There’s an important life lesson I learned pretty quickly after becoming a mother: Not everything you buy needs to be brand new.
I figured this out when new clothes and toys lasted only a few months or even weeks. This lesson can be applied elsewhere in your life as well:
1. Home accessories
Buying used home accessories like lamps, vases, art, and picture frames is a great way to update your home without blowing your budget. When shopping for decorative accents, look for versatile pieces that do double duty, such as a large clear vase that can be filled with whimsical sand dollars in summer or holiday ornaments in the winter.
If you have a voracious reading appetite, secondhand bookstores are great. Used books sell for a fraction of the retail price and with a bit of hunting can be found in good condition. And don’t forget about textbooks. You can find used textbooks in college bookstores and plenty of places online.
3. Sports and exercise equipment
Some shops that sell used sports gear offer discounts as steep as 75 percent off retail prices. Many sell used exercise equipment too. There are online sites that specialize in gently used equipment for every activity.
4. Children’s clothing
There are many resale shops that cater to specific age groups, no matter how young or old your children may be. You can also trade clothes online and find the perfect outfit for your child in online auction sites.
5. Wood furniture
Quality wood furniture is a bargain-shopper’s dream. Plus, used furniture is more likely to have released any volatile organic compounds that might pollute your indoor air. Quality wood furniture will last for years.