To many apartment dwellers, apartment life means serious budgeting. Furniture, cookware, and other household items can be expensive, so you may want to buy some things secondhand. However, that’s not always the smartest move. Below, learn which kitchen tools you can and can’t buy secondhand.
Why buy secondhand?
When you’re buying used kitchenware, you’ll pay less. You may be buying from a person who might even be open to price negotiations – you’re taking something they no longer want, and they’re not necessarily in this for profit. And while some secondhand items show signs of moderate use, you can find juts slightly dented, mildly scratched, or recently opened (but not yet used) products for an affordable price as well.
Kitchenware you can buy secondhand
Among the kitchen items you can buy secondhand are:
- Mixing bowls: Secondhand mixing bowls, including vintage ones, are safe to buy secondhand. They are typically sturdy enough to withstand damage and easy to clean, and they are often dishwasher and oven safe. If you buy glass bowls and check their aftercare directions. Don’t buy chipped or damaged bowls because they can be dangerous, both because they may have sharp edges and may harbor bacteria.
- Kitchen knives: Kitchen knives are another safe bet for secondhand shopping. Knives can be sharpened and thus returned to nearly new condition. You can also purchase a knife sharpener secondhand, so your blades will stay sharp for cheap.
- Pots and pans: Buy secondhand pots and pans if they don’t have signs of wear and tear. Cast iron, copper, stainless steel heavy, or aluminum high-quality pots and pans that are well maintained will be good as new after a deep cleaning. Keep in mind that cast iron pots should be seasoned instead of cleaned with your usual dishwashing materials.
- Measuring cups and canisters: You can measure and store your sugar, salt, coffee, tea and anything else with secondhand measuring cups and canisters. You can affordably buy a full secondhand set of measuring cups from a local seller or a thrift store.
Kitchenware you shouldn’t buy secondhand
Among the kitchen items you shouldn’t buy secondhand are:
- Cutting boards: Don’t buy used cutting boards, as bacteria can accumulate in the cuts left in the board. Additionally, cutting food on a secondhand cutting board can affect the flavor of your food. Old cutting boards can absorb potent oils from herbs, onions, and garlic if the board isn’t properly cleaned.
- Graters and peelers: Graters and vegetable peelers can become duller and thus harder to use over time. Food graters, unlike knives, cannot easily be sharpened after extensive use.
- Mini-fridges: Although you’re likely not buying standard-size appliances unless you own your apartment, anyone can buy a mini-fridge. However, you should never buy mini-fridges secondhand. That’s because once any unpleasant food odors overtake a fridge, it can be tough to get rid of the smell. Additionally, older fridges may not be as energy-efficient, raising your apartment’s utility bills.
- Hot plates. If your apartment’s kitchen is too small for a standard oven, you might need hot plates, but faulty wiring and shoddy old units can be a fire hazard.
What else can you buy secondhand?
You can buy plenty of non-kitchen items secondhand, especially furniture and bikes. To make a smart secondhand purchase, make sure to research the item, meet the seller in public, inspect the product, and use a secure payment method. You can even get some items for free, but be careful when doing so.
Do you get most of your apartment’s kitchenware new or do you buy secondhand? Sound off in the comments!