November 4, 2010

Bargain Finds For The Homestead

Last weekend seemed to be our time for finding bargains. It started when I visited a thrift shop I recently discovered, and found this....

It's a King Kutter food and vegetable cutter. This hand powered food processor will come in so handy for all the food preservation I do. To be honest, I often think that my blender with its processor attachment are too much trouble to get out, set-up, and especially clean up. Not to mention that using them means numerous small amounts (filling, emptying, scraping, and making a big mess in general). I often just use a knife to save time. Funny, because the electric gadgets are supposed to be the time savers.

I looked this baby up online and discovered that they can still be purchased new. One with five cone blades like mine, retails for $140 plus shipping. I got it for $10. Obviously I'm really pleased with this bargain. Plus, I was able to find a downloadable manual, so I'll know what to do with all those blades.

That same day, DH came home from a run to Ohio. On his way back, he stopped at an antique shop and found some great bargains.

I was most excited about these...

...gallon crocks for lactofermenting! I have the huge one he bought me, but really wanted a few smaller ones. Quart mason jars work okay, but these will be so much better. He got them for the amazing price of $12.50 each. Well, I think that's an amazing price, because here in the Southern Appalachians, things like these are priced for well-to-do tourists at $35 to $45 each. He got four, for less than I would have paid for one (except that I refuse to pay that much for them.) I still need some lids/weights, and then I'm in business.

Also, he brought me a lovely bean pot....

And two pirns!

$2 each. Perfect for my bargain end-feed shuttle (which I will use some day.)

For himself, he found this...

... a hand drill, aka brace and bit. It came with the large bit you see next to it. The smaller bit in the brace is one of DH's bits from his battery operated drill. They can be fitted into it too.

He first tried to find one of these when we worked on the fence posts for the first goat field. He had two drills, an electric one and a battery powered one. The battery one was old and died on him before we got the corner bracing installed; our outdoor extension cord couldn't reach to those back corners. So he went to Lowe's and asked to purchase a brace and bit. The sales guy didn't have a clue as to what he was talking about. In addition, his old drill was so old, that batteries are no longer made for it. He ended up buying a new battery powered drill, disgusted that the only thing he could do with the old one was throw it away. Even worse, the new batteries (it came with two) can't hold a charge. While working on the new fence, he ended up buying another, longer extension cord so we wouldn't have to wait two hours after every brace assembly before we could use the drill again. He was very happy with this find.

The next day I was on my way to the county library, and ran across an estate sale. I got a hand crank meat grinder for $3.

One of these days we'll be making our own ground meat and sausage.

A seed spreader.


And two used but clean, heavy duty trash cans for storing chicken, goat, and llama feed. $1 each.

I've never found so many good bargains in so short a time. Really gives me a lot to be thankful for.

Bargain Finds For The Homestead © November 2010 


Theresa said...

Oh great finds Leigh and so practical! I know what you mean about dragging out blenders and food processors. I usually use a knife too, but then again, I am also not putting up large quantities. I need to find a ricer though. Seems a handy thing.

Mama Pea said...

Boy, I think you both hit the jackpot! Love the hand operated tools. They truly do seem so much less hassle to use. In a pinch, I feel as if I could do almost anything (I may be a little silly and inefficient here) with a wooden spoon and my chef's knife for chopping.

Nina said...

Brilliant finds! Crocks are way over priced here as well. The bean pot is a lovely little piece. I do like trolling for thrift store bargains, though here it seems to be a common pastime, so not always many bargains to be found. I had to hunt down an electric drill that I could use for my bobbin winder. Almost all that I could find were battery operated and they are bottom weighted uncomfortably. I couldn't believe how difficult it was to find a regular old drill. I'd love a manual bobbin winder but they are unbelievably pricey here.

The Mom said...

Wow! I'm so jealous. I wish I liked to shop. There are so many fabulous things out there.

maggie said...

Wow, fortune is smiling on you and Dan right now! Such fantastic finds! Those crocks would go for waaaay more up here. They will be so useful. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Nice finds....aren't thrift shops fun! Would be cool to go together sometime....he he! Hugs!

Heather said...

It may be silly, but I have garbage can envy; $1 each?! One thing I don't do enough of is hit the thrift stores and garage sales.

Renee Nefe said...

great finds!

