I shop second hand whenever possible. We like estate sales. Usually there are great quality things and a whole home of selection.
I limit shopping trips to a couple of times a year. I live in a fairly smallish town with Walmart as the main option so we go off to Tyler or Austin when we need to Christmas or Birthday shop. We make it a couple of day experience (sort of a mini vacation with the mall as the amusement park). Not cheap but infrequent.
I like to buy off season. When the fall stuff comes out it can be a great time to buy the left over summer stuff.
My oldest daughter like coupon and deal shopping. She finds it a fun game to see how many deals she can apply to an item. Sometimes she gets stuff really cheap. I find that to be a lot of work but I do shop a sale when I can.
I have a mixture of second hand and new items around the house....shopping is plentiful here in the Big D metroplex but I refuse to buy if I don't think I will use it often. I buy most of my music...cd's from Half Price Books clearance section for no more than $2 per cd. I go to yard sales for items and generally check in on those when I travel back to MO for vacations... I also like to check in on thrift stores regularly....
I love love love Half price books. My oldest daughter goes to the discount books in the back of the store and takes the books' information down then she looks on a website she knows of to see if she can sell it at a profit. Sometimes she make a buck or two that way. I always try to hit the half price book store when in Austin.
My town has a couple of really good second hand stores. We get books and household things there mostly. Sometimes I find crafting ideas in the things there too. We used to buy plates and break them to make mosaic stepping stones.