Absolutes: stuff you should never buy new

In May I wrote a blog titled “Never say never” – writing about the things that some people will never buy thrift. While there might be things that I buy used that others wouldn’t (like bathing suits or bras) there are some things that I think no one should ever buy new. These are my absolutes:





Baskets. Picnic baskets, Easter baskets, big ones, small ones, round ones, square ones, woven ones, metal ones… thrift shops have baskets in every shape, size, colour and texture you could possibly want and they’re almost always under a dollar (you’ll probably pay more for a picnic basket.) The only way I’d buy a basket new was if it was a unique art piece that i was buying directly from the artisan or at a fair-trade shop like Ten Thousand Villages. If you need a unique basket like this one that is perfect for my cloth napkins, you’ll find a great selection at nearly all thrift shops.


Christmas mugs and knick-knacks. I love Christmas mugs and have quite an eclectic set. I have Starbucks mugs and Hallmark mugs and more.  I bought this white Danica mug a few years ago, just found the red one this week at the MCC Plaza in Abbotsford. I love their Danish look and at 25cents, honestly, why would you pay a lot for a mug you use for 6 weeks each year?






Gift bags and Greeting Cards.  You can get brand new bags and cards at most thrift shops for cheaper than you’d get them at a dollar store. I usually make my own Christmas cards out of old cards but I think that this year I’m going to purchase all my cards thrift. While I enjoy the creative process, this feels even more environmentally friendly to me. This great child’s birthday card costs more than $5 new  -I’ve seen them at the Post office – this one cost me 75 cents, the gift bag cost 30 cents.


These are just a few of my absolutes, I can think of a lot more. It’s true that when I think of purchasing something I always think thrift first – clothing, shoes, furniture, house hold items – most of this stuff in my house has been thrifted. The more I shop thrift, the more I realize that I rarely need to buy anything retail and if I do, I certainly don’t need to pay full price.


How about you? What are your absolutes?

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3 Responses to Absolutes: stuff you should never buy new

  1. Laura says:

    I would add to that list mugs of any kind. I’ve found some very nice pottery mugs at thrift shops, and I like that they don’t all match each other. I might add Tupperware too–I found a $30 storage bowl in excellent condition for $2.50 last week!

  2. biggsis says:

    Exercise and outdoor work clothes. I find sweatshirts and junky shorts to work out in, paint in, etc at my GoodWill 99 cents day all the time. Other good stuff as well!

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