Thrift Store Must Buys: Cheap Kitchen Items

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Thrift Store Must Buys Cheap Kitchen Items

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One of the great things about shopping on thrift stores is that you can find anything that you could possibly need in just one place. It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for vintage clothes, furniture, books, home decorations, pieces of jewelry, or board games, you will not go home empty handed! What makes thrifting even more exciting is the fact that you don’t have to spend a fortune just to one or two really good items. The hunt for thrift store gems may sometimes be challenging and time consuming, but it’s all worth it in the end.

One variety of thrift store inventory that shoppers are always scouting is used kitchenware. Whether you’re filling out your new apartment, or looking for second hand kitchen cabinets, or just searching for some fancy used tableware, a thrift shop is the place to be.

Take a look at our list of must-buy cheap kitchen items:

Pots and Pans

If you’re planning to replace some old pieces of cookware, you don’t need to buy new ones right away. You’ll be surprised to find some high-quality pots and pans on your local thrift store. Heavy-duty stainless steel or ceramic might be available. If you see some cast iron pans, grab them before someone else does. Whatever you do, never pass up on cast iron cookware when shopping for cheap kitchen items.


Looking for wine glasses, glass dishes, and bowls? Head over to the glass aisle on a thrift shop and prepare to see some hidden gems. You may even find some valuable glass like crystal. You just have to remember a few things to discern the quality of the glassware you’re getting. Top quality glass is usually heavier than others, so you have to feel the weight of the item before buying it. You may also check for any markings or labels to see if it’s made by a certain brand. Clarity is also important, so look for items with greater brilliance. As a bonus tip, real crystal wine glasses should make a ringing sound when you run your finger along the rim.


Be on the lookout for real silverware that might be hidden somewhere in the flatware section. Who knows? You might be able to score valuable finds, like sterling silverware made in the 1850’s. Look for markings that say “sterling” or the number 925 or a distinctive marking (hallmark), such as a lion passant. Any silverware with an “E” marking indicates that it’s not real silver.

Jadeite Dishware

This has become a collector’s item and thrift store favorite due to its durability, remarkable color, and history. Jadeites are opaque green glass tableware made in the 1940’s by Anchor Hocking. In fact, Martha Stewart is known to have an impressive collection. Jeannette Glassware also manufactured a product line that looks similar to the Jadeite line, so when you try to search for real jadeite dishware, you should spot Fire King or Jeannette logos below the item to be certain that you’re holding the real deal.

Depression Glass

On one of your thrift store visits, have you ever seen one of those transparent, colorful glassware items with beautiful intricate patterns in them? If yes, then you might have come across the particularly valuable depression glassware. A highly collectible item since the 1960’s, these are mass-produced glass pieces from the Great Depression. Manufacturers back then offered this unique glassware as a free gift inside oatmeal boxes, detergent boxes, or even in gasoline stations when you went for an oil change. With its interesting history, colorful hues, and elegant designs, who wouldn’t want a chance to buy this from a thrift store? To identify Depression glass, look for tiny air bubbles on the surface and small lines on the base of the piece. Some may even have scratches on them.

If you’re still one of the people still hesitant to buy used kitchenware, it’s about time to reconsider. In shopping for pre-owned items, you only need to ensure that you properly inspect each piece before checking out. Remind yourself of our guidelines above and thoroughly clean every single one before use.