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Thrifting Finds

vintage pyrexBecause I feel like I haven’t sufficiently bored you enough with my new found passion for vintage Pyrex, I’m going to share with you some of my finds from the local thrift stores this week.

First of all, let me tell you something about looking for vintage Pyrex. It’s maddening. Finding the elusive buggers is a challenge in my area. The stuff is scarce. Even though it looks like I did pretty well based on my picture above, that haul didn’t come easy for me. There may be a few collectors in my neck of the woods.

I visited a few local thrifts several days last week. And for the most part, I believe the thrift stores think this stuff should be sold at Tiffany’s by the way they are pricing the items.

$9.99 for a beat up bowl. $7.00 for a chipped casserole. $35.00 for the not so popular brown Old Orchard bowl set. Are they nuts? What’s so thrifty about that? Seems very spendy to me. Maybe they should change their name from Savers to Spenders. Sheesh.

But clearly I found a few gems or I wouldn’t be writing this post. It took several days, but I finally found a few pieces worth bringing home.

The casserole up front with the gold acorn motif. That’s my favorite find. I paid $4.00 for it at the Salvation Army. Bargain. I guess the over zealous price setter had the day off.

My next favorite piece is the one in the back with the blue interior. The design is called Gourmet. I think it’s groovy. $6.00 from Goodwill.

The blue dots bowl, blue refrigerator dishes and the green daisy casserole all came from a small church thrift shop. $10.00 for all of it. I think the small church thrift stores is where the Pyrex action’s at. If there is such a thing called Pyrex action. Just the fact that I called it Pyrex action might mean that I’m heading in the direction of buying eighteen cats.

And the spectacular little red fridge dishes with lids came from an antiques shop close to my house for $6.00 each. That sounds high, but these aren’t as easy to find and I really like them. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them but it’s going to be amazing.

turqouise vintage pyrexThis bowl looks abused, doesn’t it? Like beyond repair. But I’ve been doing my homework and when I saw it at a thrift shop for .75, I thought I’d try to bring it back to life…

vintage pyrex bar keeper's friendFrom what I’ve read, Bar Keeper’s Friend does a great job removing marks from vintage Pyrex. And my poor bowl was absolutely covered in metal marks.

turqouise vintage pyrexSure enough, after just a couple of minutes of scrubbing, my bowl looks pretty darn good. There are still some scratches in the paint here and there, but all of the metal marks are gone. Pretty amazing!

If you decide to use Bar Keeper’s Friend on your Pyrex, be sure NOT to use it on a patterned bowl. It will hurt the design. Also, it’s best to test out a small area on the bottom first to see how it looks before you go hog crazy scrubbing the entire piece down. It’s best to not go hog crazy on anything in life now that I think about it. How did that expression even come about? Have you ever seen a crazy pig?

I saved my very favorite find for last…..

vintage chip and dip setNope, not Pyrex. Matter of fact, I can’t find the name of the maker anywhere. Doesn’t this chip and dip set scream Austin Powers? Yeah, baby! I LOVE this set. It’s so 60’s and in mint condition. I paid a whopping $3.50 for this little piece of retro awesome. And the glasses were .20 each. My absolute favorite find of the week.

Interestingly, my husband hates it. Absolutely thinks it’s hideous. What do you think? Love it or hate it?


  1. Great finds! I like the casserole dish as well. I’m really digging gold metallic accented anything lately. About the last picture, I like the tumblers but I am not a fan of the chip and dip bowls. The pattern reminds me of poker spades, but ironically that goes together…. chips and dips on a poker table!

    • Yup, the gold metallic is calling to me too. It shines so pretty in pictures! And I love the chip dip set FOR the same reason you don’t like it. I like the spades! And I’m not even a card player. It reminds me of a simpler time when people hung out and played cards together. 🙂

    • Melanie this is the first time I have been to your blog but I will have to get some pics and share my Mom’s Pyrex collection.She has a whole room (yes I said room) dedicated to her Pyrex,floor to ceiling shelves full of Pyrex.She has been collecting Pyrex for as long as I can remember and has never bought from Ebay or any antique dealers,she finds most of her pieces at yard sales and thrift stores,it probalbly does not hurt that she has nine children that now pick up whatever we find also.It always makes me laugh when she talks about some sets that she will say it only took me 15 yrs to find all the pieces to this,can you imagine?I will have to take some pics and send them to you its quite a site for sure!!

