It wasn't that long ago that I cringed at bit at the prospect of going into a thrift or second-hand store, let alone actually buying anything from a place 'like that.' I even found second-hand bookstores to be somewhat yucky and distasteful, with that funny dusty-musty smell and all those pre-read books in there.
And, to be totally honest, I was a bit judgmental of the people who shopped in such places. But Gord had no such hang-ups or judgments and I would tag along with him, somewhat unenthusiastically, when he would go into Value Village or other no-name thrift stores or book stores, all the while thinking, "ew" and, "when can we leave?"
Well, all that has changed. It was the bookstores that first got me to come around. Given the amount of books I read, half-price books were very attractive. And once I got over the idea that second-hand was somehow second-class, I started going to more second hand book stores, and I found that they didn't all have that smell, and even if they did, well, so what? Maybe what I considered smelly was just the lack of off-gassing plastic wrappers and the absence of chemical air fresheners.
And once I got over that, it was just a small change in perspective to see all the other thrift store goodness. I had been wanting to stop using my non-stick frying pans for a while, but cast-iron pans are expensive -- except at the thrift store. Gord snagged me this lovely 10 inch cast iron pan at Value Village for 10 bucks! While he was calling me on the phone to see if I wanted it, he said that two other people eyed it and put it back down, luckily for me! After a quick scrub with baking soda, and a little re-seasoning with canola oil, this pan is a non-stick wonder! And no carcinogenic chemicals to worry about.
I had asked Gord to keep an eye out for a baking rack, and lo and behold the next time he was at Value Village he found the one in the picture, for just $1.99! It is a sturdy, well-made rack without a scratch or stain in sight. A little vinegar to clean it off, and it will outlast me, I'm sure. (Oh, and the bread? That's just for decoration, of course.)
I'm now on the lookout for more things from the thrift store, like cutlery (especially butter knives), book shelves, glass storage and canning jars, and a dark enamel roasting pan (to be used in the solar oven I plan to build/make, hopefully to make some of that delicious bread, with free energy!). Why buy these things new when they are perfectly good second hand? I save money, create less waste, and the Earth's resources are not depleted further on my behalf. That is a win-win-win situation if I've ever seen one.
What have been your best thrift-store finds?