Thursday, 24 May 2012

When Is Thrift, Really Thrifty?

I often deliberate when is being frugal really thrift?

An example.

Earlier this week I was in Stoke on Trent at the end of the day and was walking back to my car when I happened to walk past the factory shop for Royal Stafford.

So I popped in.

It is full of beautiful items, like all the factory shops for ceramic ware in Staffordshire. Visiting any one of them is a lovely day out and you will get a good deal compared to high street stores.

I especially like the “seconds” which are imperfect goods sold at a fraction of their perfect siblings’ price. E.g. perfect price for a plate £29.95 seconds price £10.50.

In Royal Stafford they had a section of items on the floor, baskets filled to overflowing with mugs, cups, saucers, plates etc. All seconds and end of lines. And, all reduced to 50p. Yup 50p!!!

I saw these

And fell in love immediately.

So I bought some……..umm, actually I bought 10. Total cost £5.00 yes they have almost imperceptible marks (I went though all 50 or so plates to find the best) but I like them a lot.

So is this frugal? Surely the thrifty way, would have been to not buy them at all and keep my £5.

And, why the hell did I buy 10? When there is only little old me at W Towers.

However, I did reason that I could give them as gifts with a cake.

Actually, all is not lost my friend K at sewing class fell in love with them too and said she would have them off me if I decided to sell.

Currently they are in the halfway house of my car boot awaiting a decision.

What do you think I should do?

And, did I save money by buying the plates at 50p, or spend £5?

I am not sure, but I do still really like them.

Frugally yours


  1. Would you use them there at W Towers for dinner? How many can you seat there? Do you have 'nice' plates for feeding guests? Do you feed guests?

    The idea of bases for gifts of CAKE is wonderful if you / do you often make CAKE for others?

    It is all to do with use I guess. If you will use them it was not a silly purchase but if you are already stocked with pleasing plates & have no plans to start make CAKE then perhaps you would feel just as pleased for your friend to have them with a extra goodness glow because YOU found them.

    Anne in Cambridge who left a complete 12 place setting of Spoke in Canada when she moved to England.

  2. Anne
    It is a good point well made. I do make cakes, the problem comes from living alone when i cannot eat all of what I want to bake.
    So I am hopeful of using them.
    I do have Bridgwater's black and white toast, with 6 settings in total. These spots would mix in.
    However, I still cannot deicde whether to keep them or not.... watch this space.
    Gosh I bet you felt sick at leaving the Spode, or did you manage to sell it before leaving?
    Enjoy the sun.

    1. Bridgewater Black & White Toast! Toast is one of my all time fav songs -

      Those new plates would look splendid next to the Toast ... very difficult call ... they would mix well relieving any breakfast table feel.

      I now have Bridgewater Hellebore along with some plain white Rpyal Doulton.

      I left the Spoke in Canada with the husband I left there ... but that was 1997 ... last century!

      We await your calm, considered judgement ... the sun is shining ... a holiday week is on the horizon ... time to sit in the sun with a Pimms and, dare I say? some CAKE!

      Anne in Cambridge

    2. Well I have to bake bread this weekend, so I will be trying out some recipes and let you know.
      Do you have a blog Anne, as would love to visit?
      FYI judgement on the plates may take a while. If in doubt do nothing I think for the time being. :o)

  3. Sell them on at a profit ! now that really is frugal !
    They're only plates after all. Then go back and get some more and do it again !

  4. You didn't actually need them, it was an impulse buy. You saw them, you wanted them. Keep two and sell the rest on at a profit, then you have the two for free.

  5. I love the idea of giving a piece of cake on them as a gift, that has got me a-thinking!

  6. It's what I do. Buy pretty plates at thrift stores. When I take food to pot lucks it doesn't matter if the plate doesn't come home with me. Cheaper than paper plates in the long run.


I really love reading all comments. So please tell me what you think. Abigail