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10 Kitchen Essentials You Shouldn’t Buy New

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Essentials in every kitchen are the tools used to cook a meal. Purchasing kitchen essentials new to you can give barely used and like-new items a second life in your home. Since many essentials can be pricey when you purchase them retail, you can save the planet and your pockets with thrifted kitchen essentials. If you’ve noticed your kitchen gadgets and tools showing signs of serious wear and tear, consider replacing them with a few of the gently used items on the list below.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Cookware has a longer lifetime than non-stick Teflon cookware. If properly cared for it can last twice as long, if not longer. Save money by finding this item at a local estate sale or online auction. Avoid cast iron cookware with dents, pitting, or without a flat bottom surface. Remember cast iron cookware can have a longer life when cared for properly.


Look for unique dishware to add to your existing dishes or to replace existing items. Often you can find a full set in many cases unopened. Thrifted or new to you dishwater is a great way to find unique statement pieces for holiday or special occasion dining. Pay close attention to how dishware is made and the specific ways to care for and clean each item.


Glassware like Vintage Pyrex or glass baking dishes are often in abundance in online auctions and estate sales. Thrifted wine glasses or casual cups could be great for adding a pop of color or texture to your tablescape. Many shoppers look to create a matching set or fill in an existing set. In most cases, secondhand glassware is in great condition. If it isn’t, be sure to avoid cloudy, cracked, or chipped glass items.

Mason Jars

Mason Jars have many universal uses in the kitchen and a ton of uses outside the kitchen as well. From creatively upcycled to go cups to corralling pantry clutter, mason jars are a valuable thrifted item. If you find them in an online auction or at an estate sale, look for jars free of cracks or chips along the rim and purchase new lids for the jars to ensure the container can be closed properly.

Measuring Spoons and Cups

Likely one of the most useful items in your kitchen, measuring spoons and cups are the perfect item to shop for secondhand. Well made glass measuring cups can stand the test of team for years when cleaned and cared for properly. Measuring spoons are easily lost, but purchasing them like-new can help you save.

Pots and Pans

Stainless steel and heavy-duty copper pots and pans in good condition are excellent finds. Pay close attention to possible signs of wear and tear. After your purchase increase the lifetime of your pots and pans by keeping them well maintained with consistent deep cleaning. Avoid warped pots, items with loose or broken handles, or non-stick cookware with damaged Teflon.

Servingware and Cooking Utensils

Serving spoons or spatulas are great deals to purchase from online auctions and estate sales. Servingware can be the perfect item to infuse interesting glam into a tablescape or when you’re serving a special meal. Look for items free of rust with minimum wear and tear. If you are looking to create unique art for the kitchen framed utensils can be a thrifty way to create drama in your kitchen or dining room design scheme.

Serving Platters and Stands

Though handy to have, we don’t often use items like serving platters or cake stands outside of special occasions. Add color to your kitchen or dining space with unique finds. Since these are not items most people use often, this makes this category the perfect item to look for preloved and save! 

Small Appliances

Small appliances like blenders or slow cookers can be a great buy if they are like new, refurbished or in an unopened box. Small appliances like blenders, stand mixers, choppers, and food processors are not commonly used by the average cook and often sit in the box unopened in some homes. Purchasing these items like new can save half the retail cost in most cases. Try to avoid items that aren’t clean, show signs of wear and tear or have missing parts as you shop.


These bowls are resilient items able to last for years in any kitchen if well taken care of. Mixing bowls, specifically, are some of the best kitchen items to buy secondhand because of their extreme durability and versatility. Stainless steel, ceramic or glass are excellent replacement options for plastic bowls that often hold bacteria longer. Avoid stainless steel bowls with uneven surfaces or rust.

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