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Items to never buy new

It’s hard to choose to reuse when you don’t know what is available in the first place. Buying items secondhand becomes an easier habit to build when you keep an awareness of what is readily available. This article will outline the kinds of things you should seldom need to buy new.

Commonly known 

Most people are aware that thrift stores stock clothing, but they may not know just how much. With today’s ever-changing fashion trends, secondhand clothes are never in short supply. Many stores carry clothing and accessories for all genders including belts, scarves, purses, shoes, boots, and even socks and underwear. It’s also possible to find gently used athletic wear and sports gear that would be very expensive new. Check out a specialty store for specific items like formal wear and sporting goods if you want a great selection all in one place. If walking through a store isn’t your thing, there are increasingly more options to buy used clothing online: Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, Goodwill, or more unique vendors like Poshmark, Material World or ThredUp that offer stylist services or customized boxes to create a more upscale shopping experience.

Stock or re-stock your kitchen

Another common category of easy-to-find used items is kitchenware. If you want to cultivate a quirky, boho aesthetic, you can easily piece together a colorful set of similar plates, bowls, or glasses quite cheaply. An extra bonus to mixing and matching while entertaining is that guests can tell which glass or plate is theirs and minimize the amount of dirty dishes! Stores are always stocked with partial sets of easily broken things like wine glasses and mugs, too, which can be helpful if you’ve lost a few pieces over time. You may even find that someone has donated an exact replacement to an item you’re missing in a matching set! Beyond dinnerware, you can find tools for cooking, too. From pots and pans to small household appliances like coffee pots, crockpots and toasters, secondhand stores have a stockpile of used items to help you replace something or fully equip a new kitchen.

Decorating or doing chores 

Think thrift the next time you’re redecorating a space or doing household chores. You will usually be able to find these used:

  • Picture frames, decorative bowls, vases, shelving and seasonal décor
  • Plant pots, gardening tools, and lawn decorations
  • Paint and painting supplies (try the Habitat ReStore)
  • Cleaners, fertilizers, pesticides (Both Hennepin County drop-offs have free product centers for leftovers)
  • Lawnmowers and snowblowers

Once you start practicing the reuse mindset, you may be delighted to discover just how many items you can buy new instead of used- helping the environment and your wallet at the same time. A bit of patience and a quick browse through a secondhand store every now and then will likely result in some fantastic finds.