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Jun 20, 2012 10:43 AM

every bought a food or food-related item... just cuz ya could??

I'm a yard sale, thrift store and flea market. Have purchased food gadgets... if CLEAN, cheap and somethiing I'd like to try but NOT spend good money on. Bought a gizmo that spiral cuts stuff. Not something I couldn't live without, works fine, not used much, but I'll keep it... for now. A few weeks ago, bought a Cuisinart mandolin slicer for less than $5 at a thrift store. Though blade appears to be undamaged and is definitely sharp, gonna stick with my inexpensive plastic on... it works better. Found a faded yellow, "vintage", crank up/down, KA stand mixer at Good Will. Had paddle, whisk & dough hook. When plugged in, ran just fine. Was a little torn... already HAVE a basic white, tilt-top model and price tag said $39.99. When I noticed it was half price that day, just couldn't pass it up. After cleaning it up (wasn't THAT dirty to begiin with), I taped everything off and spray painted it with flat black paint meant for outdoor gas grills. I like it better than much newer model... main for larger capacity. A few weeks back, found an EXTRA bowl for it at a thrift store... less than $. Last summer bought a yard sale bread machine... cuz it looked like it was never even out of the box, had all the instructions/recipes, and was CHEAP. When I tired of it, donated to a thrift store. Found a HUGE messa Feistaware at a yard sale last spring/summer. Spent $50... WAY more than I thought I'd ever spend at a yard sale. BUT came home with 12 dinner plates, 12 mugs, 12 salad/sandwich plates, something like 16 soup/cereal bowls and a few other odd pieces... creamer/sugar set and gravy boat. NO chips and microscopic evidence that they were even used.

Have purchased actual food at slightly odd places. Have purchased condiments/pickles at Dollar Store. Dates on packaging were good, stuff made in US, etc. Have a store called "Ollies" sorta in my area... stop in anytime I'm in the area. Kind of an odd-lot, irregular, discontinued kinda place. Have purchased several different extra virgiin olive oils there that have been very flavorful... from Italy/Spain. Don't have a Home Goods in my immediate area so stop in whenever I'm in the neighborhood. Have purchased evoo (man, I HATE that expression, but it was quicker) purely becasue of the BOTTLE... no fails yet. Was in a Dollar produce store in my area a few hours ago. Some of their stuff can be a little less than perfect, some $1 items not really a good deal, but 3 bell, red or yellow pepper for a buck works for me. Today there was a good sized jar of pickled veggies... little carrots, white asparagus, artichoke hearts and peas... all arranged fancy in an interresting jar. Figured for a buck... not much to lose.

If you're a yard saler like me, what are the BEST food/kitchen related finds you've ever made? And what actual food have you purchased in non-traditional places... maybe even soley becasue of container/packaging?

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  1. Oh my kindred spirit. I feel you. I love yardsale hopping and thrift store shopping( don't blast me as the rhyme was unintetional). I bought a few cool little odds and ends I just couldn't leave behind. A vintage lemon/lime squeeze. Only does a wedge at a time but it looks cool at parties and keeps your hands clean. A antique salt cellar. Love it. Use it every day. Two guardianware service coffee perclators with the glass lids intact and the coffee pot to serve it in at a yardsale. A fifty's coffee mug with a bare breasted blond tat her boobs tilt up and down when you drink. Cheesy? Absolutely! Did my bf love it? Yep. Cookbooks of varying eras and culinary styles of which I am unwilling to count. Oldest is 1884 I believe. The list goes on and on
    Same goes for the off the radar stores for food goodies. Asian markets, Latin markets Vietnamese, English, Scottish,polish, scandanavian and German all in my area. If they don't speak English, we all still speak food right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: suzigirl

      Have a little Asian market near me that I LOVE! Owners are MORE than happy to answer my questions. When I knew I was gonna need to buy soy sauce soon... they must have 6-8 different brands!?! Rather than just buy another bottle of Kiko..., asked which brand (usually with NO English on labels) I should try first. Slowly working my way thru the ZILLIons of noodles available. Though not a huge variety of veggies, know those baby bok choy are not only super fresh but much less $$ than in regular supermarket. Found exact same brand of panko bread crumbs... probably half the price. White & black sesame seeds... 4 oz bag (that's a LOT of SS) for $.99. They always have super fresh jumbo eggs at $1.50-$1.99 a dozen. Their tofu is in a big bucket, not those sealed packages and again significantly less $$ than supermarket stuff. Have small Latino market near me. Their crema made me SWOON... though I didn't feel quite as "welcome"??

      Found a BIG Indian market near where I teach GED night classes during the school year. So many different lentils! Some veggies I'd never SEEN before... eggplants literally the size of eggs in a variety of colors.

    2. 3 of my best yardsale buys were:

      a full set of Kitchen aide mixer attachments including pasta rollers (never used) for $5

      An Allclad Stock pot for $1 came without a lid which I bought at a supply house for $25

      and I also found a nice wustorf sandwich knife for $1

      1. As far as food items, I purchase at least one unnecessary but intriguing food item every time I visit Grocery Outlet. :-)