Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

We're back from our weekend jaunt to Georgia! We had a great time.

Andy enjoyed his song-writing seminar which was hosted by Babbie Mason and then we had a nice visit at his parents for several days.

We drove home through pouring rain yesterday, which made the drive interesting, especially through Atlanta! About an hour from home, we were stopped on I-85 for an hour because of an accident. We drove 3 whole miles in one hour.  Such fun. Yes.

Finally we made it home around 5pm. We hurried and unpacked the car, filled up with gas and rushed to the kennel to pick up Cherished Dog before they closed at 5:30.  Thankfully, we arrived at 5:27, right before they closed. Honestly, we weren't sure we would make it there on time because of the delay! But we did.

We're glad to be home. I've been busy catching up on laundry and housework, preparing for a Dove Chocolate home party I'm hosting tomorrow. There are apples waiting to be made into applesauce and my goal is to get my Etsy shop up and running this weekend.

All that to say, I may be scarce here in the next few days!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On The Road Again

Photo from

We're heading out in the morning for a long weekend away. First to a songwriting seminar for my husband and then on to spend a couple of days with his parents.

 The sewing machine is packed along with enough fabric, patterns and ideas to keep me well occupied. My coupon bag is also by the door with several weeks worth of inserts to clip and organize. In addition, I'll have the laptop with me and possibly something to read.

I wouldn't want to be caught with nothing to do, you know! I'm looking forward to the weekend!

Be back next week. See ya later alligator!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Mom would make us egg-in-a-nests for breakfast when we were kids. It was always a special treat when we saw these on our plates.

Mom's were always cooked perfectly with the egg yolks runny like a "dip" for the toast.  I would always eat the outsides of the slice of bread first with the egg yolk, then eat the egg, saving the cut-out piece of toast for last. It was always my favorite and still is. It's bread, fried  in butter; what's not to love about that?

Most times, Mom would cut the hole for the "nest" with a cup. But on occasion, like for Valentine's Day, she was known to use a heart cookie cutter. I loved it!

Cracker Barrel calls this "Egg-In-A-Hole", I've seen it called "Egg-In-A-Basket". My mom always called it "Egg-In-A-Nest".

My husband had never heard of them before I came into his life and rescued him from his deprived state introduced him to the simple goodness of buttered and fried toast with an egg in the center. Now it's a favorite of his, too.

Egg-In-A-Nest is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Yum!! And best of all, they're quick and easy to make. And did I mention they're also very, very cheep?



Butter both sides of bread. Using a cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut a hole in the middle.

Pan fry on medium heat and flip once for even cooking. You will want the bread to be at least lightly browned. Don't forget to fry the cut-out piece of bread alongside!

Serve hot!

Do you have a fond breakfast memory? Please share!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aunt Lydia's Amish Pumpkin Bread

This is our family's favorite pumpkin bread from my Great-Aunt Lydia! I like to make this delicious bread all year long but especially in the fall. It smells so good when baking! This recipe comes from the Amish cookbook from Kalona, Iowa which is where my dad's family is from.

Pumpkin Bread

Here's the recipe just as it appears in the cookbook. Of course, I have tried to "healthify" it a bit. You'll see my notes at the end. 

This recipe makes 2 regular bread pan-sized loaves, 6 mini loaves or oodles of muffins! You can half the recipe if you like; I just make the whole recipe and freeze whatever we can't use right away! It freezes wonderfully and also makes nice gifts around the holidays. 

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons nutmeg
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Make a hole in the center. Add the 4 moist ingredients. Mix well. Pour into greased pans.

Bake at 350 degrees.

**If using large pans, bake for about 1 hour.
**For mini loaves, bake for 40-45 minutes.
**Muffins are usually done at about 30 minutes.

Pumpkin bread is done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Serve plain or spread with butter or cream cheese.

**A handful of two of cranberries can be added to the batter, if desired.

My Healthy Variations:
--Instead of white flour, I use all whole wheat pastry flour.
--Instead of white sugar, I use evaporated cane juice crystals which is an unrefined sugar. I reduced the amount of sugar from 3 cups to a scant 2 cups. Since the cane juice crystals don't dissolve as well as refined sugar, I powdered it by whirring it in my coffee grinder. This worked great!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Have You Turned Your Heat On Yet?

