Off The Beaten Path

I was delighted when recently asked me where my favorite places to find bargains and antiques are. My answer is, of course, off the beaten path. It doesn’t matter if it’s in my neighborhood or some far flung place I’ve visited.


  1. Individual garage sales — These take the most time to find a good bargain. They are spread out, they might say antiques when they really mean twenty years old, and you might be too late to get the good stuff. At garage sales I always feel like it’s the same concept as with finding a life partner. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. And you have to be willing to dig through stuff! However, my very favorite piece of furniture came from a garage sale.
  2. Flea markets — they are like Disneyland for the adult bargain hunter. Get there early! Last summer I came across one near Yorktown, Virginia on a Sunday morning. The people were still unpacking when I showed up.

    The prices were amazing! They had button jars for $5.00 (and that was before bargaining). I’ve seen similar ones for $25 and up at antique stores. img_9332I wish I would have had more time that morning! There was so much to explore. I couldn’t resist the square Pyrex bowls shown below.


  3. img_5206Community yard sales/church sales/school sales — I’m lumping these kind of sales together. My very favorite of these kind of sales is at the Salvation Army Fairfax Corps headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. Once a month from spring to fall they have a community yard sale. I’ve gone so often that I’ve become friends with one of the regular sellers. She’s emptying out an attic and barn. There has rarely been a time that I’ve been to this sale that I haven’t bought something from her. We’ve developed such a good relationship that I never even ask for a better price anymore because I know she will give me a great one. For example, at an antique store individual vintage postcards run from $3.00 to $5.00. Here I can get a hold stack for $5.00.

    I took my friend Ellie with me and she found vintage gloves. It’s hard to resist the variety of things at this sale!

  4. Thrift Shops — People are way more savvy about pricing than they used to be (thanks Antique Roadshow) so it is harder to find a bargain. That said, I’ve still had good luck at some thrift shops. If you’re furniture shopping you might end up with a piece that is a little rough around the edges, but if I’m only paying five dollars I’m fine with that. Here is a little bedside table I picked up at a thrift shop.
  5. Antique stores — Your average antique store owner is very smart about what items are worth making it the hardest place to find a bargain. That said, they are fun to poke around and the owner might be in the mood to get rid of things. The quilt was only $30.00 and in good shape. I still regret not buying it or the unique bird cage!


And if you like to shop from the comfort of your own home check out my friends at They have everything from antique jewelry, to fine art, and collectibles.

Otherwise put on your comfy shoes and get started bargain hunting! Do you have a favorite place to shop?


  4 comments for “Off The Beaten Path

  1. February 24, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Great finds, Sherry! I rarely stop for yard sales, but if I happen to walk by one (invariably when I’m not carrying any money), I always stop. I found some really cool blue beer mugs at one a block away! And I have a black velvet stole from an antique shop I got over a decade ago. Too bad I don’t go to the opera more often…

    • February 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      I love stumbling over yard sales. I was with my sister in Seattle and she bought a signed, framed print for $1.00. We looked it up online and they were selling for $150.00!

  2. Shari Randall
    February 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Since we’re renting, I’ve put my bargain hunting on hold (darn!) I love those square Pyrex bowls you picked up. I got a set of vintage ones (round) awhile back and they are one of my favorite things. The colors are so cheerful.

    • February 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      I love the vintage round ones too. My mom has a set of them.

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