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National Op Shop Week 2016 – Never Underestimate an Op Shop!

It’s National Op Shop Week in Australia. We are all encouraged to donate, shop and support op shops as part of helping the community and reducing out footprint. This could not have been more perfectly timed as I have just returned from a week in Bargara, near Bundaberg where I unearthed several treasures.

I’ve written previously about recent actions we have been taking to reduce our waste and consumption at TIFFIN HQ. Sometimes this is about being inventive with recipes to use up excess or leftovers or, as was the case for a recent party we hosted, using real crockery and cutlery rather than paper plates or plastic cups. I did actually need to buy some extra cutlery so I visited the local op shop, bought what I needed and re-donated it when we were done. Win, win.

piles of crockery, plates and cutlery

Ready for a party extravaganza

I want to move away from the cycle of buying for the sake of it and these days actually find it easy to question whether I really need an item before I buy it. Easy that is, except when it comes to op shops! I have yet to break the habit or wandering in and being dazzled by all of the wonderful items I’d love to take home. The real influencer is the quality and craftsmanship in some of the pieces that I see languishing on the op shop shelves. Whilst I am still busy de-cluttering and minimising, a few fabulous things have crept back into the house in the past week. The thing that is so remarkable about each of these pieces is that they most are in mint condition.

Baccarat Saucepan & Tupperware Container – Gympie

From a Gympie op shop: small yellow Tupperware servalier cannister with sunburst lid and burnt orange Baccarat saucepan with matching glass lid

The small burnt orange Baccarat saucepan was in the sale bin at the front of the shop is what originally caught my eye. It has been used at some time but I’d suggest that given the perfect condition of the non stick interior, not very much. I was keen on this as it’s rare to see such a small pan with fitted lid. For $3.50, I didn’t need to think for very long. Meanwhile, even Mr Tiffin has been trained to pick up Tupperware when he sees it. The small Tupperware servalier cannister with the classic sunburst lid, in perfect condition was $2.50.

Ironstone Kokura Ware – Bargara

From a Baragara op shop: two ironstone kokura ware cups and matching saucers

So I’m the first to admit that I don’t drink tea and prefer my coffee in mugs. Made in a bygone era when the words ‘Made in Japan’ were synonymous with ‘cheap, these vintage cups and saucers (well, the pink cup is resting on a matching side plate), are just lovely. And, they were 50c per set so I wasn’t going to leave them behind. A prop perhaps in a future recipe photo?

Corning Glas-Snap Mugs – Bargara

From a Bargara op shop: 3 Glas-Snap mugs by Corning with olive green plastic holders

Hands up if you had these or a version of these in your family. Our were a more squat version in a set of rainbow colours. Designed for hot or cold drinks, they must have been quite revolutionary when they were released. Looking at these, they are actually quite elegant. When you pull the glass out of the plastic holder, they look like a cross between a Riedel wine tumbler and a science beaker. Unfortunately, there were only three in the set but they’re lots of fun and at 3 for $1, yet another bargain.

Let’s Look At Switzerland – Gin Gin

Let's Look at Switzerland hard cover book published 1963

Yes, let’s look at Switzerland. The only reason I was keen on this book was that Mr Tiffin and I have spent a bit of time in Switzerland so it was fun to look up places we had visited and see how much they had changed in the ensuing 53 years since publication. I also loved the fact that it was an ex-library book that had made its way from the London Borough of Brent all the way to Gin Gin in country Queensland. Those reasons and the fact that it was 10c meant it came home with us. I will be passing this on to a friend who has just visited many of the same places in Switzerland and she can re-donate it.

Pyrex Divided Serving Dish – Bargara

From an op shop at Bargara: divided Pyrex serving dish with Spring Blossom pattern

Surely the piece de resistance of this op shop holiday haul. This large divided serving dish with matching lid looks like it has never been used. I’m familiar with the pattern, known as Spring Blossom but haven’t ever seen a divided dish in Pyrex. If this doesn’t take you to a different era, nothing will. And there’s that olive green again. Priced for a song at $6.50, unbelievably, the woman at Vinnies wanted to only charge me $2 as I had already bought some other items. I didn’t want to rip her off but could only argue her up to $5. Another win, win.

So that’s my round up for National Op Shop Week 2016. Make sure you get out there and take a look at what’s on offer and report back on what you find. Let me know in the comments if you had or have any  Tupperware Servaliers, Spring Blossom Pyrex or Glas-Snap Mugs in your household.

6 comments… add one
  • Sean August 24, 2016, 10:03 am

    No burnt orange fondue sets on offer? Alas…

  • Sherry from sherryspickings August 24, 2016, 1:43 pm

    Isn’t it marvellous what you can find in an op shop ? So much fun tho these days it is quite expensive. Love that Pyrex divided dish.

    • Fiona Ryan August 27, 2016, 2:14 pm

      My ex-pat Canadian friend tells me that the divided dish with lid were only produced in North America and quite hard to come by. I feel a retro party coming on.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 24, 2016, 2:26 pm

    I can clearly remember your last shopping spree and the year has flown by. Love your tea cups 😀

    • Fiona Ryan August 27, 2016, 2:13 pm

      They are quite elegant but I have yet to find a spot for them!

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