5 Secrets Of Thrifty Yard Sale Power Shoppers: How they are getting all the best deals


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If you have been to more than a small handful of yard sales you have seen thrifty yard sale power shoppers.

They are the ones with the laser-like focus that seem to smell the scent of the exact item they want and head straight for it. When they reach said item a tape measure flies out of the pocket and measurements are taken as they observe every inch of the item with the speed of a toddler who hears his mother’s steps when he is doing something he shouldn’t.

5 secrets of thrifty yard sale power shoppers How they are getting the best deals

They make a lightning fast decision to either buy or not buy the item and then POW! They are off to the next sale while you’re still going through the contents of the first of 12 tables.

However, as much as we make fun of yard sale power shoppers, they sure do seem to be getting all the good yard sale deals. Today I am going to spill their secrets (because I happen to be one of them) so you too can get incredible yard sale deals in less time and for less money.

 5 Secrets Of Thrifty Yard Sale Power Shoppers

 1. They shop with a list

If you want to get the best yard sale deals you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Don’t waste your time on things you don’t and end up finding nothing because thrifty yard sale powers shoppers snatched up the good stuff while you were browsing.

Having a list helps you shop with intention; you can scan a table and know right away that what you need isn’t there, allowing you to move on to greener pastures.

Create your list by going through your home room by room, noting what you need and in what color and size.

2. They shop community wide yard sales

Yard sale power shoppers don’t want to spend too much time driving between sale A and sale B because they know what they want could sell while they are traveling. This is why a thrifty power yard sale shopper loves community wide rummages.

These community sales often have 100’s of sales in just a few short blocks or miles depending on the size of the community, enabling the power yard sale shopper to hit dozens of sales in a short amount of time, saving time and gas money while increasing their chances of finding a great deal on an item on their list.

3. If they don’t live in an area with community wide yard sales they plan a route

When I first started yard sale shopping our family lived in an area where community wide rummages were unheard of, so I spent about 30 minutes the night before yard sale shopping planning out a sensible route that would allow me to hit the majority of yard sales going on the next day with the shortest amount of drive time.

4. They wear the right gear

It sounds lame, but it’s true. Do not yard sale shop in uncomfortable shoes: it will slow you down. Instead think of yard sale shopping as a sporting event–wear shoes you can walk in for miles.

5. They bring the right tools

Thrifty power yard sale shoppers don’t want to waste time hemming and hawing about if a coffee table will fit in their family room, so they take measurements of the area they want to put one before they go out yard sale shopping and put them beside the word “coffee table” which is on the list I mentioned in point one. To make sure the coffee table they have found at a yard sale fits they carry a tape measure along with them so they can take measurements.

Thrifty people also don’t want to be slowed down by thirst or hunger. They pack a small cooler with drinks and snacks so they don’t have to stop and buy one (plus that would cost more than a thrifty person wants to spend).

If a thrifty power yard sale shopper has a smartphone they will use it to take pictures of items at home they want to coordinate with. This save times as they can know within seconds that those couch throw cushions are not going to match the living room drapes (if a thrifty shopper doesn’t have a smartphone they bring along paint chips).

 starbucks & dishcloth giveaway

A Fun and Simple Giveaway

I want to hear either your best yard sale shopping tip or your favorite yard sale find. To encourage you to share them with me I am giving away a $10 Starbucks card and 3 knitted  by me 100% cotton dishcloths.

To enter leave a comment below that shares either your best yard sale shopping tip or your favorite yard sale find.

For an extra entry share this post on Facebook with your friends (use the Facebook share icons at the top or bottom of the post) …or click here to share directly from Facebook and tell me that you shared it at the bottom of this post on the blog.

Not following me on Facebook? click here and follow my page.

Contest ends Monday morning August 3 2015, winning comment will be chosen by using random.org and contacted by email. I will also post the winner here on this post.

Want more yard sale tips? Check out these posts

How I Saved $500 In 1 Hour

Everything You Need To Know To Have Your Best Yard Sale Season Yet

Yard Sale Shopping Tips

How To Hold Your Most Successful Yard Sale Yet


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Receipt Hog: A Simple App For Earning Gift Cards


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I first started using Receipt Hog a few months back when I realized I could use it to save money at Aldi . I had read about it over and over and don’t know why it took me so long to start an account. Receipt Hog has got to be the simplest point earning app I have used yet.

How to use Receipt Hog to earn gift cards

How To Use Receipt Hog

1. Sign up for an account here

If you decide to skip this step and head straight to downloading the app to sign up there make sure to enter the code YECT1667 to start your account with 5 spins (more on what spins are later)

2. Download the app and sign in

3. Check out the list of stores that Receipt Hog works with

Earn gift cards with Receipt Hog at these stores and more

If you go to the setting section of the Receipt Hog app you will see that it works at retailers that sell groceries, health items, and beauty products including Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, and many more.

Earn gift cards with Reciept Hog from these store and more. So simpleReceipt Hog doesn’t work with just stores that sell groceries though–they also accepts receipts from non-grocery stores like The Home Depot, KOHL’S, JCPenney’s, and more.

4. The next time you go shopping  upload a receipt when you are done

Uploading a receipt is easy. You simply press the “camera” tab and line up the receipt along the guide, taking several pictures if need be to get the whole receipt from top to bottom and then press submit. You will receive payment normally within a few hours, though the time can vary.

Hog slots a fun way to earn coins at Receipt Hog

5. Enjoy watching the coins add up

Grocery store receipts primarily pay in points (called coins).

Other receipts pay in spins that you can use in the slots area.

redeem your coins for gift cards at Receipt Hog

5. Cash out your coins

If you click on the “Rewards” symbol at the bottom of the app you can slide over to “Redeem Prizes” (in green at top of prize area). Pick whether you want Amazon gift cards or a Paypal deposit as payment (both are equal in coin value).