It's finally getting  a bit cooler here in the South. I do realize that our cold weather is nothing like that of my Northern friends!

You can always tell a thin-skinned Southerner. They talk about how very cold it is at 50 degrees. I had to laugh one year when a lady I worked with was certain that it was going to snow in October because the temperature had gotten down to 55 degrees. She was freezing!

Now I am cold-natured, so I really don't have much room to talk. However, I do know how to dress warmly and the layers come on if I am cold!

What I'm wondering today is: Have you turned your heat on yet?

We have not so far. In fact, we would like to hold off until November 1st if at all possible. The possibility of one more $5 gas bill for the year-what we pay through the summer when not using heat- is very appealing to us. At the same time, since we are not using the A/C right now, one would hope that bill would be lower as well. One would hope.

So far we're good. We've been wearing sweatshirts and long pants-not shorts- around the house. My slippers are extra cozy too! I threw an extra blanket on the bed last night and we were nice and warm. As the temperature drops, I'll be replacing our cotton sheets with the flannel ones.

But we are not too stubborn about this not turning on the heat idea. If it gets much cooler before November 1st, the heat will come on. We just know that here in the South the weather is very fickle! Cold one day and so warm we need A/C the next!

So what about you? Cold enough for you?

Feel free to also share your frugal and money-saving ideas for staying warm on a budget!

Edited to Add: We just turned the heat on tonight!  It's expected to get down in the 30's overnight so it would be really chilly in here come morning ! My husband was starting to feel cold so we knew it was cold as he is not cold-natured. haha

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Headless Dog

Oh where, oh where, has my little big dog gone? 
Oh where, oh where, could be be?
With his head chopped off and his legs so long,
Oh where, oh where is he?

Please excuse the unmade bed. It was the maid's day off.

Just When I Think....

...That the garden is done producing for the year...

I find all this!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday and New Meal Rotation

I've finally taken the time to make my new fall and winter meal rotation. And guess what? I'll share it with you today!

Having a meal rotation really helps to simplify meal planning for me. Even though we eat very similar dishes from week to week and we most certainly have our favorites, I am a bit too creative of a cook to just make the same things over and over such as spaghetti on Monday, hamburgers on Tuesday, etc.

What I do instead is to give each day of the week a theme. This is for suppers. I have a meal rotation for breakfast too, but just make the same thing over and over. It's just easier that way! For lunches, we eat either leftovers or something quick and easy such as grilled cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, quesadillas, etc.

Just because every day has a specific theme, doesn't mean that I don't change it up every so often. Sometimes, things just need to be used up or I need a faster meal on a certain day. Having the rotation makes for a better balance of meals, since I like to plan at least one meatless meal a week and then one meal where meat is the star instead a casserole. This really helps me to cook frugally as well.

Fall/Winter Meal Rotation


Monday-hot cereal


Wednesday-hot cereal


Friday-hot cereal

Saturday and Sunday- A variety of pancakes, muffins, baked goods, cold cereal, yogurt or cottage cheese, etc.


Sunday- Leftovers or salad or quick and easy

Monday-We are usually at a church meeting. If at home, Cook's Choice!

Tuesday-Skillet dish/casserole/stir fry


Thursday-Ethnic Night. This will include such themes as Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Mediterranean, maybe even Southern comfort foods or good home cooking from my Mennonite and Amish heritage.

Friday-Snack or fun foods. Think appetizers. I'd love to turn this into movie or game night as well. We'll see!

Saturday-Breakfast for supper.

So now that we have all of that down. let's move on to this week!

We were very busy this weekend as well as part of last week. I think we ate out 8 times in one week. That has to be a record for us! Some were just small things such as a McDonald's biscuit on the way to the game on Sunday, but we ate out nonetheless.

After a junk food filled weekend, we're ready for home cooked and healthy meals!

Sunday- restaurant

Monday-church meeting

Tuesday- Monterey Beans, brown rice, salad

Wednesday-Beefy-vegetable soup, toast

Thursday- Italian Night- Homemade pizza, salad

Friday-Loaded Tostados

Saturday- Pancakes, scrambled eggs

For more menu plan fun, visit the home of  Menu Plan Monday!

