Tips for Happy Garage Sale Shopping

Waking up at 6AM on a Saturday when I was 20: “Wha…?! Hahaha! No. Hard pass”.

Waking up at 6AM on a Saturday at age 30 (or so): “Well we have already been up for 15 minutes, let’s just get ready, pack some snacks, and get going”.

Saturday is garage sale day!

We haven’t always been garage sale shoppers but when your children get up at the crack of dawn…well you need to find things to do.

My boys love garage sales! It didn’t take them long to figure out that the odds of me actually saying “yes” to their requests are exponentially higher at a sale! Even my two year old was excited last weekend when the puzzle he was admiring got to come home with us. (It was educational and priced at one dollar. That’s a no-brainer in my book)!

My love for garage sales has definitely grown since becoming a mom. I like to scoop up hardly worn dress clothes for the boys for just a couple of dollars. And I am a total sucker for any educational type things.

Mostly I go for the home decor though. Here are some of last week’s finds:

This star was a fun addition to my gallery wall for $2.
This stool looks great in my kitchen and it is a great spot to enjoy a cup of coffee. And it only set me back $3.
Tips for Happy Garage Sale Shopping
This adorable and rustic Americana wreath is perfect for our summer patio. This was a steal at only 50 cents!

I also like garage sale shopping because it is a fun way to spend time with my family. Driving around town, chatting about the various neighborhoods and our purchases… its a pretty relaxing time.

Here are my tips for happy garage sale shopping with your family:

1) If you are on a mission, leave the kids at home.

Or at least in the car with your husband. Let’s be honest: with all the snacks and sippy cups and drama of misplaced toys…most parents don’t think as clearly when they are with their kids. If there is some specific item you just have to get, leave the kids with Daddy. You will be able to find the item more quickly and be able to make a sound decision.

2) Don’t be on a mission.

Part of the fun is just meandering around town, seeing what’s what. Sometimes we find amazing deals, sometimes we come away empty handed. The fun is not contingent upon the purchases.

3) Have a little cash, and stop when it is gone.

Shopping is fun! And when items are marked at low prices, it’s hard to say “no”. But it is not fun at all to overspend every weekend. In the summer we put our small bills and quarters in a “garage sale fund” jar. Then on Saturday morning we just grab some money from the fund and get going. This way we aren’t taking away from our budget and we have a built in spending limit.

4) Pack snacks and drinks (for the grown ups too)!

Nothing turns a fun family outing into a grouch fest quicker than cranky voices  from the back seat (or the driver’s seat…..ahem) telling you they are sooooo hungry. Besides the usual drinks and snacks for the kids, Hubs and I will bring coffee and a little snack for us too. (Or if we are splurging, we’ll swing by Starbucks before we head out. It kind of defeats the purpose of saving money, but its a fun treat)!

5) Get out and walk.

If you are lucky enough to have a sunny Saturday, get out and enjoy it! Find an area where a few sales are close together, pop whoever needs to be in the stroller into the stroller, and get moving. Enjoy the sunshine- and walk off that latte too!

Garage sale shopping with your family can be fun when you take a relaxed approach and remember the point: having fun.

Have a great weekend!


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