Rummage Sales: power user tips
We are in full rummage sale mode. In addition to the great Sunday Parkways bike ride we did, we were mighty busy shopping for reuse bargains. There is nothing I like better than a church or school rummage sale. Huge amount of donations pulled from many families, yielding a wide variety of things to choose from. Supports local non profits and features excellent prices! On a good day, I leave with my reuseable bags full of really good, useful junk! This past weekend, I hit a big church sale in my neighborhood. These folks are pros. They've done this sale for years. It's well organized and they price things right. My best buys this year were the stainless steel thermos for $1, and practically new Columbia Sportwear snow boots in my size for $2. I also snagged my kids two Skipper dolls ($1 each), which they have been pining for since we played with some Barbies at my aunts' last winter. One is really old, and the other is a knock-off, but what the kids don't know won't hurt them.
One thing I've learned is that you cave to fewer impulse buys when the kids are not shopping with you. Kinda like grocery shopping. So for the big church sale Friday, I went alone. Ninety minutes after it opened, I exited with two full bags of really good junk, and only things that were on my rummage sale master shopping list (which I've been adding to all fall/winter). Contrast that with Saturday. The whole family went to a neighborhood sale, that featured over 200 garage sales. We shopped. We strolled our 4-year-old, who makes everyone miserable when she has to walk more than 5-minutes in a row. We dispensed many snacks. We purchased hot dogs and brownies. We didn't break the bank by any means, but we sure did get more than planned in the old VHS video, kid trinket and free box departments. No question, it is much better to rummage without kids.
Sizing clothing and shoes without kids can be a problem, however. I often pick up shoes and think they are adorable, and guess they will fit my kids. When I get them home for the CInderella moment, they end up too small. How do kids' feet grow so fast? This year, I think I figured out a solution to that problem. I traced my kids feet on a sheet of paper, and now shop with that in my back pocket. If the shoe print is bigger than the traced foot, then it's a buy. If too small, throw said shoes back in the pile.
What are your rummage sale power user tips?