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The Best Deal You Ever Found?

Aloha Kakou:

So what was it? Your neighbor moved and gave you his AGA 4-oven? A marked-down orphan at Tuesday Morning? A treasure at a brocante or yard sale? The local kitchen store going OOB? The All-Clad rescued from the dumpster?

Whatever it was, what was the lasting effect? Do you value it *more* or *less* by virtue of it being a value? Does it make you *more* inclined to be patient and hunt/scrounge for more bargains, or does it make it easier to spend your "savings" on an unbargain?


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  1. OMG, I love a deal. The fact that I got something I view as a deal makes me love it all the more. Two items come to mind. First is a 15" square bamboo cutting board that I just bought at a thrift store while on vacation (what sort of moron spends a beach vacation at thrift stores!!). It cost me $2. It is in excellent condition, just a few knife marks, no warping or splits. Second is a yogurt maker. My friend and I took a cheese/yogurt class at SLT and were discussing buying a yogurt maker. I mentioned that I often saw decent appliances at thrift stores and said I'd drop by one of my favorites on the way home. Lo and behold, I found the exact type being used and sold, for considerably more, at SLT, priced at $10. Unused, still in original box.

    4 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      The thrift store near my parents' beach cottage has yielded a couple of finds: brand-new waffle maker (not a fancy iron one, but does the job) and Cuisanart grind n brew coffee maker. So I get it ;)

      1. re: tcamp

        I love going antiquing while on vacation, beach or no beach. For one thing, it's different stuff than you find at home, and it's my favorite kind of souvenir. Also a good time to shop for gifts for other appreciators of old stuff.

        Recently I picked up a couple pieces of English chintz, serving pieces, for way less than they are worth (love that dealer!). The fact is I can't really stomach chintz prices, so I don't have a single piece that wasn't underpriced, but these are the best yet.

        If I paid too much for something, that fact lingers with it (I rarely feel this way). Otherwise I feel I value things fairly equally, but I think any thrill of the hunt associated with an item stays with it as well.

        I think I mentioned this before, but ... ;) Antiquing while traveling, I found the Fire-King jadite butter bottom at an antique mall in Amarillo for $7.50. They didn't know what it was, said it was a little tray or something. When I mentioned my excitement to the guy at checkout, he grew increasingly sullen (hey, I guess not everybody appreciates my finding a bargain ;) Then, while helping clean out Great Aunt Helen's kitchen (bless her for never throwing anything away), I found the matching clear glass top (that's how the set came, jadite + clear). This has gone for anywhere from ~$75-125 during the time I've been collecting.

        1. re: foiegras

          "When I mentioned my excitement to the guy at checkout, he grew increasingly sullen (hey, I guess not everybody appreciates my finding a bargain ;)"

          Best not to do that. We were once in an antique mall looking to replace our broken 50's red-top salt & pepper shaker set. The owner apparently overheard my excitement at finding one I liked, and when we went to pay for it, took the set to the back room with him and made a series of quiet, but frantic calls to colleagues. I guess we looked like scouts or something, and the guy was afraid he was selling us a really valuable set (if any of those are even valuable -- I have no idea), at too low a price. Finally he came back out and reluctantly sold them to us.

          1. re: Steve Green

            I took a light fixture to the register, at an antique mall, once to pay for it and the guy checking me out said " you got a great buy". The dealer walked up with me, heard that and grabbed it back saying I'm not selling that. It was just an ok buy in my opinion. She jacked the price up and it became a "museum" piece.

      2. For me it is the expensive Henckels Twin, German -made chef's knife I got for $40.00 at Marshall's. I brought it home, handed it to Mr. Sueatmo and said give this to me for Christmas.

        I use the knife daily.

        I think I like it so much because I know it is good quality and because it is so useful. I like to have useful things in the kitchen. I wouldn't like it so much if it wasn't such a good knife.

        1. Does finding cash on the sidewalk count?

          Otherwise, the best deal I've had (value-wise) is probably the 11" Dehillerin tin-lined copper saute pan I picked up from Craigslist for $75. I knew it was thick, but didn't realize until I bought a micrometer that it was just a smidge under 4mm. That is was such a good deal, on an item I really wanted to get, makes it more enjoyable to use on a day-to-day basis.

