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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Frugal Kitchen Finds

Frugal Kitchens 101

My husband and I have always been heavily into re-using and repurposing household items.  You really do not need a lot of money to have a very well stocked kitchen!  I would honestly rather buy used any day as it keeps that item from finding it's way to the landfill and quite often brand new, never used or very close to it kitchen items can be found for a fraction of what they are worth.  For example, I found two fancy shaped Valtrompia bread tubes sold by The Pampered Chef, brand new and still in the original packaging at a thrift store.  The very kind lady gave them to me for a total of 50¢ and then felt bad that she was charging me too much!  I've bought dozens and dozens of canning jars used and one of my biggest expenditures when shopping the thrift stores is old cookbooks.  If you are willing to use previously used kitchen items, here is a list of where to find what:

  • thrift stores - Oh good gosh you never know what you can find in the thrift stores.  I go about once a month currently looking for glass inserts for canning jars but also older glass ovenware.  These stores are the place to look for small kitchen appliances like bread machines and yogurt makers at ridiculously low prices, often under $5 a piece.  You do need to know the value of new though as recently some thrift stores are charging more per canning jar than they would cost new.  They are one of the prime places to look for cookbooks, often going as cheap as 10¢ per book!  Seriously, I bought a huge Smart Choice recipe binder by Weigh Watchers, an antique mason jar and another specialty jar for $1.49 the other day.  There may be a small selection of cooking videos as well usually for 25¢,
  • yard sales - At one time my husband and I would spend Saturday morning visiting yard sales.  It was one of our forms of entertainment  We seldom do that anymore what with the price of gas combined with not really needing anything.  Yard sales are the perfect place to look for ultra cheap Tupperware, dishes, serving ware, canning jars and kitchen gadgets.
  • estate sales - Estate sales are similar to yard sales except the entire contents of the house are being sold.  This is where you can pick up nice small and larger kitchen appliances in good condition.  Estate sales are one of the prime resources for finding antique or vintage linens and tableware.
  • eBay - A surprising variety of kitchen related items are only as far away as a click of your mouse and quite often the prices are rock bottom.  eBay is ideal for finding kitchen gadgets, kitchenware and cookbooks ranging from brand new to used, vintage or antique.  While there are great deals to be had, there are two problems you need to be aware of.  First off, you are relying on the seller to actually ship the goods and for the most part sellers on eBay are quite good otherwise they don't last long but just be aware that some sellers are a bit on the dishonest side.  The second problem is shipping costs.  The buyer pays the shipping and handling charge (if any) but should be aware that shipping costs have increased in North America and shipping outside of North America can be rather costly.  While the item may be a steal, the shipping costs can make your purchase really not worth it.
  • online stores - Online stores can be a very frugal way to find the kitchen items you want for a fraction of the price.  Many online stores have a clearance section where you can get some really nice deals.  For the most part, the shipping and handling charges tend to quite reasonable but some online stores offer free shipping if you buy over a certain amount, usually $50.

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Glass inserts for canning jars?

We loved going to yard sales when we were younger, but don't any more for the reasons you listed. ;)
Though I do often look as we go by one. :)

Thanks for all the suggestions. Maybe the next time I'm out, I'll stop by one or two of the shops we have around here.