This weekend we came home with: 19 dinky cars, 1 brand new Bingo game, 1 set of giant checkers, 1 Buzz Lightyear Doll, 1 brand new foam bead necklace craft set, 1 strawberry shortcake doll, 2 Disney VHS movies (perfect for the lone VHS player remaining in our playroom), 1 child’s baseball glove, 1 sparkly costume jewellery bracelet & new Spiderman colouring book.
All for $5.75 (no tax!). Not a bad return on our morning.
The fact that you can get cool stuff for next to nothing at garage sales is just one of the many reasons I love to take my kids to garage sales, or as I’ve taught them it’s “treasure hunting”.
1. Value of a Dollar
Each child is given a toonie when we go. They are quickly learning that a toonie doesn’t buy much at the store but they can bring home a bucket of stuff from garage sales. Smart cookies, they’d rather ‘treasure hunt’ then head to the toy store.
2. You get what you get and you don’t get upset
Two things here which cause kids to get upset. One is a garage sale doesn’t usually have matching items. One kid loves something then they have to share it cuz there isn’t an identical one on the shelf beside it. Another downside (of taking kids with you anywhere!?) is they desperately want everything … even the rattiest old stuffed animal that someone *thinks* they can get $15 for. I say a lot of ‘No’. And I have to say big fat No in front of sellers without actually saying what I’m thinking about that gross stuffed bear. But I also get to say a lot of Yes because the prices are right. It all evens out. Let’s say I brush up on my redirecting tactics before we head out.
3. Not everything comes from a store
Honestly, most things do come from the store. Since I’m not Martha Stewart growing my own fruits & vegetables or sewing our clothes, this lesson is taught via the garage sale. Maybe this is our version of ‘home grown”? So be it. Point made.
4. It’s nice to know where things come from
We’re interested in where our food comes from and getting to know our producers but we all still buy a heck of a lot of plastic stuff from China. At least this way, my kids think that Hot Wheels car came from the house down the street or that nice lady we talked to. It’s also a good (non-stalkerish) way to get to know neighbourhoods and families in your town.
5. Early mornings – you’re up anyways!
The early bird does get the worm! With young kids you’re already up early and a garage-sale-ready-wardrobe hardly requires much above pajamas. Throw on your shoes, grab some loose change and get out! A Timmies stop makes it an even more perfect morning. Consider this – it’s either another morning of treehouse and a messy kitchen or it’s fun before 8am. You pick.
6. Eco-friendly shopping
It is the ultimate in recycling and reusing. You turn someone’s “trash” into your treasure. Second hand is good.
Let me know your favourite garage sale find. I heart good deals and love to hear about them!