Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Thrift Store Kitchen Things

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

I love shopping at second-hand stores. I have a running list of kitchen items that I watch for when I'm at a thrift store. A quick look for these various items helps keep my kitchen stocked!


#1... Spoons!

We have a second-hand mostly-matched set of silverware that was given to us when we got married, but as our family's grown, we started running out of spoons. (Kids use lots of spoons, I guess!)

Since I still try to run the dishwasher only once per day, I like to have at least a day's worth of silverware. I found a variety of spoons, medium-sized or smaller, for just 20 cents each. I like spoons that are shiny, with smooth edges; not too clunky, not too thick.

The bad part is that two of my new one-of-a-kind thrift store spoons are my favorite ones to use and I'm constantly picking through to find them for myself. Oh, the things I think about... :)

AeroPress coffee press
My AeroPress Coffee Press (which was actually from :)

#2... Coffee and teaware

I recently found a Contigo water bottle in great shape for $2! I've also gotten a favorite mug, a neat travel coffee mug in purple, and a Bodum travel mug French press. One of the perks of living in this area is that so many people are crazy about coffee and I can find things like this at GoodWill!

#3... Corelle

Corelle is difficult to find, because it goes really fast. I take a quick look for Corelle in a white or beige color, especially bowls and small plates, and sometimes score a few pieces. Corelle is so nice to use, and stacks beautifully -- but can be pricey at retail stores!

#4... Beaters for my hand mixer

I found beaters to replace my broken ones and kept using my hand mixer. Now, I've broken another pair so new beaters are on my "watch list". I probably use it for things thicker than I should -- or else they weren't dishwasher safe after all. At any rate, a 69-cent pair of beaters from GoodWill has kept my mixer chugging along!

What do you like to watch for at thrift stores? What are the kitchen items that you keep a constant eye out for? :)

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1. Freezing/thawing raw milk (Simple Foody)
2. Crock pot baked potatoes (Simple Foody)
3. Fresh Salad for every meal (A Proverbs 31 Wife)
4. 3 tips for finding a good recipe (Joy in my Kitchen)


Thanks for adding my posts Tammy! You have an aero press!!!!!!!! We've been eyeing one for a while now. Do you like it? We were french press coffee drinkers for years but a couple weeks ago I found a vintage corelle percolator at goodwill ;) and we've been using that. It makes a good cup of coffee. I always search the thrift stores for kitchen wares. It's where I have found my most loved kitchen items...silly eh?


Please be very careful with your pot. We had one in the 70's and they recalled them because the handles were separating from the pot....not something you want to happen with small children around, or when pouring a cup for yourself or a loved one. I have one now that I bought at a thrift store (I love the look!), but I am always mindful of a possible disaster. You never know if the pot you got came from the 'recall days'! Conni

Please be very careful with your pot. We had one in the 70's and they recalled them because the handles were separating from the pot....not something you want to happen with small children around, or when pouring a cup for yourself or a loved one. I have one now that I bought at a thrift store (I love the look!), but I am always mindful of a possible disaster. You never know if the pot you got came from the 'recall days'! Conni

Please be careful with Corelle dishes. If you drop them and they break, they shatter into little pieces that you will find all over the room you dropped it in. I had a coffee cup shatter when I poured hot water in it to make a cup of tea. The dishes used to be guaranteed for life, but now they only guarantee it for a year.

I love going to thrift stores! Our Goodwill here in town is rather over priced but there are other thrift shops that we go to a lot.

I do have a new tip today :)
This is how we have fresh salad available for every meal.

Pampered Chef baking stones~! I've gotten several of these in all kinds of sizes. I love them. I've gotten brand new ones for about 3 dollars each.

Glass canister jars~! I've gotten so many neat ones for about two dollars each and my pantry looks beautiful.

My "big finds" have been a Coach brief case in great condition with a shoulder strap for three dollars. The latch was broken, but Coach fixes those free of charge regardless where you bought it. You just take it to a store and they will ship it for free, or if you prefer you can have the parts and instructions sent to you. They've got a lifetime guarantee/warranty. I even had it registered under my name with the number stamped inside it!!

I also found a beautiful antique ironstone pitcher and bowl in perfect condition for ten bucks or so. So gorgeous in my bedroom with cabbage roses in it.

I look for boxes of cheap candles to use on my patio, quilts to use in my van, frames to paint and repurpose with fresh artwork, and big canvases to paint over. I also love artsy, funky skirts and clothes. I have access to a great Goodwill in a ritzy area. Definitely worth the drive.

I love Corelle and look for it often too :)

My tip this week: 3 Tips for Choosing a Good Recipe

I totally agree! I don't know what happened to our spoons, but it seemed as though we never had as many spoons as forks. I always check the thrift stores for spoons and I agree, I like a smooth, smaller style spoon. I do have some bigger thick ones, but my husband likes those, so I usually set the table with those for him. And I always dig through for one of two different styles in my drawer for myself because I am partial to them! So funny that I'm not the only one! (Crazy how many spoons at thrifts stores I find that are battered with rough edges like they've been used as pry bars or hammers!)

