Continuing on my objective to build my baller kitchen from thrifting, I present to you today another haul, full of mostly kitchen items. I did find a few non kitchen type things as well that have upgraded both our daily life for storage, but also a fun item as well!
This haul was all from the multiple Goodwill stores in my area. I have two Goodwill stores within a mile of my house in opposite directions, which makes it really easy (and dangerous?) to itch that shopping scratch.
Once I have finished with the majority of my kitchen haul articles, I will start presenting my creative recipes that have been made from all of these new kitchen upgrades.
All retail pricing reflects the "real world" price at the time of this writing. This means that this is what you can find these items for at Walmart, Amazon or if it's no longer sold, eBay sold listings.
All of the kitchenware items are things I am looking for and need. They will be replacing cheap, worn out or worse versions of themselves.
I've been wanting a few more small Pyrex glass dishes for a few different purposes. I wanted some to bake small test batches in the oven with, some to store small batches in the fridge with and some to put ingredients in while baking and photographing later for blog use. These types of dishes photograph well and are all oven safe and hit all those marks at a fraction of the cost.
Another reason my wife and I are looking for these types of dishes is that we're trying to replace all of our cheap plastic storage containers with glass. When we find a glass version of something we have in the plastic-ware drawer, we buy it, then either throw the plastic version away, or if it's a brand name item, we donate it back to Goodwill. Most of our plastic-ware are from lunch meat containers. They're great, they stack well, and were a nice free waste byproduct from already buying lunch meats. But, glass is just better.
Pyrex 2 Cup Round Bowl
This is a perfect bowl for mixing up small batch ingredients, or for moderate amounts of ingredients before mixing into larger recipes. This type of dish also makes for good storage for homemade salsa, sauces and other foods of that type. I didn't find the lid for it, but plastic wrap works well for these small bowls. This bowl has seen very heavy use each week since purchasing it.
I found this specific dish comes in a 2 pack with lids for $11. Adjusting the price, I believe this is worth about $4 new by itself.
Retail Price: ~$4
My Price: $.99
Pyrex Custard Bowls
I have been looking for a matching set of the ceramic custard bowls, but figured these would also make for great photogenic ingredient bowls for blog posts, as well as small serving bowls for side dishes, condiments and more. Being that the rims are straight, they are easy to cover with plastic wrap if needed. I don't use these nearly as much as the previous bowl, but these see some pretty moderate use each week for meal prep. They are also used for fruit snacks, such as apple slices and grapes.
These were originally part of a 4 pieces set, for $8.50, so I figured these to be worth around $6 with the missing bowl. While the discount wasn't as steep, there's a few items, such as Pyrex, that just tend to cost more at thrift stores. So long as you don't pick up any obviously abused dishes, Pyrex tends to last forever, so it is still worth buying used for the discount.
Retail Price: $6
My Price: $3.99
Pyrex 4 Cup Square Dish
I was on a kick to making more dairy-free stuff for my wife, but since I usually made the dairy version for myself, I wanted a smaller dish so that I could make her a small non-dairy batch of whatever I was making. Think fancy baked mac-n-cheese, etc. I also bought this so that I could make small test batches of food for future recipe articles.
I haven't used this dish as much as I had planned, but that will probably change in the future as I start to ramp up on food related articles and get back to baking more.
This dish originally had a lid, but that wasn't present when I found it. Lids are worth roughly $1-2 online for various Pyrex products, so I took off $2. The dish is small enough that plastic wrap is still a great solution for covering it. For my uses, I didn't really need a lid anyway, so I was glad for the additional savings.
Retail Price: $6
My Price: $2.99
Pampered Chef Cut n Seal
I will be the first to say that while I love gadgets, I am not a huge fan of single-use kitchen gadgets. I think the large majority of kitchen gadgets out there are solving a problem that doesn't exist. Most of the tasks can easily be performed by stuff you already have, or just by learning good knife skills.
This gadget gets a pass.
I have been learning to make all types of dough, including breads, crusts and pasta. Something that I was experimenting with a while back gave me a need to make a sealed dough pocket, much like a pirogi. Sure I could use a circle cutter and pinch the edges down, but this gives it that nice crimped look and cuts it all in one single smash. This gadget actually does save steps and time. I have about 4 uses for it that you will see in future food articles.
I've used the Cut n Seal a few times already with great success, so long as it is heavily floured. The time saved vs trying to do it by hand with multiple other tools is well worth the storage space in the miscellaneous utensil drawer for this small gadget.
