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Your Frugal Cookware Finds

Many years ago when I bought one of those fill in the blank alon products the lady at Macy's convinced me I needed a special high temp proof spatula that won't scratch my pan. I think I spent about $10 for it (big bucks for me then). Works great and I love it but I needed a smaller one (my dog stole my old one). I saw a knock off just like it at Target for $1.99. I decided to give it a flip. Works just as great just like my $10 model. I know at CH we love to talk about Le Crueset and KitchenAid but let's face it we can't always buy high-end (or even mid-range). So what are some of your frugal finds that are must have, true blue friends for the kitchen?

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  1. About a hundred years ago (at least!) in NYC Chinatown I bought a pair of flat wooden tongs for about $.35. They are still in daily use in my kitchen to grab toast out of the toaster...

    1 Reply
    1. re: fauchon

      In DC's Chinatown, I bought a HUGE stainless stockpot with a thick bottom for about $15. A comparable name-brand pot was over a hundred. Also some beautiful, dirt-cheap ceramic bowls that I use for everything from soup to mixing eggs.

      dealnews.com usually has great postings about cheap kitchen items.

    2. I bought a salad spinner 15 years ago at a flea market junk place for five bucks. Use it all the time.

      1. Well, I love poking around in the kitchen section of IKEA....I bought a frying pan that I love for $3.98! Now the handle is not too sturdy but if it goes...I can go buy another!. Lots of interesting gadgets, dishes pans etc there that you don't mind spending a little on.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AnneM

          IKEA has a good silicone-coated wisk

          1. re: pitu

            I brought a great butcher block chopping board from IKEA 36" by 24" and 2" thick for 25 dollars. Plus 3 diffrent size cast iron pans from Wanger Made in the US for 15 bucks I have had them now for over 16 years .

        2. I stop by Marshall's when I can and have picked up some high quality pans, baking dishes and bowls for not much money. I bought a Cuisinart heavy duty enamel roaster for about ten bucks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NYchowcook

            Marshall's/TJ Maxx and the like are GREAT sources for cookware finds. I've aded some great pieces to my Polish stoneware collection there (faves are a loaf pan and a slightly larger & shallower rectangular baker which have both become favorite baking pans.)

            1. re: Allstonian

              I am on a small budget and I had to outfit a kitchen this week. Just now I found the most gorgeous cuisinart 2 qt saucepan with a lip and (necessary for me) a glass lid) for $25! Also found a really perfect silicone spoontula for $2. Both were at Marshalls.

              I also just found a gorgeous red ceramic (white on the inside) 9x13 pan for $7 at Grocery Outlet in Berkeley, which also has a deal on wearever muffin pans ($5) and some sheet pans as well.

          2. I have found TONS of great deals, on expensive items and cheap items.

            My husband brought me home a huge box of Calphalon Commercial and Professional Hard Anodized cookware he found at a garage sale. One piece had been used; the woman didn't like it because it was not non-stick (she didn't know how to cook on it). Total retail value of the 25 pieces he brought home was well over $1500. Cost? $10.

            HomeGoods/Marshalls/TJMaxx consistently produce good deals. Got a 6-3/4 qt oval LeCrueset for $80.

            I have several spatulas (silicone), wooden spoons, bowls and miscellanous gadgets that probably cost less than a buck that are used all the time.