Yesterday I did some awesome selling. I'm sure the folks who bought my items think they got an awesome deal, but I'm glad to be rid of the items for so much money. We sold my daughter's old wagon and her bed frame. :D

Mr. H. said...

You will love that shredder, we have a similar one that we use almost every single day. I am hoping to use the link you provided to get another #1 cone as ours is starting to get dull. We did not know who made these as ours does not have any writing on it....thanks so much for the link.:)

You did good at the thrift stores!

Woolly Bits said...

I am still looking for a mandolin, one of those graters for veggies. I have a "kraut" and cucumber slicer, but this only has the two blades for slicing, the mandolin can cut all kinds, from fine strips to larce slices - unfortunately the good and strong ones cost an arm and a leg:((
I have to admit though that I threw my meat grinder away:(( I had the same suction thing at the bottom and whenever I used it for more than putting spinach through, the suction went and I couldn't use it anymore. have heard the same complaints from others, so next time I went for a very old one, that's screwed to the table top! came with a little gadget to make christmas cookies as well:)) all in all I have most gadgets I want - but as I said, I don't do nearly as much food storage as you do!
btw - we have quite a few manually driven drills etc - some came with the house, others were handmedowns from my father. we keep them for times, when there might be no electrity anymore.... might come sooner than we think! I wish you were closer to me, you could take my crockpot for sauerkraut, only used once and standing in the shed ever since...

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Way to go babe! These are my kind of bargins! Melissa

Leigh said...

Theresa, a ricer! Great idea. I'll have to add that to my list.

Mama Pea, I think this nation suffers from gizmo-itis, LOL. I do admit that I love my Kitchen Aid mixer and my bread machine. Still, like you say, a whole lot can be done with the most basic of kitchen tools.

Nina, yes, I think it's the same here, so that good bargains are hard to come by. Most of the time I don't find anything useful. There seems to be a trend toward battery operated gizmos. Those infuriate me because of the need to constantly be buying batteries. Even the rechargeables don't last forever.

Have you tried yard sales?

Heather, its funny you should say that because I don't like to shop either! I don't make regular rounds to thrift shops, only if it's convenient. That's why I was so amazed to have such a jackpot weekend.

Maggie, I just have to remember times like these and not complain when I can't find a bargain on what I'm looking for! :)

Pam, I agree, that would be fun!

Heather, I know. I couldn't believe it when he told me the price. I wish I was more motivated to do garage sales. They seem to have the best prices, but early Saturday mornings we're usually doing something else.

Renee, I like yard and garage sales the best. Folks usually price things to move, rather than for profit (though I've seen exceptions to that.) I did really well at my yard sales and I know the stuff is getting appreciated somewhere else.

Mr. H, I'm so glad the link was useful. I almost didn't include it but I do love links. :) I hadn't thought about blades dulling. That's a good thing to keep in mind.

Bettina, lucky you for those hand tools. You're right that they are "just in case" keepers.

I agree about those suction bottoms. Both the food processor and meat grinder I bought have them, which wasn't a selling point. I do have another meat grinder which used to be my grandmothers. It's the clamp type, but I figured if we ever do butcher our own meat, it will take two of us to process it all!

Melissa, I knew you'd approve! :)

What Pigs Don't Know said...

While these are all good finds, the one that amazes me the most is the seed spreader for $1. Wow! -Carrie

Michelle said...

More smiles from God for the faithful. ;-)

Vicki said...

Excellent finds Leigh. Congrats on your good luck - I'm jealous. I look forward to your blogs showing us how you've put everything to good use.

Vicki said...

Oh also I meant to say how handy that brace and bit would have been when we were attempting to pull down the post and beam machine shed. CAT tried to drill out one of the pins and his cordless drill went dead (of course) and I was envisioning how they would have drilled the posts and beams 150 years ago using the same tool. What an amazing find. We are going to keep our eyes open for one up here as well.

Jo said...

Score! I'm jealous of your finds. Out in the boondocks where we live, there are lots of decent-looking auctions around, but then you have to stay there all day just to buy the one thing you are interested in.

We use the hand drill for tapping boxelder trees in the spring. Much easier to carry around in the woods than a drill, and more reliable.

Tami said...

Just this past weekend Hubby and I were in the market for a new drip coffee pot. I was wishing for the old "perculator" model that my grandma used to have. All metal, (no paper filters). We ended up with a $16 pot that works just fine, but there were some that were upward of $100 per!

