When my husband and I returned to live in Australia in 2004 (having lived here for a couple of years previously) our initial plan was just to stay a couple of years. Everything we bought to set up home was pretty "cheap 'n' cheerful" knowing we wouldn't be bringing them with us when me moved on. One of my el cheapo purchases was a set of stainless steel cookware from Kmart which has slowly been replaced by odd bits and pieces over the last few years.
A while back though I decided, now that I'm a "professional housewife", I would love some really high quality cookware. Top on my list was cast iron cookware from quality French companies such as Le Creuset or Staub. However, EVERYTHING in Australia has gotten so expensive and when I realised these brands sell here for over 3 times the price of Europe in some cases I thought "Sod that, I'm on a mission to thrift the lot" :-)
I've done pretty well so far...
You may remember I posted previously on my first Le Creuset find - the Raymond Loewy designed cocotte, an original from 1959. I think I can safely say this is one of my favourite finds ever! I love everything about it, the colour, the design, the quality, the price - $15!!!
This is the large oval Le Creuset casserole I found at a market last Mothers Day - $20! A gorgeous contrast to the aqua one :-) Tip: Le Creuset guarantee their knobs and handles for life, the knob on this casserole when I found it was a bit bockety, I phoned them and a new one arrived in the post within a few days, that's customer service!
These 2 cast iron gratin dishes were a recent find - $10 each. They are marked on the back with the number 18 in a diamond and "Made in France" but no maker's mark. I'm guessing they're made by Cousances, a rival French company that Le Creuset took over.
My other Le Creuset find from Mother's Day last year - a pair of cast iron pots - I think they were about $25 for the pair.
I was thrilled to find this large grillit pan for $20 in Vinnie's a couple of months ago, it's in great condition - the recommended retail price for these in Australia is $249!
OK, I have to admit that this gorgeous turquoise 20cm grillit pan wasn't thrifted, I bought it new when I was in Ireland last year, I've never seen these smaller ones in Australia and it's the perfect size when I'm using all 4 rings on our hob and space is limited.
And lastly, these gorgeous mini-cocottes were a gift from my little sis on my last birthday, love them!!!
And so much for our 2 year plan, 7 years later and we're still here :-)