Monday, April 4, 2011

A bargain hunters delight

Spring is here, and with that come yard sales. You may think that the best place to get cooking tools and equipment is at a high for a steal at yard sales, church rummage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores.

Not only do you save a bundle, but often times you can find really nice barely used kitchen goods. Over the years I have found almost new crock pots, china, beautiful glass serving platters, and my latest find a like new bread maker.
$3 find at a Church Sale
 Over time I have learned a few tips and tricks when hunting for great kitchen gear.

1.Go Early-
Getting there early allows you to see what's there before everything gets picked over.
2.Go Late- See something that you really want, but the price isn't right? Try coming back an hour or so before the sale ends. More often than not if the item has not been sold, they will take a lesser price so they don't have the hassle of dealing with leftover items.

3. Do Some Research-
When you are looking for bargains know your stuff! Familiarize yourself with the best brands. Really look at the items and inspect them for quality. Ask yourself if this was in your kitchen would you have kept it? If not, chances are you are not going to want it there after you get it.

4. Come prepared-
Yard Sales don't take credit. Make sure you have lots of small bills, a truck if you plan to buy something big, and someone to help you carry that large item.

5. Fundraisers-
Sometimes fundraisers have the best sales, the organizations are trying to bring in what they can and don't have a clue what things cost, they also have large amounts of items.

6. Search the clean sales-
I know I have seen my fair share of yard sales that looked dirty. I find I am ok with paying a little more for a clean item than something I am going to have to clean several times to meet my standards.

7. Map out your route-
Don't decide to rely exclusively on signs and drive until you find one. Having a list several places you want to hit makes your hunt more efficient, saves on gas, and allows you to prioritize where you want to stop. It also allows some flexibility when you see sales that were not in the paper and allows you to weed out some stops on your list that you weren't thrilled with.

8. Carry your stuff- Find something you really like, but aren't sure you want to get it? Carry it around. That lets you put it back if you don't want it and keeps others from getting your steal while you look at other things.

Happy bargain hunting!


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