Retail Price: $11
My Price:z $.99
While experimenting with lots of new recipes and foods, I've noticed a few things about a lot of my utensils. Most of them are cheap plastic or metal that either get disfigured from high heat or can scratch my cookware and non-stick surfaces. I also found a lot of things stuck to my utensils or stained them, whereas with silicon, it usually wipes right off and doesn't leave a stain.
Also, with the non-stick pans, and our non-stick air fryer basket, I was starting to see more scratches on them, even though we try our best to be careful. It was time to start replacing all the tongs with silicon tipped tongs.
Nice silicon utensils are not cheap, so I usually avoided these in the past. On this trip to Goodwill, however, that all changed. Because of the items I found, I now make it a point to dig through all of the utensils and seek out the more expensive branded items.
I found this mix of 5 different utensils across multiple Goodwill stores. I was really excited for the matching spoons, found in two different stores!
These 5 utensils are heavily used each week, with at least 3 of them seeing daily use, sometimes multiple times a day. The tongs are used almost daily in the air fryer, or for making breakfast in the frying pan. The mini whisk is also used daily for making a single scrambled egg in the microwave egg puck cooker. (I like my H/E/C Biscuit Sammie egg pucks, don't judge!)
My Price: $3.15
Personal Blender Cup Set
On my previous trip, I had found a Rival Personal Blender. It only included one cup and the blade. I ended up using it way more than I thought I ever wood, so when I found this package of cups and another blade, I jumped on buying it.
It was all bagged together unceremoniously in an old zippered plastic comforter bag.
While I couldn't verify this would fit my blender, it looked like it would just by eyeballing it. I figured these were a generic brand and that most of the small blenders were a standard size. I guessed right and it did fit!
I don't think this was a good purchase though. There's nothing wrong with any of it, but the way I use my personal blender, I found we just don't have a need for all the extra stuff. We don't do shakes or juices. Whenever I grind seasonings in it, I put them into a small spice or mason jar for long term storage, so the shaker lid and smaller container haven't been used. I'm not sure what this style flat blade is for, grinding smaller things like spices perhaps? It's different from my other blade (a more traditional multi level blender style), but I don't ever find myself using this blade.
I will probably give it all away as a full set whenever I get around to upgrading to a Ninja system.
It's a nice set, we just don't use any of it, and as you can see, it takes up a good bit of space to store.
Retail Price: ~$20 (I couldn't find this exact set, so guessing off similar ones found on Amazon)
My Price: $3.99
Keurig K-Cup Holder Stand
My wife loves her Keurig, so I am always looking for accessories for it. The Keurig itself we got for a few dollars from someone over 10 years ago. If you keep it regularly cleaned, they keep on going forever. This Keurig was originally a thrift bargain for us too.
We had one of the little spinning tree style K-Cup holders already, but in an effort to reclaim some counter space, I wanted to see if she would switch to this drawer stand style. She tried it, liked it, and now it's a permanent part of her cozy coffee corner.
I see K-Cup holders of all types quite often at the Goodwill stores. I see one in nearly every store on most visits. If you're looking for one, check a few thrift stores first.
Retail Price: $17
My Price: $1.99
Risk 2210 AD
This isn't a kitchen item, but I am a huge tabletop gamer. I found this at one of the Goodwill stores, with all the pieces intact and spotless clean.
This is one of the more expensive Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast large campaign style war games based on Risk. Board games aren't cheap, especially games with many small pieces.
I have the regular Risk in a special anniversary version that is styled after the very first original version. My dad and I enjoy playing that together. I thought this might be a more in depth fun modern take on the game that my dad and I could play. I have yet to play it, but the same goes for quite a few of the board games I own. Too many games, not enough time or people to play them with.
I always look at all the games at Goodwill as I can sometimes find a gem in the sea of dull boring games like Cranium and Scene It. Another awesome deal I found on another trip was the $50 Ticket To Ride, for a bargain price of $4.99. I was with my sister at the time, so I insisted she buy it for her gaming shelf, as I already had a copy. Cheap board games can be found, you just have to look for them.
You can check out more of my game related articles, if you're into that. I talk about strategies for a few collectible card games, and will be going more in depth with some of the board games I play in future articles.
Retail Price: $28.99 - $50, depending where you look.