          That is my best score, I think, but the vast majority of my pots and pans, and appliances for the matter, have been purchased through careful stalking of the "As-is" rack at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, T.J. Maxx stores, CL, or ebay, so they have almost all been great deals.

          I actually enjoy hunting for a bargain, but I do it very casually. I have a mental list of all the items I'd like to get and I just keep my eyes open for any one of them as I travel around. I don't generally prioritize and say, 'now I am looking for item X.'

          3 Replies
          1. re: jljohn

            What kind of a dweeb would measure the thickness of a pan? (Points index finger at self)

            1. re: pdxgastro

              What kind of dweeb buys a micrometer just to measure the thickness of a pan?

          2. $600 knife set. kaji fusion, off woot. metal people used to only dream of.

            1. Bought a complete set of antique cut crystal glassware at an auction for $17. Beautiful immaculate glasses - about 60 pieces.

              1. I'm a yard sale and thrift store JUNKIE!! Found a "vintage" KA stand mixer... crank up/down, whisk/paddle/hook, ran FINE (in my kitchen right now)... $20! I cleaned it up, taped everything off, and spray painted it flat-black with paint meant for outdoor gas grills. Was thinking of painting flames on it... but will probably opt for flying PIGS!

                FOund a blue enamel, square, Le Creueset grill pan at Good Will for $5! Enamel exterior in PERFECT condition... NO chips or cracks. Only minor schmutz on interior. Well over $100 new!

                Bought a Cuisinart food processor at a thrift store for $8... blades and slicing discs included. Originally thinking... spare bowl, since I already HAD one at home. Got it home and discovered it was a step up from what I had. Well over $100 new!

                A few summers ago made a major splurge at a yard sale... $5 is usually my limit, unless something is really great. Seller had a MESSA Fiestaware. Spent $50 and came home with 12 dinner plates, 12 salad/sandwich plates, 12 mugs, 12+ cereal/soup bowls, a gravy boat and a sugar/cream set. Closest I could figure for 12 place settings... something like $500+??

                LOTS of good, "name" cast iron for next to nothing... too heavy, "old-fashioned"?? Sellers don't know what they're missing. Have to seriously restrain myself from buying dupes of things. WOuld LOVE to find muffin pans or loaf pans in my travels.

                A Cuisinart ice cream maker... $5. Rarely have room in freezer for the bowl, but it's on a shelf in my garage. Think something like $50-60 new.

                Bought a bread maker and juicer on 2 separate occasions at yard sales... cheap! Always look for CLEAN stuff and both were in boxes and had all the paperwork/recipes. Used both for a while... not something I used a lot... cleaned up really wel and redonated to local thrift shop.

                Foodsaver vac sealer... $10 at yard sale. Not a fancy schmancy, vertical model but works just finie and now don't find freezer burnt food. Have found MANY of the vac cannisters in my travels... great for crackers, grains, small pasta that really doesn't do bad but can get a little stale tasting.

                Bought a Cuisinart mandolin at a thrift shop... SHARP but totally NOT impressed... inexpensive Mouli works MUCH better and easier to store.

                Though I have plenty of knives, always sort thru ones at a yard sale or thrift shop to see if someone is tossing something GOOD.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: kseiverd

                    Please take me shopping with you. Le sigh.

                  2. My absolute best was finding Dansk Flatware at the Goodwill.

                    8-9 place settings, looking like new, just missing a few teaspoons.

                    And this was extra extra exciting as - it was Variation V - the pattern I already have as my good stuff!

                    They just had it dumped in a plastic shoebox and taped shut. Cost for the box? $10. If I'd had to pay retail? Around $400!

                    I literally gasped when I first peeked in the box and saw what it was.

                    It vindicated all my years of thrift shopping, and certainly encourages me to keep it up.

                    1. I have been collecting kitchen things for a long time but these are more recent finds and I am not sure what would be the best.

