5 things we almost always buy used and three things we DON'T!

Last week a reader sent me a link to a really interesting article from radio host Clark Howard. It was about four things he thinks you should always buy used.

There were a few things in the article I was leery of but over all he made some really great points. We all know that used cars and clothing save cash. But what about other things? 

Here are some things we buy used and a few things we don't.

1. Furniture.

We have been so fortunate to be on the receiving end of some GREAT hand me down furniture. And soon we will be in the market for a new sofa. However, I really don't see myself marching into the furniture store and plunking down cash for a new couch.

In total honesty, I bought a brand new sofa a few years ago and I was so disappointed in the quality of the furniture. I would rather buy something used that is a little more high end.

Instead I will hit up Craigslist or a few estate sales to find something I like.

Note: I did recently buy two NEW sofas that I saved up cash for. I in no way regret this decision. Best. Couches. Ever. But this was after months of mining through Craigslist and coming up empty. 

2. Children's Books

I am all about supporting authors. Don't get me wrong. I buy a lot of books, especially from authors I love.

However, when it comes to books for my small children I get them used from PaperBackSwap.com or from my local Goodwill or garage sales.

As much as I want to teach my kids to respect books, I know that they are more likely to get cracked spines, torn pages and jacked up covers by the time my kids are done.

I am also using PaperBackSwap.com to build our children's literature library with classics like "Charlotte's Web" and "Harry Potter."

3. Toys

I wouldn't say we have too many toys at our house, not since we got rid of half our stuff. With the exception of a few trains we bought the boys for Christmas, most of our toys were either gifted from relatives for birthdays or purchased at Goodwill.

Young children don't care where their toys come from. I am sure as my kids get older having new items might be more important to them, but I think that is more of a cultural issue that needs to be dealt with. And perhaps if we show our children that buying used items not only save us money, but is also better for the planet we can create a shift in our family cultures.

4. Baby items

So many of our baby items are second hand, our booster seat, my oldest son's bed, furniture, clothing, toys, eating utensils.

Yes, it is nice to buy a few new things just for baby, but for the most part babies outgrow things SO fast I really don't see the point in buying them new.

I even have friends who have gotten their cloth diapers for free using online exchange sites.

Just a note on used cribs: I know some people take issue with buying used cribs. I don't. I just say use your best judgement. Make sure it is super sturdy and safe before purchasing. Make sure there are not loose, broken or missing parts.

5. Picture frames.

Photo frames can get expensive, unless you buy them at the thrift store! My Goodwill and local Habitat for Humanity ReStore sell large, solid wood frames for just a few bucks.

They are certainly great for photos, but also for upcycling into something great as well.

And a few things I will always buy new:

1. Car seats.

I just don't think I would ever be comfortable buying a car seat used. I was in a terrible car wreck when I was pregnant with Ryals and I am just really, really cautious when it comes to all things car safety.

This isn't a judgement for those of you who have purchased used car seats, it's just something I don't ever think I will be comfortable with.

2. Mattresses.

We have all heard that mattresses become heavier after several years of use because of all the dead skin cells in them. That grosses me out. Does that not totally gross you out.

And I know what you're thinking? "Didn't you just say you would buy a used sofa?"

Yes, yes I did. But I can clean those couch cushions. Can you really ever clean a mattress? Nope. Gross. Not gonna do it.

3. Under garments and bathing suits.

I feel like this is a big DUH. Of course I buy my boys rash guard shirts and swimming trunks used, but I would never buy anyone's undergarments or swim suits. Yikes, it's just too gross to think about further.

What about you? What are some things you buy used or new?