Don’t buy new when used will do—Saving money

When we get in over our heads financially, breaking old habits can be hard.

One of the habits we may need to break is always buying new things. The appeal of buying things that are brand new can’t be denied. There is that smell of the new thing. There is the undeniable joy of opening the package of the new thing and taking in the beauty of the new “toy.”

But there is also something to be said about used items and the value that use gives them. In this article we are going to look at just a few ways you can save money by purchasing used items that still have a lot of life left in them.

The “new-to-you” used car

This is probably one of the top ways to save money. While we all would probably like to purchase a brand new car fresh off the assembly line, the reality is this: a new car loses value the second you drive it off the lot.

According to an article on, “As far as value is concerned, the old adage rings true: A car loses value as soon as you drive it off the dealership lot—up to 15% depending on the vehicle. It doesn’t stop there; by the time it’s four years old, the typical car retains only about half of its value. After that, however, the depreciation curve is much less steep.”

Even though the appeal of a new car is there, the fact remains that it just is not a super wise value. A used car is a much better value for your money and will retain its value longer, too.

If you are looking for a way to save money and you need a different car (notice I said “need” not “want?”) then a good used car is your best bet.

Thrift Store buys

I received some new clothes for Christmas this past year, but before that and the majority of my entire wardrobe consists of gently used clothes.

I don’t need to spend a lot of money on new clothes to have a nice selection of clothes to wear.

Almost any town you go to has at least one thrift shop. Some are much better than others, but most of the time, you can find really nice clothes for ridiculously low prices. A like new pair of jeans can be less than a cup of coffee at the diner!

One thing that I do when I buy used clothing is to always wash it before I wear it. Even though I would guess that the majority of items you find at second hand or thrift stores is clean, why take the chance? Just throw it in the washing machine and make sure!

Many of the clothes that I wear to work are from second hand stores or thrift shops.

But thrift shops don’t just sell used clothes. You can buy used smaller appliances, home decor, tools and a plethora of other useful items if you shop around. Since thrift shops are very common, you can probably shop at a few different ones to get the things you are looking for.

Garage sale finds

This one goes along with thrift shops very well. You can find good, used clothing really cheap at some garage sales. You can also find some real treasures if you look closely.

Summer time is a perfect time to purchase gently used items as garage sales happen every week in many towns. If you are worried that someone might recognize an article of clothing you wear if you buy it from a local garage sale, then head out of town to shop at nearby towns sales.

You can often find used tools, knick-knacks, clothes, books and a ton of other items at a garage sale and save hundreds of dollars over buying everything new.

A yard sale or garage sale is also a good way to spend a few hours out in the fresh air rather than holed away in a shopping mall or big box store.

When you are looking at ways to save money, this may be one of the very best ways to do so because you can find such a variety of items at a garage sale.

Often, several people will hold garage sales together and that really increases the number of items you can find. Keywords to look for if you are looking through ads in the newspaper are: Estate Sale, Multi-Family Sale and similar phrases. One of my favorites is a “Moving Sale” because often the seller is very motivated to move their items and will take even less than they have things priced at.

Used appliances

Buying used appliances can be risky, but often worth the search. Every single washer and dryer that my spouse and I owe were purchased second hand. We saved hundreds of dollars over purchasing new and so far we have not had to spend anything on repairs.

That isn’t to say that we have always been so lucky. We’ve purchased used lawn and garden equipment like lawnmowers that worked great at the garage sale and stopped working the minute we got them home!

With any purchase of a used item, you take a risk unless it comes with some sort of warranty. Most garage sales and thrift stores do not offer anything like that although some might accept the item back within a certain time frame.

In my experience, the time and cost of a used appliance has beaten having to take my clothes to a laundromat to wash them. With children, we are constantly washing clothes.

Used will do

I am like anyone else, I like new things, but I also like the idea of saving money when I can. I find that 9 times out of 10, used will do and I don’t need to spend extra money on a new item.

When investing in used items, you should still shop around, maybe even more so than when buying new because you want to make sure you get the best value for your money, especially if there are no returns.

There are many times that used will do just as good as new and retain its value longer, too!

Thank you for visiting my site. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!

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About the author

Karin Nauber, is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. Karin has seven grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. Karin also was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 11 years ago and has faced many challenges with the disease. If you would like to contact her, please do so at:


  1. Very nice content you have up here and a helpful one at that. Firstly, nothing could deny the unbelievable feeling of making use of a new gadget, clothes and so on. But sometimes, things are not always smooth sailing and as such, one just have to save up some valuable  money and in this case, getting fairly used things is as worthy as getting new things especially clothing’s. Most used clothing’s do have unmatched quality higher than the new ones you might want to opt in before so, its a good way to save up. Also, due to car prices, my car was bought as a fairly used car from a colleague and it sure does work perfectly okay till date. So, sometimes it is a wise decision to just give it all up and go for the money saving alternative by opting for used products.

    • Thank you for visiting our site. I am glad to see you found value from it and have found that buying good used items can help save you money.

      Best wishes,

      Karin 😁

  2. Well said, I’m actually thinking that buying second hand items or used things are one of the greatest saving money hacks. I agree that used appliances and cars are usually risky but very worth if we can find the most suitable item. Despite the saving, there are two things that I don’t really like to buy: second hand gadgets (laptops, smartphones; unless I really know the seller personally) and used clothing (personal reason). Looking forward to read your other financial tips

    • Thank you for visiting our site. I agree with you on buying secondhand gadgets like laptops and smartphones. I bought a used one that was refurbished, but it was so old that it couldn’t be upgraded and couldn’t handle a lot of the energy consuming apps and programs that I needed. I ended up having to purchase a new computer a few months later.

      Another thing I don’t buy used—EVER—is underwear! 🙂

      Best wishes,

      Karin 😁

  3. Hi, I have read your entire article very seriously. I was very excited because I was able to know about Saving Money. A car loses value as soon as you drive it off the dealership lot-up to 15% depends on the vehicle. I like new things, but I also like the idea of saving money when I can I also love to buy very good quality products. From here I came to know how to save money. Thank you very much for sharing such a savings money article.

  4. Totally agree with you on this one Karin, 

    buying new is good but it’s not necessary and if we can certainly survive from using used items instead. I use the same clothes, same car, same wallet, and same appliances for 7 years now and they’re all in super good shape so, with the extra money that I have, I keep it so that I can afford to buy presents without worry and better yet, travel the world 😀

    I even buy video games secondhand often – They work perfectly but costs half the price, sometimes lower. What’s your used item that you usually buy?

    • Thanks for visiting our site, Riaz. I am so glad you have seen the  value of buying used. We have the same car we’ve had for the past seven years. We did recently buy a new to us, used car because my spouse and I are both working now and needed another one.

      Good point on the video games. We buy ours second hand, too, and they work just fine. I get many at garage sales and they are just fine!

      Best wishes,

      Karin 😁

  5. I agree with your sentiment that buying used is usually better if it is a good deal because it prolongs life cycles of products. It helps to increase the value of products made because they have to tailor to people that will only buy new if it is a very good deal. Has buying used made you live a better lifestyle?

    • Thanks for visiting our site, Jon. Buying used or second-hand has definitely made us live a better lifestyle. By shopping around, we have been able to save for taking small vacations. We have also been able to put a bit of money away for emergency situations.

      We have been very happy with our choices to purchase used over new for most purchases.

      Best wishes,

      Karin 😁

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