                      The best deal from a store
                      Baumalu 2mm pans at Mrshall's/Homegoods for about 15 cents on the best price on the internet dollar and then they clearanced them and I bought a few pans I didn't buy the first time.
                      Also #30 Le Creuset sort of shallw dutch oven in french blue perfect- clearanced for $39

                      From an auction-
                      10 place settings of my mother's pattern of weddng china, Minton Ancestral with all the serving pieces for less than $100, never used-no knife marks

                      From thrift stores/garage sales for less than $1
                      several pieces of Apilco including the med and large rectangular baking dishes
                      pyrex bowls
                      old 14" cast iron skillet machined, brand new never used with lid still had the original label
                      under $5 -lots of pieces of white ironstone-many well over 100 years old.

                      One of my favorite finds is a home made knife with star shaped rivets.

                      1. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could ever compare to the old Marshall Field's warehouse sales of the early 80's (a single warehouse in Northwest Chicago). Quality stuff at a fraction of the price. I bought a 3-piece Gerber Balance Plus knife set for about $20 (retailed for $200) and an open-box Cuisinart that was easily in the $250 range for $49. Still going strong (original bowl, never lost a part). Lots of amazing deals.

                        1. Latest is a nice, solid Vollrath stockpot. Not sure of the price because I got it at the Bins where you pay by the pound. $22 got me: stockpot, Calphalon frying pan, 2 books, swath of fabric, toy action figure (for an art project, don't ask), 2 magazine organizers, a milk crate and I forgot if anything else.

                          Kaleo, have you come down to Portland yet? Any plans to visit the Bins?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: pdxgastro

                            Hi, pdx:

                            Was ist das "Bins"? Ich verstehen ihn nicht.

                            Tell me, please.... [slight whine]. I need to visit my friend at Portland Stove Parts soon, and this sounds like a scrounger's dream.


                            1. re: pdxgastro

                              Ya, ok, I tell you everyting. (Miss Swan)
                              Goodwill "The Bins" Outlet
                              1750 SE Ochoco St
                              Milwaukie, OR 97222
                              Neighborhood: Southeast Portland
                              Mon-Sun 8-8

                              This is where all the things that didn't sell at all the area Goodwill stores come to die. Er, I mean, get sold REALLY cheaply. Like I said, you pay by the pound. Not only do they have scales at the cash registers, they can weigh your whole shopping cart!!!!! They know how much one weighs so you roll the whole cart onto a freight scale in the store and they tare out the cart. I think you need to go there just for this. If I recollect correctly, if you buy 20+ pounds of stuff, the price per pound drops to .89/lb. That's cheaper than ground beef.

                              Also, please learn some Italiano. Ich spreche kein Deutsch.

                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                We have that where we live too and it you have heavy items that would make the price really high, you can negotiate those items separately.

                                1. re: pdxgastro

                                  I will check it out. Aber... I mean *bensy* no Italian can sound as cluelessly funny.

                                  Stai Attento,

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    There is also a Bins at the Goodwill on US Hwy 1 in Rockledge, Florida. Very little cookware, though.

                              2. An 8 qt Le Creuset dutch oven for $99 from Amazon. I don't know if it was a discontinued color (candy apple red) or a pricing error, but I put it in my cart and bought it before the price changed.

                                But now that I think about it, the (unintentional) deal I got on my kitchen cabinets is up there too. Lowes had a deal where you got a free sink base with purchase. I also opened a Lowes credit card account, which offered 10% off of your purchase, but the designer told me I couldn't combine the two offers. After he printed my purchase order, he told me to take it to customer service to pay. When I get to customer service, I hand the clerk my Lowes credit card and she asks me if I want the interest free financing or the 10% off of my purchase. I ask for the 10% off and off it comes. Later, I read the fine print of the offer and it was only supposed to apply to the first $750 of the purchase, but it came off of the entire purchase. I felt really good leaving Lowes that day.

                                1. A 5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven that I found at Macy's for $40. It was on the "everything on this shelf half off" and it was already 60% off or so. A nice blue too.

                                  1. Brand new 5.5 quart LC for $27 from the Great Indoors many years ago.

                                    It's white. I hate the color but it was such a steal and white, red, orange or purple, they all perform the same.

