yard sale sign

I love yard sales. Not just love, but LOVE. I’m cheap and have tastes that lean towards the tacky, so me and junk that other people don’t want are a match made in heaven. Another aspect of spending a Saturday going to yard sales that appeals to me is simply having that time to myself. It’s not just the thrill of the buy but also the joy in the time spent traveling from place to place with the windows open and the radio on and the scenery passing me by. Yard sale season is my favorite time of year, and I look forward to every Saturday morning in my car and on strangers’ lawns like most kids look forwards to their cartoons.

But wait. I have kids. I can’t even remember the last time I spent consecutive Saturdays enjoying my hunt for junk. I’ve tried to take my two girls before, but being under 5 at the time, the monotony of it just proved too much for them. In our house, Daddy sleeps in on Saturdays, while Sunday is reserved for mom, so the only way I could ever partake in my Saturday yard sale thrills is if my girls were willing participants. They never have been…until yesterday.

With Dad still asleep and my garden desperately needing some fabulously tacky additions, I decided to try (again) a morning of yard sales with my 3 and 5-year-old. I went into it with 2 plans of attack:

  • Plan A: I gave them each a dollar and declared, “With this dollar, you may buy WHATEVER YOU WANT!”
  • Plan B: I packed a secret travel bag with the iPad, Leapfrog computer, and travel-size Nintendo.

The moans and groans to the news we were going to yard sales stopped the minute their fingers wrapped around cold hard cash and their imaginations ran wild with thoughts of the treasures they could buy. I embraced this and sprinted with it, calling their attention to what yard sale signs look like (the arrows, bright-colored paper, etc.), and making it into a full-fledged treasure hunt.

Long and fun story short: Ask them now what they think about yard sales and they’ll tell you they LOVE them! Not once did they need their electronic gadgets to keep them interested or distracted; the thrill of the hunt kept them engaged and smiling the entire time. Two hours flew by, and our outing ended in tears only because the 3-year-old didn’t want to stop.

Saturday yard sales used to be my thing, my time, but after this experience, I’m excited to make Saturday yard sales a new tradition for me and my girls, together. All it costs is $2 each time. The cheap part of me loves that!

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  1. [...] started a new Saturday morning tradition with my 3- and 5-year-old daughters this summer: Yard sales! Before we start out on our thrifty adventure, I hand them each a one dollar bill. To my youngest, [...]