As a mom on a budget, I KNOW I need to get the most bang for my buck. With 4 kids to supply with clothes, shoes, and all the odds and ends children need I have learned that buying used can be a lifesaver.
I love to hit Thrift stores, resale shops, and yard sales to make my budget go further. When buying things for the house like kitchen tools I get the best quality by getting used items that were made to last instead of the things they sell now made to break to force me into buying another.
Consignment sales, yard sales, and resale shops are loads of fun and you can enjoy them so much more with some good old planning. While getting ready to start a long day of shopping start the day by eating well.
Often these places will have snacks that are questionable for sale and it is easier to not blow your budget on brownies or a dry hot dog if you go in with a full tummy.
Bring a rolling cart, wagon, or even stroller to large sales. This is a great way to save yourself some stress and make the day so much more fun. You don’t have to carry everything yourself balancing so much in your arms you drop something you really wanted.
Bring cash. Not only is a cash budget better for keeping your spending in check a lot of sales will be cash only because the average person is not walking around ready to process your credit card.
Larger brick and mortar shops will usually have a minimum you have to spend to process your credit card so cash means you don’t have to walk away if you only find one thing you want.
Understand where you are shopping and what the rules are
Yard sales and mom to mom sales haggling is usually expected though if items are priced really low that is an indication that the seller is NOT in the mood to haggle so be nice and don’t insult by demanding that 50 cent jacket for 25 cents.
Consignment and resale shops have set prices. Those prices are NOT up for debate if you want to pay less find out when they hold their regular sales. Many resale shops have tag sales regularly so you can get a better deal by shopping at the right time.
Buying clothes used
The biggest place I save money is by buying my children’s clothes used. Yes, they do get a good bit of clearance clothes but the local salvation army is where I score the best deals most of the time.
My sister and I drag my oldest along to help us dig through the large industrial bins of clothes. Unlike most locations this one just dumps everything but it is worth the extra work because EVERYTHING is only $1. Talk about saving money on kids clothes right?
When we got to the resale shop or out hitting yard sales I always come armed with a shopping list of things the kids need in the next couple sizes. You never know what you will find and you can’t go wrong grabbing things your kids will need later while you can.
Check items well. If they have stains you can not remove or rips and tears then you are not really getting your moneys worth. Look for things that look new or more high-end brands that are made to hold up longer.
Bring a fabric tape measure and your families measurements. If shopping for the size your family is currently wearing give everything a quick measure so you will know if the item shrunk beyond being usable. It is never fun to find that perfect outfit for the next big party only to discover it had shrunk long before it was donated or put up for sale.
Shopping tips for buying used home goods
I love hitting resale for everything from curtains to dishes. The quality of older items just can not be found in new things anymore. Our society is all about upgrading, getting new, and buying more.
Part of the reason is that brands often make products NOT made to last. Buy that can opener your grandmother had because it will last you many more years than the one made to fall apart after a few weeks.
Inspect used items well for rips, tears, cracks, and other flaws that make them not worth buying. If replacing a missing part will cost you a lot, then walk away another deal will come in better condition worth a slightly higher price.