                                    I worked in a kitchen store for several years and collected a lot of high end bargains and freebies over the years but that LC pan was definitely the best deal I'd ever happened across....

                                    1. Gosh, this is a hard one. I don't know that I've paid full price for much of anything!

                                      Some of my best deals - a set of two shun paring knives that were $40 used a 10% off coupon and a $25 off coupon. Made for a pretty sweet deal.

                                      Two descoware skillets from a garage sale for $1 (both not each!).

                                      I jumped on the carbon steel crepe pan bandwagon and was one of the throngs who got it for about $12.

                                      I got really good deals on my vitamix and kitchenaid by pricematching/using coupons/getting cashback etc.

                                      Recently, my best deal was about $1k off my bluestar. Still not sure how I pulled that one off...

                                      1. There are a couple of ways to evaluate 'best deal'. One is the ratio of $ paid to normal, retail price. Another is the relationship of price paid to how often the piece is used, and how valuable it is to my cooking. To me, there's an extra satisfaction if the item is something no longer made.

                                        Contenders on most of those counts are my two pieces of original Master Chef (All-Clad's first line): a saute pan with dome lid for $50, and a 12" skillet for $35. Both were in need of cleanup, which seemed to keep other bidders/buyers away on the big auction site.

                                        At a local antique mall, my best score was a set of four nesting mixing bowls from the 1930s, ribbed green Hazel Atlas glass in perfect condition, for $35. I use them constantly for prep, holding produce, cheese domes/food covers, and (on the rare occasions when none are at work) for kitchen decoration.

                                        For sheer usefulness per $, it's also hard to beat the $15 Copco M3, a 2.5qt enameled cast iron casserole that shares a lid and nests with the 4-qt D3 that I've had for forty years. (Which itself was a very good deal, half price at the now-disappeared Kitchen Bazaar in DC). The M3 is the perfect size and shape for braises/stews with a pound or two of meat, and fits inside the Breville Smart Oven, should I ever acquire one.

                                        But I have to say the deal that gave me the greatest thrill was a 9.5" 2mm copper skillet lined w/stainless. I'd been looking at/for copper skillets for a year or more, and had actually bought a couple at good prices but that didn't quite work for me in one way or another -- too heavy, or the handle too short and easily heated-up, or too shallow, or without a pouring rim. One day on ebay a pan appeared that realized all my wishes, a discontinued Mauviel 'Cuprinox Style' with a long and comfortable-looking stainless handle. Not only was it just what I wanted, but it was listed as 'buy now' for just over $100 -- about $50 less than auctions for comparable skillets were bringing, and about $75 less than I'd have been willing to pay. The listing was less than five minutes old when I jumped on it.

                                        In daily use here for a year and a half, the skillet still gives me a little rush of pleasure every time I pick it up. The satisfaction is a combination of finding exactly what I want, which was proving hard to find at any price, and the price being well below what I was willing/expecting to pay.

                                        The lasting effect was to make me more inclined to do patient scrounging, through which I've acquired a couple of other great copper pans at excellent prices. But having all I need at this point, I'm hunting a lot more casually.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: ellabee

                                          Patient scrounging pays off spectacularly: a Bourgeat 2.5mm copper-stainless rondeau/braiser, with lid, for $150. The seller didn't know what s/he had (it isn't marked, but is obvious to a copper shopper) and misdescribed the pan in the heading.

                                          For my small stovetop and 24" oven, this 11" x 3" two-handled pan is a big step forward over the 2mm copper-stainless saute pan that I've been (happily) using for a year or more (and which itself was a pretty good deal): no big honking long handle to make it awkward on the stovetop and just barely able to fit in the oven in one position only. The lower profile of the braiser (a half-inch shallower, in addition to being free of the high handle) actually gives me the option to cook something else on a second oven rack while it's in the oven.

                                          I've wished for this very pan for a long time, and here it is, for less than I'd ever imagined I'd have to pay. And I can lay off the hunting for a good long while!

                                          1. re: ellabee

                                            Hi, ellabee:

                                            Fantastic! I'm happy for you.


