garage sale signsWhat fun!  This weekend we took the boys on their first ever garage-sale exploration.  My husband and I haunted many flea markets and garage sales before we had children but have neglected this tradition in recent years.

We crammed 3 kids and 3 adults into a car and went exploring.  Times have changed since my last garage sale expedition.  While the newspapers still have listings, the place to check is Craigslist.  We had addresses in hand, maps on our phones, and plenty of change in our pockets.

Taking children to garage sales can be dangerous.  They want to bring home every possible toy even if it is not even remotely age-appropriate.  They do not temper their enthusiasm thereby weakening your dickering ability.  And they don’t always use their inside voice….my kid was the one querying at full volume “Mom, don’t you like anything at this garage sale?”

Weekend Garage Sales

However, as we all know, many treasures can be found at garage sales.  I’m particularly delighted with the mini trampoline I picked up for $25!  I’ve been wanting one for ages; a perfect inside, rainy day, activity.  Books are also a great bargain.  Sure the books are sometimes a bit loved, but as my 5 year old is just starting to read I’m not eager to spend a mint on “beginning to read” books.  Let’s be honest, those books aren’t fictional masterpieces.

I wasn’t on my game with the dickering today.  My father would hang his head in shame.  My dad is the kind of guy who will dicker at a department store.  I don’t think he pays retail on anything…except groceries, maybe.  He has a tremendous skill, he has taught my husband well…me, not so much.  I may have been able to get the trampoline for $20 but I was so thrilled to get it I didn’t want to go through the negotiating hassle.  However, if you are eager to save a few bucks, be sure to have plenty of small bills and coins in your pockets.  Keep the $20s hidden away.  Also, the afternoon is when the real bargains are to be found.  The sellers are tired; they don’t want the hassle of disposing of the unsold items; they are ready to make a deal.

Now that we have rediscovered onto the fun of garage sales, we will once again hone our skills.  Our boys will learn to dicker, they will learn to be selective in their choices, and they will learn how to stretch the few dollars they are given.  Not bad life skills to acquire!