11 Things Frugal Shoppers Buy Secondhand (And You Should Too)

Buying used items and buying items second-hand is a great way to save money and reduce consumption. It’s a cheap and frugal way to live sustainably. Some used items are so worth buying used that it’s a shame not to.

11 Things That Are Better the Second Time Around

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A recent Reddit thread asked people, “What are some things which are better to purchase 2nd hand?”. Here are some of the responses.


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“Books. I love going through a second-hand bookstore for well-loved gems and hard-to-find titles,” wrote one person.

I love books, and when I can’t get free books, then I love buying used books. I very, very rarely buy new books. Usually, you can find books for really, really cheap, so I buy a lot of them and then donate them when I am finished reading them.

Thrift shops and libraries are great places to look for used books that are very cheap.

Baby Gear

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“Most things for babies. Kids outgrow stuff before they wear it out. The only exception is car seats and cribs, and even cribs you can buy secondhand as long as you’re careful,” someone wrote.

Most babies outgrow baby gear before the items are well-used. You can save a lot of money buying used baby gear. Do your research before buying anything, though, as many items are recalled or no longer follow the recommended safety standards. Wash everything in hot water, and then you’re ready to go!

Cast Iron Skillet

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“My mom is a freak for cast iron and accumulated way too much, so i inherited a dutch oven, a griddle, an 8″ and 12″ skillets. So. Freakin. Happy. with them I love cast iron,” someone wrote.

Cast Iron is made to withstand the elements, so old cast iron pots and pans are a great thrift store find! They are easily cleaned and res-seasoned, and you will save so much money.

Holiday Decorations

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“Way cheaper, and then you aren’t one of the 50 houses with the exact same things from the same store,” someone wrote.

Holiday decorations can be expensive, but buying them second-hand is a great way to save money!


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“They’re virtually indestructible, never lose their effectiveness, and unless you really need to keep a bag of ice frozen for more than 3 days, a $15 top-of-the-line Igloo from your local thrift store will serve you just as well as a $400 Yeti,” one person commented.

This is such a great idea! Coolers can be expensive, but there is no need to buy a new one if you can find one in good condition.

Hobby Materials

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“Starting a new hobby? Starter stuff for most hobbies is way better 2nd hand because it’s cheaper, and you’re usually going to be getting it from someone who’s like one level deeper into the hobby than you are, so you can get some good starter advice. Kayaks. Guitars. Sewing machines. Etc” wrote one person.

Hobbies don’t have to be expensive, but usually, they do cost some money for tools and equipment. When you start a hobby, don’t buy expensive equipment all at once. Get some cheap equipment, see if you like it, and then decide which equipment is worth spending the money on.


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One person added, “It also helps with uniqueness. A ton of my pieces I’ve never seen in the “average” retail store around me. I get complimented on my clothes all the time and thrift almost everything I wear.”

Clothes are great to buy used because they are easy to clean and repurpose. Older clothes are very often of higher quality, so they last longer. You can buy cheap clothes from thrift stores like Goodwill. This is also a good way to combat the toxic “fast fashion” industry.


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Via DepositPhotos.com.

“If I ever want to give someone flowers, I like to bring them in a vase just in case they don’t have one. There’s no reason to buy vases new as there are always some really unique and inexpensive vases at secondhand stores,” someone wrote.

This is such a great idea! You also don’t eat from vases, so there is less fear of old materials.


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“Furniture. Unless you shop from craftsmen/women, they truly are not making it like they used to,” someone wrote.

Most of my furniture is used and second-hand. While you have to be careful about buying items covered in fabric or upholstery (I don’t buy used mattresses), wooden or metal furniture is very easy to clean and is very easy to find second-hand. This is a great way to save a lot of money!

Exercise Equipment

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Someone commented that exercise equipment is good to buy secondhand. Another added, “This. Either used lots or used once, there is no in between.”


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New cars lose a lot of their value when you drive them away from the dealership. Buying a brand-new car is very rarely worth the money. A newer-used car can save you thousands of dollars and is often in just as good a condition as a new car. Obviously, whenever you purchase a car, do extensive research, so you don’t end up with a lemon!

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This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.