Cutlery is the jewelry of eating.

Just as there are certain necklaces, bracelets and earrings I sport with various outfits, there are spoons, forks and knives I delight in when I eat. And, dear Budget Vogue fashionistas, they all come from thrift shops. Of course. Where else would I find vintage eating utensils that thrill and enhance my eating experience, my joie de vivre of cuisine?

Susan Dromey Heeter's Budget Vogue column sig

Years ago, Full Circle Thrift Shop in Eliot, Maine, had a set of long, silver, gloriously made spoons. I bought all six for $3, and I blame them for the extra weight I’ve put on since.

They make eating ice cream that much more breathtaking. Their handles are svelte and though I am not, they create an experience of eating — even straight from a container of Ben & Jerry’s — a wondrous experience. And, well, not that eating from Ben & Jerry’s isn’t ALWAYS a wondrous experience, it’s simply made even better with a beatific spoon.

I have knives from Salvation Army that, when sharpened, only enhance my cheese and cracker experience. They create a cut so fine, my cheddar remains a pristine block and the slices practically applaud.

I love a good knife, and they can be almost literally a dime a dozen at area thrift shops. A good sharpening is all it takes to upscale a utensil used so often.

In order to cut down on plastic used at my workplace, I brought in some real forks and spoons. I chose wisely — so wisely in fact, that a colleague and I were admiring a fork that was so beautifully made, it allowed us to appreciate our salads that much more.

These particular forks have taupe handles, are gloriously crafted and have a bit of a ’50s feel. I have no idea of the brand, but all I know is they are being used, washed and used again, and provide a sense of joy while eating a salad between classes. Glorious.

Bins at thrift shops are generally full of utensils. I like it when they are all thrown together — it makes the hunt that much more fun. I think of the dinners these forks may have enjoyed, the coffee these spoons stirred, the steak these knives may have cut. I meet all of these utensils and invite them in — I keep some in my car, many in my drawers and quite a few at any event where I simply abhor seeing plastic used (again).

Like friends, I keep them around. They make me feel good and like a good meal shared, beautiful cutlery only makes it that much better.

So, dear Budget Voguers, get your fork on. Bring new knives home. Enhance that bowl of cereal with a glorious new spoon. And that utensil you toss back into the drawer every time you take it out? Donate it — and invest in a new spoon or knife or fork that brings you joy.

Ben and Jerry will thank you.

Susan Dromey Heeter writes and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at dromeheet@comcast.net.