Sunday, September 27, 2009

Savor "Saling"

I have found a new realm/level of frugal shopping - Yard Sales. You can buy great stuff for SUPER CHEAP. In fact, if you pay more than 10% of original retail for something at a yard sale, you have paid way too much.

My friend Eileen introduced me to the thrill of "saling". She is indeed a professional. You may wonder what a professional yard saler is. She makes money off of yard sales buy negotiating super cheap prices on brand new things, collecting these things, then having a sale where she sells them at marked up prices.

I thought that I was pretty good at negotiating, but I look like a kitten compared to Eileen. She has written an article for a national magazine that she has given me permission to post. However, as I started to post it I thought it would be better timed in the spring when yard sales are just starting up again.

For now I will give a few tips:
1. Try to pay around 10% or less of original retail
2. Always ask if clothes are $1, that is what you can expect to pay. If they want more but you start this way, most of the time they will give it to you for a dollar.
3. Carry gold one dollar coins or half dollar coins. These cost you the same as dollar bills, however, they look more valuable to the seller because they are rare. According to Eileen you can get these from any bank.
4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

These are just a few tips, I will post a lengthy post and the article in the spring. However Eileen says that the first step is to, and I am quoting, "Get up off your butt and try." I have to agree, try it out. Around my area they are still going strong, surprisingly. You will be surprised at the things you will find and the fun you will have.

In my quest to help you find the inner frugal you, this is the next step. Go to a yard sale, not a consignment sale, but a true blue yard sale. To find a list of yard sales near you go to and type "yard sale" into the search. And don't forget to take your dollars.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Safety in Frugality

Okay, so I admit it has been a few weeks since my last post. We were recently hit hard by life's challenges and we have been working through them.

I am writing about this, not for sympathy, but to show how important it is to be frugal in times of plenty, so that you can be safe through challenging times.

A few posts ago I was wondering if I would be frugal even if I didn't have to be. We were starting to make headway in our financial goals and I was tempted to "loosen up" a bit. I am SO glad that I continued to be frugal.

This last month we were hit with two severe and expensive medical happenings. I ended up in the back of an ambulance headed to the ER with heart problems. Then DD2 has had frequent and sever headaches.

We finally took her to a neurologist. After an MRI and other appointments, we have found out the she has a very rare and inoperable brain condition. We are not sure if it is causing the headaches so we are continuing to see specialists for this problem.

At the same time as the health problems, our dryer broke and so did our laptop. These are not cheap things to replace. Thank goodness for and back to school sales on laptops. I was also glad I already knew how to get major discounts on these items. It is more stressful to learn frugal skills when you are in a crisis situation - learn them before.

Again, I tell you these things not for sympathy, but to show how fast and hard life's challenges can come, and they can be VERY expensive. We have paid thousands of dollars for these conditions.

Had we not been so frugal and saved while we could, we would not only be struggling with the stress of these conditions, but also the financial stress of HOW we would pay for them. My DH has commented on several occasions that he is so grateful that we can take care of our family's needs during a crisis.

I have thought about how there are no coupons for health care. You can't really negotiate either. So you need to save up to be able to pay the bills. You do this by using coupons, negotiating, and being frugal in other areas of your life.

Good luck in your journey of frugality. I promise it will give you security in troubled times,great skills, and hopefully you have fun along the way.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shop Summer Clearance This Weekend

This weekend is the last hurrah of summer and the stores know it. They are having big sales and you should take advantage of them - especially the clearance racks. They will be trying to get rid of camping gear, summer toys, swim equiptment, etc.

Think ahead for Christmas and next summer. Buy things that you anticipate you will need for these times and you will save a bundle! I am planning on buying a $40 inflatable pool for $9.99, $20 camping chairs for $5.99, and wrapping them for Christmas and seeing my girls get so excited.

You may be wondering how I know the clearance prices. I payed attention last year, so I know what to expect. Happy Hunting.

p.s. This is also the last big yard sale weekend. You can find a list of yards sales close to you by going on