Fall Giveaway Winner!

I'm excited to announce that the winner of my fall giveaway is:

Manuela@ The Pleasures Of Homemaking.

She wins this sweet little basket. Manuela has a real knack for beautiful and creative decorating on a budget so I know she'll put this basket to good use!

Thanks to all who entered!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Our Anniversary Dinner

Instead of going out to eat for our 5th anniversary, I opted to cook a special dinner at home.

Shrimp isn't often seen on the McFrugals grocery list, but an anniversary calls for celebration. The occasional splurge makes living the frugal life more worthwhile, I believe.

Because my pantry and freezer shelves are pretty well-stocked, I was able to devote a good share of our weekly grocery budget to buying some special items for the celebration.

 The Menu:
--Shrimp Scampi served over spaghetti **
--Whole-Grain French bread**
--Spinach salad with grape tomatoes, olives and feta cheese
--Sparkling white grape juice

**Recipes at the end of this post.

I found a 12 ounce bag of cooked shrimp for $3.49 and a bottle of sparkling white grape juice for $2.49 at Aldi. While there, I also picked up a bag of spinach for $1.99 and a pint of grape tomatoes for $1.49. I had everything else on hand.

This made a very nice dinner for around $10.00, give or take. Obviously, we did not eat the whole bag of spinach at one setting. :-) If I do say so myself, this was every bit as delicious as eating at a nice restaurant and was a fraction of the price!

Shrimp Scampi

This was a new recipe that I received from my sister. Since we have similar tastes and I know she is a fantastic cook, I trusted her when she said that this was really really good! And she was right. This was awesome!!

I used one 12 ounce package of already cooked shrimp instead of the 2 pounds raw shrimp the recipe calls for. We liked the extra sauce which we used for dipping  the homemade crusty French bread.

1 c. butter
2 T. prepared Dijon mustard
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley
2 lbs medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, with tails attached

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine everything but the shrimp, and remove when the butter is melted.
Put shrimp in a shallow baking dish, and pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

Serve over pasta or as an appetizer with toasty bread. I used the above mentioned bag of already cooked shrimp so instead of baking it for 15 minutes, I baked it just until the shrimp were heated through, about 10 minutes.

Makes 4-6 servings

Whole-Grain French Bread
If you're new to baking bread, I suggest you start with French bread. It's easy to make and you don't need any bread pans, just a  cookie sheet.

Here I've updated my favorite French Bread recipe from the Not Just Beans cookbook to include freshly ground whole wheat flour. If you don't have access to a grain mill, you can use store-bought whole wheat flour.

This recipe makes 2 small loaves or 1 large loaf. You decide. 

1 pkg. or 1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 cup warm water(110-115 degrees)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour. I used Hard Red wheat for this batch and it turned out great. Hard White wheat would work well, too.
1 - 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
4 teaspoons Vital Wheat Gluten or other dough enhancer, optional

In a bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add oil and salt and enough flour and the gluten to make a stiff(a little sticky though) dough. Knead 10 minutes on a floured board. (If you have a heavy duty mixer, dissolve yeast and water in mixer bowl. Add oil and salt and mix at low speed for a little bit. Then add flour and gluten to make a stiff dough(for best results, dough should be relatively easy to handle but still a little on the sticky side.) Mix on medium to high speed for 5-8 minutes or little longer until dough is mixed well.)
Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Punch down and let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half on a greased surface into a 15-inch long log. Place on greased cookie sheets and make 5 slashes with a sharp knife diagonally across tops. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Optional: Mix a beaten egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush this mixture over  the unbaked loaves before the second rising. This gives the bread a "shiny" finish when baked.

I often will skip the egg wash and just butter the tops of the loaves after baking or leave them plain. Either way is good!

**For more Frugal Friday reading, visit Life As Mom!

 **Thanks for visiting my blog today! Please enter my giveaway while you're here. It's open through midnight tonight, Friday, October 9.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

'Fowl' a la King

This week's theme at Kitchen Stewardship's Super Foods Carnival is Broths and Stocks.

Bone broths are so healthy and full of good minerals. Making your own broth from chicken and beef bones also makes use of something that would otherwise be simply thrown away.

