New To My Kids, But Not Brand-New


Yes, I shop second-hand.  And no, I’m not afraid to admit it.  In fact, sometimes I can’t help myself when someone compliments one of my kids’ outfits or a piece of kids’ furniture in our house.  I excitedly blurt out, “I got that on Facebook Marketplace!” or “I picked that up at a garage sale!”  or “It’s a hand-me-down!”   If you’ve been on the receiving end of one of my pro-second hand speeches, I apologize.  

Let me tell you why I get so excited.  Our kids don’t know the difference.  Maybe teenagers, yes, but to my fellow parents of babies, toddlers, and young kids– they don’t know.  And if they do?  They probably don’t care.  I can only speak for my family of course, but the joy that second-hand items have brought to my three-year-old daughter has been heart-melting.  I’ve even started to explain to her where some of the second-hand things come from.  Not only is she getting something new to her, but I’m also able to start teaching her that it’s fun to give things a new life when someone else is done with them.

Also, we all know kids grow out of clothes and shoes so fast, and that some toys can be very short-lived.  So when I can find used items in good condition for way less than brand new, I go for it.  The hunt itself is also kind of fun!

When I’m shopping for something used, it usually falls into one of these categories:

Bigger items – Some of our bigger item purchases have been an outdoor playhouse and ride-on truck.

Something needed for vacation – I bought a used umbrella stroller for vacation because I knew we wouldn’t get much use out of it otherwise.

Vintage or specific play item – I like vintage wooden toys, and I like re-doing them for my daughter.  I’m also very openly picky about toys.  So I love the hunt for these kinds of things!

Season change – When summer and winter roll around I usually realize I need a few things for these seasons.  

Spare or extra items – Things like extra snow boots, mittens, outside clothes, etc.

New activity or sportMy most recent purchase was a pair of kids’ ice skates so my daughter could go skating for the first time.  They hadn’t even been worn!

My daughter was so excited for her “new” playhouse!

Best Places to Shop Second-Hand

Facebook Marketplace

You can search by keyword, distance, category, etc.  And once you search for something one time, you will get flooded with more search results whenever you go into the app.  Good thing or bad thing?  I’m not sure!

Garage/Yard Sales

I usually only go to ones advertised on Facebook.  If I’m going to load the kids up in the car I want to know that the sale is worth it, so I check out the description and pictures before I go.  I love these for clothes and baby items.

Once Upon a Child

They have a huge selection and organize everything so well.  Based on my experience, everything is in good condition and priced reasonably.

Independent Consignment Shops

I’ve had good luck at these, too.  They are usually smaller and items may be priced a little higher, but they are good if you are looking for something specific.

Goodwill & Salvation Army

If you haven’t been to one of these lately, you might be surprised at the selection.  Full of kids’ games, books, and baby items.

Flea Markets

These are fun because there’s a variety of items and you never know what you will find.  From traditional toys to vintage ones to things that need a little TLC, I’ve picked up a few things at flea markets.

I don’t buy everything second-hand, but I do like to find a good balance between new and used.  There’s a lot of reasons to buy second-hand, and those reasons may be a little different for everyone.  For us, it’s reducing the amount of waste and items going to a landfill, and finding something to give new life to.  It’s also fun to get a good deal and save some money.  I very rarely bought second-hand before I had kids and I can honestly say I never thought I would get so excited over new-to-us items.  But now it’s a part of our lifestyle and something I hope to teach my kids.

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Sarah Fruth
Sarah is a farmer’s wife and a stay at home mom who resides in New Riegel with her husband, Steve, and daughter Hestenne. The family is also expecting their second child in May. They live in a rural area surrounded by fields, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Living with them on their small farm are horses, several chickens and ducks, dogs, a few barn cats, and a goat. Sarah loves to read, write, ride her horses when she can, and get engulfed in small home projects. In an effort to maintain balance and sanity, she is constantly working towards simplifying her family’s life and home. Sarah and her daughter are regulars at their local library’s playgroup and spend a lot of time visiting Daddy on the tractor. She is a believer in natural and holistic health practices and enjoys learning more about them. Sarah is also very passionate about natural health, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. She is a firm believer in self-advocacy, knowledge, and support through all stages of motherhood. She blogs about her family’s lifestyle and motherhood at Follow her @theruralredhead.


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