My Price: $6.99
Savings: $22 - $43.01
I hope you enjoyed my latest haul! I have a few more in the works to write about in future articles. As always, if there is anything specific you would like me to look for, or other thrifting ideas you would like to share, please let me know in the comments below.
After quitting my job, I wanted to do something different. One of my ideas was to create new food ideas and cater them, or sell them to local stores. The state of Florida's food industry laws quickly shut most of those ideas down due to cost, so instead I decided to blog about my creations and will be creating video content for them with how-to's and lots of tasty food glamour shots.
In preparation for this, I needed to outfit my kitchen with some new tools. Of course without a job, it's hard to buy new stuff. So, how does one go about doing so? Second hand, of course!
This will be a running series. I will write new articles on as I find new and interesting items to upgrade my life via thrifting.
This first haul was pretty decent. I was just looking for new kitchen gadgets to try new things out and ended up finding a few other cool items as well.
We are lucky and live in an area with over a dozen Goodwill stores. We even live between two of them, each 2-3 minutes away! I love thrift shopping. It's almost as if you're walking into an entire unboxing video, except you're the star, and you're also trapped inside the unopened box.
I like to go early before all of the pickers get there. YouTube and other sources are making thrifting really popular right now, especially for the retail arbitrage market. This causes competition among pickers. Being that I want this stuff for myself, and not for resale, it's even more important that I get an early start.
I first head straight to the electronics and appliances aisle, then loop around to kitchen wares, then to the games, then the other general stuff.
Here's what I found on this haul:
Magic Chef 310
I had always wanted to try out a bread maker. I was just beginning to learn about dough and bread and the crazy science involved with that. I thought, why not give this gadget a try? Thrift stores are always flooded with bread makers. Good intentions that nobody ever ended up using.
It's first loaf was excellent, I just made a basic white bread out of it. I was completely amazed at the automation vs. making bread by hand. It does take up a lot of space, so it sits out in the garage now on a shelf dedicated to other small kitchen appliances. Since buying this bread maker, I've made 3-4 loaves in it, even showing my wife how to use it. She was proud of the custom, seasoned loaf she made, and was blown away at how easy and inexpensive it was to make bread. It's only a few simply ingredients that cost less than a quarter of what a typical cheap loaf of bread cost.
Will I keep using this? I will most likely use it occasionally. Worst case, I take it back to the thrift store. The few loaves of bread I've made with it have paid recouped the cost, twice over.
It appears MagicChef is a WalMart licensed product. This model is a much older unit that has long been discontinued. While I could not find this model's price anywhere, similar models were going for about $60 new.
Power Chopper XL
Ok, I know what you are all thinking, "Why did you buy this? You aren't a real chef!" I totally agree. But it was cheap, and I always wanted to try one so I can form my own opinions on "useless" kitchen gadgets. The thrift stores are usually loaded with these gadgets. And for good reason.They are pretty useless.
Unless you have issues with your hands (pain, motor control, etc.), or you just have terrible knife skills, then do not buy one of these things. I tried chopping half an onion with this. It did a terrible job! I had to slap the plunger with more effort and for a longer period of time to get a good rough chop. It left a lot of long pieces. It also crushed and mangled some of it as well. It wasn't pretty. In comparison, I can rough chop an entire onion in a few seconds with a good chef's knife, and further mince it with only an added few seconds.
On top of that, you then have to clean this thing. It has a lot of nooks and crannies in it, making washing it a pain. And then you have to store it. This is most likely going back to the thrift store. The only reason it is still around is that I am trying to find some creative use for it that is just way outside of the box. Unfortunately, any idea I have is quickly crushed by the fact that a chef's knife can do it better and faster.
Rival Personal Blender
I have been wanting a small bullet blender for a while now. I often want to blend something small, but don't want to get the full size blender out, clean it, etc.
Thankfully this came with all its pieces, it worked when tested in the store, and the gasket seal was still good.
This has turned out to be a very heavily-used kitchen gadget in our house. We've made shakes and salsa, crushed nuts, blended spices and pureed meat with it. This has quickly become one of my favorite cooking gadgets.
Now, there's some things it won't do well, but that's based on the blade and power of such a small motor. I've been shopping around for a new blender system (I'm looking at you, Ninja) that includes not only a full-sized blender, but also one of these bullet blenders, and a food processor (I hate my old food processor).
