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Cooking Tools And Equipment: How To Save Money On Cookware And Kitchen Items

Updated on March 27, 2011


If you're a cook, no matter what level, you know that having the proper equipment can make you or break you in the kitchen.

Learning to get the best price on things though is essential in not overspending needlessly on cookware.

You truly can have the best cookware available and yet not spend a fortune on it.

Let's look at some ways to save big bucks on cookware!


An important rule of thumb when investing in cookware is to buy the best cookware that you can afford.

By this, I don't mean the most expensive cookware.


You need to shop and budget for it and not overspend that budget but you need to invest in quality first and foremost.

Generally speaking, the best cookware out there is heavier because it conducts heat better.

Check out different brands of cookware and read reviews on them. Is Le Creuset going to be better for your cooking style or is Calphalon?

Do you prefer pans that can go in the oven as well as on the stove-top?

Do you want pans that are pretty enough to set out on the buffet table or is that something you don't really care about?

All of these factors come into play when you're thinking about what brand to pick or what styles you'll be happiest with.

Now that you have your brand or brands narrowed down, start with a budget. How much can you really spend for cookware?

There are a couple of ways to go about it in terms of pricing.

  • You can buy an entire set which sometimes is the cheapest way to go. Many people claim that it's a stupid way to buy cookware because there are pans you'll never use. I personally have never had that experience! I use every single pan I have and quite often.
  • The second theory is to buy 1 pan at a time but buy quality and buy on sale.

Both of these plans have merit and of course depend on whether you can budget to buy a whole set or you need to buy one pan at a time.

Whatever way you do decide to buy, never pay full price for anything! Just don't do it!

Everything goes on sale eventually. Wait for sales, shop the Internet, or use coupons and rebates to save money......but whatever way you do it, get it on sale. Also always ask about return policies and warranties because if you're buying good cookware, you want to get the most for your buck.

Lastly, if you're a constant cook, you might want to consider restaurant quality cookware or larger capacity cookware.

The best cookware out there (according to expert chefs) is usually the kind that can go from the stove-top to the oven easily and will provide even cooking either way.



  • Shop places like TJ Maxx, Ross or Marshalls for fantastic deals on cookware, whether in a set or by the piece. You can get top of the line pans for baking or cooking for mere dollars. You can also buy high quality sets of pans, knives and other kitchen equipment for cheap. Just be sure to check all the pieces before leaving the store and ask about their return policies.
  • Clearance bins. Always check the clearance bins at major department stores. You'd be surprised what you find there! Oftentimes, someone has returned a pan or there is one pan left of a set that didn't somehow get sold....or even display pans. You can save a bundle by scouring the bargain or clearance tables in any store like Macy's.
  • Buy military. If you have access to a military base store or know someone that does, you can save a lot of money by buying on base. I ended up with a set of Le Creuset pans because my son-in-law was in the military. They were actually a gift from my daughter but they were a steal.
  • Consider a different brand. I have Le Creuset pans because they were a gift. However, I've never been able to afford their larger stock pots. When I needed a bigger soup pot than the small one that came with the set I had, I couldn't justify paying upwards of $200 for a pan. I happened to see a Martha Stewart pan on sale in Macy's one day that was just what I wanted and even matched the color....for $39.99. It's not Le Creuset but it does the trick just as nicely. The important factor here is how it's made and its functionality. You can save money by going "generic" or to another brand but do check the comparable construction of the cookware.
  • Garage sales and estate sales. Believe it or not, you can find incredible deals on cookware and kitchen gadgets at garage sales, estate sales, in the paper and at swap meets . You can also find new and used expensive cookware on sites like CraigsList and eBay. Just make sure you know what you're getting and that when you receive your purchase, it's the right color and product name. In terms of garage sales, you can find almost new or brand new cookware items for dirt cheap. Occasionally, you might even find great buys at Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. It's all a matter of how much you look around and timing is everything.
  • Let me take those off your hands. If you know of a friend or family member who's going to be getting new cookware and you happen to know for a fact that they have a really good set that you'd love to have, make an offer. Even trade with them....give them something you have that you don't need in exchange for the cookware. Don't be embarrassed to ask because it's always better to have something go to good use rather than being pitched out. Consider it the ultimate in recycling or repurposing!


In short, if you're smart, there are a bunch of different ways to save a lot of money on cookware and kitchen gadgets and equipment.

