By Barbara Pronin

Tightening your budget belt doesn’t have to mean doing without things you want or need, says Credit.com’s A.J. Smith. There’s no shame in buying second-hand, and with today’s proliferation of flea markets, yard sales, and online resources, it could make a lot of sense.

“Turning to these options can bring you the most value for your dollar because there are some things that most people simply do not need to buy new,” Smith maintains.

He pinpoints six things to consider buying used for more reasons than one:

Cars – It’s a well-known fact that cars depreciate the moment they are driven off the new car lot – and buying a used car can save you money on both initial cost and on insurance. Just pick a model that has been well-maintained and holds its value.

Sports and exercise gear – From skis to tennis rackets and baseball mitts to treadmills, a lot of sports equipment is purchased new, used infrequently, and ends up being sold. Look for refurbished or like-new gear that is advertised or starring at a yard sale.

Books – Except for collectibles or some coffee table volumes, most people are ready to part with books—even best sellers!—after they’ve been read once. Look for book swap opportunities, visit a second-hand bookstore, or check out library book sales, especially in more affluent areas.

Electronics – Many people today want only the latest versions of their gadgets. If you’re willing to wait a few months from the release date, you may be able to save big and score last year’s – or last quarter’s – model.

Furniture – Used furniture isn’t necessarily worn out or worthless, and classic styles never go out of date. Take your time looking for good pieces at good prices advertised by people who are moving or redecorating, or check out a used furniture outlet.

Dishware – Like furniture, dishes are a personal choice, and are generally recycled due to changing tastes or when people are blending households. Whether you want good china or an everyday set, look for yard or estate sales in upscale areas, or check Craiglist or eBay for bargains.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.