The Nifty Thrifty

As you have probably noticed, we find a lot of awesome inexpensive things at yard sales, estate sales, etc. Every so often we will share a round-up of our best recent findings, so we're calling this series of posts "The Nifty Thrifty."

Also, we're working on getting our etsy sites up and running. Chris already has some little art up in his shop. Now we're realizing that we have to get a tax ID number from the IRS and register with the state so we can charge sales tax, blah, blah, it's all very boring and complicated, and once we figure it out, a bunch of cool little vintage items (including several of the things in this post) will be added to our collective vintage etsy shop!

The goods:

I bought this beautiful vintage casserole at a cuh-razy church flea market yesterday. This huge basement was jam packed with stuff and people. It was a madhouse, but we found some good stuff at super cheap prices.

Fun design, my first guess when I saw it was that it was from the 70's. After attempting to do a little research on the internets, I think it's late 60's or early 70's. Also, I hear these casseroles are really high quality, which is pretty sweet.

It was very hard to find any information on this company. They clearly don't exist anymore and haven't for awhile. It's definitely vintage!

Adorable vintage enamel creamer or scoop or something. I bought this at the same church flea market. Just did some research on this, and it turns out this is a Turkish Coffee Pot.

It has something stamped on the bottom that I can't quite figure out. Maybe "4 CTS"?

I bought this wood thing a few weeks ago at a yard sale. I think it could be for putting hot pots on, or just as a decorative thing. 

Pretty sweet texture carved into it. 

We have no idea what these are, but they are amazing. Chris bought these at the church sale yesterday. This picture actually shows the bottom where they have great colors. Each one is about 5-6 inches long.

You can tell they're really old based on the ridiculous patina of the metal on the inside of these things. Hopefully we'll be able to figure out what they are with a bit more research. 

 Chris bought this amazing little alligator at an awesome estate sale last weekend. He's about 4 inches long and currently lives on our windowsill above the table.

You can't really read it in the picture, but on his belly it says "Made in Occupied Japan." That means he was probably made between 1945-1952 (when Japan was occupied by us...), but the mark was apparently used on some items until around 1955. Awesome.

Its mouth is hilariously large.

Chris bought this little guy at a yard sale yesterday. He's about 2 in. tall. 

When I was taking pictures of him, I realized that it's actually a salt or pepper shaker! There's a hole between his eyes, and you can open up the bottom to put in the salt/pepper. Cute and functional.

I think we might have a chair addiction. As in, we keep finding chairs we love at prices we can't pass up, and now we have a collection of chairs that don't fit in our apartment-- we currently have 3 chairs that live in storage or with Chris's parents because we just don't have room. At least I just sold off a chair craigslist (I'm really excited about it... bought it for $17 at an estate sale and sold it for $100). Still, as I sold that chair, we bought this new one at a yard sale yesterday! It is a beautiful old thing. The upholstery is faded green velvet, it's actually nicer than it looks in this picture, it just had a few splashes of water on it that have since disappeared.

Buying this thing was such a confusing experience. We asked how much they wanted for it, and at first she started going on about how it was probably worth about $175, but suddenly they offered it to us for $20. We were like, "wait... $120 or $20?" and it was actually $20. What? We jumped on that boat immediately. Someday we'll get it upholstered in awesome fabric and it will be amazing.

I bought this little mid century modern ottoman at Savers (same company as Value Village, where I used to shop in Oregon!), which is like Goodwill. We stop by Savers all the time and dig through lots of not-so-nice stuff and every now and then we find something great. The legs on this guy are a little beat up, but I'm going to see what I can do to spruce them up, and the vinyl upholstery is in great condition. We've seen many similar ottomans at vintage markets (where we bought our first one, it's orange and has a permanent home in our living space), so we have a pretty good idea of how much they're usually worth (somewhere in the $40-$60 range), and this one cost me $5! Quite a steal. It is a little smaller than most that we've seen, but it's pretty sweet. 

We bought this little table at the same yard sale where we got the green chair. And get this, it was only $1! It turned out to be a great weekend for yard sales even though it was rainy. My theory is that we get much better prices when it's rainy since there's not much yard sale traffic so people are just happy to get rid of things to whoever is willing to pay anything.

This table would be a great coffee table or large end table. The wood is a little funky. We're thinking of painting it, maybe leaving part of it au naturel, and then selling it on craigslist, as we have no room for it in our tiny apartment.

So those are some of our best finds recently, and we managed to buy all that stuff for hardly any money. Now we have to decide which ones we want to keep, and what we are willing to part with. We'll let you all know once we get the etsy shop going!


  1. The green metal things look like ashtrays to me.
    I found this listing, where someone else thinks so too. Any thoughts?


  2. Hi Anne,

    nice find.
    I had originally thought that they were ashtrays as well, but we were unsure. I just loved the colors, weight, and shape, but I have to say I like the linked ashtray's color better. The shape, however, is the same as one of ours; it's always exciting to see what we buy is worth online, and for both of these I paid less than one dollar! I <3 church sales!
    We just opened our Etsy account so both of these ashtrays will soon be up for sale!

  3. Omg, I love all of it!!! The aligator is awesome (thank you for sharing the link) as is the little frog and that table, serious score!

    1. Thanks! We love the alligator, so even though it's probably worth a lot more than we paid, I think we're hanging on to that one. This reminds me that the table is still sitting in our storage unit waiting for us to do something about it... oh no we have way too much stuff!


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