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Ohio Living

Frugal Friday: Save with Second-Hand

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Frugal Friday: Save with Second-Hand

Frugal Friday second hand

It’s Frugal Friday!  The time when we take a few moments to focus on tips and hints for frugal living.

We always want the best for our kids, but sometimes brand-new everything can be pretty expensive, especially for items they outgrow quickly.  The good news is that high-quality, gently used items can be a fantastic bargain.  Garage sales, church rummage sales, consignment stores, and thrift stores can be great sources of second-hand savings.  You may also have some luck on Craigslist, Ebay, or one of the local “garage sale” or “swap” groups on Facebook.

If there’s something specific you’re looking for, try putting out an APB on social media too–my daughter is a major bookworm, but was still a little young to handle an expensive brand-new Kindle.  When I mentioned on Facebook that I was looking for a used, basic one, a friend was more than willing to make a deal on an old one that she’s not using, and it worked out great for both of us!

My son was in his first season of indoor soccer, but we weren’t really eager to throw down $30+ on new shoes when his feet were growing ridiculously fast, and we weren’t sure if he was even going to stick with indoor soccer after the first session.  I got lucky and found a pair of barely-used Umbros in his size at a consignment shop for under $10.  Last fall for outdoor soccer season, we got Under Armour cleats for both boys at a consignment store for a fraction of retail price.  Definitely worth it!

We were also going to need two new jerseys at $25 apiece…I was not looking forward to an additional $50 after already paying for soccer registration, so I hit up the community’s Buy-Sell-Trade group on Facebook, asking for the sizes I needed.  Someone had some sitting in the bottom of her kids’ closets, and she was willing to sell them to me for $10 apiece, a savings of $30 for the pair vs. buying them new–worked out well for both of us (especially since this year they’ll be on different teams and won’t be able to re-use them)!

top 10 bargains at secondhand

Some great things to look for second-hand:

  • Kids’ bikes, skates, and athletic gear (they outgrow them so fast, they’re often very gently-used)
  • Little Tikes or Step-2 play equipment (wears like iron, and kids don’t care if it’s brand new!)
  • Electronic devices, especially if you don’t need the latest-and-greatest model
  • Hobby equipment, especially if you’re just getting started and don’t want to invest a ton just to try something
  • Baby gear, especially the things they only use for a few months (beware of used car seats, though!)
  • Collectibles
  • Special event clothing for adults (lots of formal wear available that’s only been worn once!)
  • Kids’ play clothes or dress clothes
  • Toys for “big boys”: Boats, tractor equipment, etc.: my husband has had a lot of luck finding deals from motivated sellers on Craigslist.
  • Kitchenware – breadmakers, mismatched dishes, mugs, small appliances

If you’re like me, the “hunt” is part of the fun too…you never know when you’ll find the diamond in the rough that you’re looking for, and scoring a great deal on something cool is just the icing on the cake.

What have you had luck with when buying second hand?   I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments or on Facebook!

If you’re just joining the Frugal Friday series, check out these other posts:

Megan has been frugal most of her life, but has been really honing her frugal skills as the chief home economist for her family of six, surviving and thriving on a single (teacher’s!) income.  If she can do it, you can too!

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