>Garage Sale Tales

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So today I’m gonna share with you why shopping at garage sales works for me.  I used to hit up multiple neighborhood yard sales every weekend after we bought our first house and when my kids were much younger.  Now that we have much more disposable income and much less need for new stuff, I don’t do it as often, but recently I ventured out and had great success.

Our first house was furnished with many cheap yard sale finds, especially table and floor lamps.  The house had no overhead lighting so we needed a lot of lamps, and in case you haven’t noticed they aren’t exactly cheap.  So we had a ton of semi-ugly lamps that I found here and there for about $5 each. 

When I was pregnant with my first I started shopping yard sales for infant toys and equipment.  I bought a Baby Einstein exersaucer (probably retailed over $75) for $5.  High chair toys were $0.25 each.  And baby clothes are prolific at garage sales…stacks of adorable outfits for pennies on the dollar.  I kept hitting up yard sales as my boys grew, large toddler toys are usually easy to find for dirt cheap.  But now my kids are getting into the age where kids seem to destroy their toys or lose the pieces and it’s much harder to find decent older kid toys second-hand.

But a couple weeks ago my friend Stephanie mentioned on twitter that her nearby subdivision was having a yard sale day, and the weather was gorgeous, so I figured I would at least stop by her house and say hello.  I am the queen of the “yard sale drive-by”.  I can usually tell within 15 seconds of pulling up if it’s worth even parking and getting out.  I generally look for decent furniture or kids of a certain age.  Also real estate “for sale” signs in the front yard are a good indicator that the people may have a LOT of better quality things they need to get rid of before moving. 

I found one such house that had a for sale sign, a young mom and a boy about my son’s age, and a table covered in clothing.  I hopped out and walked over to the table to check out her boys clothes.  What I found was a gold mine to me.  Barely used jeans from the Gap, barely worn dress khakis from The Children’s Place, and nice cargo shorts from Carters.  They were all the size my oldest had just grown out of, but my youngest would someday grow into.  Not just one or two pair, either, piles of them.  I chatted with her about how we both loved to shop and buy our boys way too much clothing.  She admitted the clothes would go straight to Goodwill if they didn’t sell, so I took 5 pair of jeans/pants and 3 pair of shorts off her hands for $5 TOTAL.  They looked nearly new.  Unfortunately as with most boys, her son only wore graphic T-shirts (which I hate) so I didn’t buy any shirts.  I wished her well on her move to Dallas and off I went, thrilled to pieces. 

I didn’t see much else for awhile, but I came upon the house of a young couple with a nice looking shelf in their driveway.  I parked and looked at the shelf, but it was not my style, but a good quality tripod caught my eye behind it.  Now keep in mind, I’m a professional photographer.  I paid about $75 for my second tripod, after my first got destroyed from using it on the beach too much.  But that’s something I use a lot, so for $5 I was happy to pick up a backup one.  Now I can keep one in my car at all times and one in my studio office.  After picking up the tripod and walking around the driveway I noticed a nice new box of barware.  My husband is a homebrewer and likes to collect beer glasses, but my first thought was “we have plenty of those.”  Then I noticed the logo and caught my breath…I tried to ask as calmly as possible, “Do those actually have the Yuengling label on them?” 

You see, we live in Texas now, but we are from Pennsylvania.  Yuengling is brewed in Pottsville, PA and also in Tampa, FL but is not yet available in Texas.  It is by far and away our favorite beer…so much so that we have a throw blanket and wall hangings in our game room with the Yuengling logo. 

The girl hosting the sale said “I guess so, I have no idea what that is.  We received them as a gift and never opened them.”  I knew my husband would LOVE them, so for $5 I got a box of six brand new Yuengling beer glasses.  And then of course I bought the new tripod for $5 too. 

When I got home I surprised Mike with the beer glasses and he loved them and has used them every day since.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. >It's amazing what you can find at garage sales! In fact, I refer to my decor as "late twentieth century garage sale" because so many things around my house were purchased that way.I've never even heard of 'Yuenling.' What a cool and unique find!

    Reply

  2. >Great blog! I thought it was too funny about the Yuengling! Yuengling has two breweries in Pottsville, PA. The original on Mahantongo Street (about a mile and 1/2 from my house) and a newer one built about six years ago across town. My mil and brother live about 1/2 mile from that one. You definately got a great deal on those glasses! You just never know what kind of deals you can find, and that's half the fun!

    Reply

  3. >I can not take garage sales. I can't handle the haggling, the looking, the crazed people. I see all the great stuff other bloggers get and refurbish, but I know it is not for me. The one and only thing I have bought at a grage sale was a Cozy Coupe for $5 about 3 years ago-well worth it.

    Reply

  4. >Mom2Fur and Lori Ann, thanks so much for stopping by! As you can see, I love garage sales. Elz, I never haggle and I avoided crowded sales…and I am NOT a refurbisher…blech. I always see Cozy Coupes for sale and think about buying one but my neighbors have two that my Alex uses ALL the time.

    Reply

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