Of course, I often use my homemade broths for soups. It also comes in handy to use for other recipes that call for broth. Yummy, homemade broth can add some extra good nutrition!

When making broth, I freeze whatever I'm not using right away in small portions to use in recipes. One tip I ran across recently was to freeze broth in muffin tins. When solid, remove and store in a freezer bag. Each muffin cup is approximately 1/4 cup. When I need broth I just pull out the right amount of "broth muffins". I also like to store a larger amount of broth in a bigger container to pull out to use for soup making, especially during the winter.

The broth recipe I'm sharing today is for 'Fowl' a la King. I like to call it that since it can be made with either chicken or turkey. This is a quick and easy recipe that I've adapted somewhat from Taste of Home that is really useful for using up holiday leftovers. This is true comfort food, similar to a pot pie.

I use whatever cooked or frozen veggies I have around. For example, I'll often use mixed veggies, peas  or green beans. If using carrots, you will want to make sure they are pre-cooked as the whole mixture doesn't cook together long enough to cook the carrots soft.

 'Fowl' a la King


-One batch of biscuits. It is more healthy to make your own instead of using a can of biscuits. So far, I use this recipe which I am trying to make with more and more whole wheat flour. The Nourishing Gourmet has a recipe for Soaked Biscuits which I have not tried yet. Judging by the reviews  they must be quite tasty!

-1/4 cup butter,cubed
-1/2 cup flour
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 cup milk
-2 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken
-2 cups cooked or frozen veggies. Choose 2 or 3 different ones. I like to use peas and cooked carrots.
-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix and bake biscuits according to recipe instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter on low to medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in the meat, veggies, salt and pepper; heat through. Serve in bowls with biscuits on top. We also like to split the biscuits and ladle the chicken mixture over the top like gravy.

Makes 5 servings.

**Visit Kitchen Stewardship for more recipes with broth or stock as part of the October Fest Carnival of Super Foods. Next week’s theme:  Super Foods Recipes.

**Thanks for visiting my blog today. I'd love for you to enter my giveaway while you're here!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Scrubbing Floors

Today's theme for Works For Me Wednesday is tips for cleaning.

I do not own a mop. I used to have one but it got so gross that I threw it out. My linoleum floors are so small, it's not a huge deal to get on my hands and knees to clean them.

I started out with using a rag, scrubbing, rinsing, scrubbing and so on. It worked ok but not great. I was looking for something else.

I borrowed a friend's Swiffer thinking that might be the solution but I didn't like that either.

Then I read Debbie's post on scrubbing her floors with a mop that has a brush attached. It worked for her and her floors looked similar to mine. :-)

Light bulb moment!

I had a scrubbing brush in my cleaning basket that would work great for scrubbing the floors. I would wipe and rinse them clean with a rag like I had already been using.

I tried it and it worked great! I've gotten a lot of spots off the floors that I thought wouldn't come up. My floors are still not perfectly clean all the time but they are much better than they were!

Using a scrubbing brush to clean the floors works for me!

**Thanks for visiting my blog today. Don't forget to enter my fall giveaway while you're here!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Gratituesday: God Is Good To Us!

Today I'm thankful for God's goodness .

Our yard sale went very well on Saturday. We had lots of stuff to sell. We ended up with only 8 boxes of goods leftover plus the double stroller and a couple of chairs which we donated to a local thrift store that helps to fund a women's shelter. We also had a computer desk left but we set that out by the road in hopes that someone would pick it up. It was too big to fit in the car and we were too lazy to take it apart!

We had agreed ahead of time that we would price things low and then take any reasonable offers. Yes, we wanted to make money. But we really wanted to get rid of things. I look at it this way:  If I lower the price and somebody buys the item, I make more money than if I had remained firm on the price and they leave without making a purchase.

This method worked well for us. We sold a good 75% of our stuff and made more than we had ever made before at a yard sale. Most items were in the $.25 to $1 range. Maybe ten items were sold that were $5 or over. The rest were small items. Those little things add up, too!

One advantage I had at this sale was the amount of children's items I was getting rid of. Typically, kid's stuff sells well and our sale was no exception.

