four ways to find the best garage sales

Garage sale season is here! {that’s what we call them down here in the South! Do you call them that where you live too?}

If you like to thrift {and I do, just a little...ahem}, you’ll probably enjoy garage sale shopping too. You can find some serious deals at a yard sale- though I’ve found they can be very hit or miss. {Did you see my best yard sale trip ever?}

Here are a few tips to finding great yard sales that have worked for me:

1. find your sales online.
Craigslist is my very favorite place to find garage sales. The night before you go, check the last three days of listings to see which sales you want to go to.

You can also search Google and your local newspaper online to see what’s available. {okay, you won’t believe this- my husband made this website for me called Garage Mama where you can list your sale and find others by location and see it all on a map! He’s amazing!!}

2.  know what you need to buy.
Making a list of items you need will help prioritize your shopping route. If you need baby items, you’ll want to drive to those yard sales first to get the best deals.

Planning your route around what you need may not be the most practical method to save on gas, but I think you’ll reap the reward in your finds.

3. strategize your shopping locations.
This may sound a little strange, but you really have to read between the lines of the garage sale ad.

If you are looking for nice kitchen appliances, you’re more likely to find a nicer blender at a sale with lots of infant items. Why? The baby items mean younger people, which means newer marriage, which probably means they were given lots of nice wedding gifts recently...which means nice {probably unused} kitchen appliances. Hey!

You see what I mean? You’ll be more likely to find fun milk glass serving pieces at an estate sale than in a brand-new neighborhood, and designer jeans and shoes at a sale in an upscale neighborhood.

4. scan before you stop.
The thing about yard sales is that most of them are only open for a few hours- ever. The best items are usually found early in the day, so if you’re looking to score the best deals, you are on a very limited time schedule, right?

As you approach your sale, drive by a potential stop to see if you even think it’s your style. Again, if you are a new mom looking for baby items, you’ll usually be able to tell if it’s the type of sale you want to go to before you even park.


Planning out my trip and reading between the lines both really seem to help me save time and find more deals when I garage sale.

What helps you find the best garage sales to go to? I’d love to hear! :)


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  1. I don't have a tip, but this post made me all itchy for some garage sales. It's still a little too cold here in Indianapolis for garage sale season, but it's just around the corner and I CAN'T WAIT! :)

  2. Hello Fellow Texan! I have been enjoying your "new to me" blog.
    When I go to garage sales I like to shop at church sales and non-profit sales. It's like visiting 20 to 30 sales all in one stop. The prices tend to be good and the selection is amazing.

  3. Here in West Texas borderland we have some crazy flea markets where loads of vendors go. I once found a full sized wood bed frame (c. 1930) for $30. Nearby ritzy neighborhoods have crazy sales too, with great products but sometimes a bit too expensive for me. I got my favorite dress ever at a garage sale for $1 and it fits like a glove. Go figure.

  4. Love yard sales!!! I always do a drive-by first! lol

  5. The drive by helps. I am jealous of all the wonderful things other people find....guess I don't go enough.

  6. Hi. (Oh dear, another "book" from me! But, what can I say, I'm 'passionate' about sales! ;) ) In Oregon, our "sale-ing" season heats up around June. I grew up with a fun Mom who took us kids garage sale-ing about every Friday in the summer. It was our fun adventure for the day and I have fond memories of these times. We always gave thanks to God with much joy for the awesome deals when we found something we had been needing or wanting. And the 'show and tell' haul at night for Dad when we all got home was loads of fun. Now, I anxiously await our annual garage sale day with the girls every first weekend in June. We love the annual neighborhood garage sales (in uscale neighborhoods). So fun to walk about and hit over 100 sales in one morning! It's a tradition and in the dark of winter, my friends, my mom, and my sis remind each other . . . "Only (insert countdown here) more months until sale-ing!" :) Some items always on my "list" to look for are items for my "gift closet". I love to give sweet things for friends and family's birthdays and 'just because' days. I try to think ahead and keep my stash stocked. Also, I get a head start on my Christmas list. We read Jesse Tree devotions each day of the Christmas season and open a little treasure afterwards. With 4 kiddos, that would add up to a fortune (4 times 24 little surprises = ouch!). The first year, I just did candies from Winco bulk, but in a season already filled with bonus sugar, I felt that was overkill on the junk. Plus, even cheap-o candies added up cost-wise. So the next year (was last year), I planned ahead and kept my eye out at garage sales for little trinkets. I was able to find 24 little surprises for each of our 4 kids over the summer sale months. Kept them hidden in our closet and pulled them out this winter for the Jesse tree! It was so much fun! Little nickle and dime rings, bracelets, nail polish, stickers, etc. for my girls and small cars, planes, stickers, bracelets, and balls for the boys! Can't wait to be on the lookout this year. I plan on wrapping as I find them, though, this time because THAT was a big job! I also left the kid's stocking hanging (secretly) in the back of our closet and hope to fill them throughout the year with deals, too. This year, I'm going to try to be super organized and intentional by keeping a notebook of my gift finds, too.

    I have run into some joy-stealers. Do you know the type? Like the S-I-L who just doesn't get it. But furthermore, exudes dissaproval at your giddy recounts of the thrilling big sale. I've learned to let it roll off me and not be offended. This joyous and thrifty hunt reminds me of Proverbs 31, when the Virtous woman traveled far to find deals for her family. :)

    Happy sale-ing! Sure wish you could join our June pilgrimage here! We have too much fun and pack in a year's worth of laughter!



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