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What can I buy for $35 at William Sonoma?

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?

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

        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

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

      2. De buyer crepe pan is on my wishlist.

        1. 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. 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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                1. 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. 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

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

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Cam14

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

                            1. re: Cam14

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

                              1. re: hambone

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

                                1. re: sr44

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

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    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

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

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

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

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: rainey

                                        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.

                                      2. 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. 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

                                            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. 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. 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. some beautiful napkings for sure

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: kobechef

                                                  Napkings-- napkins fit for a king!

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

                                                  Mr Taster

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