Getting this personal blender really opened my eyes up to what a small, easy-to-use gadget can do for you. It made me realize that I want to invest in a nicer blender system when money allows. We really use this little appliance quite a bit, usually several times a week.
This was an excellent buy. I see these now and then in the various thrift stores I've visited, so I would definitely pick one up if you have any interest in these. Well worth the thrift price.
Followup Late 2019: I liked this so much that I made sure my new Ninja kitchen system had a more heavy duty version of this, which I am now constantly using. I ended up giving this little Rival blender away with good memories.
Clear Food Storage Bins
Have you ever wanted that Pintrest look in your fridge and pantry? Well, you have to pay to play. These bins are very expensive for some reason. It's just plastic. They are trendy, they are handy, they look good. You can't afford them.
The good news is that these often turn up in the thrift stores, priced alongside the cheap Sterilite bins and other storage items.
These will appear in various orders throughout this series. I forget where and when I bought the bins, so I will just generalize in this article based on the prices I logged in my thrift haul spreadsheet. (Yes, I keep a spreadsheet of all of these bargains! I'm a stats nerd. I want to save the most! I will out save you all MUHAHA!)
As stated before, these bins are not cheap. Celebrities hire professional organizers to put these in their fridge and pantries so that they can blog about it and show them drinking an expensive milkshake their personal chef made for their breakfast while they stand in front of their fridge and pantry full of these beautiful clear plastic storage bins. Who doesn't want to have that look?
mDesign is one of the brands I like to look for, or those similar. Checking Amazon, the larger bin in the fridge photo goes for roughly $7-$10 per bin. The narrower bins are in the $8 range. While that doesn't sound terribly expensive, keep in mind you need a lot of these bins. In the photo of my fridge above, I've only been able add a few bins of bling so far, and those would have totaled $38. In the pantry photo, you can see I have only been able to find 3 bins so far, and those are worth another $26.
That's $64 in storage bins. They just hold things. That's a lot of money to just hold things. But they look so good holding my things! I must have more! I must have all the bins!
Technics Record Player SL-D20
I found this laying sideways in the big "to be shelved" bins in the Goodwill store. I quickly rescued it, plugged it in and checked for as much function as I could. The needle was still good and everything moved freely and the automatic functions seemed to work properly. The only thing missing was the dust hood.
I took this gem home and realized it must be either plugged into the phono input on my receiver or I would need some kind of signal converter to put it in my office where I wanted to keep it. I have a rather nice sound system on my computer desk, and this is where I spend most of my time, so I wanted to keep it here. I ended up grabbing a cheap Pyle PP444 Phono PreAmp for under $20. I can now use my turntable anywhere.
I needed to test this first for tracking and make sure it wasn't going to destroy my good records, so I took my beat up copy of Van Halen's "1984" album and spun it up. Everything worked. Tracking and all was spot on. I read up on the interwebs how to adjust the balance weight and check for all the various things turntable snobs say to check for. Everything checked out!
I then moved on to play the rest of my nice records the rest of the day.
This is one of my most favorite finds, as I have been wanting a nice turn table for many years, but couldn't afford to shell out the money for a decent cheap one (taking advice from the turntable snobs on the interwebs to not buy cheap or it will ruin your records). I was so proud of my find that I am keeping the ugly price sticker right on the top just to flaunt my thriftiness as I play my hipster music device.
While I did need to spend an additional $15ish for the pre-amp, and it's missing the hood, which is a $30+ replacement cost, I am only counting the turntable itself in this price since it doesn't technically need the other items to function perfectly. I keep a microfiber cloth covering it when not in use.
I hope you enjoyed my first thrift haul post. If you want to see more, please comment or send me an email for thing you might like to see me find. I love a good challenge. I will keep this series going as this is a huge part of what my wife and I enjoy doing.
I want to share the joys of thrifting with those that may not typically look at a thrift store, such as Goodwill, as a place they want to shop at. It's a great place to try new gadgets out without spending a lot of money, or finding something you've always wanted to try but just aren't sure how well you'll like it.
I will be showing my totals for each trip, how much was saved, and what the total "real" retail street pricing was at the time. By "real" street pricing, I am referring to what I would pay at Walmart or Amazon, or eBay if it's something not currently sold anymore. These will not be MSRP prices. These will be prices that people actually pay in real life. This first haul, since I included talking about some of the storage bins I got on various trips, will have a different price reflection than everything talked about above. The missing costs will show up in future haul articles.
Totals for this trip