Cash out for the prizes begins at 1000 coins for $5 and goes up to $30 for 4500 coins making the higher cash out a better value.

how redeeming in receipt hog works

Once you pick your choice of payment it will take up to 7 days to receive it. PayPal will be directly deposited to your account whereas with Amazon you will receive a code to redeem.

6. Tell your friends  and you both win

When you share your referral code, mine is YECT1667, and they enter it in the process of signing up, you get 10 spins and they start their account with 5 spins.

Don’t wait like I did–sign up for Receipt Hog today and start earning coins towards your first payout.

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Why My Thrifty Might Not Be Your Thrifty And That Is Okay


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I run into acquaintances all the time at Walmart or other stores and I can tell right away whether or not they read my blog. How?

why my thrifty might not be the same as your thrifty and that is okay

Those that have start making excuses for what they feel I would view as a “non-thrifty” purchase that is sitting in their cart. Truth is, they don’t have to explain to me that they only bought the Fruit Loops because it was Junior’s birthday and they got it on sale and are using a coupon and plan to upload the receipt to Receipt Hog the minute they get home.

Because I truly don’t care if they buy Fruit Loops. If it fits in their budget, they are reaching their financial goals at the rate they desire, and their daily bowl of fruit loops brings them daily joy then let them have fruit loops and let me have my bar of organic mint dark chocolate.

Gasp…Victoria…organic mint dark chocolate! That is much too expensive. Eh. Whatever. I have the cash to pay for it,  I am taking active steps to reach my financial goals, and to me a bar of expensive chocolate is 100% worth every penny I pay for it.

Do you see the common denominators in the above scenarios?

1. Your splurge fits in your cash only budget.

2. Your splurge doesn’t prevent you from reaching your financial goals at the rate you desire.

3. Your splurge brings you joy either short term or long term (although for these examples both offer short term joy)

Those are the three elements of a good thrifty splurge. What the splurge items are in each family are unique to that family. Some thrifty families might splurge on just short term splurges like favorite foods, others might splurge only on long term items like vacations, others–like our thrifty family–might do a mix of both.

5 Things Our Thrifty Family Splurges On

1. A backyard that is probably more fun than most city parks (for the kids)

My husband loves making the backyard a place where our kids and their friends want to hang out–no matter what their age. A few years back we gave it a teen makeover and added an above ground pool, a trampoline, a fire pit, and most recently an outdoor movie screening area.

These are not inexpensive items but we invest in them because seeing our children building friendships and memories right in their own backyard means a lot to us.

2. Good Running Shoes (for me)

I spend right around $500 a year in good, high quality,running and walking shoes. Yep! you read that right half a grand on just running shoes each and every year –and honestly that is a conservative number; it is probably more.

For me running is my stress relief, my creative juice, my friendship building time, and truly my go to source for energy to refuel my tanks.

That $500 is worth every single penny.

3. eBooks that are not free (for him)

Although I rarely buy a book beyond one found for a $1 at a yard sale, my husband buys several a month in Kindle format. The books he likes don’t ever show up on Free Kindle listings and often our library is slow to obtain them, so he gets his bookworm fix using my point earned Amazon gift cards from places like Swagbucks and InstGC to buy a few new books each month.

Reading is to him what running is to me so I think this splurge is worth every penny.

4. Store bought natural cleaners

At one time I did make my own cleaners and they really are super inexpensive and work well, but I just couldn’t convert my husband over to them. My husband actually likes to clean so I don’t want to do anything that would stop him from doing it. So we compromised on all natural cleaners.

I also gave up making my own laundry soap and started buying a natural brand.

We do save money on our natural cleaners  by buying them through either ePantry or Boxed.

(psst, use my referral link for ePantry and save $10 on your first order. Or use my referral code 3W8LE at Boxed during checkout and save $15 on your first order)

5. Paper Towels

It might seem strange, but to me this is the hardest splurge to admit to publicly because I am afraid I will get blacklisted from thrifty blogging. I notice that big name thrifty bloggers pretty much all see paper towels as a pure waste of money, which might be true in their homes but isn’t in ours.

If you read about our families number 4 splurge you would see that I said my husband likes to clean, however he is particular about what he will and won’t use to clean. If I stopped buying paper towels his particular self would stop cleaning areas of the home where he uses paper towel to clean and then…well…I would have to clean and that would mean less time blogging, which would decrease my income potential, so to me paper towels are less expensive than hours of work missed.

Other Articles Where Thrifty Bloggers Admit To Their Splurges

This article has been brewing in my mind for quite sometime thanks to the inspiration of other bloggers:

Crystal Paine’s 6 Thing Our Family Has Chosen To Splurge On

Andrea Dekker’s How I Decide When To Save Or Splurge

starbucks & dishcloth giveawayA Thrifty Challenge With A Giveaway

I want to know what your thrifty family splurges on. One splurge that didn’t make my list above was Starbucks. Sure, I am pretty thrifty about how I obtain my Starbucks but it is still a splurge.

I am betting some other thrifty people out there might share my Starbucks splurging habit so I am offering a $10 Starbucks gift card as a prize and  to sweeten the deal I am throwing in a stack of 3 hand knitted (by me) dishcloths.

To enter leave a comment below that shares something your thrifty family or self splurges on.

For an extra entry share this post on Facebook with your friends (use the Facebook share icons at the top or bottom of the post) or click here to share directly from Facebook and tell me that you shared it at the bottom of this post on the blog.

The winner is …..shelleyb (congrats!)

point reward program sidebar Point programs help fund our splurges! Find out how they can fund yours too by visiting my points program page.

(post linked to Frugal Fridays , Sharefest)

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