How to Have a Garage Sale, Rummage Sale

How to Have a Garage Sale

Every spring (after I’ve started my seedlings), I start thinking about garage sales.  It feels good to purge the stuff I haven’t used or don’t want anymore and it’s a great way to get a little extra money!

How to Have a Garage Sale, Rummage SaleWe’ve been having rummage sales (and going to them) for over 30 years, so we can probably give you a few pointers. 😉

Here goes:


  • Watch the weather forecast. It might be wrong, but at least you give yourself a fair chance of sunshine and pleasant temperatures.
  • Know what else is going on that day. If  you’re selling mostly kids stuff and there is a circus in town, where all the parents are going to be?
  • Have a one day sale. Most people will show up right away and there’s no reason to tie up your whole weekend.
  • Decide where you’re having your sale. In your garage or in your yard…or both.
  • Plan your sale for a day and time when you think the most people can show up. Saturdays?  Around 8:00 AM?
  • Have a good amount of change. It’s surprising how many people will bring twenty dollar bills.
  • Have lots of bags and wrapping paper. Everyone appreciates neatly wrapped packages.


  • Have pricing that’s easy to count. 10 items @ $.50 each is much easier to count than 2 items @ $.25, 1 item @ $.10, etc.
  • Don’t price stuff really high. This is a rummage sale!
  • What kind of prices do you like at rummage sales? Price accordingly.
  • Have everything priced before the sale opens. You may not think clearly if you have a lot of people asking you questions.


  • Place an ad in the paper and on garage sale sites. Make it short and sweet and interesting.
  • Use key words you know people are looking for. But, don’t give the impression you’re pricing stuff really high.
  • Don’t be overly specific. Be general and use terms like household items, vintage items, furniture, etc.  An exception would be if you have something really valuable that you think may sell in a rummage sale setting.
  • Place good signage. Put clear signs up in places where people will see them.
  • Never make a sign that says “Huge Garage Sale”. For whatever reason, it seems to relate more to the size of the garage, than the size of the sale.  Ironic, I know.
  • “Not responsible for accidents” is just a silly sign.  Of course you’re responsible if someone gets hurt on your property.


  • Open early. You want to sell the stuff, right?  Dealers will be knocking on your door 1-2 hours before it starts, anyway.
  • If everything isn’t unpacked… let the early birds help you!
  • Be friendly. You’re trying to sell your stuff right?  So why be rude to the people who want to give you their money?


  • Be friendly. You’re trying to sell your stuff right?  So why be rude to the people who want to give you their money?  (Yes, I’m repeating myself…think about it.)
  • Don’t let people rush you when you’re tallying their items. That’s an old trick to try to get things cheaper.
  • Keep your change on you. Cash boxes can walk off and that would spoil your day.
  • Offer to help load big items.  It can mean the difference between making a sale or keeping the item.
  • Try out your salesmanship.  Don’t sit behind your change table looking forlorn and desperate.  Stand up, move around and talk to people.  It can greatly increase your sales!


  • Pack up right away. Get the stuff cleared out or it may end up hanging around.
  • Donate what’s left. You’ll be helping out a charity and clearing out your clutter.


  • This is the best part. After all your hard work, you should really have some fun.
  • Have a sales goal and a fun activity planned if you reach it.   It’s good incentive for family members to get rid of things they are no longer using!

Rummage sales can be a lot of work, but they are also a lot of fun.  I hope you have fun with yours!

Here are some benefits of having rummage sales:

  1.  Great way to recycle!
  2.  Helping to save the environment.
  3.  Clearing clutter and simplifying your home.
  4.  Getting extra money to use for something you need or want.
  5.  Meeting some new people.
  6.  Making room for more junk 😉  LOL

Happy rummaging!



Free Food, Frugal Living, Simple Life

Free Food

It’s always exciting when March rolls around, because that’s when I get serious about starting my seedlings!

Of course the whole process starts around Christmas time, when that first seed catalog arrives in the mail and my eyes get all big, looking at delicious varieties of veggies and colorful flowers.  In no time at all, I have picked my seeds I want to order and I have figured out my garden plan.

Then…..I wait.

Although the time between planning and action is excruciatingly long, there are a few uplifting moments along the way.  Getting seed orders in the mail, for instance.   A box containing packets of seeds will illicit squeals and erratic dancing.  (I don’t care who sees it, I’m going to celebrate.)

This year, after the squealing and dancing, I set about playing with my seed packets; putting them in stacks according to seedling start dates, cool season seeds, warm season seeds, etc.  While holding all this potential life in my hands, the idea came to me that I should start lots of seedlings and sell the extras to pay for my seed orders!

