You Bought That NEW?! Never Pay Full-Price for These 8 Things!

How To Save Money, Shopping Tips

Raise your hand if you like saving money. Who doesn't?! One of the best ways to save is to buy used, so today, we're revealing the eight things you should never buy new!

mom and daughter using ipad, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you've ever wondered whether to buy used or new, then we have a feeling you're going to LOVE what we're about to share. Today's post is all about saving big bucks by buying used. And we're excited to dive right in and help you find some deals!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Spoiler alert: we're about to let you in on some secrets that could end up saving you thousands of dollars. Not to sound dramatic or anything, but this might be THE most important thing you'll read all week. So, grab your favorite snack and drink, sit back and relax, and prepare to learn something new!


kids riding used bikes, from Fun Cheap or Free

Kid bikes, adult bikes, bicycles built for two, you name it. You don't need to buy them brand spanking new! When you're buying used, the nicer the bike, the better the deal. One of our friends sold a bunch of old stuff (including a guitar amp from college collecting dust) to pay for an incredible $3,200 mountain bike that he scored off the classifieds for $1,500. The bike was in tip-top shape; the original owner was upgrading after only ONE season of riding on it. Holy good deal, huh?!

Pro Tip: Online classifieds (think Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, or Craigslist) and yard sales are great places to buy kid bikes since kids grow out of them so quickly. (Psst … learn how to become a Yard Sale ninja and save hundreds!)


This is probably one of our best secrets. Welcome to the wonderful world of refurbishment. You can buy a refurbished iPad for a heck of a lot less than a brand new one, straight from Apple's website. And yes, they work every bit as well (trust us, that's how we bought ours!).

Here's the BIG secret. These deals aren't limited to just iPads! You can buy any form of technology refurbished, and it often still includes a warranty of some kind. Also, check your local electronics repair shops; they sometimes hold liquidation sales for refurbished items.

Pro Tip: Want to buy a refurbished Macbook? Make sure to buy it directly from Apple! You can usually find the best deals just after they announce a new model.


women shopping for used clothes, from Fun Cheap or Free

Aside from quality yard sales, consignment stores are great places to get quality items. Not only can you save money buying used clothes, but you can make some money, too. If you take your unwanted clothes to a store like Plato's Closet or Kid-to-Kid, sell your items on the spot, then use that cash to buy an updated wardrobe for a great price. Look for gently used clothes that aren't faded or stained. Check sweaters for snags, check pants and dresses for buttons and snaps, and make sure everything is easily washable (and wash it before you wear it!). Online thrift shops are a goldmine, too!

Pro Tip: Want to help your clothes last a lot longer and keep them well organized so you can pass them from kid to kid? Check out these clothing organization hacks!


Whether you're gearing up for Halloween or planning a masquerade ball, don't shell out hundreds of dollars on new costumes! Think about it this way. How many times have your kids worn the same Halloween costume two years in a row? Exactly.

So WHY shell out a whole lot of money on new fancy costumes every year?! Instead, take advantage of all those β€œworn once or twice” Halloween costumes that pop up online in the fall. If you see one on a sale for a great deal, snag it! And hey, after that costume makes its debut on the trick-or-treat streets, it will be a great addition to the dress-up box.

Pro Tip: Want to save even more on those costumes? Go DIY! Here are some easy homemade Halloween costume ideas.


family sledding in the snow, from Fun Cheap or Free

Time to stock up on new snowsuits or boots? PLEASE don't buy them brand new! Kids grow so fast that most people end up replacing kid snow gear each season if they live in a snowy climate. Their loss is your gain! Shop around winter time as people clear out their seasonal closets. We once bought an entire professional ski suit (including gloves, goggles, boots, jacket, and pants) for our 5-year-old at a neighborhood yard sale for $5. Yup. You read that right! It was only worn for one season and was worth over $200 retail. Our other kids got fabulous winter coats and boots that year from a thrift store.

Pro Tip: If you decide to buy new snow gear, make sure you snag the best deals during semi-annual sales! We once got an entire snowsuit for 99 cents during the Children's Place Semi-Annual Sale. January is the time to find those deals.


