One Iowa thrift shopper’s viral find came with a dash of despair.
TikTok user Meg Gostonczik — who often posts about her secondhand splurges — said she stumbled upon a precious personal item priced at just $3.99 while visiting her family in Cedar Rapids.
“Look what I found at a thrift store that broke my heart,” Gostonczik captioned the 38-second video that shows her going through a beige box stuffed with typewritten recipes and those saved from vintage magazines.
Posted in the month of Christmas, when millions of families will come together for a meal, Gostonczik’s video has collected 2.3 million views and thousands of comments.
“It made me really sad to see someone’s beloved recipe box on a thrift store shelf,” Gostonczik confided to Newsweek.
“I couldn’t imagine that someone wouldn’t treasure it — I felt an overwhelming sense of love for whoever owned those recipes and wanted to share it with others. That’s why I took the video clip.”
She continued: “The ones that hit my heart the most were the plastic bags that had been neatly folded up inside the box, one was an empty marshmallow bag. I kept picturing a sweet grandma meticulously folding them up and saving them to try out.”
Gostonczik revealed in a follow-up video that she did buy the recipe box, which had to be shipped to her home in Arizona.
She vowed to make “maybe one” recipe from the box per week and share the results on her TikTok page.
“Thank you to everybody that had the same reaction as I did because I think in our society it is so important to remember the sentimental value of these things,” she said, praising fellow TikTokers who opened their hearts in the comments.
“This was the first thing I grabbed from my grandma’s when she passed. That makes me sad,” one user recalled.
“That would have gotten straight fought over in my family,” another lamented.
“I’m a chef and this brought tears to me. All that person’s love in a small box,” a third moaned.
“That’s worth a lot more than $3.99. No one knows where my grandma’s recipe box is. It makes me so upset!” one outraged user howled.
“There’s something beautiful in thinking what we leave behind might create new memories for a new family,” another mused.