A few months ago when I had the thought to try making my own preserves I came up against what I thought was a little roadblock. I only had one jar that I had saved in the cupboard. How was I going to make a batch of Jam or Marmalade without enough jars? So the idea went on the back burner until we had eaten our way through a couple of jars of bought jam and relish. At the time I had thought that maybe by the end of the year I might have enough, and I could always ask around for some from friends.
A few weeks back on our way up to Grandma's to get the boys, DH had to stop in a small town along the way to fix a coffee machine. I decided to go for a walk along the main street and came across a Salvation Army Op-Shop. Oh no I couldn't go in. Ever since I was a teenager I had had a thing against op-shops, its the smell of them and also the fact that some of our clothes came from them when I was growing up and to be honest it wasn't entirely was my thing - sorry Mum. As I got older I made a pact with myself that I would only buy new things and I swore off second hand shops. Haha, therein lies the start of my consumerism lifestyle!
Anyway as I stood outside the op-shop I cast my mind back to Rhonda's blog at Down To Earth and her thrifting posts and thought, she would never feel like this. So I told myself to get over it! In I went and well what treasures I could find! I only had $5 of my pocket money left and I knew we were stopping for coffee along the way so I didn't buy anything although there was an old toasted sandwhich maker like we used to have growing up that you stuck straight into a fire. I really wanted that. But I held off, although now I wish I had gotten it.
But the biggest treasure I came across was a box of Jam Jars for 50cents each! Wow I was so excited at this find, and so I made a mental note to myself to go investigate the op-shops back home on my next shopping day.
There are a few of them here in our town but only one of them has jam jars. In this particular shop it's fantastic! there are jars and bottles of all sizes. When I found them I was in jam jar heaven lol. I stood for ages picking each one up checking it over thinking about the size and what its use would be. They must have thought I was nuts!
I got this selection of jars, 1 of the jars I picked to be the one for my Ginger Beer plant as it has a nice wide mouth and the 3 bottles, which I have used 2 as my Lemon Cordial concentrate bottles and the smaller one as my Maple Syrup bottle for only $1.70 for the lot!! I gave them $2.00 to add a little donation. They also threw in this wine holder bag which is perfect for holding 6 jars.
I am now over my little complex and love going to the thrift shops. On one of my trips into the op-shops I found a book which I am currently absorbed in called Living the Good Life, by Linda Cockburn for only $3.00. It is a great read so far, its a diary of an ordinary family in Australia who live in a suburban block, although their property is slightly larger than a normal section, who decided to plunge themselves into 6 months of no-spending at all, and living on only what they could provide for themselves and they have solar power and heating etc. So far its a good read and it is right up our alley in terms of ideas for our developing simple and frugal lifestyle.
So if you need to find a few things like some material to make an apron, an old pair of jeans to make patches out of or you want to build up a store of jam jars, next time your at the shops pop into your local op-shop/thrift shop and see what they have. You never know what treasures you might find :) Just make sure you check the jars over thoroughly for any chips and cracks and that the lids have no rust on them. When you get them home give them a nice hot soapy wash and they'll be as good as new!