Mum saves £5k a year by buying everything second hand – including Christmas presents

Jess Potter pictured with her partner Davey Brown who shop second hand including all Christmas gifts. (Jess Potter/SWNS)
Jess Potter has saved £5,000 a year shopping second hand and will continue this Christmas, pictured with her partner Davey Brown. (Jess Potter/SWNS)

A mum has revealed how she manages to save her family £5,000 a year buying nearly everything second hand, including her Christmas presents.

Jess Potter, 36, from Grangetown, Cardiff says it's easier than you think to find quality gifts that have been pre-loved.

The mum-of-two switched to second hand living to keep costs down around four years ago and now buys almost nothing new.

After changing their buying habits, Potter and her partner Davey Brown, 36, say their savvy spending enables them to save an average of £5,000 per year.

The couple are keen to dispel the myth that second hand automatically means bad quality.

With Christmas fast approaching and the cost of living crisis meaning more families are feeling the pinch, Potter wants to encourage others to give second hand gifts a try.

This year her smart festive shopping is already in full swing and she has already purchased a silver moonstone necklace with a pendant for £8, which would have cost £30 new, and plans to give it as a gift to a family member.

Read more: Spend-savvy mum already has Christmas 2022 all wrapped up

Potter and Brown believe Christmas is the perfect time to start shopping second hand. (Jess Potter/SWNS)
Potter and Brown believe Christmas is the perfect time to start shopping second hand. (Jess Potter/SWNS)

In previous years she has bagged a pink leather Warehouse cross body bag for £10 which would have been £80 new, a Harrods lambswool scarf £12, which cost £40 new, and a wrought iron bed for £400 which cost £1,200 new.

The savvy shopper has also shared some examples of other things you can buy second hand for under £10, that could make perfect Christmas gifts, including a bluetooth keyboard, a Himalayan salt lamp, a microscope, a kids' indoor trampoline and a neck massager.

"Some people will always have something against second hand items, but some things don't carry that ‘used’ stigma," she explains.

"For example, vintage jewellery or handbags always go down a treat at Christmas!"

Potter, who runs Used and Loved, a second-hand selling website, with Brown, has recently opened a Christmas section on the site, bringing together different second hand finds they have spotted online.

Currently listed are Dyson hair dryers and Bose wireless speakers for less than half price.

Watch: Fashionista who hasn't bought new clothes for 2 years says her wardrobe is now 90% pre-loved

The mum-of-two has also shared her top tips for a frugal festive period, including starting your charity Christmas shopping now.

"Second hand shopping takes time," she explains. "You can’t just nip into town on Christmas Eve and do a last minute scramble."

She also believes you shouldn't hesitate if you see something you think would make a perfect second hand gift.

"The beauty of used items is they are one of a kind," she explains. "So you need to buy it before someone else does!"

Potter says high quality second hand products are often better than budget items sold new for the same price, so advised people not to rule things out just because they have been used before.

That being said, shoppers should take some care to read the description of items online before making any decisions about purchases.

She also advises people watch out for too many of the same perfectly presented items on sale, pointing out that this could be a red flag.

Read more: Woman who only buys second-hand shares her thrifting tips

The couple believe second hand is the best way to buy Christmas gifts. (Jess Potter/SWNS)
The couple believe second hand is the best way to buy Christmas gifts. (Jess Potter/SWNS)

But while there are risks, Potter believes the rewards of shopping second hand shouldn't be overlooked, particularly as the benefits include not just saving money, but also saving the planet.

"When you buy a new product you're paying for it to be manufactured, often with plastic, and then shipped all the way from places like China," she explains.

"Many new items are designed to break within a few years and as they frequently can't be recycled they end up in landfill."

One of Potter's biggest tips when it comes to second hand Christmas shopping is presentation.

She says taking your time to package your gift beautifully, it can make all the difference to how people feel when they receive it.

"If it’s wrapped nicely, it can help give a good impression of the quality of the item," she says.

"You can buy vintage fabric and wrap the gifts using the gorgeous Furoshiki method.

"You could even shop around and rekindle your gift with some second-hand original packaging."

Read more: Savvy mum saves thousands through yellow sticker shopping and funds family trip away

Potter's list of second hand items you can find online:

1. Unused make-up, including high-end brands such as Charlotte Tilbury

2. Electric multi cookers and other kitchen appliances

3. Jewellery such as an 18ct gold necklace

4. Vinyl rack and other storage

5. Designer gear such as a Gucci belt

6. Retro bags

7. Balance bikes and other exercise equipment

8. Changing robes

Additional reporting SWNS.