Create a wish list. The Fire Finance team maintains a list of items needed around their home. ''We keep a simple notebook and pen on our kitchen counter. When we need something, we write it in this notebook,'' they told me during a recent online interview.
Establish priorities. Not every item on their wish list falls into the must-have/must-buy category. After a one-week cooling-off period, the engineers evaluate each item on the basis of need vs. want. ''We wait and see if we can really do without it,'' they said.
Get out the maps. After sorting through the weekly list of yard sales, the husband-and-wife team spends time mapping out the shortest route, with the help of Google, Yahoo! and AAA.com. This step saves time and gas, they say. They use the mileage estimate provided by the online trip-planning services to eliminate sales that are too far. (They will, however, travel 50 to 75 miles if a garage sale advertises a big-ticket item from their wish list.)
Pack your bags. The duo packs power tools, a rope, paper towels and a measuring tape. These items are used for dissembling, cleaning up, carting away or measuring purchases.
And you might want to pack food: Well-fed shoppers make smarter decisions.
The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store
Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues
Frugal Comic Book Connection