Friday, June 27, 2014

How We Save Money With Twins - Part 1: Yard Sales!

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As soon as I would tell someone I was pregnant with twins, after the initial "Do twins run in your family? Do you know what you're having yet?" questions, it seemed like everyone wanted to tell me how expensive having twins would be. Like that would be encouraging at all? Like I had planned to have twins just so I could spend ALL THE MONEY?! I'm here to tell you that babies (even more than one at a time) do not have to be expensive. Sure, there are the basic costs of feeding, watering, diapering, etc but there are even ways to save money there. I'm going to share some secrets of what worked for us, and what didn't... the inside scoop, if you will. My FAVORITE way to save money is by shopping yard sales! This also happens to be a hobby that my husband and I both share and enjoy so it makes for a great Saturday morning out with the babies.

I'd like to think that I could be considered a "professional yard-saler" at this point. Not like I should be on Hoarders or that show where you place a bid on a garage full of junk to see what you can re-sell. And definitely not Antique Roadshow because really my only specialty is baby things.

At any given time I can almost guarantee that one or both of my children will be wearing some article of clothing that was purchased at a yard sale - onesie, socks, bib... don't care!

Shopping yard sales - what works and what doesn't:

Boys wearing yard sale outfits and bibs
1. There is such a thing as "yard sale season" here in Pennsylvania. It seems to run from April through September. So stock up on all the next 2-ish sized clothes for your baby during this season and it will hold you over on buying baby clothes until the holidays! Buy only what you will need or use until Christmas-time or your baby's birthday rolls around because if I have learned anything so far, it's that babies get spoiled. By grandparents. By aunts and uncles. By baby-loving co-workers. The boys just grew into six 6 month clothing so I have been shopping for 9 and 12 month clothing.
2. Shop early. Yard sales in this area tend to run Thursday through Saturday. Shop on Thursday when you can! There will be fewer people out and you will get first choice on items! This also means getting out to the yard sales as early in the morning as possible - 8 a.m. - I mean, it's not like you were sleeping anyway!

3. Be picky. You're not saving money if you're buying things that you won't use. Sure, someone might be selling baby toys for 50 cents each but if your baby has outgrown them, they're in bad condition or you just don't think you will use them it is okay to pass on them! Same goes for clothing --- if it's not in good condition or if you don't like it enough to be excited about putting your baby in it, pass!

4. Yard sale in the right towns. You know what I mean. There are always some yard sales you can drive right by because you can see that there is nothing but junk sitting out. This year we went to a huge community yard sale in a development that is WAY out of our price range. We were drooling (I was oogling mostly, but Andy may have actually drooled a little) over some of these houses, the well-manicured lawns, the swimming pools, etc. The benefit of this? These people all seemed to have kids. They had really nice baby items and LOTS of them. I did notice the prices tended to be a little bit higher but the quality of the items was amazing and they were in excellent condition.

5. Know what you can buy at a yard sale and what you can't. This one is pretty common sense (not that it seems to be all that common anymore...) You can get awesome deals on clothing, books and toys at yard sales. They're everywhere. Sometimes you can even find nice, larger ticket items like a stroller, Exersaucer, Pack'N Play, etc. I would not recommend buying your car seat from a yard sale (this might even be illegal in some states.) Be cautious about buying a crib, bottles or anything that looks used or in poor condition regardless of the price.

We got all of this (minus Bubsy) for $22!

6. Facebook Yard Sale Groups. I did not know these existed until just a few weeks ago but now I am obsessed, addicted, whatever. We found a swing that retails for over $150 for only $30. The only downside is having to sift through everything that people post and having it show up on your news feed. Also, site admins can be a real PIA constantly making up rules and threatening to kick people out of their groups. So if you don't mind a little drama and some news feed clutter, this is a great way to shop yard sales from the comfort of your home!

How's your luck with yard sale shopping? I'd love to hear about any deals you have found or any additional tips that you could share!


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