Tips for Your Bargain Hunting Weekend

Saturday mornings, I love to go rummage through garage sales, flea markets or antique stores (I got these antique fruit prints from a garage sale last fall). But it’s not all steals and deals. Here are a four things I’ve learned . . . and feel free to add your own tips in the comments.

1. Inspect! Make sure your item is not chipped, or worn, or the color is dingy and fading. Just because you bought it cheap, doesn’t mean it has to look cheap. This is the trick that is the diving line between stylish and trashy.

2. Does it have good “bones”? Is the stitching solid? Are the legs wobbly? Even if you are spending $5 dollars on an item, you don’t want it to break or fall apart soon after. After all, you are spending $5 on an item to save money, not so you can just spend and spend later. Most of the time, it is better to save money and go without for a while than buy something cheap and of poor quality.

3. Go with a budget. I often take cash I want to spend and leave my checkbook at home. This prevents me from going over budget and buying things that I don’t need.

4. Don’t settle. Okay, so it’s $20. So what? If its not exactly what you want pass. Often I’m tempted to buy what is cheap and available. My husband keeps me on track by reminding me that if I save my money now we can invest in something nice later. This really paid off when we were able to buy our granite countertops (a remnant from a granite store. I got the hook-up after I wrote a story about them for a local magazine). Every time I’;m tempted to cheap out, my beautiful countertops remind me where saving can get me.

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