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What can I buy for $35 at William Sonoma?

PeterL Jan 7, 2014 08:37 PM

Got this gift that we can't really use. WS has this bad customer service where they don't refund cash, just store credit. So now I have $35 to spend. Probably can't buy any hardware there. I needed a digital meat thermometer/timer. WS sells one for $90. I can buy one on Amazon for $24. So maybe some sauce or oil or nuts. What is good?

  1. f
    filtered Jan 10, 2014 09:18 PM

    i find their cook books a visual feast for the eyes. pick out something that interests you.

    1. k
      kobechef Jan 9, 2014 11:17 AM

      some beautiful napkings for sure

      1 Reply
      1. re: kobechef
        Mr Taster Jan 9, 2014 11:43 AM

        Napkings-- napkins fit for a king!

        (At $35, they'd better be...)

        Mr Taster

      2. PeterL Jan 9, 2014 10:13 AM

        Thanks everyone. We went in and browsed the discount clearance section. They have all kinds of pasta sauces and marinates for 20% off. So we just grabbed enough to cover the $35 and be done with it.

        1. s
          Sirrith Jan 8, 2014 11:23 PM

          You could get a piece of Lodge cast iron for $35. Their square grill pan is just shy of that amount. The round griddle is $24 (I love mine).
          Or a De Buyer carbon steel crepe pan.

          Even if you end up not using them much, they will last longer and are better value than consumables.

          1. m
            mr99203 Jan 8, 2014 07:02 PM

            I agree, the microplane box grater is wonderful. The Flex-It silicone measuring cups are about $25 and are a pleasure to cook with. You can almost always find some spatulas, spoonulas, potholders, and mitts on sale if you're flexible about color. Many of the towel sets are $19.95.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mr99203
              walker Jan 9, 2014 12:58 AM

              Yes, I love that really sharp microplane box grater (I use my cut resistant glove). I've given several as gifts, costs $35 plus tax and I have not found it for less $$ anywhere else.

            2. emglow101 Jan 8, 2014 06:49 PM

              I bought the flexible stainless-steel slotted spatula with my gift card. $26.95 + tax.I have had this one for a couple years now. Absolutely love it.

              1. r
                rainey Jan 8, 2014 04:17 PM

                Stuff you can get for $10 anyplace else. }=>

                2 Replies
                1. re: rainey
                  janeh Jan 8, 2014 06:46 PM

                  Facing the same dilemma, I used a $35 credit to get a microplane box grater and have been delighted with it. Exercising due diligence, I couldn't find it anywhere else for less.

                  1. re: janeh
                    rainey Jan 8, 2014 07:44 PM


                2. b
                  BangorDin Jan 8, 2014 04:09 PM

                  In a similar situation I stocked up on parchment paper and rounds.

                  1. r
                    rasputina Jan 8, 2014 12:54 PM

                    Check the clearance section for discounted holiday items
                    A cookbook
                    Check out the cooks tools, they have a lot of small useful things in that section
                    extracts or flavorings
                    cookie cutters
                    I like the herbs de provence crock they sell

                    1. hambone Jan 8, 2014 11:30 AM

                      Pop up sponges.

                      Love them.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: hambone
                        sr44 Jan 8, 2014 07:41 PM

                        But a lot cheaper at Trader Joe's if he's in the 'hood.

                        1. re: sr44
                          fldhkybnva Jan 8, 2014 08:11 PM

                          I've seen them at the register but never tried them. Looked a bit flimsy. You like?

                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            Caitlin McGrath Jan 9, 2014 01:17 AM

                            Not flimsy at all. They pop up to, I'd say, around 4" by 2 1/2" by 3/4" or so, they're reasonably dense but quite squeezy/flexible when wet, and hold up fine run through the dishwasher or washing machine multiple times. They're used for both dishes and surfaces in my house.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                              sr44 Jan 9, 2014 12:53 PM

                              Yes, and with 12 (?) in a package, you never need hesitate to throw out the current one.

                        2. c
                          Cam14 Jan 8, 2014 10:24 AM

                          The Picardie Tumblers. The glassware holds up great in the dishwasher. Haven't had to replace one yet.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Cam14
                            Caitlin McGrath Jan 8, 2014 03:46 PM

                            Exactly my rec. Love Picardie tumblers. Feel good in the hand and very durable.

                            1. re: Cam14
                              ceekskat Jan 8, 2014 07:45 PM

                              Another enthusiastic vote for the Picardie tumblers. Other favorite purchases are Apilco quiche dish, ramekins and assorted bakeware/serveware. Fan of Pillyvuyt too.

                            2. c
                              Cynic2701 Jan 8, 2014 09:48 AM

                              Maybe one of those really big ladles by All-Clad. I'm always tempted to buy one when I'm in a Williams and Sonoma:


                              1. arashall Jan 8, 2014 06:05 AM

                                I think the only think I've ever bought there with my own money are several silicone "spoonulas" because I liked the colors. They are actually really handy, and have lasted for years. One of the first tools I grab for baking.

                                1. b
                                  bugablue13 Jan 8, 2014 05:40 AM

                                  They carry really nice balsamic vinegars and fleur de sel. Also some of the baked good mixes are nice. Of course you can get them elsewhere for less money, but I'd rather make scones than sit on $35 anytime!

