- Write down what you already have (especially if you need to find a matching shirt or something)
- Write down/make a note of what you really want to find (perhaps a winter coat or a couple of church outfits)
- Take note of current sizes and coming seasons/sizes; you can shop ahead at these sales
- Pick your shopping time carefully (the first day and the last day--which is usually 1/2 off--are the busiest; leave your children home; plan on a couple of hours)
- Think through pricing before you get to the sale (for instance, can you get brand new sweat pants at Wal-Mart for $3? Then, only buy sweat pants less than $3 at the sale. What is your limit on any given item? What will you be willing to spend for a dream outfit?)
- If you're looking for big items (furniture, strollers, big high-demand toys), you'll probably want to go early, if possible.
- Make sure you scan the toys for future presents for your little darlings. They won't know it's used (I got an easel for $6 that has a dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other--it's darling!).
- Take a laundry basket or large tote to stash items in as you shop.
- Look over EVERYTHING you pull off the racks (check for stains, small tears, etc.).
- Take someone with you: it's more fun and it often helps to have a second opinion.
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