I found a set of blue trimmed Corelle salad plates at a yard sale probably 7 years ago and I'm so glad I got them. They are so useful for soup. I also love the main set of Corelle that was given to me that I use everyday.

My mom gave me a Bodum french press that she found at a thrift store after I told her I was looking for one. It is like brand new!

I've also found numerous other kitchen items second hand. Jar funnel, metal tongs, long grill tongs, potato masher, beautiful ceramic bowl, etc., etc.

-Kimberly in NC

I'm addicted to thrift stores and live very close to 6 as well as a re-store, salvage barn, and auction house. I feel very spoiled. I decorate the whole house w/ my finds. I lean toward mid-century and right now I am searching for more serving spoons, silverware w/ a starburst pattern, pieces from one of my three china sets, and unique Pyrex. I also buy most all of my gifts at thrift stores. Wish I could transport our Corelle to your neck of the woods. It is found in abundance here, doesn't seem to fly off the shelf that well.

Mid-Century Gal in Iowa

Hi Tammy,
I just wanted to say I love reading your blog/website. Every post is my favorite post, and I think you are doing such a great job, (both at home and on your site:) thanks for sharing your skills!

i always keep an eye out for canning jars, especially the certain sizes that i like - or old, cool ones. i learned, however, to use the old ones for storage and not canning when one broke in my canner. i also got one of my canners at Goodwill and find it is nice to have two going at once.

i always look for vintage dishes or antique kitchen things (i have a sort of fixation on this sort of thing!). i got 4 perfect, pink vintage Fiestaware cereal bowls once for .50 each!

we are always short on spoons around here, too. and my silverware was also second-hand :) i haven't looked for spoons before at thrift thanks for the good idea!

My husband and I came to the conclusion that our children were accidentally throwing away spoons when they cleared the breakfast table. When they were teens and taking lunches to work our forks started to disappear. Now they are all grown and the silverware stays pretty much the same!

We are avid thrift store shoppers and I always have the mental list of kitchenware that I am looking for. I have been looking for a Cuisinart ice cream maker. Last week I found two of them for a total of $15! Now I have to clean out and defrost the freezer so that I have room to keep the bowls frozen and ready to go.

Corelle is hard to find in my area but recently I found 12 berry bowls that we use nearly every day for $3. A friend of mine who has 9 children buys Corelle no matter what the pattern or color and has large stacks of mismatched everything. It is kind of fun to see what patterns you get at your place setting when you eat at their house!

I used to have a set of pyrex cooking pots, but one of the pots broke leaving me with a useless lid. I saved the lid, and the next time I went to Goodwill, I found an aluminum pot in a similar size, but it didn't have a lid. For $3, I decided to take a chance that my lid would fit the pot. It fit perfectly! It's now my favorite pot!

Katie in WI

I like to have matching flatware for the dinner table settings. However, at least 1/2 my flatware is miss matched stuff from old sets and the thrift store and since we homeschool, folks are eating all day and using whatever their hand falls to.

I came up with a solution about 15 years ago. I keep the matched set in the drawer and the miss matched stuff in interesting cans on the counter (two 26 oz. cans with painted-on labels, one for forks, knives, teaspoons; one for soup and serving spoons). I have also used coffee mugs in the past. During the day, we use out of the counter-top cans. They are easy to grab and leave the matched stuff for the evening meal.

One of the side benefits of this is that no one "double dips" when they are tasting what is cooking or being prepared. It is so easy to just grab a spoon from the can by the stove and since we have a dishwasher, who really cares how many spoons get used?!

I also keep my eye open for the small Correl roll/dessert plates. I don't worry about the pattern; in fact, the kids like to choose their favorites so variety is fine.

As one commenter mentions, the Correl does shatter pretty spectacularly but it is a rare occurrence. And anyway, whenever you break something, don't you thoroughly clean it up? I think the benefits out weight the negatives.

I love finding Pyrex, especially refrigerator jars. I think you commented once on one that I had on Myfitnesspal for a meal I took a picture of and posted on there. I have a decent collection of them. I've also found some Fiestaware to add to my collection. I'm the same way, I like the shiny spoons that are just the right weight. My kids always lost the spoons too. I think they may have thrown some away. :)

Tammy, I know you live in Seattle, and I know you are a huge thrift store fan, and was just wondering if you have ever been to the Goodwill that sells by the pound in Seattle. I have found some of the BEST DEALS there, literally, kids clothes in really good shape for 1.49 a pound. There are locations in Kent and Everett too, all run by the Goodwill company. Google it, it will change your thrifting exprience! I PROMISE! I live south of Seattle, but make attempts to hit up one of them every month or two.

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