Frugal Tip: Buy Christmas Gifts From Yard Sales

Garage Sale

Here is a frigal tip sent in by a reader:

Cassie, here is my frugal tip which I am proud to say my family started last year.

Each Christmas, we try to come up with different ideas in order to lessen some of the stresses which come along with the season: financial, mall anxiety, etc. Some of the ideas were picking names, only buying for the kids, homemade gifts (yikes – stressful!), etc.

Well, last year, we decided that we would purchase used gifts for each other; yard sales, ebay, kijiji, secondhand stores. So, we became serious yardsalers and thoroughly enjoyed it! We felt we were taking the consumerism out of Christmas. The shopping was done in an enjoyable environment (outdoors in summer), it was less stressful financially, we had to put more creative thought into the gifts, and we were reducing, reusing and recycling – good for the environment too!

You can find really great things at yardsales: many unopened items, things that are reminescent of your childhood, things that evoke memories which you could not find in a store (ie. my late Grandfather had a brass plate where he would place his loose change – I found one exactly like it a a yard sale and gave it to my father for Christmas which he loved!), many great deals.

In any case, it is a fun, cheap summer activity which can translate into a more relaxing Christmas season. A few things to remember however are that yardsale season is starting so it is best to start now and look throughout the summer. Also, it is key to be out there as early as possible – being the first to get there and see all the good stuff is part of the fun!

It is exciting when people open their gifts and you get to show off the great treasures you found at a yardsale! We found a Christmas idea that we like and enjoy and we’ve started all over again this yardsale season!

Thanks for letting me share and keep up the great work!


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  1. Lisa E says:

    I like this idea! Of course, everyone involved would need to be in agreement. I love books and I don’t mind at all if they are used or not. If my family members bought me used homeschooling books that I need for our son, I would be super excited. I’d love to hear the story about how the found it and how much they saved by shopping this way.

  2. Mrs January says:

    I agree, everyone would have to be in agreement. I actually prefer old books vs new ones. I love the “worn” look. 🙂

  3. PFC says:

    I used to do this for my dad when i was a kid/teenager. Mainly because we didn’t have a lot of money and my dad loved how me, my brother and my sister would try do “out do” each other by finding the most interesting gifts for my dad.. he used to send us out on what he called “missions” to find the most weird and/or interesting gift. He still have a cabinet at home with the best finds..

  4. Taylor says:

    This is a great idea.

    Now I need to get my wife to buy into the concept.

    The christmas spending budget is a killer and this would help reduce the stress I have to deal with when it comes time to pay for everything.

    And lets face it, for a lot of people on the christmas list, this would work just fine compared to going into a store and trying to find something for fifty bucks they might like only to have it never be used.

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