Replace Your Cable

How many nights have you turned on the TV, only to flip through hundreds of cable channels, disappointed with what you find (or don't find)?  Cable is an expensive luxury that many people can't afford in hard economic times.  However, having something to do when you get home from work is essential to many routines, and it's hard to part with that remote.  However, garage sales offer an inexpensive way to save money and stimulate your brain in a way that won't require a television, a cable box, and some pesky cables.

A boy watching cartoons from your cable.

Books are incredibly inexpensive, particularly at garage sales, and are awesome for your brain.  Even reading a trashy romance or science fiction novel stimulates your brain more than an episode of your favorite cop show, and at 10 to 25¢ apiece for enough for one month -- let's say you can read fifteen in a month -- you're looking at $1.50 to $3.75 at most.  Compare that to your cable bill!

Movies are time spent in front of the screen, sure, but they have a definite beginning and end, meaning you are more intentional about turning the TV on and off.  Getting caught up in a story is great fun and a wonderful way to escape your worries, and if you start expanding your horizons to documentaries, historical pieces, and even fictional genres you didn't explore before, you can really open up your mind to a much wider world.

Games, both indoor and outdoor, are great ways to spend your free time.  You can engage in interactive activities with your children, friends, neighbors, or significant other, just by picking up a $1 board game or $2 basketball from a local garage sale.  Make a pact with a group of loved ones to pick up a new game or piece of equipment each week and to spend time together using it.  You could go from a $60+ cable bill to $4 a month and much stronger relationships!

Hobbies are easy enough to start by using garage sales.  Whether you want to get into a new craft or start collecting something unique, many yard sales have enough odds and ends to pick up anything you'd like.  If you're having trouble deciding, talk to the host.  What do they enjoy doing?  What have they abandoned but would still recommend, and what can they sell to you to start that up?  You may find you have a talent for spotting valuable old trading cards, or nifty fingers at making beaded rings.

If you find yourself disappointed by the lack of interesting items you're finding at garage sales, step back for a moment and relax.  Forget about all the things you're "supposed" to like or want to do, and let yourself try something you'd never considered before.  Sports may not be your thing, but that ankle-ball could end up being really fun and a great way to exercise.  You may have detested reading as a child, but pick up a book of a sort you've never tried and see if you aren't sucked into the world the author is describing.

And if you need any extra convincing, consider this: television saps your life.  Every moment spent in front of the screen takes away time you could be building relationships, taking care of your body, or stimulating your mind.  Sure, you've heard all this before, but now that it's time to cut costs, wouldn't you rather get rid of something you really don't need?  Cable is that thing. Replace it with new hobbies you find at garage sales.

For more great things garage sales can do for you, visit our main site at  We've got tons of activities, resources, and listing for you to browse at your convenience, all for free!

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