When it comes time to shop, I have 3 basic rules:
1) Shop local first.
2) Buy quality.
3) Consider both new and used options.
I’ve always tried to support independent and local businesses whenever I can. I prefer that my money stay in my local community. There are times when I need to shop from an online retailer or via Amazon, but I do try to source things locally first.
Buy quality. Even if it costs you a bit more in the beginning, higher quality items wind up costing you less over the long term.
Visit a local thrift store, Craigslist or even Facebook Marketplace before buying a new item. You may be able to pick up something used for a fraction of the “new” cost that will meet your need. This is how I outfitted my sewing room – all used furniture, except for the cherry sewing cabinet that was made by my father-in-law. Every sewing machine I own except for one (Baby Lock Jubilant) was also purchased used.
If you are in the market for a sewing machine, consider buying a vintage metal mechanical sewing machine rather than the shiny, new plastic $100 model from the big box store. The vintage Singer Featherweight I picked up at an estate sale still sews perfectly nearly 87 years later. I seriously doubt my computerized Janome 8900 (purchased used in 2016) will match that!