When a non-emergency “I need to buy a new thing!” situation comes up, instead of buying something right away, try putting the word out.
Let your group of friends know you’re looking to buy/borrow the item.
Put a “wanted” post out on freecycle/Nextdoor.
Ask your neighbor if she knows someone who has item X for giveaway/sale.
This works especially well for things people don’t constantly use for long periods of time (like tools. or baby gear. or niche kitchen items. or a carpet steamer.)
Of course, this doesn’t always pan out, but it’s worth a try as long as you have the luxury of waiting for a little while.
And if it doesn’t work out, well, you still always have the option of buying the item.