Yesterday, we went to eight separate yard sales and spent $32. Sounds like we didn’t get all that we wanted, doesn’t it? Well, in yard-sale land, $32 goes a long, long way:

1. Coffee table–$10–It’s in incredible condition, and David’s going to sand it down and stain it to match the darker wood in our apartment. Too fun!

2. Lord of the Rings trilogy DVDs–$8 for the set–judging from the back of the discs, they’re in immaculate condition. If purchased new? Between $70-$90.

3. Cranium board game–$3–we played this with the Voloch’s, Berry Ann’s, and Jay and Angie in PA and loved it! Now we have something to contribute to game nights here in GA.

4. C.S. Lewis books–$1–picked up two of his books that we’d been wanting to read: Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce.

5. Ocean’s Twelve–$2–also in great condition

6. The Italian Job–$3–like new. Let me add that David’s and my DVD “collection” before yesterday consisted of the Matrix box set, Garden State, Legend of 1900, The Green Mile, and our wedding DVD.

7. Tool bag–$3–brand new with tags. David has to take tools to work starting this week but doesn’t want to lug his big tool box. This canvas tool bag (with reinforced bottom and sides) is perfect!

8. Cookies and a brownie–$2–A local church was having a community-wide yard sale/bake sale/barbecue sale, etc. We indulged a bit to support their cause.

So, we didn’t find any artwork or rugs, but we’re thrilled with what we did find. It was so fun to hunt out deals together!

Tips for you future yard-salers out there:

*Start early–there are yard-saleling pros with big, big trucks out to take it all! I mean, there were a couple of instances where we got first picks on things because we were “there when the doors opened,” like DVDs (believe me, the ones we found were diamonds in the children’s-video-rough), and there was also a time where we wouldn’t have found something had we been there two minutes later (i.e. the tool bag was nearly snagged by someone else who actually approached us later and asked if we planned to keep it)
*…but not too early–if a sign says “no early birds” don’t get there an hour before it’s supposed to start. We arrived about 10 minutes before each sale that we could, and the folks seemed OK with that.
*Plan to visit a lot of sales–the items we bought came from two yard sales of the eight we visited. Sometimes, people really are just cleaning out their junk room and trying to sell what they found. Not too exciting. One house’s ads proclaimed “Moving sale! HUGE!” so of course, we went. They were selling a car, raggedy stuffed animals, NASCAR collectible model cars, a stained couch (for $200!) and beer posters. Wonderful.
*Have a route planned, but be flexible–We hunted on and to see what sales were advertised. We picked the ones closest to us and listed them in order of when they opened. While waiting for a particular sale to start, we’d just cruise through neighborhoods and follow other signs to yard sales not advertised.
*Have fun–even if you go to a few sales and find nothing, have fun imagining how on earth you could use some of the random things you see–or like David and I did, talk about how you might handle a yard sale of your own one day based on what you like/dislike about the sales you’ve visited. Then keep on shopping, because you’re bound to find a treasure amidst all the trash.