Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thrifting bliss

My Living Room, this evening

Like so many women, I enjoy shopping. Unlike so many, it's the hunt I enjoy more than the buy. Not that I don't like to buy things, but I enjoy browsing, eying, plotting, and planning. I'm not normally an impulse shopper. I used to be, but when I started staying home I was very aware that I wasn't just spending *my* money. My husband works hard and long to put money in the bank account, and keeping that fact in mind helps keep me honest and on budget. A friend in college introduced me to the glorious art of thrift shopping, and it seemed to click with me. I like old things, and diving into a thrift shop brought back of the thrill (and occasional horror or disgust) of those giant black trash bags full of hand-me-downs that we used to get as kids. 

 Today I found myself in dire need of some "me" time. Both kids are sick and the baby had me up every hour last night. I was tired, cranky and running low on general goodwill. When husband arrived home this afternoon I told him I needed a nap and to go out. Alone. I did get a nice nap and then I nursed the baby, handed him to his papa and they went out for a long walk. I went straight for my favorite three thrift stores. About 10 minutes from my home there is a Salvation Army, an estate auction/antiques shop and a local thrift store. Between the three of them I can usually find what I'm looking for. Today I went looking for a large cookie jar or crock to keep my coconut oil in, because I just ordered 5 GALLONS of the stuff. I hope I don't regret that. (But look at that pretty crock I found! That was easy. Finding the space to store a 5 gallon bucket, now that is going to be more challenging.)

When I walked into the first shop (Salvation Army) I did my usual rounds, quickly scanning for those things I'm always on the lookout for: old Tupperware canisters (any color, but especially green), canning jars, Fiestaware dishes, Pyrex anything, pre-2000s Corningware (for a friend), cast iron anything. I found a set of lock-top jars that will be perfect for making ferments, like saurkraut and ginger carrots. $2.99/each, not a bad deal. I pay $0.50/jar for the canning jars, but the lock top will keep more oxygen out, which will help the beneficial, anaerobic bacteria flourish in my lacto-fermented veggies. And there's no worry about the metal corroding in the brine, unlike the screw top caps.

In the estate sale/antiques shop I mostly just browse. I can't go in there with the kids unless I have a buddy to help me watch them. Most of the things there are far out of my price range, not to mention they don't fit my lifestyle. Still, in a back corner they have the "junky" thrift quality items. That is where I've bought most of my Pyrex baking dishes. Today I walked in and started looking around, enjoying the freedom of not having the kids. The first thing to catch my eye was a beautiful, big yellow Pyrex mixing bowl . Sadly, it was cracked. Fine for display, but I'm not big on "look don't touch" things. I kept browsing. Fourth table in, I see IT. THE THING. THE THING I LOOK FOR AND NEVER FIND.

A set of Pyrex mixing bowls. In good shape, the red one is a little faded but overall, the colors are good and not very scratched. The second largest size, the green bowl, is missing. There's no price, just the seller number. I find a nice crock for my oil, and some Corningware for my friend. I almost put the bowls back several times. I knew they would be expensive. But I toted them up to the register anyway. When the owner told me the price I was amazed. $25. Obviously, they had to come home with me. :)
At the third shop I was running out of time and I still needed to go to the ethnic grocery store nearby. I did a quick swoop looking for my top items, and I saw this little Hoosier Glass vase. I received one like this from my grandparent's estate and my sister saw it on Sunday and admired it. The one in the thrift shop was identical and marked $0.69. This has to have been the best thrifting day I've had, bar none.


  1. I love amazing thrift days! and can I tell you how jealous I am of your pyrex bowls?

    the answer is: very.

  2. All thanks to you and your thrift shop madness! Have you ever been to Mom's Memories in Woodbridge? That's where I found them.

  3. I must go to Mom's Memories!!!

  4. Next time you plan a commissary run you should come early and we can go to MM together!


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