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23 Homestead Items to Look For at Yard Sales


23 Homestead Items to Look For at Yard SalesYard sales and garage sales can be treasure troves for the homesteader. With a little time and effort, you can save a substantial amount of money on quality items and supplies for your homestead.

Some homeowners either don’t see the value of what they own or don’t know how to make use of what they have. Therefore, they are willing to sell their used belongings for far less than they are actually worth. You may even find new and unused items for sale at a fraction of their original selling price.

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Here are some ideas for items to put on your garage sale checklist…

1. Appliances

Be cautious when buying electric appliances at a garage sale because they could be difficult to clean or in poor repair. However, there can be some great deals out there on bread machines, food processors, ice cream makers, dehydrators, crockpots, grain mills, and coffee grinders. Hand-operated machines are always a great choice.

2. Battery Operated Items

Battery powered lamps, radios, fans, and tools can be lifesavers in power outages. Stock up – and then make sure you have fresh batteries for them.

3. Bicycles and Exercise Equipment

Kids outgrow bicycles, and people get bored with their exercise equipment. Their loss can be your gain. Be sure to take bikes for a test ride and try out treadmills and stationary bikes.

In addition to garage and yard sales, check your local newspaper and craigslist for estate sales. Also, make regular rounds to hunt for these items at your local thrift stores.

Always inspect items carefully for missing parts, chips, cracks and other damage. Ask the seller to try out anything that has moving parts. Don’t be afraid to bargain on prices. You never know what amazing deals you might get.

4. Books

Best-selling novels, how-to manuals, homeschooling curriculum, children’s storybooks, classic fiction – garage sales have them all. Start or add to your family’s library with inexpensive, quality books.

5. Camping Equipment

Many people hosting yard sales are downsizing and therefore are looking to get rid of big and bulky items like tents, tarps, sleeping bags, and backpacks. Also look for quality cookstoves and cast-iron pots and pans to add to your homestead inventory.

6. Candles

Stock up on inexpensive candles. You may find used candles offered at only 10 cents each or in a “free” box. Remember, small candles can be melted down to make larger ones.

7. Canning Equipment

You can often find pint jars for a quarter each at garage sales. Also look for lids, rings, and canning tools to save big-time in canning your homegrown produce. In addition to canning, you can also use mason jars for a variety of other purposes around the homestead.

8. Ceramic and Glass Canisters

You can find a zillion purposes for jars and canisters around the homestead. You’ll find an array of colors, sizes, and styles at garage sales, and they are often at just a dollar or two each. Also look for quality serving bowls and platters at rock bottom prices.

9. Cookware

You’re bound to find some cookware at almost every yard sale. People accumulate dishes, pots, and pans but rarely use them, so they practically give them away. You should especially keep your eyes peels for cast iron pots and pans which are often sold for a fraction of the original price.

10. Firearms and Ammo

Guns are another big-ticket item that can often be found for a fraction of the original price. In most U.S. states, the private sale of firearms is perfectly legal. You’ll sometimes find them at estate sales if the auctioneer is licensed to sell them.

11. Fishing Supplies

Fishing rods, tackle boxes, and lures all find their way into garage sales. Think about offering the seller one price for a combination of items for even more savings.

12. Games and Puzzles

Most garage sales have a section with some old-fashioned fun stuff. Hunt for some new additions for family game night, and you can often find puzzles for $1 or even less.

13. Gardening Supplies

You may find incredible bargains on hoes, rakes, shovels and other gardening tools at yard sales, especially in the fall.

14. Kitchen Supplies

Can and bottle openers, graters, measuring spoons and cups, funnels, mixers, graters, you name it – you can usually find it for cheap at a garage sale. Keep an eye out for supplies you can use in the fireplace and campfire, such as a fireplace popcorn popper.

15. Medical Supplies

First-aid and medical supplies are a great find at a yard sale. Homeowners like to get rid of their unused supplies after a loved one’s long illness, and you could score valuable items such as walkers, canes, slings, bandages and hot water bottles. You might find unopened packages of surgical gloves, face masks and alcohol wipes.

16. Oil Lamps

With winter weather around the corner, it’s a good idea to be prepared for power outages on your homestead. You often can find an oil lamp on sale for just a few dollars at a garage sale. Also look for wicks and oil for the lamps.

17. Sewing and Knitting Items

You may be able to stock up on yarn, thread, needles, and even fabric at giveaway prices. A great find would be a treadle sewing machine, which operates with foot power.

18. Sheets and Blankets

Some sellers offer new or barely used sheets. Look for quality blankets in good condition. Also check for soft flannel baby blankets, which can be used for a variety of tasks around the homestead, from diapering babies to making quilts.

19. Solar Lights

Solar lamps to light up your paths and walkways can be pricey at the store. However, you might find some in good shape at a garage sale.

20. Tools

Look for hardware such as hammers, screwdrivers, axes, and saws. Examine all tools carefully and look for brand names you trust. You also may be able to pick up nails, bolts, screws and the like for pennies. If you can find a manual (reel) lawnmower at a great price, get it!

21. Towels

You can typically find cloth rags and towels at incredibly low prices. Just wash them thoroughly before using them!

22. Toys

This includes anything from wagons to dolls to clothing to coloring books. Every Christmas and birthday our children get some toys we found at garage sales – they never know the difference.

23. Winter Wear

We all know how kids grow out of everything. Boots and winter clothes are expensive, so scan garage sales for quality boots, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, and heavy socks. Even if they are too big now, the garage sale prices make it worth buying for when your kids grow into them later.

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  1. mamamcando on May 3, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Just a word of caution: Make sure puzzles, games and card games (crazy 8’s,Go Fish, etc) have all the pieces. Very frustrating to the little ones if they’re not complete. I got a puzzle at a garage sale once, lady said all pieces were there but guess what? It was missing about 4 pieces. Grandson was disappointed but had fun with it any ways. My grands “test” out the stuff I get when I go garaging ;), when they come to visit. Keeps them off the electronics LOL

    • lisa on May 22, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      Excellent idea! my grandsons are too young for games yet but someday….

    • Bemused Berserker on June 5, 2020 at 11:42 am

      That’s a truth with a lot of Garage Sale/Thrift Store buys. My Mother in Law recently purchased a fancy vacuum cleaner, only to discover a critical piece was missing. Won’t work without it, and the product has no parts support from the manufacturer. With something like that, you might find one somewhere or you may never find the part. Caveat Emptor!

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