electronics and you want to get your child a second hand something -- go for it! My husband is a huge music buff so he scouts out old LP's and other music media, records it for his personal use and then re-sells the original LP, CD or whatever.
Pick a neighborhood/area
This weekend our neighborhood of about 500 homes had no fewer that 6 yard sales!! I was thrilled! The neighborhood across the street had 4 and two separate neighborhoods on my way to the farmer's market had 5 and 6 respectively! This saves gas and especially time when you concentrate your efforts in one geographic area.
No kids allowed
I know, they've been saving their allowance- for weeks. But you know they're going to pick out something that will fit very nicely in that huge tub of "stuff" that no one ever goes into -- or frankly talks about. They don't need it and you don't have room for it!
Take small vehicle
Do not take a pick up truck with an empty bed or mini-van (empty because you left the kids home) unless you have no other option. A smaller vehicle will discourage you from buying (a) large items and (b) too many items.
This is not a frugal tip, merely a suggestion on how to treat people. Always greet the yard sale host. Even if they have absolute junk (in your opinion) find something nice to say about their stuff. When you leave, whether you purchase something or not, tell them "thank you." It's just nice:-)
What are your frugal yard sale tips?