Shop on a budget at garage sales and auctions near Des Moines
My first full-time job in journalism paid $10 an hour. Cash was tight, but garage sales saved me.
What happened: I furnished my first apartment, and then my first home, for just a few hundred dollars.
- I learned where to find the very best sales in the metro and — even after I got a few promotions — I've continued to bargain hunt.
- Like my shirt? It's probably yours.
My advice: Shop in areas you want to emulate in your life. If you've got kids, for example, focus on sales near schools.
- Here are some of my favorite neighborhoods for garage sale shopping:
- It's my Goldilocks of garage sales. I've found some treasured items, like original artwork, for great bargains.
South of Grand
- Loads of great stuff but not always the best for deals. These folks know when they're selling a Picasso.
- Great for housewares linked with newlywed sales — merging households that don't need two crock pots. Score.
Plus: Auctions are another great way to snag some of the best deals, especially if you're willing to do a little research and be patient.
A few tips: Don't show too much emotion. Bidders feed on energy and will take a second look at an item if they sense excitement.
- Set your limits. Estate auctions, especially, can be emotional and result in out-of-control bidding.
- Research. Many auctions publish photos online. You can set calendar reminders and alerts for specific treasures on sites like AuctionZip.
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