Top 5 Things to Buy Used

Photo by DIY City Mag

I am a huge fan of shopping at thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales for used items.  Not only is this a great money-saving strategy, it is also better for the environment.  Buying used requires less resources to produce, and helps keep waste out of landfills.  

Here is my top 5 list of things to buy used:

  1. Books —  I never buy new books anymore.  Instead, I frequently borrow books from the library for free, or search for used books.  See my related post: Alternatives to buying new books for more information.
  2. Wooden Furniture —  Huge savings here!  Check the condition and if the furniture seems sturdy, you may be able to refinish the surface and have a “like new” piece to add to your home.
  3. Lighting and Home Decor —  Lamps, light fixtures, and other home decor items usually go for about 10% of the original purchase price.  With lighting, be sure it is UL certified.
  4. Children’s Clothing —  Kids outgrow their clothes at such a rapid rate.  Instead of stressing over whether or not that stain is going to come out of little Johnny’s new outfit, try finding quality used kids clothes and save yourself a ton of money. If the price is right, I have been known to stockpile clothes for the girls for years to come.
  5. Glassware/Bakeware — You can find significant savings in used glassware or bakeware.  If you see an item you like, be sure to purchase it right away.  Items in thrift stores tend to move very quickly!
Have a favorite thing you like to buy used?  Leave us a comment and share your ideas with us!


  1. Hi Valerie,

    I really like your blog. Just started my own as well, although I’m still learning how it works 🙂 Anyway, I’m a stay at home mom too and started an online thrift store for kids’ clothes…maybe you can check it out and tell me what you think. My website is


  2. children's vhs & dvd's. why pay $ for new when old works just as fabulously?

    books would be my #1 also 🙂

  3. I don’t know if I’ve yet bought used bakeware, but all the rest I have done for sure!

    Most my kids’ toys were bought used at yardsales, Craig’s list, etc.

  4. Valerie Deneen says

    Michele — Will be sure to check out your site. I am very interested!

    Atwoods — You are so right about children’s VHS and DVD’s! That is a good one!

  5. I love to search for books, jeans, and technology items – I’m a tech geek (what can I say). I love thrift stores too and find lots of treasures at my local thrift shops.

    I also like the idea of keeping these items out of the landfills (that is also why I built my website). You might like it, since you seem to be a woman after my own heart. Thanks for the great blog post – I enjoyed it.

    ~Vicki Priebe
    Wish Grantor

  6. Val in the Rose Garden says

    All of that is so true!
    Great advice!

    The kids outdoor swing, all of my kitchen stools, Cyan’s doll cradle, Alex’s bed frame, all of the dressers in the house, our table and chairs, livingroom shelves… heck, I don’t think there is a new peice of wood in our house. No wait… the entertainment center. That was gifted to us and was new. lol… But that is it. And that has broken so much faster than the stuff we refinished and made pretty.

    I always like the ‘new to me’ stuff better anyhow.