If you have pets or kids, then you already know where we're going with this! Normal wear and tear are inevitable, but furry friends and tiny tots can really wreak havoc on your upholstery. So instead of buying a new sofa for the family room, save yourself the money and headache by buying used! Check Facebook Marketplace, head to a furniture consignment shop, or hit up some yard sales. You can save hundreds (if not more) just by buying your furniture used!

Pro Tip: Notice a few dings or imperfections? Haggle for a lower price, then fix up that item yourself to save even more money!


family buying a used car, From Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, we know used car salespeople get a bad rap, but the truth is, it really does pay to buy your cars used! First off, the minute you drive off the car lot, a new car loses value. But beyond that, it's important to consider other costs of ownership. Property taxes and insurance are usually much lower on a used vehicle. You don't have to buy a lemon to save! Certified used cars typically have low miles and come with a warranty. It's a no-brainer, in our opinion!

Pro Tip: Looking for a higher-end car without a high price? Ask your local dealer about buying one of their courtesy cars! The loaner cars dealership customers use while having their vehicle serviced typically have low miles and come fully loaded. And many dealers are willing to part ways with them as new cars come on the lot, so you can get a car with under 10,000 miles for up to $10,000 less than brand new!


If you've been looking for a new treadmill, stop. Buying used exercise equipment is the way to go! Right around Christmas, treadmills and ellipticals fly off the shelves. As the year goes on and people kick those New Year's Resolutions to the curb, what do they do? They sell that exercise equipment that's become a clothing rack!

You can find some incredible deals on barely used weights, desk bikes, all-in-one machines, and more. Scour those online classifieds! Some folks will even give their equipment away before a big move, so if you've got a truck and a couple of arms ready for heavy lifting, you can score a steal.

Pro Tip: Amazon sells used exercise equipment, too! They've got everything from yoga mats to dumbells and row machines! Take a peek and price compare before you decide where to buy.


Now you've got eight easy ways to save the big bucks! For the record, if an item is a good condition, we'll also vote for the used version, so go ahead and save when you can.

Which items do you always try to buy used? We'd love to know, so leave us a comment!

Image with text that reads "8 Items to Always Buy Used",from Fun Cheap or Free

While you're here, check out our Budget Boot Camp if you're looking for more ways to save money! As frugal living experts, we'll help you whip your wallet into shape in no time through a fun, interactive series of videos!

Sounds pretty awesome, right?! Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off at checkout. Plus, we have a 100% money-back guarantee, so you've got nothing to use!

Looking for a few more shopping tips?

Go forth and save!


  1. Laura

    I always love your segments like this! Firm believer that you can never learn enough when it comes to saving money. Great tips!

    Also, wasn’t the guys tell all something ELSE? I mean, really. Princeton guy on his knees and then totally wanted to cry for both Ben and Jarrid, poor fellas. The Bachelorette is TOTALLY my guilty pleasure show too. πŸ™‚

    • FunCheapOrFree

      ON HIS KNEES! JACKET OFF! I was speechless. “This is me. The real me. I’m so humble…” Such an interesting guy! Definitely on my list of people I want to meet in person for sure πŸ˜‰ I bet he’s cool in real life, but comes across as crazy sauce on TV. ha! This season has been a trip. πŸ™‚

      • Rosemary Grabowski

        I have found that used furniture is usually much more sturdy (so important when you have boys!) than new things—even expensive new things. If you can find an old sofa or chair that has “good bones” (like a real wood frame—even oak, if you’re lucky—no pine, or particle board!) even if you don’t like the color, it’s much cheaper to buy it and have it re-upholstered than it would be to buy it new (and, again, soooo much better quality!) I do love me a good thrift store! πŸ˜€

        • Fun Cheap or Free

          That’s such a great tip!

  2. Sarah

    Great tips! I wish I had more energy to repaint wooden furniture, though! πŸ™‚

  3. Tina

    Oh my gosh we live off of resale items! Well, “a lot” of resale items, better said lol. Kids clothes, decorations, toys, Halloween costumes FUR SURE, decorative furniture (not beds, ew). And we rock climb, so bye a lot of our (non-life-dependant gear) at places like gear swaps. It takes more time to do this, but is COMPLETELY worth it!


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