One of my first sales of the day was a young mom with her 3 children. They all picked out something to buy. She really wanted a chalkboard easel that I had for sale but wasn't able to purchase it. An older lady at the sale called out to her as she was leaving and said she would like to buy the easel for the mom and her children. It was so sweet! As the older lady paid, I remarked on her kindness. Her response, " I just finished putting together two shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I love to help other children around the world. But if I can help children here at home, I want to do that too. " It was such a simple gesture but God's love clearly shown through her.

Another God-thing was when I went back to pick up all the signs after the sale ended and four of the signs had fallen down and blown away. We had not advertised in the paper. The signs that were gone were the key ones that would bring the most traffic. Clearly, God had orchestrated this to show His power. He brought the people to our sale!

Andy had some items up for sale on ebay last week, too. The auctions ended Saturday night. I had prayed earlier in the week about the items selling and asked God that the items would sell at specific amounts. Of course, I prayed that it would happen according to God's will. How exciting it was to me when the morning after I had prayed that prayer, 3 of the items had more bids, thus bringing the prices higher! By Saturday evening, the item that was worth the most and was the most popular, sold for just over the amount I had prayed for.

It's exciting to see how God provides for His children. He is so good to us!

**Visit Heavenly Homemakers to read more Gratituesday posts!

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Be sure to enter my fall giveaway while you're here!

Fall Giveaway!

It's giveaway time!

Laura from Heavenly Homemakers is hosting a fall giveaway this week. There are many cool things that you can win! Go here to see all the links and enter the different giveaways!

I chose something nice out of my yard sale pile to give to one lucky commenter! I hope you don't mind that it is gently used.  I could've chosen the Dora potty seat, you know.

But because I am nice and especially because I do not want my blog associated with ewwww, I'm giving away this sweet little bread basket instead.

Features include:
  • Cute fall colors and fabric.
  • Folds flat for easy storage (and shipping!)
  • Approximately 8" square.
  • Will look adorable holding homemade dinner rolls on your Thanksgiving table!
  • Will look equally cute holding apples or mini pumpkins and gourds.
  • Will not look as cute but be just as functional holding your car keys and junk mail. 
You need this basket! 

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. Please leave your name and email address, so that I can contact you if you win.  Drawing will be open through Friday October 9, after which I will randomly draw a winner.

**You do not need to have a blog to be eligible for this drawing. However, I must have a name and a way to contact you should you be the winner.

**This drawing is open to U.S. residents only.

Have fun!

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Couple Great Deals At Food Lion

I'm slow in the blogging department today after a busy weekend of our anniversary, a yard sale and being gone most of the day yesterday.

To add to my slowness, I fell while running yesterday morning. Thankfully, I'm fine- just a little sore and scratched up!

Anyways, I did want to let my readers know about a couple of good deals at Food Lion right now.  These deals are only good through tomorrow(Tuesday, the 6th).

--Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: $1.79 pound.

--10 pound bag Russet potatoes: $1.99 each.

$2 or under for chicken breast is always a good deal and I think that the price on potatoes could very possibly be the lowest of the season(barring Thanksgiving, maybe.)

I bought 4 bags of potatoes today. Why, you ask? Well, it's a really low price ( regular price is $6.99  a bag!) and potatoes will last a while if stored properly.

One 10 pound bag will make enough mashed potatoes to fill my crockpot. $1.99 (plus milk, butter and salt) is a great price for a side dish that will feed a crowd for our Sunday potlucks!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Five Years Of Wedded Bliss (Or Something Like That)

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

I promise I will love you all the seasons of my life and be thankful for the beauty of sharing them with you.
~From a card Andy gave me before we were married. 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Monterrey Beans

I'm excited to link up with Kitchen Stewardship's Super Foods Carnival. 
The theme today is beans! Beans are cheap, easy to fix and tasty in the right combinations. They're also a powerhouse of nutrition.

Since I already posted about cooking dried beans this week, it only seems appropriate to also post a yummy recipe that utilizes your own cooked beans!

Monterey Beans

The fresh peppers and tomatoes in this dish are so pretty as it cooks.  Reminds me a little of the beauty of fresh salsa. (Am I the only one that finds these things beautiful to look at?)

