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How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Spring is coming and with it comes spring cleaning! This is the ideal time to make some side cash, because you can gather everything you don’t use and sell it in a garage sale.

If you are really serious about making money from your garage sale, there are several tips and techniques that can help you get there, and we’ve listed each and every one of them below. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having a few hundred dollars in your pocket.

Give Yourself Time

grab a box

    There’s no way that you can have a successful garage sale if you are rushed and stressed. Setting up a sale takes time and effort. For example, today would be a great time to start if you want to have a sale a month or two from now.

    Go through every room in your house one by one—spend a weekend on each if you need to. Grab a big box and a garbage bag to bring with you when you clean; everything that’s trash goes in the garbage bag, and everything that’s for sale goes in the box.

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    Store your boxes of items from each room in the same place.

    Organize and Clean

    organize stuff

      Now that you have all your boxes in the same place, it’s time to organize.

      Empty the boxes and pack like items together. All kids clothes go in one box, while all toys go in another. Wipe down items with mild soap and water to ensure they are clean and look their best.

      Price Everything

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      price tag

        Most people will not want to ask the price of something, so if it’s not clearly listed, they might walk away. In order to make sure that you earn the most money possible, be sure to put a price tag on every item.

        If you have a lot of smaller pieces, you can put them all in one box with a clearly marked label. For example, you can say “All Books $1” or “All clothing items $5 each.” This saves you time and lets the buyer know what you are expecting.

        Have Your Sale On a Saturday

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          Garage sale enthusiasts plan their Saturday mornings around them, so, it’s best to choose a Saturday in the spring so that you have a better chance of selling everything. Start your sale very early in the morning, but be sure to actually set it up even earlier than that. My most successful garage sale officially started at 8, but I sat outside early and sold almost 30 items before that time even rolled around!

          Advertise On Multiple Channels

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          Businesswoman at her desk using a digital tablet

            With the Internet age, it’s important to advertise your sale in multiple ways.

            First, you should make signs to put around your neighborhood. Don’t choose small signs with small writing, since no-one can see them! The letters on your signs should be as big as a ruler: any smaller, and cars passing by won’t be able to read what you have on them!

            Also, be sure to put an ad on www.Craigslist.com with a picture of your big-ticket items. This could include your sofa, or a stack of hardback books. Ads without photos are easy to ignore, and most people won’t even bother to look at them, so make sure that you have a big, bright picture that’s enticing to buyers. You can also post a reminder ad on the morning of saying, “Sale going on right now!”

            Pro TipDon’t forget that old-school methods like putting an ad in your local newspaper are also an effective way to get buyers to come to your house.

            Accept Low Offers

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              People go to garage sales to get quality items for low prices. They will bargain with you, and you should definitely haggle with them. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how low you should go, but just remember that the entire goal of the garage sale is to clean out your house and make money. So, if someone offers you $10 for a side table that you spent $60 on, that’s okay—remind yourself that you didn’t want it anyway, which is why it’s out on the curb. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll make when these little items add up, so be generous and accept low offers.

              Only Take Cash

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                This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy one to forget. Many people might try to pay you with a check or offer to pay you online but don’t accept it! Although most people are likely genuine, you don’t want to be scammed. Cash in hand is the best and the only approach. Even if people have to drive to the bank to withdraw cash from the ATM, go ahead and let them do so for your own security.

                Donate the Rest

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                  When your garage sale is over, pack up the leftover items and donate them to a local thrift store. Be sure to pick up a receipt for tax purposes so that you make a little extra money at the end.

                  We hope that these tips help you to have a successful garage sale this year! Good luck!

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                  Catherine Alford

                  Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

                  11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams How to Make Money Right Now How to Have a Successful Garage Sale 30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage 42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

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                  Published on January 17, 2020

                  How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

                  How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

                  Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

                  If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

                  My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

                  So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

                  Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

                  1. Meal Plan

                  You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

                  If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

                  Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

                  Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

                  2. Cook in Bulk

                  Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

                  Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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                  That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

                  3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

                  The science behind this is 2-fold.

                  Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

                  Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

                  4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

                  I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

                  Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

                  Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

                  What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

                  5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

                  We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

                  We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

                  Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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                  Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

                  6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

                  Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

                  Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

                  7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

                  I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

                  Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

                  The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

                  While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

                  8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

                  The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

                  Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

                  If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

                  9. Try Acai Bowls

                  Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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                  You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

                  Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

                  10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

                  Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

                  Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

                  11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

                  A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

                  I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

                  12. Buy Cheap Online

                  Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

                  Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

                  13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

                  One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

                  Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

                  1. Strawberries
                  2. Spinach
                  3. Kale
                  4. Nectarines
                  5. Apples
                  6. Grapes
                  7. Peaches
                  8. Cherries
                  9. Pears
                  10. Tomatoes
                  11. Celery
                  12. Potatoes

                  14. Pay Attention to Storage

                  Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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                  Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

                  15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

                  Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

                  Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

                  16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

                  I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

                  Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

                  17. Use Budget App

                  There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

                  My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

                  18. Use What you Have

                  Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

                  19. Enjoy the Process!

                  Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

                  Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

                  Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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