  2. I love the chip n dip server and the groovy glasses! My favorite Pyrex in this post are the cute little red lidded fridge dishes. My mom used to have some dishes like that, but the color/pattern was different. I distinctly remember her serving canned corn in one.

    • I know. The fridgies are cute. I think all of our parents used them. Yellow corn in a red fridgie is a killer picture idea for my food blog. I have to jot that down for next summer. Great idea!! Thanks!!!

  3. Bet the chip/dip is Anchor Hocking.

  4. I love everything you found!

    My Mom had dishes like the little red covered ones (don’t remember what color she had though). She and her beloved kitchenware are sadly long gone.

    The glasses and the bowl are absolutely fabulous!

    We collect vintage bar glass, souvenir glasses & logo glasses and I would put those in next to my display cases! And the bowl – truly an amazing find! (can you tell I like it???!!!)

    Dang – now I have glass lust!!!

    Goodwill is open here on Sunday – perhaps I will have to take a run over there!

    Bar Keepers Friend is awesome, I have a can under the sink!

    Thanks for sharing your life with us – you make us feel like we are all good friends!


    • It’s so good to have people who GET my fascination with this whole thing. I’m just so smitten with my finds. And the best part is that it costs so little to collect it. A buck here a few bucks there. Really, it’s an affordable indulgence. I never thought I’d be a collector of anything. Little did I know!! 🙂

  5. LOVE IT! My mother had the Green Pyrex set & I wish I would have kept her dishes instead of her selling them at our yard sale many moons ago! Oh and by the way Melanie, you have me hooked on buying Pyrex now too! I thank you! (my husband, not so much) 😉

    • My husband is in your husband’s camp. The camp on the unimpressed, lol. They are just going to have to go with it. We could be collecting stuff that costs much more. I mean, shopping at a thrift store is much preferable over Macy’s. 🙂

  6. Jen from Quincy says:

    I never really even thought about Pyrex until you started posting about it. It’s very cool! The retro chip and dip set is awesome– though before I read what it was, I thought it was a punch bowl!

    • It’s big enough to be a punch bowl! We used it tonight and I got such a big kick out of it. So much fun. Even my girls thought it was pretty cool. Good thing because one day it will be theirs!

  7. I love vintage pyrex!! I have a tiny collection but am always on the lookout for more to add to my collection. Thanks for posting this. I have never thought about buying any that weren’t in great condition until now. Do you use your items? I do. I just love how they look on my table!

    • I have to tell you, that bowl might have some scratches in the paint and it might not be shiny, but I love it. The distressed look really adds character to it and it feels so good in my hands when I’m mixing. I don’t care if the pieces are perfect. They are still beautiful and quite functional. A little Bar Keeper’s Friend brought my bowl another lifetime of use! 🙂 And yes, I’m using all of the pieces except the Blue Dots piece. That one I will use only for food photography because it is in mint condition and sort of rare. The dot line goes for bucks!

  8. You crack me up Melanie! Pyrex Action and Spendy (vice thrifty) and hog crazy all in one post! I’ve heard the phrase hog wild many times but I can truly say I’ve never a wild or crazy hog, go figure. Anyway, your vintage Pyrex and retro glassware call out to me from a simpler time long ago. I love the chip and dip bowls, my Mom used one very similar and yes, hosted poker parties at the dining room table with the ladies. The Barkeeper’s Friend cleanser did a remarkable job on the large turquoise bowl! I remember hot tomato soup served in a turquoise Pyrex bowl. Maybe that’s another great color combination for A Beautiful Bite pix. I hope you have room to display and/or store all of your new collection!

    • Yes, I think the contrast of red on blue will be quite lovely. Good idea. I just bought munster cheese today which is the cheese I use to make grilled cheese. Of course that goes well with tomato soup. I feel a blog post in the making…

  9. Hey that’s the same dish I inherited from my MIL! Half the fun of collecting is in the hunt and you have done really good eh. 😉 spring is just around the corner and start checking out yard sales for bargains.

    • Theresa- I can hardly stand the wait until yard sale season. You have no idea! And I love that you are an OPTIMIST by saying spring is right around the corner, lol. For us New Englanders that’s many moons away!! But I will dream about yard sale Pyrex until the flowers start to peek out of the ground!

