Saturday, April 25, 2009

yard sale saturday

It was a summery day in New Hampshire today, and we had fun going around to a handful of yard sales. You can tell it's springtime though and not summer yet - the blackflies are out in full force and everyone who's outside is swatting away at them!

This morning in our travels, we picked up a like-new wire dog crate to use for our puppy when we take her with us in the car. We've seen the kind we got for about $60 in the stores - this one came to us courtesy of a yard sale for $4.00! Then at another house, we picked up a plant care book for a dollar ($26.00 MSRP) that looks like it's never been read. Since we're planning on adding to our gardens quite a bit this year, it'll be a good resource to have!

This afternoon, we went to a couple more yard sales, but didn't have any luck finding anything good. That's the things with yard sales - sometimes you get great bargains on things you need or things you like - and sometimes you strike out!

We have a few things that we do to help us make the most of our Saturday morning bargain-hunting trips - most of which are courtesy of my tag-sale loving grandparents' wisdom. We keep a running list of things we're looking for in the car on an index card (my grandfather loved index cards!), so that when we come across a yard sale, we can refresh our memory before we start shopping. On the card we also note measurements of furniture items we might want (like bookshelves) so we don't end up buying something that won't fit in the space we have. We keep a small tape measure in the car, and an old blanket to put items on in case we buy something that needs some cleaning up when we get it home, or a planter for outside that still has some dirt in it, etc. We also always bring small bills (lots of "ones") and quarters with us in a little change purse that fits in a pocket. Having exact change makes the shopping even simpler!

When it comes to bargaining, we've learned that "offer half of the asking price, and then be willing to go up a little" seems to work well for us. Most everyone who sets up a yard sale builds some "wiggle room" into their prices (we do ourselves, when we have our annual neighborhood yard sale!) - and though at first we found bartering a little awkward, once we saw for ourselves that most everyone does it and no one gets offended, it's become part of the fun.

So, we had a fun day - and we saved some money too!

Total spent for 1 dog crate and 1 plant book - $5.00
Pennies saved: 8,000

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