Scouring your neighborhood for deals can pay off in savings elsewhere, so the next time you see a sign advertising a garage sale, make it a point to stop and peruse the items up for grabs.
While you’re unlikely to find a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence in the frame of an old painting, there are plenty of other valuable things worth buying at garage sales.
Whether empty or containing an old painting you may not even like, picture frames are one item you shouldn’t pass up. While they most likely won’t contain a rare piece of art, the frames themselves could be worth more than the price of the painting. Better yet, they could also come in handy if you use them to display your own artwork.
Some kitchen items are always worth buying at garage sales. Le Creuset cookware and Pyrex glassware are worthwhile buys, mainly because they’re high-quality kitchen items that don’t lose their value.
If you don’t have enough vintage board games at home, you can often find them at garage sales. But be aware that some pieces may be missing, though you can probably find them for sale somewhere online.
If your kids are into Legos—and most are up to a certain age, and some adults, too—you may find bags of them at garage sales. While a complete set for a Star Wars Lego toy may be hard to find, a bag of mixed pieces should provide hours of fun.
Baskets are another common item at garage sales, and they can come in handy to fill with gifts for teachers or anyone else you appreciate. Fill a basket with a few snacks and beverages and you’ve got an easy gift on hand.
Exercise bikes, if they’re in good condition and work, are common garage sale finds that are worth buying if you plan to use them. Other workout gear that someone has used and eventually left to collect dust in the garage can also be worth buying. Also, keep an eye out for sports gear for your children and save a ton on what you’d pay for new gear.
Halloween costumes can be difficult to consider buying at any time other than fall, but if you see them at a garage sale, they can be a cheap way to outfit your children or yourself for the spooky night that will arrive before you know it. Otherwise, you’re stuck making one yourself or paying full retail price in October.
You don’t want to buy a secondhand crib or car seat at a garage sale, since they may have been recalled or involved in a car crash without you knowing it. But other baby items are worth buying if you have a baby or are expecting one. Used clothes, strollers and bassinets can be good buys…just be sure to clean them thoroughly when you get home.