We also walked past the food processors and he asked me if I could use one. I told him I'd rather use a knife.

Simple is best.

Leigh said...

Carrie, I find some of the best bargains are at estate sales. I guess it's that way because folks are trying to get rid of the near entire contents of a house. If they don't price to sell, then they have to cart the stuff off themselves!

Michelle, for which I am eternally grateful. :)

Vicki, trunnels! If he drilled them out they must have been wooden tree nails. Tells you how old the barn is. Really, those things are the best way to hold wood together. They seem to bond over the years rather than work loose like iron nails.

Jo, what a great idea for the hand drills. I'm not sure what we could tap here, though I would absolutely love to be able to make our own tree syrup. We have thought about learning to make turpentine though, because we do have some huge pines on the place.

I've never done an auction. I think I'm a little chicken to try my hand at bidding. I didn't realize about having to wait until it's over to claim one's winnings. Something else to consider.

Tami, it's been interesting to me how many folks feel that way. Sometimes when I visit cooking and foodie blogs, I'm amazed at how easily and how well they use all the modern gizmos. In my experience, they never turn out to be that simple.

bspinner said...

What great bargains!!!!! I agree about electric food processors and almost all electric gagets with the exception of my coffee maker, toaster, microwave and Kitchen Aid.

Boy, we have a basement full of crocks we brought back from ND marked Red Wing. We're hoping to sell them and are planning an auction soon.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

This is my 1st visit to your blog, you have so much good information! Some of your finds remind me of my childhood days, especially the meat grinder! My grandfather was a butcher and he had one of those at home - he always ground his own meat. Stop by for a "visit" when you have time. We love company and new followers are always welcome! I enjoyed my visit today!

pelenaka said...

Have the exact same slicer label says Salad Master. Got it for free from Church as it was taking up room in a cupboard & no one cared what it could be used for. 6 mos. later I used it to shred Zucchini grown in the church garden for bread. As fellow PWs stood around with comments like,"oh is that what that is for", I shreded up over 30 lbs. supper easy.
Crinkle cut cone is great for slicing carrots (canning) & potatoes adds an extra touch.
Great score on all your non-eclectrical tools!

Leigh said...

Barb, well, you're always coming home with great finds! I have to admit that most of the time, I don't find much worth buying.

Ocean, thanks so much for visiting and taking time to comment. How neat that you have childhood memories of such a tool. I remember my grandfather grinding ham for my grandmother's ham salad. Sadly, the recipe was lost along the way, but boy was it ever yummy.

Pelenaka, I had to go look up Salad Master. Looks like a really neat tool. I like the base on the Salad Master. The suction bases, I'm not too keen on. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Oh gee, I forgot to "Follow" your blog, I'm now a follower! And how did I miss that beautiful bean pot! Love home made baked beans - nice find! Stop by again when you have time!

Jane said...

Wow! Great finds!!

I have the same type of rotary food cutter and use it almost daily (different brand). It was my mother's. She got it as a wedding present in 1942. Mine clips to the countertop or table edge via a thumb screw. It rocks. Makes shredding potatoes for hash browns, cheese for anything, cabbage, you name it a breeze. Love the slicing features. You will find that you hardly ever put it away. I don't. I leave it clipped to my counter permanently.

A few years ago, we were at some home and garden show, and I saw one of the new ones there, and I, too, about keeled over at the price! Yikes!

Oh those crocks! I'm so envious, and can't wait to see how you put them to use.

As for those pirns -- it won't be long and you'll be back at your loom, once you've established that deep rhythm of life again. You've had so much other work to do getting your place in order. Once that snow flies, though, I'm going to haunt you a little. I'm missing seeing your beautiful handwovens.

Benita said...

So for $78 plus the hand drill, you got all those very useful items. You bingoed in a huge way!!

Leigh said...

Ocean, and I of you! :)

Jane, I know, I'm so excited over it all. I would love to have clamp on tools rather than the suction bottoms. Maybe DH can figure out how to secure it down better.

Weaving, yes. I haven't given up! It's just the season for another thing now. A thing that requires a lot of work to get off the ground!

Benita, amazing, isn't it? I don't usually feel so fortunate, but last weekend was really a winner.

Robin said...

Wow! That is so cool. Good for you.

Leigh said...

Robin, thanks!