                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                              Grateful for this thread as a place to kvell.

                                          2. re: ellabee

                                            Didn't know there was quality copper with stainless handles. I always thought this would be ideal, but never saw it. Congrats!

                                            1. re: mwhitmore

                                              It was a brief window of time -- that ended in 2011, as far as I know: Mauviel's Cuprinox Style line used the same pan shapes as the 2mm items they still make for Williams-Sonoma, but with cast stainless handles that are longer than their brass or cast iron versions, and shaped and angled for the piece to which they're attached.

                                              Having discontinued the 2mm copper-stainless Style line, Mauviel still makes those nice stainless handles, offering them as an option on 1.5mm pans (150s; the 150b & 150c have brass and cast iron handles, respectively).

                                              Cast stainless apparently isn't strong enough as a handle for heavy 2.5mm copper, except maybe on the smallest pieces. It might have been problematic on the largest pans in the 2mm Style line: there was a 28cm (11") skillet, and a 24cm (9.5") saute, but I can't find any evidence now that there was a larger saute. I didn't start really looking at copper offerings until just about the period when Mauviel was dropping the line, so I can't say confidently that there wasn't a large saute or other large pieces, either.

                                              1. re: ellabee

                                                Update on the discontinued Mauviel 'Cuprinox Style' line: per a forum post over at egullet, the line existed as of 2007, so its moment lasted for at least four years, possibly significantly longer. Not many show up on ebay.

                                          3. got an excalibur 9 tray dehydrator from the thrift shop for $11.99. i refuse to remove the price sticker - i've had it for several years and still can't believe my lucky stars!

                                            1. Wait, WHO got that AGA?

                                              I picked up a Mauviel saute pan (retail $300) for $20 at Marshalls.

                                              My other major scores are in the clothing & accessory range. (No pun intended on that last word.)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: E_M

                                                The AGA sounds farfetched, but it actually happened. If you're a diligent searcher, you might find the thread here, but I had an exchange with the lucky recipient. The neighbor, who was moving, apparently has enough money to have it replaced, and/or the house's buyer was ignorant. Maybe its color clashed with the plans for the new house? Whatever the explanation, the recipient really did get a free AGA.


                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                  Wow, if the buyer of the house did not want the AGA that is proof that they would never show up on this site.

                                                  We got a Vermont Castings wood burning stove in like-new condition for free from a cousin. His neighbor left it in his garage when they moved and said they would return to get it but they never did. After about 7 years he gave it to us for our northern Minnesota cabin.

                                                2. I gave up trying to get deals. I used to try, and the hours, days, weeks, spent searching, waiting, driving, calling combined with the frustrations associated in negotiations has led me to start taking pride in paying retail price. I'm starting a movement where people who pay full price are no longer shunned. If I can afford, and I want it, and it meets a price I'm willing to pay, then I will buy it. Why can't I brag about that? Life is full of people who brag about what a low price or deal they got, but why is it so bad to brag, yes, I bought that, full price, baby!? *smug*


                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: jedovaty

                                                    Agree. Time vs. money, and if you've got the money, you will never have more time.

                                                    1. re: jedovaty

                                                      I didn't notice your post until today. I agree with you that if you go searching for a deal a specific item it will take much more time and effort than it is worth. That's why I just occasionally look around for deals on stuff I didn't know I needed ; )

                                                      1. re: jedovaty

                                                        AND, when you get to the point in life where you realize time is short and you need to dump all that crap in order to downsize, and you realize you no longer have the hand strength to control that la creuset and ironclad ,
                                                        you can say to yourself:
                                                        "i didn't throw out my whole life searching for bargains. instead i LIVED my life."

                                                      2. Out of pure luck I got a brand new Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker for $350.

                                                        1. I love thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales, but don't get to the good ones very often, so my best deals pale in comparison with many of those mentioned here. Still, I'm happy with my Griswold #12 large-logo skillet, $12 (yard sale); 11" Sitram Catering saute pan with lid, $10 (flea market); like-new Zassenhaus coffee mill, $5 (yard sale); and vintage Sabatier carbon-steel slicing knife, $1(Salvation Army) ... to name a few. I've found many great bargains at the HomeGoods/Marshall's/TJMaxx chain and on clearance at places like Sur La Table, but it's the pre-owned stuff that really captures my imagination.