Now I know this isn’t rocket science, but I’ve always just started enough seedlings for my garden and a few to share with my daughter and son-in-law.  I’ve been quite shy about my seedlings being good enough to sell.  But, this year I’m going to hold my head up high and offer my extras for sale!

After finding all my seed starting supplies, deciding upon a pricing point and figuring out my break even point,  I decided I could utilize all my trays and even make a bit of a profit.  Which means:



With the exciting thought of free food from our garden this summer, I embarked on my plan:

I got my dirt out.

Free Food, Frugal Living, Simple Life

I always use dirt from my garden.  My soil is very healthy and I’ve never had problems getting my seeds to start by using it.  In the fall, I fill a bucket with soil and set it in a place that’s easy to get to when I need it for seedlings.  About a week before I want to plant, I bring the bucket inside so the soil can thaw.

I also got out my trusty seedling carts (aka Mid Century Metal Dining Carts).

Free Food, Frugal Living, Simple Life

These carts are just the right height for our windows, I can store extra gardening supplies on the shelves underneath and they are easy to move outside when I harden off the plants.   Nice way to re-purpose something, too! 😉

Then it’s time for the cells

Free Food, Frugal Living, Simple Life

I re-use cells and Styrofoam cups if I haven’t had any bug or disease problems in previous years.

Herbs are first on the list.  Later, I’ll start peppers, tomatoes and basil.

Herbs are first on the list, so I got cells ready according to my figuring I had done a month or two ago. I re-use cells and Styrofoam cups if I haven't had any bug or disease problems in previous years.

I got everything marked, planted, watered, and covered.

Free Food, Frugal Living, Simple Life

Free Food, Frugal Living, Simple Life

And now, once again….I wait.  😛

I’ll keep you updated on my project and I’ll also let you know around the end of May how my sales have turned out and if, indeed, we are getting free food from our garden this year.  Fingers crossed!

P.S.   I also did a little DIY fixing on one of my carts this year.  It was missing a wheel and I don’t have a replacement, so I went hunting in a junk drawer for something that would substitute for a wheel.  I found the insert of a donut cutter, some duct tape and a zip tie.  Problem solved!

DIY Fixes, Frugal Living, Simple Life DIY Fixes, Frugal Living, Simple Life

DIY Fixes, Frugal Living, Simple Life DIY Fixes, Frugal Living, Simple Life

Thanks for stopping by!


Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

The Importance of Extended Family

I grew up in an extended family, on a homestead in rural Minnesota.   Childhood was a continual wealth of lessons in simple living, gardening, self sufficiency, home-making and finding ways to live well on a modest income.   With my maternal grandmother living just a few yards “up the hill”, we all benefited from the knowledge and experience she had garnered through her mother and grandmother.


I didn’t know it at the time, but I was being presented with a wonderful gift.  The gift of knowledge, experience, love and a deep connection to my ancestors that I only came to understand as I grew older.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

My grandmother moved onto our place when I was 2 years old.  My parents moved an old house from another piece of land they owned, and plunked it down on a little foundation they made on their home site.  I never asked, but I think Grandma paid for having the house moved.  Otherwise, the house and the land were free to her.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

The house was about 15 yards from ours, had 2 rooms downstairs, 1 room upstairs, and no running water.  Grandma lived like that for about 30 years.  She carried water from our place up to hers, kept her house spotless and stayed busy by making herself an important part of our family; helping out with canning, cleaning, gardening, babysitting, baking, cooking, sewing and anything else she was capable of doing.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life



My mom had her mother right at hand for advice, help and company, which I know my mom appreciated, since she wasn’t used to living out in the country and maintaining acreage with wild animals and such.  Grandma had been raised on a farm, so she was able to handle more “country” type problems that arose, and pass her knowledge along to us.

I can remember many summers of all us working on the garden.  Mom and I usually planted the garden and then Grandma would be out there with her hoe, cutting down the weeds as they would come up.  By mid summer, Grandma would come to the house with her always-present apron filled with vegetables she had picked from the garden.  We would form an assembly line of Grandma and I cleaning and preparing the veggies, with  mom working at the stove, pickling them.  We had a huge variety of delicious pickles and relishes that would accent every meal we had during the long, cold winters!

