I’m pleased to welcome Jason Ross today! His blog is filled with awesome parenting tips, and I enjoy reading his perspective. Thanks for being here, Jason!
Jason Ross is a proud father of a 1 year old daughter, Abby, and blogging partner of Lauren Ross. Not too long after his daughter was born he began blogging on Ordinary Parent as a way to offer his thoughts, opinions, and stories of parenthood that may help other parents, or expectant parents, along their journey. His wife, Lauren, joins him with frequent posts as well. They are a couple ordinary parents, offering their advice for other ordinary parents.
My wife and I have been dating for over 11 years now, and married for 5 of those years. And ever since our high school days we’ve gone to yard sales. We started as a way to make some extra money by buying furniture and household items we would later consign. But now as parents, yard saleshave brought on a new meaning. They are now an excellent source for everything new parents need. Below are the reasons my wife and I try to make yard sales a weekly event, and plan to for years to come.
Save Money and Avoid Retail
First and foremost yard sales can save you lots of money. My wife and I wouldn’t enjoy them or go to them if they didn’t save money. A couple weeks ago at a yard sale we got a set of “little people” along with a school bus and car for them, a large doll house, and a set of stacking cups…for $3. Everything in this photo would have cost at least 15 or 20 times that amount if bought new in a store. Not everything in a yard sale is a deal, and you have to make sure not to just assume something is a deal. Sometimes people try to reclaim what they paid for the items years ago, and that’s just not possible. But when our kids grow out of these toys, I don’t think we’ll have much trouble getting our $3 back.
This last week I made sure to wear my pedometer to see just how many steps I would get. Nearly 6000 steps later, our yard sale outing was over. That’s roughly 3 miles worth of walking that was relatively unnoticeable as we ventured from one house to another at the neighborhood yard sale. It’s pretty hard to convince me to just head out for a 3 miles walk. But when it’s broken up yard sale perusing, the exercise is easily overlooked.
Get your child(ren) outside
A little vitamin D never hurt anyone. But we want our daughter and any future kids to appreciate being outside. Our daughter spends enough time inside. Letting her spend a couple hours outside in the cool mornings is a welcome change. She enjoys seeing all the people, all the animals, and the occasional new book or toy to play with.
Teach your children about money
Our daughter is still too young to understand, but I remember first learning about the value of a dollar at yard sales and want my children to do the same. You can tell them they have a certain amount of money to spend, and limit them to it. They get to make the decision of what they really want, and start to learn how to spot deals of their own. Frugality is common place in our family, and I hope it rubs off on our children.
Teach your children manners
Not only can your kids learn about money, but yard sales are a great place to teach your children how to be polite. They have many opportunities to say please and thank you, and be respectful of other people’s belongings. I remember learning that I wasn’t allowed to touch fragile items at a yard sale (you break it you bought it…or paid it off with chores). I look forward to teaching my daughter how to interact with people, and sharpen those manners frequently while visiting multiple yard sales each week.
Every new parent should really spend some time each spring and summer attending yard sales. I’ve provided a short list of reasons why my family will go to yard sales, but there are certainly more. Sure, some items may be a little worn, but with young kids they won’t know the difference. And it won’t take long for them to grow out of the clothes or toys anyway, so why waste money on spotless, scratch-free toys. They are kids…they’re going to scratch things up anyway.