                                                          1. I don't know if I can come up with a 'best' deal so I'll mention a couple of recent good deals. I bought an 8" vintage Wusthof chef's knife (wood handle) at an estate sale for $.50. I have two LeCreuset in new condition grill pans for $5 each. In May I bought an Italian made electric gelato maker with a compressor for $12.

                                                            We have about a dozen Wustof Classic knives that were thrift store purchases but either people are not donating them too much anymore or someone else is beating me to them because I haven't found any for quite some time.

                                                              1. 14 inch All Clad original stainless skillet for $64.99. Was supposedly a second but I can't seem to find a flaw or it's accompanying mark.

                                                                1. This is my very best "deal" story. About five years ago I was in a local department store looking at the All-Clad. They had a six-quart dutch oven that was exactly what I wanted. No price marked. The clerk couldn't find a price either for that one or the other identical one in the back. Finally it occurred to me that it might be listed in the bridal registry. Sure enough, the UPC code showed up there and a price appeared. "Ninety-eight," she said, and just as I was thinking that was a good price, she said "cents." Yes, 98 cents. I actually argued with her a bit--I didn't want her to get in trouble for selling it at such a ridiculous price. But she assured me it would be OK. So I bought both of them. By chance I bought a spool of thread the same day. The thread cost more than the two All-Clads put together.

                                                                  I kept one and use it all the time. The other one went to my nephew, who's a budding chef. And yes, I always think of it as my ninety-eight cent All-Clad.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Cliocooks

                                                                    Damn....I'd display that Dutch Oven on the mantal or have it mounted as the ultimate trophy.

                                                                  2. Forty years ago, on vacation, stopped at a yard sale somewhere in very rural Tennessee. Found a cast iron Dutch oven & lid, plus an unlidded large skillet, both covered in rust, all 3 pieces for $5. Scrubbed 'em up, reseasoned 'em, still use 'em till this day. Best souvenir I ever bought.

                                                                    1. I got a beautiful wooden carving board at Home Goods for under $20... and now it's cracked right up the middle. (I'm an oaf sometimes)

                                                                      all these treasure stories inspire me to continue my scouring of the Home Goods/Marshalls/TJ Maxx shelves for good stuff! Next purchase will be a new 9x9 square baking pan. hopefully, a good one, cheap! :)

                                                                      1. A couple of weeks ago I found a used but near mint condition Sunbeam T-40 automatic toaster built sometime in the 60s. It has zero dings, dents, or scratches and cost $5.25 at a thrift store. I could probably put it on e-bay and get 50 or 60 bucks but we're enjoying it too much.


                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                          Hi, John E.:

                                                                          Oooh, I've always wanted a T-40, sometimes to the extent that I knock my POS toaster around hoping it will toast... no, *burn*... no more.

                                                                          Good score!


                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                            The funny thing about it I'm not eating bread (or toast) these days. The toaster we had before this would pop the toast up before it was done and then wouldn't let you push it down again without turning the control to the darkest setting. Then we'd have to manually pop it up before it burned. If the setting was left on dark the next person had to be sure to pop up the toast manually before it burned. It's amazing that 60 year old technology works better than a ten year old toaster.

                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                              Hi, John E.:

                                                                              "[T]his would pop the toast up before it was done and then wouldn't let you push it down again without turning the control to the darkest setting. Then we'd have to manually pop it up before it burned."

                                                                              EXACTLY what happens with mine!

                                                                              I'm no toaster expert, but I understand that the genius of the T-20 and its progeny was a sensor eye which measures the reflectivity of the toast--and turns off the elements even if the carrier remains lowered. For me, the amazing part is that this sensor business continues to function flawlessly after 60 years.

                                                                              At the risk of being too sardonic, I'll bet EIGHTY-year-old toasters are better than the ones you described and I continue to suffer.


                                                                        2. I found one of these ladles, dated c1890, at a thrift shop for $1.50. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/William-Hu...

