Monday, June 30, 2008

Money Monday

This is my latest Garage Sale find. Aren't these awesome? I found these real, authentic lockers at a random sale I passed by on my way to a different one- they were $10 for all five! They're in excellent condition, and oh-so-Pottery Barn Kids, don't you think? They're exactly the kind of lockers you'd find in an elementary school- perfect for our kids and the playroom.

Jim said he can have some more shelves made at work to make these even more awesome for playroom storage. I'm just in love with them. They're one of the best things I've ever found at a garage sale. Certainly one of my favorite things in my house- I love finding unusual things and putting them to a new use.
Do you go to garage sales? I think you might be surprised to find that about 50% of the stuff in my house came from a garage sale. The rest had a clearance sticker when I brought it home, trust me. I got this table at a sale for $10. There are two of those top-things, each one side with the Lego board, and they turn over to a side with a road etc. on it. It came with lots of blocks, wooden trucks and cars and trees and stop signs, etc. too.
Garage sale deals are my drug of choice in the summertime. I can't get enough of it. Nothing beats the high associated with a good, good deal, especially when it's something you've really been wanting or needing. Yes, there's a lot of junk out there, but, oh, there are some amazing deals to be had.

Like, when I got an entire wardrobe for Hudson a year ago, complete from 0-18 months, all awesome like-new, right-seasons and sizes, name brand stuff, plus many many pieces through his summer after turning 3... all for $20. Now that he's 9 months old, there are many things he's grown out of and never even worn, there was that much. You can read about it here, if you want to know more about that good deal. Amen. Really. What a deal. I'll never forget the time I got my brand new, stainless steel gorgeous knife set new, still in the package, for $4. The same ones were still at Target for $75! And I'd desperately wanted new knives for over a year. I held off knowing I didn't "need" to spend it right then, and then, there they were. A precious find for me. That kind of thing happens to me all the time. Praise the Lord. He delights in providing for us, and showing us He cares about all our needs, great and small.

I was tempted to list like, my Top 50 garage sale finds, but, you get my point. Oh, like, this bottle and the vase below it that you've seen before? they were both 25 cents.

You might think you don't want to get up early on the weekends, just to sift through piles of junk. If you're that person, it's OK. You just don't understand. One taste of a sweet-as-pie deal on something awesome though, and you'll be one of us for life. You'll never get enough.

If you want to give this garage sale thing a try, here are a few tips:

  • Plan ahead. If you get a paper, scan the listings and make a list of where you want to go, based on area, and type of items listed. If you don't get a paper, the listings for your city are probably at the paper's website. Do not go driving around aimlessly! Know where the sales are that you care about and if you see another one on the way go ahead and stop if you want, but, have a plan. It will save time, frustration, and gas. Make sure you bring along a city map, too, or Google map the addresses you'll visit- this streamlines your trip and you know the best route to take and the most-efficient order to visit the sales, to make the loop fluid and again to avoid wasting as much gas and time as possible.
  • Get out early. The early bird gets the worm. The early garage saler gets the new in package duvet from Land of Nod that perfectly matches the bedroom. Need I say more?
  • Get small bills and change from the bank the day before. The best time to get out is Saturday mornings, alone, with Hubs at home to get the kids up and give them breakfast. It's a morning just for you and your coffee and your adrenaline rush. There's no banks open that early, though, to get cash from an ATM broken down into smaller denominations, and you'll want them when you go out. Sellers HATE making change for a $1 purchase with a $20 bill.
  • Try to think outside of the box. Find something interesting, and then try to imagine a new use for it. Or, if it's dirty, imagine how easy it would be to wash it yourself so it's shiny and new when you get home. Like, that vase with the lily in it- it was so gross when I found it, with lots of old candle wax inside. The wax popped right out at home and after I washed it, it was beautiful. Maybe the stuff is a little dingy- but this is ALL ABOUT SEEING THE POTENTIAL! Just try to imagine what you could do to make it lovely and useful again, to rise it up above the junk to something beautiful!
  • Don't buy junk you don't need, just because it's cheap. Even if it's cute, if you find yourself trying to make excuses for why you might need it, or thinking it's for "someday", you may want to leave it there. Remember, if it isn't useful or beautiful don't bring it into your house! (Hopefully, it's both.)
  • You don't have to buy something, even if you look a long time! Just be your normal sweet self and make conversation. Don't worry about offending them if you don't happen to find anything- just wish them a good day.
  • If you think something is overpriced, just ask if they'll go lower- offer them what you think is reasonable. They just want to sell their stuff, and bargaining the price a little is common and welcomed at garage sales- some rare exceptions to this happen with people uncommonly attached to their stuff. If you really don't want to pay that much, put it down, it's their loss.

To recap, next Saturday morning, go out with your addresses, your map, your small bills, your coffee, your smile and your bargain-eyes. Garage sales, in addition to all the amazing deals and neat stuff you can find, are a great way to meet other people in your area and get to know your city a lot better. If you aren't already a polished hunter, I'd suggest giving it a shot.

If you ARE a hunter-extraordinaire, go ahead and leave a comment with some of your best finds. You know we bargain hunters wear those finds like badges of honor!

