I’m a big fan of yard sales. I’ve picked up a lot of stuff for next to nothing and even more stuff for absolutely nothing. Brian and I went to the first sale of the year (that we knew about) this morning and. Walked away with a free deep frying “spider” skimmer. (PS – I had to look up what they were called.  If you didn’t know either, check it out.)

Its awesome because I like to make spring rolls and samosas but I don’t have (or want) a deep fryer. I just boil oil and plunk the food into the pot. I’ve always had to use chopsticks to fish out the food but now I can place everything into the metal mesh, fry it, and simply lift it out of the oil via the handle when I’m done. Hooray!

Here’s some other things that are great to pick up at yard sales:

Kitchen stuff

I’ve picked up dishclothes for free, my first electric beaters (I used a whisk for years because I refused to spend the money on beaters that I only used once a month…) and even an awesome waffle maker. I still have and use all of these items.

You can also usually get a decent selection of plates, cups and mugs for free or nearly free. A lot of people have no use for mismatched sets but if you get a nice variety, it gives your place settings an interesting eclectic feel. Random mugs and plates are also great for leaving at work so that you’re not reliant on buying microwave-safe containers for storing lunches. The sale we attended today had mugs and plates for 25 cents!

Board games and puzzles

Love board games. Do not love board game prices. A new board game can easily cost $40 or $50. I picked up a mint copy of Ticket to Ride at a yard sale incentives for $5. Five dollars! The colour cards were still wrapped in plastic!

Its also a great way to pick up an old Monopoly or Scrabble set to get extra pieces or to replace missing pieces from your own set.  And, I’m not sure why this is, but there always seems to be a good selection of “travel-sized” games at yard sales.  Might be worth hitting up a sale or two before a camping trip or long drive?

Books

I get lots of books at the library but sometimes it’s nice to have a book that you don’t have to return. I buy some books new – usually from my favourite 2-3 authors. Other books I get from yard sales!

I remember wanting to read “In Defense of Food” for the longest time but was unwilling to spend $20 on it. I didn’t want to get it from the library because it takes me a long time to read non-fiction. Then one summer day, I found it the hardcover edition at a yard sale… for $1!

Picking up random books for 25 or 50 cents is also a fun way to get introduced to new authors. If I decide I don’t like the book enough to keep it, I sell it or pass it on. Sometimes, you can even find entire boxes of free books to take home and browse.

*****

All in all, I’m pretty happy about getting the frying skimmer spider thing and looking forward to visiting more yard sales as the weather warms up.