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Sep 24, 2009 03:47 PM

What is a good buy in the U.S.?

I am in the U.S. visiting from Canada. Does anyone know what is a good buy in the kitchen utensil/appliance category? I am in Tennessee and will be returning to Alberta by road. So I can pass through a number of locations.

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  1. This is a function of what you are looking for and the exchange rate.

    If I was driving north I would stop in the Kohler showroom in Wisconsin.

    I would also stop in every "antique store" on every off beaten road, but that's another story.

    2 Replies
    1. re: E_M

      All my Polish /other European friends simply MUST have a Kitchen Aid food processor, with all possible attachments. They keep buying them like hot cakes (while in the US or order on e-bay).

      1. re: polish_girl

        I got mine at the Kitchen Store at one of the outlet malls. They had a sale going so I got a good deal on my food processor. It didn't match my mixer, but the mixer is white and the processor is chrome so no big deal.

        If you're looking for cookware, lately the TJMaxx stores in the south have been having All Clad like crazy.

        If looking for LeCrueset, I believe the outlet stores are having a special right now of 30% off purchases of $200 or more.

    2. Pretty much anything that is on your wish list for kitchen utensil/appliance is a good buy in the US. I'm a frequent traveller to the US myself and most of my gadgets/accessories were acquired during trips to the US. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, it is definitely a good deal to pick up the attachments in the US at a significant discount compared to in Canada. I also picked up the combi-whip bowl for my mixer. Also, if in your travels, you come across a Williams-Sonoma outlet, do check it out. I picked up a krups burr grinder for $25 at the WS outlet last year that sells for any where from $80 to $120 here in Calgary. If you are interested in high end cookware such as All-Clad, Le Creuset etc. I think the prices are much better in the US. Likewise with high end knife sets. If you happen to be at outlet malls, check out places like Le Gourmet Chef and Kitchen Collection too. If you don't know already, if you are nearby to one of the Chelsea Premium Outlets, you can sign up for their VIP club online for free. You can then print off a coupon to get a coupon booklet when you get to the outlet mall. The coupon booklet often has additional 10% off your purchase, etc. for places like Le Gourmet Chef or Kitchen Collection.

      Just so you know, Le Gourmet Chef and Kitchen Collection is good for KitchenAid or Cuisinart accessories, etc. But both don't sell All-clad or high end knives like Shun, etc. I know for sure WS sells them.

      5 Replies
      1. re: miss.foodie

        This is a tonne of info, miss.foodie! Just what I was looking for. I'm from Cgy, too. I have looked at Le Creuset and don't find it any cheaper. But I do have the Kitchen Aid mixer so will start looking at attachments. I saw All Clad at TJ Maxx but it was the bottom line and I prefer the copper bottom layer type. What is a combi-whip bowl?

        1. re: sarah galvin

          I told th eWilliams Sonoma man in Toronto that I would buy the new 16 cup Cuisinart in the US, becasue their Canadian price was 25% higher. He countered that the warranty on US purchased appliances in Canada was void. Discuss.

          1. re: sarah galvin

            Combi-whip bowl is basically a 3 qt bowl with a combination flat/whisk beater. This is only available for bowl lift mixers. Here is a picture:

            If you have a tilt mixer, you still may want to consider buying a second bowl that fits your mixer. I find that a second bowl really comes in handy, esp. for recipes which call for mixing things separately and the folding one into the other. You can go to the website to check out what accessories are available and whether those accessories will fit your mixer. For example, I wanted the water jacket but it won't fit the model of bowl lift mixer that I have.

            If you don't know already, as part of the TJ Maxx group of companies, there are HomeGoods stores in the US which is equivalent of HomeSense here. I haven't had much luck at HomeGoods myself the odd time I went. But that's not to say they won't have good stuff there.

            Btw, I don't know if you will be back in time before they are all gone... currently HomeSense in Calgary has Le Creuset dutch ovens in blue, red and yellow. They are factory seconds. The 5 qt one is going for $170. Same goes for the large shallow braiser. The smaller dutch oven around 3qt is going for $140. I thought the prices this time around where a little on the high side as I thought I saw them for cheaper earlier this year around Jan/Feb.

            You may want to check out WS for All Clad. Usually the US prices are better than Canada. For a lot of things, I don't really care about the warranty. I think I would care more about the warranty if it was an expensive electrical appliance.. but not so much with gadgets, attachments, etc. For example, the KA food grinder sells for $50 in the US.. it's selling for $80 or so at London Drugs. Or if you luck out and find something at a deep discount like my burr grinder... At $25, I didn't care if it had warranty or not.

            Another thing is that I don't know if you have a Costco membership. That is also a very good place to check for kitchen stuff. I saw a cuisinart ice cream maker there for $50 US earlier this summer in the seattle area. Because I didn't drive down, I didn't bother to try to buy it and bring it home. The Costco locations labelled as Business Centers are also good places to shop for some stuff. I stumbled into one by accident. They don't carry normal household items. But they have a section that carries restaurant supplies. I found commercial grade half sheet pans for something like $6. Also, every Costco carries different things so you may want to check them out in the different areas on your drive back.

            1. re: miss.foodie

              That combi-whip bowl is a must-have. I haven't had my Pro600 very long so don't have any extra attachments. I went to one TJMaxx but didn't like it. I like our HomeSense better. They had Le Creuset but all had flaws I couldn't live with. Thanks for all your ideas. I don't know how you manage to remember all those prices.

              1. re: sarah galvin

                William-Sonoma for sure has the combi-whip. It used to be exclusive to them but I don't think that's true any more. I think Bed Bath & Beyond has it too... and possibly Le Gourmet Chef and Kitchen Collection. With BB&B, you may want to see if you can get your hands on their 20% off coupon, possibly online or something. If you do want to get the combi-whip from WS, make sure you take down the item no. before you go to the store. I went to a WS in the Boston area last summer and they didn't have it on the shelf; it was actually in the back room. When I went up to the cashier to ask for it, the lady didn't know what I was talking about so I gave her the item no and she looked it up on the system. Apparently, this is quite a common problem at WS as I had read about this on a kitchenaid forum and hence, I knew to be prepared with the information on hand when I went to WS.

                For my KA mixer, I also picked up a quilted cloth cover for it. Also, I picked up the food grinder attachment. I had "test-drove" the shredder attachment as a friend of mine bought the package that contained the grinder, shredder and pasta making plates. I personally was not happy with the rotary shredder as I found it didn't produce clean cuts.. It tore carrots rather than sliced them cleanly. Plus I have a food processor so I really didn't need to duplicate the function with the KA. I like the grinder for grinding meat for making hamburgers etc. The other thing that basically sealed the decision for me on the rotary shredder was that I found the shredder cones extremely difficult to swap out. I'm pretty young and fit but barely had enough strength to twist out the shredder cones. IMO that was just poor design for the shredder. It's almost effortless for me to switch shredding plates on the food processor. I don't know why one would need so much force/strengh to swap out the cones on the rotary shredder.