Don’t you just LOVE yard sales?  I sure do!  I am not much of a shopper when it comes to malls and such, but I can find my way around a yard sale with no problem!  I got to thinking of some of the awesome deals I have found in just the last year while yard sale-ing this morning.  I got S a huge lot of old (aka “quality”) tools one time for $15, for example.  I have been keeping my eye out for either matching or complimenting twin-sized comforters for the boy’s room.  Since we will eventually have 4 beds in the boy’s room, though, I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.  I had almost given up, when I found a matching set of 2 denim “bed-in-bag” sets with sheets and everything for $30.  The great thing, I already have 2 denim sets on the bunk beds we have now!  Woohoo!

Then there was the cute ceramic crock and spoon holder with my “Fruits” theme for the kitchen.  I got the whole set for $3.

Remember those new/old cast iron skillets I got off freecycle?  I can’t possibly hide those in a cupboard!  So I got this iron pot hanger at a yard sale for $3.  Are you jealous yet?

I have lost count of the massive amounts of clothes bargains I have found.  I generally pay $.25-$2 for clothing, and if I get a large enough quantity, then the seller will often work out more of a deal.  I buy for all seasons and I buy ahead of the size the kids are wearing.  I have labeled storage bins for each gender and each size.  After finding a bargain, I bring them home and wash them, and then add them to the appropriate container.  Then, as the kids outgrow their current clothes, they always have something to move into.  Later, I can limit my actual store (or more yard-sale) purchases to the items I need to fill in the “gaps.”  I should also note a recent thing I have started.  Since M and I wear a lot of long skirts, I have found it is very difficult to find them.  Short is the style, not long!  So, while I often buy my skirts online when I find a good clearance, I get juniors or ladies knee-length skirts at yard sales, and then sew a new side seam to make it a long skirt that fits M.  It is working great, and while I don’t have the time or know-how to sew a long skirt from scratch (believe me, I’ve tried!), she is now outfitted with lots of great skirts for several seasons, and they probably average out to costing me $1 or less each.  This morning I bought one that was a 2x, so I figure I can make 2 or maybe even 3 long skirts for her out of that $1 purchase! 

I have bought most of the kids’ shoes from yard sales.  Again, I typically buy in advance.  I paid $1 for the name-brand hiking boots below, and they will likely fit JR by this summer or fall.

Not only do I feel like I am being a good steward of my finances, but it is also nice to know I am not supporting unethical clothing manufacturers, that I don’t have to worry about the kids being kids and getting dirty since their clothes are inexpensive, and that I am recycling someone else’s “junk.”