  10. Love your finds! You should take a field trip to Lancaster County, PA. We have tons of thrift stores that are full of Pyrex. You just might have to fight off all the Amish ladies who are fond of it as well 😉

    I really like the chip and dip set. $3.50 is a steal for that. I am supposed to be finishing up with my Christmas list this afternoon but may have to head over to a Goodwill just for myself in between stops!

    • I would love to do that. Maybe next summer. I’ve been there before, but Pyrex wasn’t on my radar then. I hope you have a successful run to Goodwill. I’m looking at those stores in a much more vibrant light now! 🙂 If you find anything awesome, do come back and share!

  11. Patricia N. says:

    I love the comment about calling it ‘Spenders’ instead of Savers. Good one. I have glass containers like your little red Pyrex set. They are not Pyrex, but they are very decorative with grapes and other fruit on the lids. I got them about 40 years ago as a gift. They are great for making my freezer pickles because the are non-reactive.
    My brother has glasses that were my parents. Our last name began with an S so my parents had glasses with a gold metallic $ sign on them for the S. Pretty clever.
    I also have these little off-white chafing dishes with metal holder. You put votive candles under them to keep things hot. The dishes look like little pie plates. I wonder what they would go for in a thrift shop. They are at least 6o years old.
    You are on a roll. If I find any interesting Pyrex in my travels, I will let you know.

    • Oh, I just love those little glass containers. So sweet. I can see the pickles in them. Great idea! Don’t you just love the way they feel in your hands? So much more solid than those Ziploc plastic containers. Why have we moved away from glass? It’s so much nicer. Today I tossed most of my plastic wear in the trash. It was making me crazy anyway. I like glass so much more and my kids won’t toss it willy nilly in the cabinet. I have a post coming up that shows my messy (now neat) cabinet. It’s crazy how out of hand that can get!

      • Patricia N. says:

        Yesterday, my husband’s family had a pre-Christmas party, and I gave home baked goods in some of my plastic wear. When my nephew said, “Aunt Pat wants the plastic wear back, right?”, I yelled a resounding “NO!”.
        I still have some of the decorative glass serving ware that was my mother’s. The colors are so beautiful and vibrant, not to mention all of the wonderful memories. I would never part with them in a million years.
        By the way, there are a couple of really beautiful pieces of Pyrex on ebay that are very reasonably priced. You should take a look. They have the coffee carafe to match your chip and dip dish for only $5. I like the divided casserole and the mixing bowl with mushrooms on page 6.

  12. I love the vintage Pyrex! And yes it is hard to find in these necks if the woods. We have so many historical areas around here that I think the little old ladies are hiding it. Good ole cape cod! Yes the best places are church sales, thrift shops, and summertime yard sales!!! Those big Pyrex mixing bowls are just awesome! — have you checked out the VNA thrift shop in Yarmouth? It’s hit or miss very small but they have quite a bit if dishes!!! 🙂 happy vintage hunting! I’m also a big fan of the Woodcroftery salad bowls. I picked up a whole set at a yard sale last summer for $5!

    • Hmmm, I might know that VNA store, lol. Yes, I’ve been there. And while they have a bunch of glass, I haven’t had any luck there. My best bet has been the church thrifts. I’ve never heard of Woodcroftery. I’m afraid to look into it lest I find a new addiction. But I DO love anything wood. I feel an eBay research session coming on. If I get hooked, I’m blaming it on you. 😉

    • And one more thing. Do you know what I really really want? Those hand hewn wooden bowls/troughs from the late 1800’s. I’ve seen them in auction listings before. They are pretty prevalent here in New England and I am in love with them. I hope to find one at an auction one day. It’s a wish list item of mine!

  13. I love this set, I agree, so cool and retro. When my mom passed a few years ago, I took a similar set of four shot glasses and I have them on my bar at home which is very modern. The retro look seems to match many styles of decor. You seem to find a lot of great things. I never have that kind of luck! Now, I am going to think of you if I see any Pyrex!

    • Well, it’s not like I have any real luck. What I do have is persistence. And I do very much enjoy the hunt! Sure, you can buy this stuff on eBay, but it isn’t quite the same as the glee you get when you spot this stuff in the wild. You know what I mean? The chase is half the fun. I bet those glasses are very special to you. It’s even better when a special something reminds you of someone you love. 🙂

  14. I will have to let my grandma know about the bar keepers friend. Her Pyrex bowls have a lot of scratches 🙂 I love those glasses btw! Great find!

