- Make a list of what you need and want, but keep an open mind!
- Determine the best way to find yard sales / garage sales / tag sales in your area (craigslist.com, newspaper ads, bulletin boards, etc.)
- Plan an entire day around garage-sale-ing
- Plan your route according to the list of garage sales. This is where mapquest or yahoomaps comes in handy.
- Gas up the car, gather your cash (people don't have a way to accept credit cards and most don't like taking a chance on checks), grab some bags or boxes (in case there aren't any there), and go!
- Be ready to barter; keep in mind that these people want to get of this stuff, and don't really want to haul it all back inside.
- Examine every bit of the sale. There might be some great tools tucked in back!
Take a look for these things:
- canning supplies
- little red wagons/wheel barrows
- scrap wood
- cast iron cookware
- supplies for sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting, spinning, etc. (yarn, fabric, needles, etc.)
- reference and school books
- camping supplies like sleeping bags, backpacks, etc.
- lanterns and oil/kerosene lamps
- glass or other jars that can't be used for canning but can be used to store dried beans or dehydrated foods
- electronics that can be used for parts
- hand-crank coffee grinder
- mortar and pestle
I never get yard sale stuffed toys (too hard to properly clean - could have lice) and shoes (wear patterns could mess up your feet).
What was the last great find you got at a yard sale or garage sale, and how much did you pay for it?