Monterey beans can be served over rice. We had leftovers today wrapped in a tortilla with extra cheese and sour cream. good! This recipe would probably be really good as a taco salad or in quesadillas, too..

The great things about this recipe is that it only takes a few minutes to make!

1 cup onion, sliced or diced
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 cups cooked kidney beans
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup beef or chicken stock (I've also used plain water in a pinch.)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled bacon, diced sausage or chicken (This is optional but bacon is really good!)

Saute the onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Cobine other ingredients except for the cheese, stirring constantly until all ingredients are blended and heated through. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to blend flavors. 

Add the cheese over low heat and stir until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Be careful that the mixture does not boil.

Remove from heat and serve over hot, brown rice. Top with extra cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

**Recipe from The Urban Homemaker

**Visit Kitchen Stewardship for more frugal, healthy bean recipes as part of the October Fest Carnival of Super Foods. Next week’s theme:  Broth/Stock Recipes.

Missing: One Living Room and Some Yard Sale Tips

Help! We can't find our living room!
Our living room is full of stuff to sell at our yard sale this weekend. We also have another pile of yard sale stuff in our shed that is just as big or bigger than the one you see above.

I would like to know:
1)Where did we get all this stuff?
2)Where have we stored it in this little house?

It's amazing, isn't it? The amount of stuff we can accumulate!

I'm praying for lots of people to show up on Saturday. Lots of people who will buy lots of stuff! The weather looks like it will be gorgeous!

From my experience, here are some yard sale tips:

  • Brightly-Colored Signs: Use the same color of posterboard for all of your signs. If your signs are uniform, folks will be able to follow them and know they're all for the same sale. (This is helpful, especially if you are located at the back of a neighborhood or off the main drag where many turns are required to arrive at your house.) Cardboard may be cheaper than posterboard but nobody can read a cardboard sign written in pen. So buy a couple sheets of brightly colored posterboard and a thick black permanent marker.
  • Easy-To-Read Signs: When making signs, keep it simple. Using that thick black marker, write YARD SALE (or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods) at the top. Underneath, write your address: 123 Smith Street. You do not need to list the town you are in, because hopefully, passers-by are already there.  Draw arrows on your sign and make sure they are pointed in the right direction. You can put the date on if you like which may be helpful if your neighbors tend to leave their old signs up for  a while. Do not clutter up your signs with a list of what you have to sell. The point of the sign is to get people to your sale. They can see your junk once they're there.
  • Be Ready: If you have advertised your sale or put signs up, be ready to sell. It's also a good idea, barring inclement weather, to stay open until closing time. Here in the South, a typical yard sale runs from around 7-noon. Where I grew up, yard sales run all day from 9-5. Find out what hours are good for sales in your location and follow suit.
  • Have Change: Plan ahead and make a bank run the day before your sale so you have some change on hand. You want to do business, so you want to be prepared. If you price everything in quarter increments, you only need some quarters, and some bills for change.
  • Price Your Items: Some folks love to make offers and barter for everything they find. Others are put off by no prices and will not ask. So it's a good idea to have most items marked. I normally will put a sign up for clothes prices since tagging every item of clothing is a bit ridiculous. And sticky tags fall off of fabric. I also like the simplicity of selling most articles of clothing at the same price. Small like items can be placed together in Ziploc bags and priced to sell as one unit.  You can still barter and negotiate prices with your customers, but having items priced will be easier for everyone!
  • Get Rid Of It: Since you're having  a yard sale, you obviously want to sell things and make money. So price things to sell! Being an avid yard sale shopper, I know about what I would (or did) pay for each item so I price accordingly. Of course, there are some bigger ticket items that you want to make a specific amount of money on, but generally speaking, be willing to lower your prices a bit so things will move. You may make a little less money that way but you will make more than if you priced things higher and nobody bought anything. It will even out in the long run.
  • Be Honest: If things are broken or rickety, say so. A handy man will often be interested in something he could fix or use for parts.
  • Take Your Signs Down: At the end of the sale, take your signs down. This is a courtesy to your town and neighborhood. Old yard sale signs look nasty and drive me nuts.

And there you have it, tips for a successful yard sale. I'm off to take my own advice and price all that stuff!