For my family, books and toys are always on the list. Others move on and off based on need. I recommend not buying used baby car seats or cribs due to safety concerns.
I research the ads and based on what is listed pick the must-hit sales. Then the route is planned to be most effective in time and gas. I try to limit backtracking although sometimes it’s not possible due to the varied start times.
If there’s something you really want than just start at that sale. You don’t want to miss out because of inflexibility.
Go Early or Late
For best selection, I try to hit each address as soon after the posted start time as possible. Some early birds show up before opening time, but that just irritates the seller. I don’t want to start off on a bad foot.
If you don’t mind risking not getting an item, you might want to show up at the end of the sale. The sellers won’t want to drag unsold items back into their home. For example, you could get whole bags of clothes for one price versus individual pieces.
Some people will always dicker over price while others never do. I’m in the middle. If I think the price is very low already, I don’t try to get a better deal.
But I do offer alternate prices when I think they’re too high or based on volume. For example, if used books are $1 each, I might offer $5 for seven books.
It doesn’t hurt to ask as long as it’s said nicely.
Garage Sales Tools
Make sure you have the tools to make garage sale shopping successful. Use a GPS device or app to find the garage sales.
There are many streets in my neighborhood I never knew about until navigating to a sale.
Take small bills to give you more flexibility in negotiation. It’s easier to say yes to a lower price if the seller visually sees those bills. Plus, some sellers just aren’t that organized and won’t have change until after they’ve made some sales.
Have transportation for your purchases. It’s not uncommon to see sold signs taped onto big items at garage sales. T
hose buyers arranged to pick it up later (usually the same day) with a vehicle to carry the item(s).
Following these tips will help making garage sale shopping fun as well as financially rewarding. What’s your garage sale tip?
Don’t be afraid to set a budget and then see what deals are out there for places. I love trying out different cities and seeing what they have to offer.
Preparing Your Car for Your Road Trip
The last thing you want to worry about is your car breaking down and costing you an arm and a leg to repair.
We prefer renting a car for our longer trips, but if that’s not your plan then make sure you’re ready.
Make sure your fluids are taken care of. Double check your motor fluid levels, windshield wiper fluid, transmission, and your engine coolant.
Check to see if your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can increase tire wear, increase your chances of being in an accident, and increase your gasoline costs.
Prepare for emergencies. If you haven’t already, make sure your emergency kit is ready and it’s packed in your trunk. To make it easier to prepare for road problems, there are some pre-made emergency car kits to get you started.
Planning for Stops on the Road
If you plan it correctly, driving to your destination can be a wonderful adventure in itself.
If you need it, get your maps ready. Having a GPS is handy, but I still like having a physical map in my hand. We’re driven through locations where we lost signal and it’s frustrating. If you have a kids it’s a great way for them to get familiar with an area and to learn to read maps.
Find the right spots to grab a bite. Don’t just stop at a fast food chain. Discover new spots by using sites like RoadFood. It’ll break up the long drive and you may discover a new favorite meal.
Be consistent with your driving speed. Don’t have a lead foot when driving. Stop and go driving decreases your fuel efficiency. Try to maintain your speed when you’re driving on the highway. Try to use cruise control when it you can to help you be steady with speed.
Keep your car light. Less weight means better mileage, so remove any junk in your trunk. Having a heavy load can take its toll as you drive around town.
Take advantage of your smartphone. Check apps like GasBuddy and AAA TripTik Mobile can help you find the best gas prices locally. I remember one gas station was ridiculously higher than another station less than a mile away. since it was closer to the exit, most people stopped at the pricier station which was a rip-off.
These tips have saved us some money at the gas pump. I hope they can help you too.
Thoughts on Road Trips
How many of you go on road trips for your getaways? What are some tips that you have for those traveling? If you’re parent, do you have tips on keeping everyone sane?