During the winter, mom and Grandma would let me help with the quilting.  They would always sew a bunch of patchwork quilt tops to take to the church for the sewing bees, then the church would ship the quilts to the needy.  I not only learned to sew, but I also learned from their example that you can make things with your hands that can benefit others.  We never had much money, but we could always make something to give to someone else.  That was a very important lesson for me.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

The bond between the “3 of us girls”,  was very strong.  Even though I couldn’t express the feeling as a child, I know now that it was a feeling of belonging and a sense of who I am that they extended to me throughout my life.  I learned skills that I will always have, and I also know where those skills came from and why they made so much sense to the generations that came before me.  Through them, I am connected to who I am and where I came from and that is the greatest gift of all.


Dried Beans, Bean Recipes, Frugal Living, Simple Life

Beans Beans The Musical Fruit

Beans, beans the musical fruit

The more you eat, the more you toot

The more you toot, the better you feel

We should have beans for every meal!

Bean Recipes, Dried Beans, Black Bean Burgers, Frugal Living, Simple Life

Dried beans are wonderful!

Dried Beans, Bean Recipes, Frugal Living, Simple Life

They are cheap to buy, easy to grow, a great source of fiber, have a really long shelf life and are a very tasty way to fill your belly.

Plus, they are very decorative!

Dried Beans, Bean Recipes, Frugal Living, Simple Life

We have been trying to have some sort of bean-based meal every week.

I call it The Bean Challenge!   

This week I’m making Black Bean Burgers.

Here is my recipe:

Prepare 1 pound of beans according to the “quick soak” package directions.  Remember, when you’re done soaking the beans, you can save this water for watering for your plants!

Take 1/2 of the beans and mash them. (Keep the rest of the beans for another meal or toss a few into a salad.)

Add 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 egg, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, some garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Shape into patties and fry in olive oil until heated through.

Serve on hamburger buns or enjoy as an open faced sandwich, using a slice of toast, a fried egg, tomato slices and a little taco sauce!  YUM!

Black bean burgers in the grocery store, cost about $5.00.  From scratch, I get more burgers than what you get in the box, and I can flavor them exactly as we like.  Half a bag of  beans and a few other ingredients cost me approximately $1.50.



  • Beans with no preservatives or additives
  • Delicious meals that are high in fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium
  • Multi-purposing water….soaking the beans, then watering your plants
  • Beans are delightfully colorful


crocheted afghans, frugal living, simple life

Handmade Crocheted Afghans

One of my hobbies is crocheting.  I LOVE to crochet and there’s nothing better than sitting by a window, sipping coffee, and crocheting something warm and snugly!

crocheted afghans, frugal living, simple life

I’ve made crocheted afghans as gifts for everyone in my family.

crocheted afghans, frugal living, simple life

I even have a few full size bed afghans that keep us toasty warm on cold winter nights.  They are nice and heavy too, so you feel like you’re swaddled underneath them.

crocheted afghans, frugal living, simple life

The photo above shows some of our stash.  The 3 bottom afghans are done in Granny Squares.  Above that on the left, I did squares of different colors, then stitched them together and tied them, to represent a quilt.  The one on the right was a stash buster.  I took all the yarn I had and just crocheted long strips to use it all up.  It made a huge, beautiful afghan!

crocheted afghans, frugal living, simple life

My goal when I start a new project, is to make something that will keep us warm and comfortable for years to come, plus be fun and colorful.

My current project is my “Porch Afghan”.  I want to use it as a lap afghan on chilly evenings, when we are enjoying our porch.  I’m hoping we’ll have that porch in about a year. 😉

crocheted afghans, frugal living, simple life

Crocheted afghans are time consuming and yarn isn’t cheap, so you’re not only looking at many hours of your time, but also the cost of yarn.  To help keep costs down, I usually try to find my yarn at thrift stores or garage sales.  As far as the time spent crocheting; I find it to be a relaxing and pleasurable pastime, so in this case, I don’t count my time in terms of dollars and cents.

Knowing how to crochet is one of those lifetime skills that is an asset in a frugal lifestyle.  You can make what you need!  Once you understand the basic stitches and how they go together to form different shapes, you can create a variety of warm, handmade treasures.  Even if you know 1 basic stitch and only have 1 color of yarn, you can still create something that keeps you warm and happy!

I hope I’ve inspired you to pick up your hook and start a new project!  If you don’t know how, here is a good tutorial on how to crochet.

Hand crocheted afghans on Etsy average about $100.00 for a simple design.  I think a nice, big afghan usually takes about 18  3.5 oz skeins.  Most of the time, I get my yarn for about $1.00 per skein, so that makes $18.00 worth of materials.  Instead of buying an afghan, I can make one!

MONEY SAVED: $82.00!!


  • Satisfaction of making something yourself
  • Quiet time spent doing something you enjoy
  • Having a cozy afghan to keep you warm
  • Giving gifts that are made with love