1. On Friday night, check the local newspaper, Craigslist, and any local online bulletin boards that advertise garage sales. Write down all the addresses and a brief description (like if they mention they have a specific item you are interested in or if it's a really large sale).
2. Get on Mapquest and hunt down the addresses. Either print out a map and make dots for each location or just write down basic directions (I live in a podunk town, so it's easy to find addresses).
3. Make a "route" so you hit all the sales in one part of town before moving to the next. Trust me, this step is important. It will save you time and gas money. You may also want to consider which sales you want to stop at most and put them at the beginning of your route.
4. Make sure you have cash...preferably lots of $1 bills and quarters.
5. Get up early on Saturday and hit the trail! With garage sales, the early bird gets Baby Gap and the lazy bird gets poop-stained onesies.
One more thing. Some people may say they don't have time for garage sales. It takes me about an hour on Friday to collect addresses and make my route and then about 1 1/2 hours on Saturday morning. That's NOT a lot of time, especially considering that if I stayed home, I would probably still be in my pj's at 10:00 on a Saturday. :)
I also bought a crib mattress for $2, which I am going to use for big sister's bed when little brother takes over the crib. I was shocked when the lady said she would only charge me $2 for the mattress...most I have seen are $15-30!! And it's clean with no rips/problems. Major score.
And just so you know these results are not just a fluke, here's what I got today:
8 shirts, 4 pants, and 9 sleepers for $7.
So how much money did that save me? Well, I figure if I bought all this stuff new (and I'm just guessing on prices, but I'll guess on the low side), it would be around $120 for the stuff I got today and another $120 for the stuff from last Saturday. Even if I bought all these clothes second hand from a thrift or consignment store, my guess is that it still would have cost me at least $65.
To sum it all up:
Thrift Store: $65
Yard Sales: $12
Let's just say I'm one happy thrifty mama!!