Thrifty AND nifty — finding those perfect odds and ends

Revere Ware pot lids

Two Revere Ware lids are among the potential finds at this local thrift store. Photo by Laura Groch

It’s frustrating to break the glass lid of a Corningware or Calphalon pot, or lose a kitchen utensil to the chaos of the office potluck. But you might not have to lay out big money to buy replacement pieces.

If you’ve got some thrift stores in your city or town, you’d be surprised at the kitchen items you can find there for pennies. Caveat emptor (oh, look it up): The pieces might have some small chips or dings or dents in them that don’t affect their performance.

But I’ve had some great kitchen (and other) shopping experiences at thrift stores, and encourage you to take a look around the ones in your area.

Our most recent snag was a small white ceramic bowl, edged in blue. I recognized it as a Dansk piece, to be exact, from the Concerto pattern. We have a few place settings in their white-and-blue Bayberry pattern, and a few Concerto pieces that complement it.

Dansk Concerto Allegro bowl

Found this Dansk dish for $1.79. Retail is $12. And it goes with my other Dansk dishes. Photo by Laura Groch

This little bowl was sitting on a shelf, waiting to be rescued, and I scooped it up. Amazon lists the full price as $12. It cost me $1.79. It’s in great condition with one tiny chip in the blue rim. See if you can spot it in the photo. (I’ll tell you where it is at the end of this post.) It’s perfect as a small serving bowl, for chips or fruit.

Another success story: Last fall, my husband, who comes from bartending royalty, got back into mixing cocktails. He made do with what we had around the house, but for a gift, I thought I’d find him a nice cocktail shaker set. The search started at the thrift store.

The stars must have been in alignment that day, because I lucked onto a complete chrome bucket with all the accoutrements: shaker, strainer, jigger, corkscrew, bottle opener, ice pick.

I paid the astronomical price of $4.95. OK, it was swaddled in cellophane tape to keep the various parts together, and I spent a good two hours later with GooBeGone swabbing off the sticky tape residue. But when I was finished, there stood a gleaming bargain.

martini glass

Frosted martini glass cost 25 cents. Photo by Laura Groch

To complete the ensemble, I needed a nice Martini glass. Nothing at that thrift store, so I moved on to another where several possibilities at very good prices presented themselves. I chose one with a frosted finish — price, 99 cents. It was a sale day, and the final price tag came to 25 cents. What a deal!

Now we’re in the market for a regular old telephone (long story) and a long-stemmed cocktail stirrer. We’re in no hurry, and we’ll find exactly what we want eventually.

Check out your local thrift stores if you need some odds and ends of kitchen furnishings like these. You’ll find bowls, pots (and pot lids), appliances, plates, even place settings and more at bargain prices. You might even discover that discontinued piece you thought you’d never find.

Oh, the chip? Look at about 9 o’clock on the bowl rim. I hardly see it myself.

Happy hunting!

(c) copyright Laura Groch 2015

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