How to Make the Most of Garage Sales

This morning Anja and I went on a hunt for some pajamas and daycare-friendly clothes for her.  In case my process is helpful to anyone else, I thought I would post it here.

  1. I look up sales online and find those that list the items I’m looking for.  The local newspaper’s website and Craigslist are my favorites.  I try to fit it on one page and then print it.
  2. I highlight or circle the items I’m interested in at each sale so that I don’t get distracted and make impulse buys.
  3. I pick my top 5-10 sales that are fairly near my house and map them out on Google.  Because, honestly, after an hour two, I’m sick of it.  If you have more stamina, feel free to pick more sales!
  4. On the left side of the screen, when I’ve mapped multiple locations using Google, I move the locations up and down in the list until they form the most efficient route (no back-tracking).  Then I print a large map showing the overall route and the list of directions.
  5. I write A, B, C, etc. next to each sale on the list I printed in #1, which helps me quickly figure out when I’m driving which is the next sale I’m headed to.
  6. I don’t hold myself too strictly to the list.  For instance, this morning, one of the sales was a farther drive than the others, and I had already found some of the things for which I was shopping, so I cut it out to save myself time and sanity.

This method takes me 20-30 minutes in prep time, but it saves me so much time on the road and keeps me from stopping at random sales (where I almost never find anything).  Not that you can’t stop at random sales if that’s your thing!  But when I go rummaging, I’m all about efficiency and finding what I need.

While we didn’t find any actual pajamas today, we found a lot of mix-and-match knits that will work great for summer sleeping.  Plus, those same clothes can be worn at daycare the day and a half she’s there.

Last week I was in the mall, and looked at J.C. Penney and Kohl’s for pajamas.  Even on clearance, most of them were $10 or over.  Today, here’s my loot:

Clothes 051509

I got 6 pairs of pants, 9 tops, 2 books and a pair of like new shoes for $11 total.  An hour well-spent!

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    6 thoughts on “How to Make the Most of Garage Sales

    1. Saturday here too. I think I might do that tomorrow. My older girls needs some pjs too. Thanks for the idea.

      PS Day 2 of the Shred…I LOVE it!

    2. Hi Heidi, I linked up to you from over at MckMama’s site as I was reading Stellan’s story. I noticed you were a ‘Minnesotamom’ and I am from MN too so thought I’d check you out.

      Now that’s some thrifty shopping and a wonderful idea as our big garage/estate/yard sale season starts up!

    3. I do something very similar to this. But probably more scattered. I love garage sales for the things we actually need, and always find great deals if I narrow down the sales and stay on task.

      I got a little giddy reading this post, so maybe I’m just weird 🙂

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