Another Woman’s Treasure
One of the many (many, many) reasons I look forward to Spring is the start of Rummage Sale Season. And yes, when you live in
there is truly a “season”. Growing up, I
recall several Saturday mornings roaming through garages with my Mom. I quickly learned how fantastic it was and
often enthusiastically crawled out of bed before she did; just waiting (and
hoping) for her to ask me if I wanted to go along with her! South Dakota
Whether you call it a Rummage Sale or a Garage Sale, you are sure to find some fantastic bargains and maybe even a few treasures along the way. You know what they say, ‘another woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.’
We did it! We shopped our first rummage sale of the season this weekend. Ahhh. Seriously, love it! My top finds this weekend included picking up a small dresser to fit in my four year old’s closet for $20 and several level 1, 2 & 3 reading books, chapter books and hard cover books in great shape for a whopping $.25 each! I honestly wish I had picked out a few more, but I had to pat myself on the back for exhibiting self control. Tee-hee. Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself.
Needless to say, I think shopping garage sales is a fantastic way to save money in the family budget! Many times you can find new or very close to new items at a mere fraction of the cost at a store. And there are plenty of used items in nice condition. Each one of the level reading books I purchased would have easily cost about $3-4 a piece in a store, so I was able to get 12 books for the price of one!
If you have never rummaged before or have and questioned its greatness, I have a few tips and ideas to get you going.
Before Heading Out:
*Make a list of items you need to purchase (clothes, swimming suit, baking dishes, etc). Be sure to include sizes of clothing for each person and the number of certain pieces needed, such as 2 shirts, 4 shorts, etc.
*Consider the cost of each item if you were to purchase it new. When rummaging, try to avoid overpaying for the item. If you would pay $3 for a new t-shirt, you don’t want to buy a used one for $3, do you? My goal is to never pay more than 50% of the orginal cost of an item. Of course, I try to spend a lot less, but this is my maximum goal. If it is more than that, I move on to the next sale. You may have a difference in opinion on the percentage and that is fine, just be sure you have considered your goal before heading out to shop!
*Make a list of rummage sales you would like to go to. It is great when you can find neighborhood rummage sales so that they are grouped nearby and you can walk. There are several
communities that do this, along with surrounding
towns like Sioux
Falls , Tea, Garretson,
etc. You just might find unlisted sales
along the way too. Some nice places to
find rummage sale listings are: Brandon
- Argusleader.com (also in print)
- sfshoppingnews.com (also in print)
*If you do not have a GPS in your vehicle or an app on your phone, be sure to map out any addresses you are not familiar with.
*Carry small bills and change. If you can help it, don’t hand over a $20 bill to pay for something that costs just $.25.
*Bring along a reusable bag. This is really nice to have when you are shopping multiple sales at a time.
*If you are going to be out for a while, be sure to pack snacks and bottled water. Nothing worse than spending twice as much on a bottle of water at a gas station when you are out trying to ‘save’ money!
*Don’t forget comfy shoes, sunglasses and sun lotion.
*Be sure that you are in good lighting when purchasing clothing to avoid buying items with stains. Also be sure to try all zippers, buttons, etc.
*If purchasing something that runs on batteries or electricity be sure it works. If it needs new batteries, ask if you can borrow some just to see if it works. Same goes for electrical items, ask for an outlet!
*If you are teetering on purchasing an item due to the price, you may offer the seller the price that you are willing to pay or ask them if they would consider less. This comes in handy even more so when you are there towards the end of their sale. Many times sellers really just want to get rid of their items and would definitely take less. Be sure not to offend by offering them much less (offering $5 for something they have priced $50).
*Keep your eyes peeled for items that can be upcycled! This is one of my favorite things to do while rummaging. Let’s say I need a flower pot. There are several things that can be repurposed into a flower pot or garden art (pots, cowboy boots, rain boots, buckets, etc)! Or those that have dogs may consider stuffed animals for dog toys. Pinterest is a whirlwind of creativity for upcycling items, in case you need a little help.
*Come back on the last day. This is great if you are hoping for better deals on multiple items. If they remain on the last day of the sale, the seller may be more willing to or have already reduced their prices.
*Mark down addresses of rummage sales that you found to be excellent. Then keep your eyes peeled for future sales at the same address. I have one that I go back to year after year because the gal does such a nice job of setting up her sale, has clean, quality clothing at a fair price for my son. It’s perfect because her son is a size ahead of mine!
*Keep an eye out for items for close friends and family. If I find something that a friend may be looking for I call them, send them a picture on my phone and purchase it for them if they say to go for it. In return, you will have a great support system keeping their eyes open for you as well!