    • Thanks Missy! Tell Grandma to switch to wooden or bamboo spoons. That’s what I’m using. So much better for the bowls and cookware in general!

  15. By the way, ZUD works just like Barkeeper’s Friend if anyone has that or cannot find BF. I use it in my antique claw foot tub, on Corelle, and the counters, amongst other things. I use both products interchangeably.

    I had the red refrigerator dish that is just a bit longer. My mother gave it to me. Someone in a fit of anger deliberately broke it, knowing how I treasured it. Well, the red bottom broke. Since I still have the lid, I am always on the lookout for a replacement bottom. Actually, I would take the lid and bottom if I could ever find it.

    All those items would be expensive in this town, too. I like to find pieces for $1.

    • Thanks for that info. I’ve also heard that Bon Ami is a good cleanser though I haven’t tried it myself. That is so sad about your dish. 🙁 I sure hope you find a replacement!

  16. I think the glasses and chip and dip bowls are beautiful! I would show them off! haha, I love all of your great finds!

    • Thank you! It’s been so much fun. And I have all sorts of plans for these dishes that I can’t wait to share. They photograph so well!!

  17. Great finds. Here in Tucson AZ the vintage pyrex is still easy to come by. Love the rectanglar gold leaf casserole. I have it’s oval counterpart that hubby found at a yard sale the year we lived in Colorado. It came with a lid and I’m happy to say that both pieces are still intact and I’ve had it for 23 years. Of course it’s never been in the microwave or dishwaher. I loved the pink gooseberry set that you showed us a couple of days ago.

    • Lucky you!! It’s nice when you can find the stuff for reasonable prices. I love that gold leaf stuff. It’s so pretty. I haven’t seen the oval one you have, but that doesn’t surprise me because there are so many pieces out there. It could take many years to collect it all!!

  18. I love the chip/dip set! And my mother had a set of those fridge dishes — it was the turquoise blue color (like the bowl you cleaned up) .. it was a nesting set of 4 – 2 of the little ones, and one slightly larger, and those 3 fit into a 4th larger one – all had the glass lids!

  19. Sometimes looking at people’s Pyrex hauls is like kids used to be with their baseball cards: have it, have it, need it, have it, need it.

    There are some collectors who post on Flickr, & they have inspiring collections! A lot of people have enough to change out displays for seasons or holidays, & that’s fun. There are also Pyrex groups on Flickr, including Pyrex in Action. I do like to use mine! I’m reasonably careful about it, but I do use them a lot, & I enjoy them.

    The fridgies are great for just about everything, & they can go in the oven. You’ll need to watch for the large yellow fridgie (it’s smaller than your casserole) that goes with the blue & red. And watch for those lids! They must have been more easily broken, because they’re harder to find.

    I’m glad you’re having fun with this. I think your atomic glasses are terrific, & the chip & dip, too!

  20. I love seeing all of your thrifty finds….keep up the good work !!

  21. Nice haul! I recently picked up the gold acorn pattern in a divided dish (no lid…bummer!) at the Salvation Army for $1.50. I absolutely love it!

    I think you’re enabling some of us secret Pyrex lovers to come out of the closet. 🙂

  22. Maureen L. says:

    OMG! I got married in 1971, and that chip & dip set was one of my bridal shower gifts. Loved it, have no idea what happened to it. I also received a set of pyrex bowls, each a different color. It was the era of “harvest gold and avacado” colors. Being a blue and white girl, I couldn’t wait for the styles to change. Thanks for sparking my trip down memory lane.

  23. I am with you, like your dip and glasses. I have never seen any patterned pyrex in goodwill or salvation army. So alas I have had to pay the ridiculous prices on ebay. I only collect one pattern “Amish Butterprint”. Maybe if I had a bigger house….but I hope to complete my collection this year.

  24. Love it!

  25. Hello, I just bought the exact same chip and dip at a thrift store for $300 the inscription on the little bowl looks to say “Elay Fad” or “Clay Fad” or “Yay Fad” in cursive.. can’t find any other markings and wondering the maker as well. Let me know if you ever found out more info on the piece.

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