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Save Money on Kitchenware

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Each Monday this year, I'm trying to find some new way you can save money. As always, the best plan of action for saving money is to not spend it. I don't believe that's a practical long term strategy. Sometimes you just need to buy things. Sometimes you can get away with cheap, and sometimes it's worth spending a little more to get some great quality. So with that in mind here are my picks on how to save money on kitchenware.

  • Pots and Pans - The staple of cooking is to have some decent pots and pans. For me, the one non-negotiable is that they must be non-stick. I know there's some research on the safety of non-stick coating. I haven't done the research necessary and to be honest, it's far from my area of expertise. I'll simply say that this is a Lazy Man website for a reason - and in this case, it's because I don't like to spent all day cleaning up a pan. As I see it there are two ways to go:
    • The Non-Cooking Expert - This is me. I don't watch the Food network. I make rice and it tastes like rice. I will not win any awards for cooking, but I can get the job done. I'm using the same 10 or 12 pot and pan set that I found on sale for under $40 in 2000. If you are like me it's easy to save money on pots.
    • The Chef - I've found some big name brands (Calphalon One comes to mind) on sale on the Amazon Friday Sale - usually some 60-70% off. If you look, you can find the copper core and all that kind of fun stuff that chefs love.
  • Kitchen Knives - I may be ill-informed, but it seems there are two huge name brands when it comes to knives - Wusthof and Henkles. Like the pots and pans, I see two ways you can go with this - the complete set and the essentials
    • The Complete Set - This is another case where the Amazon Friday Sale can be your friend. You don't necessarily have to wait until Friday, to see large discounts on sets on Amazon. It's not surprising to find knives more than 50% off every day. It makes me wonder if anyone pays retail or if it's one of those items that has perpetually inflated retail prices. I went for the complete set.
    • The Essentials - I often find that I use the same knife from the complete set for over 95% of my cutting. It's a mid-size knife that seems to fit my hand well. On rare occasions, I'll step up the biggest knife in the set - something that's like a cleaver, but not quite.
  • Small Appliances - You can save money by getting a small appliance that does a number of duties. You can get a Cuisinart Blender/Food Processor for around $85. You can get a George Foreman Grill that can make waffles, paninis, scrambled eggs (via the griddle), and grilled cheeses. Plus it's non-stick :-).

You may have noticed that I linked to Amazon quite a bit here. Almost everything in my kitchen that cost me over $50 has come from Amazon. I don't know what it is, but it seems like they always have sales. Maybe it's a little like how you can typically find a better deal on electronic on the Internet than you can at Radio Shack... you can find a better deal on Amazon than you could at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Last updated on February 3, 2009.

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12 Responses to “Save Money on Kitchenware”

  1. Nicolas Lutz says:

    We own 4 Wüsthof knives, paid good money for them, and they should outlive our grandchildren (if we have some one day). We find Henckels good but far behind.

    Investing in quality is essential in a kitchen as you’ll be in there all your life. Note that the same could be said for other rooms :-)

    Nicolas and family

  2. Rob says:

    It’s hard to compare a non-stick skillet with a stainless steel skillet. Yes, a good quality nonstick 12″ skillet should run you about $50-$80, while a good stainless steel skillet should run about $140.

    But non-stick coatings generally rub off or are otherwise damaged in about 4 years. On the other hand, a good stainless steel skillet will last you a lifetime.

  3. I have both non-stick and stainless steel. I LOVE to cook, so it’s essential to me that I have both. I fully plan to check out this Amazon sale you keep talking about, because if I can find some new pans, I’ll give my stuff to my sister (she’s in desperate need of good pans, anyway). On the knife set, I’d probably get the full set because I actually use the majority of the those knives.

    It’s interesting that you post this article today as I just purchased a Foreman grill. I’m pretty excited to give this thing a go. The best part, I bought it for $20. It’s brand new, but it’s one of the little ones. It’s just me, so I saved some money by going smaller.

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. Pev says:

    I’ve never purchased anything from Amazon although I know a lot of my friends do. But maybe I’ll start ordering things and save a few bucks. Thanks! :)

  5. Thanks Lazy! I’ll be moving out on my own (at some point, here), and although I have a lot of hand-me-down stuff already, I know I’ll need to supplement some of it.

  6. Mister E says:

    The two brands of knife are Wusthof and Name Your Link?

  7. Lazy Man says:

    Thanks for the catch Mr. E. Name Your Link really isn’t a great knife brand ;-)

  8. becky says:

    i like your monday’s idea…very innovative….thats true in this recession saving money is the right option….less spending on necessary things…

  9. I’m a pretty serious cook and I completely agree that pots & knives are worth spending more on. I have a set of All-Clad pots and pans, which is probably the best purchase I ever made. I have one small non-stick skillet for eggs and that’s the only piece of non-stick I have.

    As far as knives are concerned, there are lots of good brands out there. The most important thing is to go to the store and find one that fits your hand and has a good balance for you. Once you find one you like, then you can look on Amazon or wherever for a discount. Most people can do very well with a chef’s knife and perhaps a paring or some other smaller sized knife. Global and Shun are two companies that also make very good knives. I can’t think of any reason someone would need to buy one of those knife sets.

  10. Boomer says:

    Don’t overlook the original non-stick pan, the cast iron skillet. With proper seasoning and care (no soap),they last a lifetime….and they’re very inexpensive.

  11. Raine says:

    I have a set of stainless steel cookware with copper bottoms that I got on sale at Sears [I believe they were a store brand] for around $140, and I think they are around $200-250 when not on sale. I use them a lot, and they are good quality.

    For knives, I use Wusthof [I have one Shun chef’s knife as well, but it was sort of pricey]. Most people can get by with 3 quality knives – a chef’s knife, a boning knife, and a small paring knife. A bread knife is good too, but a cheap one will usually suffice.

  12. Hilary says:

    I love the idea of saving money by shopping on Amazon but in these hard economic times it is also nice to support local businesses. I don’t mind paying an extra dollar or two if it helps my neighbor keep his job.

    I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject – maybe in a future article?

    Thanks for all your great posts.

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