                                                                          Unfortunately it's not in as good condition as the one I linked to, but I thought it was a pretty cool find nonetheless.

                                                                          I also found one of these - a Finum brew control tea pot http://www.cupoftea.uk.com/finum-brew... for a couple of dollars.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                            It's nice to know there are still finds at thrifts stores. We went to a garage sale a while back in a rural area where they had researched everything interesting on ebay ahead of time and were charging the market value of every item. Um, you kinda took the fun out of it... also, if you want to get those prices, you might have to sell on ebay to collectors, not on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

                                                                            1. re: julesrules

                                                                              Wow, I bet that garage sale was a huge failure. I agree, that would have completely taken all the fun out of it.

                                                                              I have found some amazing things at thrift stores! I'm finding there aren't as many around as there used to be though, which is pretty sad.

                                                                          2. Craigslist find - Weber Ranch Kettle, only used a few times. Brand new extra cooking grate included (I don't know why he had it, the original is like brand new), as well as two Weber chimneys. $300. I've found some other deals, but this is definitely my favorite.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Cheez62

                                                                              Wow. I somewhat pride myself on my thrifty finds, but I haven't really had a score like this one, at least not where money was involved. I did find a wood/coal stove that was free some years ago.


                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                That's a nice stove. Sounds like a good find to me!

                                                                            2. At my favoRite thrift store recently, 3 all clad non stick pans 8.5 inch, 10.5 inch and a 12.5 inch. All in excellent condition. Plus an all clad pasta ladle/fork thing, total for all $46.50.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. My dad was an organic chemist and food industry consultant who spent a few months in southern France during the late 70's on an apple concentrate project. Knowing my mom's love of antique copper and brass, he asked his host to take him to a "junk" shop in Marseilles where he scooped up about 30 blackened and ready-for-the-melting-furnace pieces of solid copper culinary ware, brass ladles and strainers (and multiple other pieces of curious and yet to be identified use) and had them packed in a wooden crate and shipped to Philadelphia. Two months later, Mom was ecstatic upon opening the crate to find mostly large rivet pots from the early- to mid-19th century, and one solid brass ladle later identified by Christie's as from the 15th century.
                                                                                All of the items, crate and shipping to Philadelphia was about $100. Most pieces hang on my kitchen walls to this day. My brother has the 15th century ladle.
                                                                                Now.....that was a find!

                                                                                1. 1. I got the Delonghi ice cream maker at Williams and Sonoma for $99 the year the new model came out.

                                                                                  2. At BrandSmartUSA, I picked up the 5.5 Qt. Cuisinart Stand Mixer for approximately $150. The funny thing about this purchase was I was going there to buy a small item and stumbled upon the deal.

                                                                                  I'm probably most proud of those deals as both of them are around $300 retail today.

                                                                                  1. Yesterday I happened to stumble across an 11 inch square Emile Henry casserole dish for $4. It was on the clearance rack a local store called "Tuesday Morning". Last week found a copy of Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" at a used bookstore for $1.

                                                                                    My favorite deal was a 9 quart Staub dutch oven on Amazon for $80 - unfortunately those great Amazon deals seem to be a thing of the past.

                                                                                    1. Hobart A-120 mixer $295
                                                                                      Hobart 14" buffalo chopper w/grinder, and rolling SS Cart $100
                                                                                      Hobart automatic meat slicer $360
                                                                                      KA mixer (70's vintage) $30

                                                                                      and many more

                                                                                      1. Rs.300 (around US$3 at the time) for a 10" flat griddle in Sri Lanka. That was about, um, six years ago. Ish.

                                                                                        I still have it, of course. I took it with me when we moved to New Zealand, then back to Sri Lanka, and now in Singapore. It will always go with me, even though it's heavy.

                                                                                        It's the only piece of cast iron I found in Sri Lanka that was useable - two other pieces I found were so small - as in a 4" oval pan. In New Zealand and Singapore, to buy cast iron locally is to spend a LOT of money - think $200+ for just a plain 10" skillet, assuming you can find it since they're not easily found everywhere.