Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home and Garden: Cheap Finds

We actually get asked a lot about where we get most of our patterned plates and napkins and other awesome kitchen decor for the blog. Truth is that you don't need to spend a bundle to have a variety of items for photography set ups. So today we're going to let you in on our little secret... you ready? This is it... Thrift Stores! Yup, thats right, Goodwill, Savers, garage sales you name it. About once every couple months or so Charisse will sift through our local second hand stores to score a ton of swag for not a lot of money. If you know what you are looking for and have a little knowledge about how to spiff up a used item then you are pretty much guaranteed discover a hidden treasure or two (or five or ten). Actually, not all of our finds are blog related, our favorite over-sized chair and ottoman, our antique dining room set and our trusty kitchen chop block were found at the thrift store, moving sale and craigslist respectively and we didn't pay over $50.00 for any of it! Here's the biggest cooking prize at any thrift store; cast iron cookware! We have talked about how much we adore our growing collection of cast iron skillets but seriously it is Charisse's favorite item in the kitchen hands down and she always seems to run across a skillet here or pot there for around $5.00. Cast iron takes work and effort to maintain and some knowledge of cooking to use properly and most people who buy one don't want to be bothered learning to use it properly, so it gets tossed under all the non-stick cookware and eventually donated. Score for us! Stopping by "Savers" last Friday Charisse came home with a really guilty look... she'd hit the jack pot and found a beautiful 10 inch antique skillet, a 8 inch deep skillet and a Ã†bleskiver skillet, which is used to make Danish pancake puffs. She also scored a small Graniteware stock pot with lid that was practically new. The guilty look? Charisse brought home about our bajillionth cast iron pot so Eric has to wait until next month to buy his bajillionth camera accessory. A promise of something yummy took care of that situation. Now cookware is awesome, but for the blogger or budding food photographer out there, second hand stores are the BEST place to stock up on textiles, plates, silverware, glasses, and any other staging object for food photography. In the same trip Charisse bought 8 pieces of fabric ranging in price from $.99-$2.00. It's fun to find unique patterns and colors that will really pop in pictures and compliment the food. Furthermore, many items are at these places because they are just that, one item. Who needs 1 patterned plate? 1 funky napkin? We do! So next time your driving by your local thrift store, stop in and do a little digging and see what treasures you can find! 

Here's our most recent score: 


  1. I'm totally with you! I love searching for dishes at thrift stores - they are super cheap, and it's easy to buy just 1 or 2 instead of a whole set!

  2. What a great posting!! You have the right idea..... I love older and vintage pieces.... will be looking for more now!

  3. Goodwill is my best friend when it comes to finding odds and ends for my food blog! I don't think I've ever spend more than a dollar on any particular item.

  4. Just a couple of weekends ago Ed and I went to town at a big Goodwill near us. We got all kinds of wooden and white dishes for food styling. We splurged on a handmade stoneware pot with matching top for $10.
    It is so much fun searching for things!