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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Last Week's Thrift Store Mini-Haul


A 3-qt and a 1-qt classic stainless steel Farberware saucepans with lids. New these sell for $29.92 and $18.69 each, respectively, or $48.61 for the set of two on Amazon. I paid $5.94 and $4.54 for a total of $10.48 on Senior Day at Value Village (30% off).

Why does this matter so much to me that I would blog about it? Up until 2019, this was my set of saucepans:

a hand-me-down 3-qt Club Aluminum saucepan and lid without the handle, a hand-me-down, thin-bottom (everything scorches in it) 2-qt stainless steel saucepan without the lid (using an old lid from a previous hand-me-down small saucepan), and a free-pile saucepan with no lid. All of our cookware for our entire 37-year marriage has come to us second-hand in one way or another.

In 2019, I found this 2-qt stainless steel Farberware saucepan with matching lid at Value Village for $3.99. I was pleased with how this saucepan cooked, and it became a preferred saucepan in our household. At that point I decided that I would try to collect other classic stainless steel pieces by Farberware for our cookware. Then 2020 happened, and I had to delay adding pieces to our cookware. 

For the last 2 years, I've kept my eyes open for more Farberware at Value Village and Goodwill. It seems that the cookware section is now always picked over and looking rather sparse. Until this past week. It looked like someone donated an entire set of classic Farberware earlier that week. In addition to the 2 pieces I bought last week, there was also a 2-qt saucepan (which I didn't need) and a large skillet (again I didn't need, as we already have the Farberware skillet).

With the addition of a 3-qt and 1-qt saucepan, my collection of classic stainless steel Farberware saucepans is now complete. I now have the 3-qt, 2-qt, and 1-qt saucepans.

I also have the Farberware .625 qt butter warmer, bought second hand for $5.99 (retails for $12.99), a hand-me-down(from stepmom) Farberware 16-qt stockpot, a hand-me-down (from mother-in-law) 10-inch Farberware skillet, and a thrifted 7-inch Farberware skillet ($2.99 at Value Village a year ago). I'm on the look-out for the Farberware 4, 6, or 8-qt stockpot to complete my set of matching stainless steel cookware, all obtained thrifted, yard saled, or handed-down. Once I have that last stockpot, I tell you, I'll be so happy to look into my cookware cabinet and see an entire matching set. I think I'll celebrate with the purchase of a door-mount pot lid rack to keep my cabinet looking organized.


  1. Score! Well done! Good cookware makes such a difference!

    1. Thanks, Kris. I agree. I've hated using some of the cookware that we'd been given. Those pieces simply ruined food too easily. For bargain cookware, I'd say pre-owned Farberware has been good quality.

  2. I think this is the perfect subject for a post! You can find great pots and pans at thrift stores, and you got some good deals.
    For many years, I used a Revereware set of pots and pans my mom bought for me when I started out. They traveled around with me (I took them with me when I lived abroad). I used them so much that I even wore out the handle on one of the saucepans. Now I have a mix of old cookware, thrift store pieces, and a few things bought new (mainly from Ross and Costco).
    Pots and pans are important - I use mine every day!
    - Tina

    1. Hi Tina,
      It sounds like the Revereware worked very well for you. I've had a couple of handles break on various pots and pans. I've bought replacements for most of those, but not all. Sometimes the replacement is just too costly, and the pot not that valuable to us.

      I'm glad you have a collection of pots and pans that work well for you. While I've wanted a matching set, sometimes mix and match works better, as cooking needs vary from food to food.

  3. We all have cookware that we love. Mine is Club pans. I get those at estate sales. I have the 70s pea soup green color in a big skillet and 2 smaller (maybe 1 qt and 2 qt) ane then I have the 70s burnt orange (maybe 3 qt). and I have a bigger stockpot or soup pan which might be a 6 or 8 qt. I also have two little tiny fry pans that I rarely use. I have a Taste of Home set of cookware that I bought at Walmart when that was the craze back in the early 90s and they are the non-stick kind where that is just wearing out but still very usable.

    1. Hi Alice,
      If by Club you mean Club Aluminum, that's what my mother always used and what I grew up using. I love their heavy bottom and sides. They conduct heat so evenly. My mother had the turquoise blue when first married. At one point she bought the almond color with non-stick interior. The non-stick coating wore off some of those, so she bought a new set of dark brown. I used to see pieces from this brand at thrift stores. Seeing them brings back happy memories of my childhood.

  4. What a great find! A couple of years ago, we got an induction range which requires steel (magnetic) pots. Luckily, the pots I got from my mother work on it. Those pots are almost 70 years old and in great shape. In addition, we got a set of pots with the range and they are very good, also. I can't use lack of good pots for an excuse to not cook more. :)

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I've only ever cooked on electric coil and gas cooktops. I've read that the majority of professional chefs prefer gas cooking for its responsiveness and precise control of heat. However, if I had a choice now, I'd choose electric coil. I always knew what to expect with those old cooktops.

      What do you think of cooking on an induction cooktop? Has there been any sort of learning curve to it or adaptations you've needed to make besides using specific cookware?

  5. Great find, and persistence really paid off!! Not needing to have everything perfect at once helped too. My husband wanted a 2 or 3 qt saucepan last week, which we bought at Walmart for around $18, but returned it since I found a slightly larger pot in the back of our cabinets. We may still look for a small saucepan since it's convenient to have. We made do with an assortment of old enamel ware. Thrift store is an excellent place to find it, thanks for sharing.

    Lili, yesterday I wrote in my comment that we're so different but speak the same language. I was thinking in general how amazing that we are from different backgrounds, culture, and ethnicity, yet we often find ourselves in agreement. Alice who lives in Michigan, and I who never visited the Midwest, can have the same thoughts and feelings. This lightens my heart and proves our common humanity. Just thought I'd explain my out of context remark.

    Have a wonderful evening,

    1. Hi Laura,
      I like having multiple sizes on pots and pans. I was on the fence about the 1-qt saucepan while standing in Value Village. Then I thought about future cooking for fewer of us at home, and went ahead and bought it along with the larger one. I've actually now used it twice to reheat leftovers. I like how leftover rice turns out when reheated on the stovetop with a little extra water as opposed to in the microwave. So I can see that small one will come in handy. Good luck on your decision about buying a 2 or 3-qt. I get it. You know you can make-do with other pots and pans. but sometimes it's nice to have just the right size.

      Thanks for the explanation. I understood what you meant. We don't have to all look alike on the surface to share some values or attitudes.


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