                                  I also LOVE the little chestnut knife I bought. I eat them often so I ended up buying the automatic X press, but for just a few it rocks.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bugablue13
                                    fldhkybnva Jan 8, 2014 07:27 PM

                                    I really like to browse their vinegars and seasonings and baked good mixes for myself and presents and just fyi to OP this is not a bad customer service policy just of WS, many other store don't allow cash refund either for gift cards.

                                  2. iluvcookies Jan 8, 2014 05:17 AM

                                    Do you have a WS Outlet near you? I've gotten great deals there. The ones with the little green "pineapple" are the outlets.


                                    1. coney with everything Jan 8, 2014 05:13 AM

                                      I bought a jar of duck fat at WS, think it was about $12. Buy 3!

                                      1. Mr Taster Jan 8, 2014 02:04 AM

                                        The Goldtouch bakeware is incredible, and well under $35 per piece. I have two 8x4 inch loaf pans, one 9x5 inch loaf pan, and two each 9 inch round and square cake pans, and lastly an 8x11 pan, which is about the best pan for brownies that I've come across. Solid, heavy construction promotes beautiful, even browning. The nonstick surface releases extremely well. And the sharp, square corners mean your brownies and bread loaves have sharp, professional looking edges... no more weird looking rounded end pieces!

                                        Great stuff.

                                        Mr Taster

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Mr Taster
                                          Mr Taster Jan 8, 2014 09:20 AM

                                          This is the baking pan that's incredible for brownies. It's 9" x 13", not 8" x 11" as I originally stated.

                                          Notice the sharp, folded corners, which is supposedly a more expensive way of shaping the metal than simply rounding off the edges.


                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                            breadchick Jan 8, 2014 10:15 AM

                                            I have the same type of pans - folded and reinforced edges - from Chicago Metallic and I totally agree with you. I love the sharp edges to my brownies, loafs, and cakes.

                                            1. re: breadchick
                                              Mr Taster Jan 8, 2014 10:28 AM

                                              Hi breadchick, you may want to look at the Goldtouch pans. Cooks Illustrated just did a test of 8 different nonstick baking pans (the winner was the 9x13 Goldtouch pan I linked to.) They had problems with the Chicago Metallic pans (knives chipping up the nonstick coating, and the dark surface browning too much for some recipes to handle-- cornbread came out great with a crisp, dark crust, but other recipes, like brownies, overcooked on the edges and sticky buns hardened into candy), and it earned a "Not Recommended" rating. They don't recommend using knives in any nonstick pan, of course, but they still do abuse tests as part of testing methodology, and the Goldtouch coating takes a lot more abuse than it should. I've been kind of hard on mine, and the coating doesn't show even the slightest bit of flaking. (This is after owning several of these pans for upward of 3 years). I haven't worked with Chicago Metallic (though I have their 1/2 sheet baking pans) so if you've had a different experience with yours, I'd like to know.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                                breadchick Jan 8, 2014 08:09 PM

                                                Oops, sorry Mr. Taster - I wasn't clear. My stuff isn't non-stick. I have the basic utility versions. This kind:


                                                No worries about anything sticking. I always use parchment anyway. Makes me feel so ooh la-la. :)

                                                1. re: breadchick
                                                  Mr Taster Jan 9, 2014 10:23 AM

                                                  I think the video review of these pans may be free for the months of Jan/Feb 2014.

                                                  Interestingly, Cooks Illustrated reviewed both the regular and non-stick versions of Chicago Metallic. Looks like using parchment with your pan is a great idea :)

                                                  It's very interesting to me to see exactly how similar pans match up in identical baking tests. It's why I love Cooks Illustrated so much-- despite some of their tests having a somewhat flawed methodology, who else is going through this much effort to find a great baking pan? Not too many.

                                                  The lineup:

                                                  Video review:

                                                  Mr Taster

                                          2. re: Mr Taster
                                            rasputina Jan 8, 2014 12:56 PM

                                            I have an assortment of the Goldtouch bakeware and it's very nice and has held up well over the years. I have the loaf pans, square, 13x9 and the round cake pans. Food browns and cooks evenly in them.

                                          3. Njchicaa Jan 8, 2014 01:46 AM

                                            I got a WS gift card for Christmas. Picked one big thing and then had about $35 left to spend. I went with a Le Creuset salt crock. I had wanted one for ages but couldn't bring myself to spend that much for a glorified bowl. Now that I have it I love it!

                                            1. j
                                              jaykayen Jan 7, 2014 10:49 PM

                                              De buyer crepe pan is on my wishlist.

                                              1. Chemicalkinetics Jan 7, 2014 09:35 PM

                                                I always feel that sauces, nuts, and oils are not the best buy at Williams Sonoma. You almost always can get it cheaper or better elsewhere.

                                                Some items which I think will be useful and are reasonably priced are:



                                                (may not be in store


                                                (may not be in store


                                                (may not be in store)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                  PeterL Jan 7, 2014 10:09 PM

                                                  Thanks. I can find just about anything cheaper elsewhere. But I have this free money. The items you listed do have potential. I'll look into those. Thanks.

                                                  1. re: PeterL
                                                    vstock Jan 8, 2014 06:37 PM

                                                    Put $15 and buy someone a gift card that will enjoy shopping there.

                                                2. a
                                                  autumm Jan 7, 2014 09:21 PM

                                                  A micro plane.

                                                  Add a set of dishtowels and you should be about 5 bucks over.

                                                  Or get creative in the utensils/gadgets section. And check our their clearance options, I found a Le Crueset 4 quart for 90 bucks once.

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