From the time I was small, my mother took me with her to garage/tag/yard sales, thrift stores, and auctions. She was an antique dealer, and that was where she made some of her best finds. For me there was never any stigma whatsoever to garage sale finds. As a mom, I’ve purchased the majority of my childrens clothes at garage sales. The money I’ve saved has allowed us to live a lavish lifestyle that includes GROCERIES, ELECTRICITY, AND GAS FOR OUR CARS.
Last weekend we celebrated the warmer weather by getting out and hitting a few community sales. Those are the best. Fiddledaddy drives through the neighborhood at the speed of smell, while I peruse the junk not so carefully laid out on blue tarps. If I spot something that I’m searching for, he slows to a near stop and I deftly hop out.
Only last weekend he had to come to a full and complete stop so I could hobble out from the passenger side of the van. I thought if nothing else, I could play the sympathy card. I’m certainly not above it.
On my short laundry list was a bigger bike for my industrial sized 10 year old, who is 2 inches from topping me, a kitchen utility cart because I just can’t bear to spend over $100 for one (even at Big Lots), a square coffee table to serve as a family game table, and girl clothes for the 8 and 10 year old. Who are now wearing size 12 and 14. Because I can no longer convince them that their flood ready pants really look like capris.
Anyhoo. I scored big on clothes for my girls. Below is what I found. A few pieces are missing because no sooner did the dryer stop, than my girls dug through and pulled out a couple of new outfits.
Take a guess how much all of this set me back? Go ahead. Three dollars and seventy five cents, people. That’s $3.75. I’m not even kidding. At one sale, the lady asked me what size I was looking for, I told her, she pointed to a large garbage bag full of clothes and said, “You can have them for $2 and take your time sorting through them when you get home. Sold. That was a bananza bag of like new assorted pants, shorts, jeans, tops, pajama bottoms, and skirts. It was Christmas for my fashion conscious girls.
Yard sales can not only save money, but can also be profitable as well. Years ago when I lived in Los Angeles, I started a business in which I would scour yard sales looking for decrepit furniture. I would take the pieces home, clean, fix, and then paint to breathe new life into them.
I wanted to show you an example of a piece I found, fixed up, and then sold at a hoopty ploopty Los Angeles store.
This cabinet cost about $10 at a yard sale (see top right). I painted it a creamy off white, embellished it with tiny painted flowers (hand painted), added stripes to the interior (painters tape is my friend), and put on new knobs that I painted green. I distressed the finish to make it appear shabby chic, then put a coat of water based varnish on top to protect it.
I believe it sold for around $275.00.
I had so much fun painting furniture. I do hope to get back to it one of these days. I still have all of my old favorite paint brushes. Which my children have been eying, but I don’t share well.
Do you love yard sales? If so, what is the best thing you ever found?