June’s Awesome Thrift Store Finds


Shopping at thrift stores has always been one of our favorite things to do when Brian and I are on a daytime date or visiting a new city. It’s pretty cheap entertainment, plus there’s the thrill-of-the-hunt factor. Sometimes we don’t find anything and sometimes we unearth a treasure.

We found some pretty great things last fall when we visited smaller towns to the south of us, and we found some awesome things a few weeks ago during our stay at a fancy hotel in Portland, including this cast iron #10 fry pan that I had been on the hunt for since writing about how I came to love cast iron more than a year ago!

In that year I have NOT found many cast iron pans at thrift stores, period. Seems like they are experiencing a surge in popularity with more than just me. {smile} The pans I did find were the same #8 size I already had or smaller. Even antique stores rarely had this size, and when they did I’ve seen prices as high as $40.00!

Imagine, then, my heart-pumping excitement when I turned the pan over and saw this:

Cha-ching – sold!

And, yes, I did say heart-pumping excitement about a cast iron pan. It doesn’t take much, my friends, to make a frugal girl’s heart go pitter-patter.

As if that wasn’t enough, this Goodwill store (on SE 6th near Grand) was stocked with lots more things I look for – like these pieces of red transferware for $2 to $3 each. In our little city, I rarely find pieces of red transferware in thrift stores.

These aren’t fine pieces – the sugar bowl is missing the lid (but that shape is SO sweet and would make a great vase, wouldn’t it?), the cup has a chip and the bowl is discolored – but these flaws don’t bother me. They are usable and beautiful even with their imperfections (uh…that’s sorta our motto around here, isn’t it?).

However, that little plate pictured WAS perfect and sported this on the back:

Spode is one of the most sought-after makers of red transferware, and I knew that this bread plate was worth a lot more than the $4.00 I paid. Sure enough, I came home and looked on Ebay and found one that was listed for $21.99. Score!

Not that I’m going to sell it – it’s just the thrill of the find, you know?

This store also had heaps (and I’m not exaggerating) of vintage flatware like the pieces in this sweet glass I bought to use as a vase and photo prop. I used vintage silver-plate for many years as our everyday silverware, but eventually it got so worn that the exposed underlayment created a green oxidization in spots that not only was unsightly, but probably not healthy.

We moved to stainless for everyday (but of course it’s an old 1980’s pattern from Ebay…), but finding this flatware made me wish it wasn’t so hard to use daily. I just love the look of it. I bought these few pieces for $1 each to use with my photos and left the rest. If only…

This was my “big” purchase at $8.00. When I first entered the store I was heading at a brisk pace to the bathroom at the back (if you know what I mean…) when I saw this out of the corner of my eye on a bottom shelf.

Yeah, it sorta called to me.

I bent down to pull it out to get a better look and a woman behind me said, “Wow, that’s really cool!”

And I’m all like, “Yeah, it is,” but in my head I was thinking, “This is mine, lady- hands off!”

Goodness, who is this person I turn into when I’m on the hunt?

It’s not so worn that you can’t see the original green color, and it has just enough patina and bit of rusting to be cool – as the lady said.

I love the label, too, that still reads, “None Better.”

This last find didn’t come from the Portland trip, but from one of our home town stores. We do still find some things here. {wink} I really like gardens I see in magazines that have classic garden statuary weaved throughout, but anything I find that’s affordable in the stores is either plastic or shaped like cherubs, gnomes and such, which is not the classic look I’m after.

This sweet statue is concrete and I was really drawn to the image of a child giving flowers to a mom. I waffled for the longest time over the $5 price tag (Did I really want it? Where would I put it?) only to find when I went to pay for it that it was 25% off.

$3.75? Oh, yeah- I can find a place for this!

Have you found any deals lately? If you’ve blogged about it, leave a link in the comments or on AOCs’ Facebook page – I’d love to see what you’ve found!



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  1. says

    Nice! Don’t be jealous, but…. I find cast iron all the time in our local thrift shops and even yard sales. I even buy the rusted pieces because they are so easy to rehab. Good luck completing your cast iron collection!!

  2. says

    Fun finds. I’m reacquainting myself with my cast iron pans. I’ve had them since my first apartment and recently have started using them again. They really are the best.
    My mom swears by that Goodwill on Grand. We grew up right over there and she still lives there and pops in every now and then. I think it’s one of the original stores. I wish I had more time to wander the junk stores. It’s just not quite the same with three kids in tow. :)

  3. says

    I love cast iron, and I did find a #10 dutch oven that I was really excited over. The latest find was 8 of the ball blue glass jars w/o lids. They were priced at .25 cents each! I looked on ebay to see what they are worth and some go for $5.00 a piece. I love storing dehydrated items in these tinted jars. I bought one with a bailing wire but no lid, I thought it would make a nice pencil holder for my desk.

    I love your statue, it’s very peaceful.

    • david says

      Blue glass jars intrige me,I have 6 but only one zink lid,I’m curious about the numbers on the bottom,I have #’s 2,6,8,and what looks like VIII,do you know where I can research the intent of the numbers.My grand mother gave them to me,I also had a half gallon but during a move once my stepbrother dropped it and it broke.

  4. SchneiderPeeps says

    I love cast iron. When my husband and I first got married (21 yrs ago) we got a nice set of cookware from Dillard’s as a gift. The kind with the no stick coating. Within a couple of years it was all scratched up. When we visited my grandmother we noticed that all she used was cast iron and stainless steel. All her pots and pans I remember from my childhood and when I asked her she said a lot of the cast iron was her mom’s. Since then all we’ve used is cast iron and stainless steel.

    I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Here’s more info http://www.schneiderpeeps.com/2012/07/versatile-blogger-award.html )

  5. Tess S. says

    This brings me back! We moved to New Mexico 2 years ago but before that we lived in Portland. The places you mention are my old stomping grounds! The Goodwill stores here are NOTHING like the stores in Oregon. Hmmmm! I wonder why that is?

    • says

      I think it depends on the area, Tess – we’ve found some incredible thrift stores in the Phoenix area and they’re much better than ours here. Our theory was all the snowbirds there and the $$ they have. :)

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