Kitchen Items to Look For in Thrift Stores

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Repurposing is a unique, eco-friendly, and cost-effective way to store and organize kitchen essentials.

In addition, it’s satisfying to score a good deal while giving undesired items new life. By transforming someone else’s trash into treasure, vintage goods can make your kitchen a more pleasant space for storing utensils and other necessities.

With that being said, why not spend some time looking through thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets in search for your next kitchen organization project. Although you should be cautious because thrifting is an addictive habit to get into, especially if you score a deal.

Take a look at some of the best quality kitchen items and other valuable things to look for at thrift stores for a low price and some merchandise you should avoid at all costs.

Valuable Things to Look For at Thrift Stores  

1. Pyrex 

Vintage Pyrex dishes, which have been around since 1915, were made of borosilicate, making them highly durable and beautiful at the same time, with a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from. As a result, a growing number of people are scouring thrift shops, estate sales, and the internet for “one more piece” to complete their collection of Pyrex.

2. Cast Iron Skillets   

Cast iron skillets can last a lifetime if properly cared for, but you’re more likely to find a diamond in the rough at a thrift store. Surface rust appears when cast iron is neglected, or moisture is allowed to accumulate on the skillet.  While rusting is unsightly, it is also simple to remove at home.

3. Stainless Bowls 

Stainless steel bowls are beneficial and are always a good investment. Most thrift stores have them in a variety of sizes. If you plan to collect this, it would be advisable to google “kitchen utensils near me,” to locate thrift stores with kitchen items like this.

4. Kitchen Linens

Thrift stores are great places to find seasonal tablecloths, placemats, and kitchen towels. Additionally, most vintage linens are made from high-quality materials.

5. Stoneware Crocks   

The price of stoneware varies greatly because some have decorative, painted designs in blue shades. Those, however, can cost hundreds of dollars and are intended for display, so choose a simple one to hold your merchandise.

6. Serving Dishes 

These are nice to have for special occasions, but it’s a waste of money to spend a fortune on rarely used items. For those times when you are hosting a party, pick up some attractive serving platters at a thrift shop.

7. Molds  

Copper or tin molds were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were utilized in various ways. Copper was the material of choice for the affluent because it conducts heat more evenly than tin and makes an excellent decoration when not in use.

8. Cookie Cutters 

Similar to molds, some cookie cutters are still incredibly valuable today, fetching hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Copper, tin, or aluminum cookie cutters with intricate designs that deviate from standard cookie cutter sizes can be good finds.

9. Cookbooks 

Spiral-bound community cookbooks are often created to raise funds for local organizations and groups. The “best of” recipes from Junior Leagues, churches, garden clubs, and other organizations are collected in these time-honored cookbooks.

10. Tea Tin Cans 

Tea containers date back to the 1600s in England, where tea has a long history. These porcelain containers were popular during that period. It wasn’t long before these now-expensive artifacts transformed into wooden boxes and eventually into tea tins. In keeping with the tradition of presentation, many have beautiful patterns and hinged lids.

Kitchen Items You Should Avoid Buying in Thrift Stores 

1. Seasonal dishes and platters 

The temptation to use Christmas tree dishes or an Easter bunny platter is strong, but even at a thrift store, items that you can only use once a year aren’t a good investment. To get the most bang for your buck, choose dishes and serving pieces that you can use year-round.

2. Items made from plastic 

It’s not a good idea to purchase used plastic because it can accumulate unpleasant odors and is rarely completely clean. Buying something that won’t last is a waste of money because it deteriorates over time.

3. Metal pans 

Since old pans are prone to rusting, it’s best to avoid using them. That won’t make for a tasty cake or cookie, either. Stainless steel and ceramic are the best materials to use.

4. Electrical kitchen appliances 

Never buy any electrical kitchen appliance, especially if they cannot be tested in the store. Additionally, the electrical wattage or appliance version may not be applicable for use today if it’s a vintage appliance.

5. Old Utensils 

Metals and chemicals can seep from cheaply made utensils and contaminate your food, but sterling silver and stainless steel are safe to use. If you are considering buying one, you should research vintage kitchen utensils identification to know more about its characteristics.

6. Old Dishware 

Vintage plates, bowls, cups, and platters may be attractive but may contain lead or other hazardous materials.

7. Vintage Pans and Pots 

Vintage cookware brands, especially non-stick varieties, should be avoided when restocking your kitchen supplies. When heated to high temperatures, the flakes can release toxic compounds into the food.


When searching for vintage treasures, it is helpful to have a list of brands of kitchen items that you should be looking for. It would be best to consider all the suggestions and things to avoid buying in thrift stores, as mentioned above. It would be helpful so that you won’t waste time, effort, and money when thrift store shopping.

Let Haven House Thrift Store Help in Sprucing Up Your Kitchen.  

Whether you’re sprucing up your kitchen for an occasion or just simply completing a vintage collection, you must know what’s ideal to buy in a thrift store or not. Remember that you’re dealing with food in the kitchen, and do not want to contaminate it with your treasure finds. It’s vital to know all of this before shopping at thrifts stores in Lebanon, TN, as they have vast choices of kitchen items to choose from. So, what are you waiting for? Head to your nearest thrift store to create your fabulous kitchen with treasure troves of quality kitchen items.