Frugal Clothes Shopping at Rummage Sales

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Love to shop at rummage sales or yard sales? Me too! Here are some of my best tips on how to find excellent deals when frugal clothes shopping at rummage sales.

Love to shop at rummage sales or yard sales? Me too! Here are some of my best tips on how to find excellent deals when frugal clothes shopping at rummage sales. #frugalclothesshopping #frugalclothing #thriftyclothing #rummagesales

Frugal Clothes Shopping at Rummage Sales

If you haven’t yet noticed, I love rummage sales (yard sales, garage sales, whatever you’d like to call them!) Rummage Sales are where I buy about 90% of my clothing for the year. I love having new clothes and I love being able to redo my wardrobe on a budget. I also never ever pay full price for kids clothes! When we first started really digging into the thrifty lifestyle I knew that my clothing habits weren’t just going to die down so I had to find a way to make it work. Luckily I had grown up being used to used and hand me down clothing so that never bothered me. Here are some ways that I save money shopping for thrifty clothing at a rummage sale.

1. Start with picking the right sales. When making your rummage sale shopping list for the day, make sure to pick sales that mention having rummage clothing in your size. Do not add sales that talk about their “junk” (or even “junknique” as I saw one put it) you want to find frugal clothing that is in good shape. Be vary of sales that advertise name brand clothing. Sometimes I’ve had good luck with these but most of the time the seller values it at too high a price and it’s not affordable for my budget.

Shoes at a Rummage Sale

2. Know how much you have to spend before you go!! This one is important. It’s so easy to overspend at a rummage sale because of the bounty of deals. Take along a certain amount of cash and don’t go over that amount. When it’s gone it’s time to head home.

3. Know what you need before you go. It won’t do you any good to go to a sale and not be sure of how many items you need, if you even need them, or what sizes you need them in. Go through your closets first. If you know that you want to go to sales to buy 9 month sleepers, then that’s what you look for and buy. Try to stay on track and make your budget stretch for the items you actually need.

4. Have price points. When I go to a rummage sale to look for thrifty clothing I know that I have mental price points that I need to follow. I won’t pay over $0.50 for a onesie and not over $1 for a complete baby outfit. I have to stay under $2 for a nice pair of jeans for me and so on. Decide beforehand what you are willing to pay for an item. However, if there is an item that you really want but it’s just above your price point check out the next tip!

5. Don’t be afraid to barter. Unlike a retail store, rummage sales are priced according to whatever the seller wishes to get out of them. Many sellers price their items a little higher than they think it’s worth because they know that someone will try and barter. If you plan on buying a bunch of items, try and see if they will give you a bulk deal. Good sellers will know that items are only worth what someone is willing to pay, not based on the brand new value.

–Learn How to Barter Successfully here.

Clothes From Rummage Sales

With those tips, you should be able to grab some great deals on rummage clothing! (And you can always Re-Purpose Clothing if you don’t find just the right thing!) A side note, if you’ve noticed, the latest craze in garage sales seems to be “online rummage sales” on Facebook. While I think that these are great places to ask for things you are looking for and maybe find unique deals, I don’t think they have the best prices on clothing. Many of them seem to follow higher thrift store pricing versus rummage sale pricing. That’s not saying that good deals aren’t to be found, though!

Love Rummage Sale Shopping? Here are more tips!

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale (online and in-person)

How to Make the Most of Rummage Sales

How to Find Frugal Clothing at Consignment Stores

10 Types of Yard Salers

Do you do any frugal clothes shopping at rummage sales? What rules do you follow? What are some of your best bargains?


This blog post on Frugal Clothes Shopping at Rummage Sales was originally posted on Little House Living in September 2012. It has been updated as of September 2019.

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  1. Our dump and recycling center has a swap shop that’s open on Saturdays. We are up bright and early and often make TWO trips to the dump – one with garbage and one for stuff. They do have some clothing (I just picked up a petite 20 pant and jacket set suitable for my business!!), quite a few pairs of shoes, and tons of kid clothes. They also have other stuff though. I picked up a SnackMaster dehydrator, a beautiful and useful English stonewear serving/oven dish, a soup toureen of the kind you usually pay a bundle for… All for free! We’ve also gotten a ton of nice wood, most of which has gone into making my raised beds this year, and the rest of it made my compost bins and is being set aside for the spring’s chicken coop. 🙂

  2. Yard Sales are a part of my Saturday morning routine. I buy items for my family, but mainly I purchase for our little flea market store we run every Sat. and Sun. I could certainly identify with everything you said. Yard sales have been a true blessing to us!

  3. Pingback: Frugal Clothing: Consignment Stores - Little House on the Prairie Living