I went to a couple of garage sales looking for some baby items last weekend, and found some really nice things. I got a crib set with sheets, diaper holder, mobile, blanket, bumper pads, etc. It was in great condition, and I got a great deal. I also bought a black diaper bag for another person. Then I found out that the people I bought them for already had what they needed or they weren't interested in them. I bought a few other things, and the second hand sports store took the ones that didn't fit. I will easily get my money back that I spent on everything with the sale of those items, but is it really worth it?
I have most of what I need and want in my home already. I don't like a lot of clutter. You can get great deals at garage sales. But, DO YOU REALLY NEED IT? I told my husband that going to garage sales last week reminded me that I can still get a lot of really nice things for a very good price. That doesn't mean that I should buy them if I don't need them. The thing I like the most about garage sales is getting outside early in the morning in the fresh air. I can go on a walk just as easily and be happy. Last week I found a 200 dollar coat for 2 dollars and a pair of almost new Keen shoes for 3 dollars. My daughter loves the coat, but the shoes didn't work so they went to the 2nd hand place. Was it really worth the time? I guess it depends on why you go. If you are spending time with a friend, then it is worth it whether you buy something or not. I don't want to buy a lot of things anymore that I don't need because I don't want the extra burden to take care of them. Since I don't want a lot, buying something that I really want new is fine with me. I just hate the price tag that comes with buying new. But, I can take my time and search for what I really want instead of having to decide quickly about something that will work but isn't what I really want. If I buy things for people close to me, I also have to ship them since they don't live close to us any more. Do I really want to spend a lot of money on postage to send something that didn't cost much? Do I really want to be the person that clutters their home? I don't.
I haven't gone to garages sales consistently for a long time. I like a simpler life, good deals or not. I have sent checks or gift cards for gifts this past year, and I like it much better. The garage sale trip this past week helped me remember that this is how I want to continue. I am happy to save the deals for others who need them more. The rush of a good deal has lost its influence on me.
Even in our best efforts, we sometimes revert back to old habits. I had times where I have had to live in a tight budget and getting a good deal was important. I have to be careful not to fall back into the habit of buying things just because they are a good price. I would rather spend my time doing other things instead of just getting more for my money. Having less is more in my book. There is less to wash, less to clean, less to be responsible for.
How do you feel about going to garage sales? Do you buy more than you need? Is the great deal worth it to you?