7 things to never buy new

Happy Monday, everyone!


Do you know what makes me feel like a total dumb dumb? Wasting money. You all could be trust-fund babies, but as for me, every dollar that’s in my checking account is one I’ve worked damn hard for, and want to see stretched as far as possible. In fact, every dollar kind of has to. It’s no wonder then, why I’m so hooked on thrift-store shopping.

Below is a list of things that are a cinch to find at nearly any large thrift store. While the savings might not seem major, over time, they definitely add up. And just as important as saving money, every time you buy something at a thrift, as opposed to getting it new, you’re doing reducing your (let’s be real) overly consumptive habits.

1. Holiday decorations

Thrift stores are packed with new and used holiday decorations, from vintage Christmas ornaments to Easter baskets to spooky Halloween knick knacks. Even better, kitschy holiday decor has so much more character than the new crap you can find at Target. After any given holiday, you can bet that whatever decorations are left will be deeply discounted.

2. Basic sports equipment

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an athlete. But I like to dabble, and thrift stores allow me to do so without breaking the bank. If you feel like shooting hoops or batting a tennis ball back and forth, look no further than your neighborhood thrift store for the goods to get you started. The biggest Salvation Army in Minneapolis, on any given day, has the basics: basketballs, tennis rackets, golf clubs (and golf bags), bowling balls (and bags), ice skates, roller skates, hockey sticks, etc. Exception: Clearly, if you’re looking for “nice” equipment, even of the used variety, you’ll have to hit up a specialty shop for good pre-owned items. Also, it’s unwise to buy protective gear (helmets, wrist guards, etc.) used.

3. Cards (invitations, too)

When I come across a good card selection at a thrift, I try to stock up on some basics—birthday cards, happy anniversary cards, congratulations, sympathy—at some time or another, I’ll need them all, and having them on hand saves me time and money. The extra bonus? Sometimes you can come across really fantastic vintage cards that have 100 times more character and charm than new ones. Also look for packs of invitations.

4. Pet stuff

It’s easy when you get a pet to go overboard and want to spend a zillion dollars at PetCo. Believe you me, I’ve been there. However, I’ve found that most thrifts have a lot of what you need to get started in pet ownership, including food and water bowls, litter boxes, brushes, bird/hamster/guinea pig cages,  aquariums, fish bowls and leashes.

5. Craft materials

Yarn, knitting needles, embroidery hoops, new and vintage fabrics, vintage crewel kits, pom pom makers, zippers, buttons, rug-hooking kits—all of these can be found in the aisles of your local thrift. Also, tons and tons and tons of sewing patterns, old and new.

6. Plant pots

Many of my terracotta and ceramic pots have bit the dust, due to my spastic dog knocking them down my concrete steps. I keep my eyes out for garden sections at thrifts, to stock up on pretty pots when I find them. You can also find gardening implements—trowels, et al—too.

7. Wrapping paper

Brand-new rolls of wrapping paper are up for grabs at deeply discounted prices at thrifts, like between 50 cents and a dollar. Keep your eyes out for vintage paper, too! Always a pretty way to cover a present.

I hope y’all had lovely weekends! Mine was busy, busy, busy, but that’s gotten me extra excited for a relaxing night of Monday Night Football & cheesy nachos. Go Bears!



6 thoughts on “7 things to never buy new

  1. I LOVE this post, Meghan! Such a good idea to keep things like cards and wrapping paper on hand because you’ll need them inevitably, and they’re so foolishly expensive new. Thanks for the tips :)

  2. Great post (I was sent over here by Sal at Already Pretty!) but I’ve gotta take issue with #5 on your list. Not all yarns and fabrics are made the same. And while you can occasionally score a great deal on a giant bag of wool (I’ve done it!), you’re far more likely to end up with ugly stinky granny acrylics, or moth eaten junk, or stained or torn fabric. For all but the most casual crafter, sometimes you’ve just gotta go new ;-)

  3. Great post! I would love to see your ideas on the seven items of clothing you should never buy new… and seven items of clothing you should always buy new. Eg I always cringe a little (ok, a LOT) when I see preloved underwear in a charity shop. Really? Who buys it!?

  4. love love love!! Well said. I think a lot of people forget how easy it is to find these things at thrifties. I’m gonna attach this one to my FB page. I know a lot of people that will enjoy this gem.

  5. I have been using thrift store holiday cards for three or four years in a row, and I always get compliments on them. But I will say that the one roll of holiday wrapping paper I bought was so easily torn that I use it as tissue paper instead. Still, it’s useful.

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