A new Ikea store just opened in our area, which is a big deal. I'm not in the market for any of their furniture, but have heard they have great finds in their housewares and cooking lines.
Does anyone have recommendations of what to look for? For example, on my wish list are a mandoline and a food mill. Any other finds I should seek out?
There are some good threads on specific items (dutch ovens, cutting boards). I, personally, but my plastic cuttingboards there because I need like 5 of them at any one time (meat, veg, etc). I also like their cheapie plastic tupperware type containers. Good tablecloths, napkins, and hanging baskets for fruits. Dish towel racks are great at Ikea.
The plastic cutting boards are great, and cheap! We got a french press there, also inexpensive (about $15), and it's lasted us a while. Our favorite Ikea purchase ever is a wall mounted rack that has holders and cutters for various kitchen paper products. We keep paper towels, foil, and parchment paper on it and absolutely love it! They also have magnetized knife strips similar to the paper rack.
On the flipside, the knives aren't so great, and we also bought a battery operated milk frother that ended up not working at all. I'd suggest sticking to basics, and remembering that there's a reason the stuff is so cheap.
On a side note, watch out for the linens - style-wise they are really nice, but they don't hold up well in the wash. Enjoy!
cheap everyday flatware - because with use the inevitable occurs, bent - who cares, lost a spoon - who cares. even stainless does stain eventually - who cares.
Inexpensive wine glasses. If they get broken, who cares? Serving dishes. Candles. Smoked salmon. Swedish Fish. There's always something inexpensive there that you can find a use for. Re the mandoline: I think you're going to have to bite the bullet and buy one that's more on the expensive side; merely for safety sake. I don't know if they have a food mill there, I've never seen (or looked) for one.
Bales of very good, plain cotton dish towels, which I use instead of paper for lots of kitchen stuff, since they won't fall apart just because they're wet. Yes, after wiping out the insides of chickens or the outsides of porks roasts they might get stained, but so what? Use the unstained ones for wrapping hot breads or lining fruit baskets.
IKEA's household and kitchen-goods sections are some of my favorite places to impulse-shop, though I must say I'm glad to be semi-retired so I can shop midweek - weekends at my nearby store are when large families tend to show up with their utterly undisciplined children, who are for the most part simply let loose. On a Wednesday morning, though, it's a pleasant place, and the food in their cafeteria is delicious and fairly cheap.