The buy at a discount method is the one I most employ. By keeping a slush fund on the side at home for weekend treasure hunting and planning sale trips, I am able to acquire most of what I want before I need it. I use web sites like gsalr.com to browse what is for sale and where. I also use www.estatesales.net. Estate sales tend to post more pictures than the yard sale sites and that saves me from driving to a sale that has none of the things I have on my list.
As you can tell, I need no more tents. I am always in the market for good garden tools. Things that do other things, like the seven in one axe or multi-tools, battery operated gadgets and solar gadgets are always on the list. I also include things on that list that my sons have mentioned. Either, I acquire those things to give as gifts, or they tell me what they want to pay and we just trade cash for those things. As long as you are out yard saling, find out if anyone in your family needs something and if they are willing to chip in for gas while they busy themselves elsewhere. One of my sons works weekends so he is happy to give over the cost plus gas money when I can get him something he has had on his list for a while.
Another method for acquiring things is the wish list. If you have an occasion coming up, you can register at Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware as well as Toys R Us, Walmart, Target and Amazon.com. Define your needs, don't get frivolous or side tracked. If you need several batteries for your cordless tools, list them, but don't go making a list of every battery in every size offered. Need versus greed shows your loved ones it is a need and it is a gift that will be used or appreciated. If you find someone has used your list and gotten you exactly what you want or need, thank them. Do not wait a year to get around to it. Thank them immediately. Also, if you look into it, choose the stores that offer you rewards for others' shopping. You can earn points toward purchasing other items or gift cards if someone buys from your list. Don't be shy. Ask for points or discounts and any reward programs currently in stores. They can only say no and that doesn't hurt.
Use coupons. As often as you can, use store coupons as well as manufacturer's coupons, doubling your discount. Join store members reward clubs. Set up a junk email account and sign up for rewards at the stores you shop most. They will send you weekly sales notices, store coupons, sale notifications and members only deals. Even the grocery store GFS sends me sales 'flyers' with printable store coupons for an additional $5 off the $50 I was going to spend anyway.
I can not give you an image to focus on for the next method of acquiring. It is a mental trick. You could call it the power of positive thinking or the power of mental focus or even 'Zen' shopping.
Call it what you will, clear your mind and make a mental list of the things you are looking to acquire for your prep pantry. Shortly, they will be on sale. Make a visual list of the things you really need for the tool bench or the chicken coop and these things will be in front of you.
I do believe, I come across great deals at yard sales because I believe I will find great deals at yard sales. I believe I will find, see, touch, acquire what I need or the method to get those things. For example, two weeks ago, I wanted a heat gun. I really wanted a heat gun. I have some embossing to do. I will not pay $40 for the heat embossing tool I want because I am cheap! I still want it.
I got into the car on a Saturday morning. Before I turn the car on, I think, today I will find a heat gun, more ax heads for D. and some titanium arrows. I see these things as if I were looking at an ad in a sale paper. I turn on the car and before noon, I have seen these things and purchased them all for under $10. I have also stopped for gas, a snack or drink, paid a bill in person and chatted with a friend or family member on the phone. I don't obsess on it or beg the Lord for it. I just think, I want it, I am going to get it, and I will have it shortly.
It looked like this
before we painted it
To get what you need:
Be careful with your money
Use coupons, store discounts and sales