November 25, 2016


I have written before about the cost of recipe books.  I don’t know how many people ever buy them at full price these days but there are bargains to be had if you look for them.

bargain books

These two came from a local charity shop in the UK, £2 for the Rachel Allen book and £3 for the Nigel Slater.  There is a slight watermark on the fabric cover of the book “eat” but other than that they both appear to be brand new with no signs of being used at all.  They are also both fairly recently published.

I am very happy to buy books from charity shops.  I tend to think of the cost as a donation to a good cause and if they turn out not to be very useful I give them back to the shop so they can sell them again.

bargain books2

These two came from my local branch of “The Works”.  I have hung my nose over the book by Miranda Gore Brown for a while – she was a contestant in the Great British Bake Off a few years ago.  The book looks promising and at £4 I don’t feel guilty about buying it. 

The Olive Magazine book is excellent.  I gave one away in a raffle earlier this year and have been on the lookout for another copy to replace it.

As with the secondhand books, if I find I don’t use them I will take them to the charity shop and feel very virtuous.

bargain books3

Compared to £4.20 for a magazine, all the books look like good value to me.  I hardly ever buy magazines nowadays, preferring to buy books instead.  I’m unlikely to save more than one or two recipes from a magazine and rarely pay much attention to the other content.

bargain books4

Another charity shop bargain is this 20cm ceramic pie dish for £1. Perfect for a pie, crumble or clafoutis.  Same rules apply – if I don’t use it I take it back.


Yet another recent bargain was this cake stand, 5€ (about £4) from a local French brocante.  (The two soap dishes came from the same place, 1€ each.)


These small side plates were a real bargain and a perfect size for a slice of cake.  I got six of them for a total of €1.04 in a closing down sale at a branch of Casa.  Casa is a chain of shops in France which is similar in style to The Range or Dunelm Mill in the UK.  I just happened to visit the shop in the last hour of the last day of the sale and everything was reduced by at least 90%.  I already have a matching cake stand bought from the same shop in a previous sale so I was very happy to find the plates at a give away price.

I’m a bit choosy when bargain hunting, whether the items are new or second hand.  I don’t do chips or cracks when it comes to crockery and books have to be clean and not scruffy.  One likes to get a bargain but one does have standards!


  1. I love magazines buy I think as well that many books in either charity shops, car boot sales and discount bookshops are so much better value. I think I do need a pre-Christmas clear out though of the cookbooks I have got before anymore arrive my way next month!

  2. You have some great bargains there, Jean.I love the china. Casa closing down - oh dear, I bought a lot of china and glass from our local one when we lived in France.
    I buy a lot of cookery books in charity shops too.

    1. Snowy, I think it was just that branch of Casa that was closing. There are others in the large towns that are still going.

  3. I took a big pile of Régal (a French foodie mag that I used to subscribe to) to the recycling station yesterday. It was only after I'd chucked them in that I thought I should have offered them to my GP. Zut !