Happy Monday!


A Crafty Mom said...

Great post, Megan, I love it!! I totally agree with you. Although I've been guilty this year of not being able to get out early to do a lot of garage sales, I hope to get into it a bit more when the baby is a little older. We've gotten a few amazing deals on kids' stuff in the past few years . . . we got a huge giant Step2 pool (very big and deep for a kiddie pool) with a large attaching slide - the whole thing was like brand new and hundreds of dollars at a store. The lady gave it to me for $40 . . . we've used it non-stop for the last four summers and couldn't live without it in our back yard.

I also like to check out Craigslist and I have recently been selling some of my own stuff on Used*cityname*.com . . . I've had great luck and so far sold everything I posted online!!!

BTW - those lockers are so sweet. You are one lucky gal to have found those - you were smart to nab them when you did. They look PERFECT in your room!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the lockers!!! Hmmm...5 lockers, 4 kids....looks like you'll need to add at least one more to your bunch! :)

Grammy Staffy said...

I love your lockers too.... even though they remind me of being a work. You are so creative and clever. When I get around to giving out some blog awards this week you are on my list.

Great post as always.

p.s. I still love going to your last post and looking at the picture of Patie going down the lane.... sooo sweet!

Grandma B said...

good morning megan...thanks for stopping by to visit me...

your "garage sale" information is priceless...we watch "antiques roadshow" so much. so many of the 'good finds' are from garage sales. so happy you are out and about sioux you ever go to any sales around the cathedral? would imagine you could find some antique treasures in that area of the city. antiques would be what i look for..

i went back and revisited the priceless picture...that is good enough to be submitted to a photograhpy cute. one of those fleeting moments in our lives.

have a wonderful day.....

New Girl on Post said...

Those were some great finds! I love bargain shopping. Probably 75% of my wardrobe comes from Goodwill and I always get compliments on it. I even found my wedding dress there for $75 and it was gorgeous!

Loved your post and you had some great tips.

amanda said...

very pbk indeed :) love em!!

actually i love all your finds friend!! you really should have your own tv show - turning other peoples "trash" into simply stunning treasures!!

Jenn Boerger said...

Wow! Love the lockers! We just went garage sailing last weekend. when I look through the ads in the paper on Friday or Saturday morning, I always look for sales that say exactly what I'm looking for (18mo.-3T girls clothes), or if they mention some specific items that are of interest to me (kids outdoor toys, etc...). I've found I just waste too much time if I stop at every one, and usually a drive by can give me a good guess if I'll find something I'm looking for. But don't get me wrong, I know this isn't always the case. Like the sale I drove by last weekend had some kids toys out front, so reluctantly I stopped, and sure enough they had some wonderful things hidden in the back and I found some great clothes for Livvy! And a play kitchen by Step2 - they were asking $15, I offered $10, and we settled on $12. Not bad for endless fun. Oh yeah, and they included the toy food and dishes!! Love this post!!

stacey said...

Love the lockers~ I Love that color blue!

I am addicted to garage sales, flea markets & thrift stores. Once you realize all the great bargains you can get~ it is hard to pay the retail price for things like toys & books!

& you can find some of the most amazing vintage items that you can't find in the stores :)

Unknown said...

Great tips! Great finds~! I don't have anything to add really, you covered it beautifully!

Garage sales can also be hilarious--like people who sell their half used fingernail polish!

Kristen said...

Megan I LOVE LOVE LOVE the lockers!

For that matter, all of your "Finds"!

That is one of my favorite things about antiquing. I look for finds, if I don't find one oh well maybe next time. The mall makes me into a more monster. Always thinking I need more, and I don't have the latest and greatest.

I too am a garage sale girl just I haven't had the time to go much lately. Hopefully soon! :)

As always, great post!

Lisa said...

I am IN LOVE with your lockers. When you decide to sell them, let me know & I'll drive to South Dakota!!!

I love garage sales too. A lot of the girls' clothes come from garage sales. All brand-names, all in great condition/new with tags. Amazing how much money you can save.

My fav garage sale find is Hubby & I's dresser. Came from a garage sale the day we closed on our 1st house (meant to be, or what?) and the lady later found the receipt for it & it was $1200 in 1955 for the whole bedroom set. I bought the dresser & mirror for $30. It's probably my favorite piece of furniture!

anne said...

I'm so lazy...I love garage sale finds, I just never lame.
That said....I LOVE your locker find. you rock!

Eva said...

Yes, I love garage sales too. Been finding a ton of girls stuff this summer. I have a problem of people pricing stuff for too high and not wanting to go down. All your Hudson clothes for $20 would never have happened around here. Gburg is kind of like that - trendy and expensive. Do you get scared to bargain? I do but I'm silly like that.

Ris said...

the lockers are so neat!!! How perfect for a home schoolin mama! You can even paint them if you change color scheme.

Oh and the pic on the previous post? Cutest darn thing I've ever seen. Your children are precious.

Katie said...

wow. I wanna come to the garage sales YOU go to! These lockers are amazing... they look so great against the yellow! And the tags! Too cute.