10 Things to Never Buy New | My Favorite Thrifts
Updated: Jun 20
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After years of thrift shopping, there are some things I can no longer justify buying new anymore! In the days of 2-day shipping, it’s so easy to just pop online and order whatever you need. I’m a big fan of Amazon, but when I can, I buy used! It saves me money and is better for the environment! After years and years, I can no longer justify buying some items new! Just seeing the price tag in a regular store on some items makes my eyes bulge! I know that there are many many things you just need to buy new like underwear and socks, BUT many many things can be purchased used for the same quality and a better price!
My advice for frugal thrifters is to make a list on your phone of things you’d like to buy or replace in your home and keep an eye out for them in thrift stores. My running list includes things from desk chairs to men’s swimming trunks, and I always look at the list as I’m in the store so I don’t forget to search for certain items.
Here’s my list of 10 things you should never buy new!
Baskets are very popular right now, so many nice stores are selling lots of them. A brand-new wicker basket at a regular store can cost between $15-$100, depending on the size and shape! WHY??? Thrift stores are the perfect place to find great, and beautiful baskets at a fraction of the price! I’m talking $3-$10! Almost all of my baskets have come from thrift stores, and I’ve found some beautiful baskets! I’ve made lamps out of them, I store food or linens in them, and I place plants in them. The possibilities are endless!
Linens are something I rarely buy anymore. Towels, napkins, sheets, blankets, and curtains can all be found in thrift stores! It can take some hunting to find exactly what you like, but the hunt is worth it! Oftentimes, I can find something much prettier used than I can new. Antique quilts, handmade comforters, and beautiful hand-embroidered tea towels can all be found! If you’re looking for a matching set, thrift stores are often not the place to look, but you never know! I like to look for tea towels with pretty patterns and cut them into smaller pieces to make dinner napkins. They are not fancy, but they’re more sustainable and cost-effective than paper napkins, and we use them every day! For any white linens, like towels or sheets, I like to bleach in the wash to bring out the original bright white.
Clothes are one of my absolute favorite things to shop for in thrift stores! I love looking for shirts, pants, sweaters, dresses, overalls, etc! The hunt is part of the fun! Oftentimes, I can find a brand name or brand new items (with the original tags) for a fraction of the price in a thrift store! When you bring your finds home, just make sure to wash them in hot water.
My entire closet is not thrifted. Some things, like the perfect pair of jeans, are just easier to buy new. However, what I’ve learned to do in the past year, is to look online for those kinds of items! I like to find a pair of jeans that I know looks great on me and is comfortable, and then type the exact brand and size into an online thrift store such as Poshmark or Thredup. This is a great hack for shoes too. This can save literally hundreds, depending on the original cost and the deal you find!
4. Baby/toddler clothes
Babies and children grow so fast, so it seems a shame to spend a fortune on new clothes for a child if they’re only going to be able to wear them for a few months! Thrift stores are a great place to find adorable clothes for your baby or kids! Take them with you, and let them choose a few items! Linen pieces, overalls, and little dresses, the thrift store is the place to find these items.
5. Children’s toys
Toys are another great thing to look for. Just like children’s clothes, children often get bored with their toys after a few days or weeks of playing with them. Parents often donate nice toys for this reason! Wooden toys and legos are great toys to look for in thrift stores. Avoid any kind of toy that takes a battery as you often won’t know if it works until you get it home. When you get the toys home, make sure to wash them well in the sink or tub using dish soap.
6. Picture Frames
Picture frames are something I literally NEVER buy new! Why pay $20 for a frame when I could find something the same size and style at a thrift store for $3? Oftentimes, I can find beautiful brass or wooden frames that I wouldn't be able to find new in a store. I also like to keep an eye out for artwork when I’m browsing the frame section of a thrift store. It’s a great place to look for decor!
Dishes are another item that I love to shop for in thrift stores! Obviously, they’re much cheaper, BUT I always find the most beautiful pieces at a thrift store! To be fair, none of my dishware matches, but I prefer it that way. The eclectic selection of dishware makes my heart happy, especially when we have guests and I get to see all my fun plates at once! I’ve also been able to find complete sets of used dishware, so if mismatching is not your thing, don’t worry! You can find pretty much any style of dishware you’re looking for thrifting. Simple, antique, eclectic, farmhouse, etc. Glassware is something I also love to thrift for. You can find beautiful wine glasses, colored and textured glasses, or a variety of mason jar sizes if that’s what you prefer.
8. Wooden Furniture
Furniture is something that definitely can take some extra time when thrifting. While it’s very easy to go online and find something you like, thrifting is so much more rewarding in my book. Furniture was just made different years ago. Today, most things are actually made pretty cheaply and don’t last. Solid wood furniture is timeless in my book. If you know anything about restoring furniture, flipping furniture can make great side hustle. Keep an eye out for wooden hutches, chests of drawers, tables, chairs, desks, etc. Garage sales, estate sales, and Facebook marketplace are always great places to look for used furniture.
Lamps are something else that make my mouth fall open when I see them new in stores. Again, why pay so much? I’m continually shocked at how expensive they can be. A new lamp can cost upwards of $100! A thrift store lamp usually costs about $5. I also prefer the style of lamps I can find at thrift stores to the style I see in regular stores. I have found some beautiful antique lamps in thrift stores! When you’re shopping for lamps used, know that you may have to buy the shade separately. If you can’t find a shade you like in the thrift store, you can always get a nice one at the dollar store. Make sure to test the lamp before you buy it too. Not all of them have light bulbs in them, so I usually scour the other lamps until I find a light bulb and then take it, and test it in the lamp I’m interested in. All of our lamps in my house have been bought used, and I think we have some beautiful lamps!
Luggage is something that most people need, but rarely buy. However, when it is time to buy luggage, buy it used! Buying used can save hundreds! Depending on the thrift stores you have access to, you can find a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors! I’ve often found that luggage is often very lightly used when it’s for sale in thrift stores. Most thrift stores will just throw away really beat-up or nasty luggage, so you don’t have to worry about it.
These are just a few of my favorite thrift finds! For so many reasons, thrifting is the way to go. Buying used keeps items out of landfills and is better for the wallet. What's the best deal you've found at a thrift store? Let me know in the comments!
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