Treasures at the Restaurant Supply Store

I like restaurant supply stores.  They are the poor man's (disorganized and non-aesthetically-pleasing) version of Williams Sonoma.  They are also a bit like thrift stores in that you never really know what you'll find.  I have had especially good luck finding stainless steel items. Here are some of my finds from my local restaurant supply store.  (Note that there are many online restaurant supply stores with an amazing selection, but they often have very high shipping costs since they are really set up for huge orders from actual restaurants, so I would shop at a local store first if you can.)

10 Finds at the Restaurant Supply Store

Stainless steel 3/4 qt. mixing bowls
I use these as cereal bowls for my kids (see bowls on left in photo above -- that's a kiwi to help give an idea of scale).

Large mixing bowls
Much cheaper than you can get them at Target, etc.  I had to shop online to find deep ones (which I like better for mixing), but I got some very cheap wider ones at my local store to use for fresh produce and serving dishes.  If you want to buy a super-duper ginormous mixing bowl, a restaurant supply store is the place to do it.

Large steel plate
Also great for storing fresh produce, especially delicate stuff like tomatoes, on the counter top.

Stainless steel malt cups
I use these with my immersion blender to make smoothies (instead of the plastic beaker that came with the blender).

Mini wooden rolling pins
I was so excited to spot these!  I have been looking online and in stores for mini rolling pins for my kids to use with homemade play dough.  These were only a couple of bucks a piece and look just a miniature version of my french rolling pin, so I know my kids will love them.

Wood clothespins
Sheesh, I had just bought some clothespins for $3 at Michaels, and then I saw them a few days later at the restaurant supply store for $1 for 30.  I use clothes pins for line drying as well as holding all kinds of bags shut.  I'm actually not sure why these would be sold at a restaurant supply store.  Like I said, you never know what you'll find.

Spray bottles
These bottles are $5+ a piece at Target. I had been wanting several more for a while (for DIY cleaning solutions), but couldn't cough up the dough.  When I saw them for $2 a piece, I snagged 3.  I'll use them for vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and a tea tree oil solution (which will hopefully help with the never-ending mold situation in the shower).

Pot holder for handle of cast iron skillets
I almost bought one of these for $3 or $4 each on Amazon!  Imagine my joy when I walked by some for $1.29 a piece in my local store.  I bought 2 and use them almost daily with my cast iron skillets.

Miniature steel tongs
For my kids' play kitchen stuff.  I'm always on the lookout for inexpensive smaller-sized real utensils and such for my kiddos to play with.

Stainless steel scoop
For my bulk bins in my garage.

Inexpensive gadgets and utensils: measuring cups, spoons, funnels, thermometer
Much, much cheaper to buy these items at a restaurant supply store than at Target.  But the quality varies.  Some of the ones I bought looked pretty sad after a trip through the dishwasher, so I donated them to my kids' play kitchen stash.  The thermometers (oven and fridge) were the same brands I've seen at major retails for less than half as much.

Have you ever shopped at a restaurant supply store?

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