One of a chef’s greatest strengths come from the arsenal of tools in their kitchen. However, accruing quality kitchen essentials is not so easy on the wallet. When we aren’t whipping up culinary delights, you can usually find us at the local thrift store looking for deals, specifically on kitchen supplies. Here’s what treasures to seek out on your next trip to the secondhand store.
1. Plates + Bowls. This probably comes as no surprise, but Goodwill and other thrift stores are over flowing with these items. Most of them probably look like they came from another decade, but if you look carefully you’re almost sure to find some gems. On many occasions, we’ve found plates from Crate + Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and other high end retailers (but without the high end price tag). Even if it isn’t a fancy brand, these plates come in unique colors and shapes that would be hard to find anywhere else. You may not find a full matching set, but I personally like the quirkiness of a mismatch place setting.
2. Cookware. Quality cooking vessels are proven to last longer and cook better, but it’s not always feasible to purchase top notch equipment. Look for brands like Staub, Le Creuset, All Clad, Mauviel, Calphalon, and Lodge Cast Iron. Some of the pieces we’ve found would easily cost several hundred dollars brand new. Most of the time they’re left on the shelf because the years of cooking build up makes them look old and useless. Stainless steel and enamel-coated cast iron pots, pans, or skillets can be easily brought to life with the help of some Barkeeper’s Friend.
3. Cookbooks. So you’ve got your cookware to make your beautiful meals, and plates to eat them off of; now you need some recipes. Sure you could go to Pinterest, but I am a huge fan of physical media like magazines and, my favorite, COOKBOOKS. I am a self-proclaimed hoarder/collector and it is not a cheap obsession to have. They charge a lot for those books! But at the secondhand store, I’ve found practically brand new books by Jamie Oliver, Alton Brown, and Giada just to name a few. Although it probably varies from store to store, some of our local Goodwills have BOGO book days which just sweetens the deal even further!
4. Mason Jars. Whether you’re going for Farmhouse chic, using them for canning or both, you’re going to need some mason jars. You can find these versatile little beauties by the dozen, though finding them WITH the lids is not always so simple. Be patient and persistent, and you will have a house full of jars in no time (speaking from experience here).
5. Storage Containers. Why people donate these, I will never understand. I mean, can you have too many storage containers? But their trash is my treasure, and can be yours too! Through the many visits to the thrift store, we have a fantastic collection of OXO clear storage vessels in a variety of useful sizes. Some are even vacuum sealable! What better way to knock out your organization goals?
6. *Some* Appliances. I say some because thrift store finds are not always in the best repair. If your local store has a plugs to check electrical equipment, use them! If your gut tells you something has been loved just a little too much to be useful to you, put it back on the shelf. Items that you wouldn’t dream of paying full price for like Panini Makers, Espresso Machines, or Electric Kettles can be found for a steal at the thrift store.
7. Wine Glasses. Looking to take your next #winewednesday seriously? I can’t tell you how many gorgeous Reidel + Spiegelau glasses we’ve found at secondhand shops through the years. These can easily retail at $12/glass which gets pricey when you’re as clumsy as I am.
What are your must haves when it comes to thrift store shopping? Let us know in the comments below! Happy Hunting!