  • If you buy online, go for free shipping or don't buy it.
  • Make sure you price compare.
  • Search out coupon or promotional deals on manufacturers' websites or even email and ask for them.
  • Check out sites like who always has great deals on cookware both new and used. Also check for deals.
  • Look for 18/10 gauge when it comes to stainless steel cookware.
  • Look for cookware with metal handles besides those that go from stove-top to oven.
  • Try and always stick with anodized (hard) or stainless. They have the highest durability record and do the best job of cooking evenly.
  • Scratch resistant is much different from nonstick cookware. You want scratch resistant because if it's scratch resistant, it is going to be most likely nonstick or minimal stick. Just spray with cooking oil if you need to. Scratch resistant is far more important as you don't want to see your purchase flaking away into your food.

Lastly, some manufacturers offer 2 different levels of cookware. You have to price compare and see if the more expensive one is worth it. Sometimes there will be a difference in the composition of the pans themselves or a feature such as nonstain resistant for the lesser price. You have to weigh if that is something you must have or can live without.

For instance, Staub brand of cookware is similar to Le Creuset. They offer a series of pans that do not stain but they have a lesser valued line of pans that can stain. Not that they will, but they "may" stain. It's up to the consumer to decide which they can afford it and again, which they can live with.

Consider preowned to save money too. It is the ultimate recycling and repurposing.

Whatever way you decide to get your cookware, by piece or by set, don't ever pay top dollar for it.

There are just too many other ways to get it for less....and I hope you'll find all your cookware on sale.


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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for adding to the hub, chspublish - I think Le Creuset can last just about into forever!

    • chspublish profile image


      9 years ago from Ireland

      Still have some Le Crueset from way back when. It was expensive then too. I wrecked the frying pan from allowing it get burnt and not taking care. A large saucepan and small oval casserole still going strong, though. Love reading about this stuff anyway, even if I don't buy that much anymore. Thanks for the hub.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Katie - I love the Staub too but have been using my Le Creuset for the duration....maybe one at a time I'll replace but now my LC has a sentimental value to me since my daughter gave it to me! I also have several copper bottomed pans that Bob's mother had believe it or not way back when. It's nice to have a combo of the old and the new!

      Darski - You are too kind - and thanks for stopping by.

      BJ - That skillet was a one-time-only deal, BJ - unfortunately and it was in the kitchen of one AKirchner!! I wish - it wasn't - but it seemed like a cool idea...if I find this item on sale though....I'll put it in the mail and maybe you'll get it about the time I get that Lexus those dang foreigners forgot to send me!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      I've been hunting all over, Audrey, but haven't yet found that great iron skillet you illustrated that comes with real money in it. Some of it is rolled up and some just folded over.

      Where on earth did you find it? Marshall's? TJ Maxx? WallyMart? Please advise. Soon, before supplies are exhausted. :)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      9 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      What an excellent hub, I have seen you grow to the star girlfriend...your writing is awesome and this topic is all the kitchen ware. rate up love & peace darski

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      9 years ago from Westerville

      Love the Staub cookware, it's awesome. Great resource when we need to replace or buy a much needed cooking tools. Thanks for the tip on saving money! :) Katie

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks so much for the kind remarks and the votes Eiddwen!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much for this well presented plus well researched hub.

      I am sure that very many will find it so useful, including myself.

      I am pushing useful plus up here.

      Take care,


    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Sounds like my kind of sales, Nell - the boot sales! Would love to go to one of those!!

      Ah yes, Suziecat - writing about food - another of my many passions! Thanks for stopping by!!

      Now Will, you're going to make me fall for you if you keep it up....nothing sexier than a guy with a vacuum or a spatula in his hand!!

      Steph - Great confirmation on what you can find!! I have a girlfriend who shops garage sales like they were going out of style and she is always coming home with brand new Cuisinart this or Pottery Barn that - I seriously need to start going around with her!

      Sweetie1 - Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment.

      Pamela - I'm of a like mind - if it's not a steal or a deal, I just keep walking! Saves me a lot of money...thanks for stopping by!!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Audrey, You gave us a great list of different ways of buying cookware at good prices. I also by quality cookware but it's always on sale as I look for the bargains. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Voted/rated up.

    • sweetie1 profile image


      9 years ago from India

      hi akirchner, this is very detailed and well reserched hub. Every now and then every house hold spend so much money on utensils and your advise at that time can be very useful.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Marshall 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I have actually scored some great deals on cookware and serving dishes at Goodwill. I have a beautiful Pottery Barn bowl that is great for both mixing up brownies and serving chips that I simply love!

      Super hub as usual - rated up!

    • WillStarr profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great Hub.

      I'm the chief cook at our home, so I take great interest in Hubs like this.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Oh goody - You're writing about food again!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      9 years ago from England

      Hi, Audrey, you got some great ideas here! I tend to always buy at Asda which is pretty good quality, but I must admit to not thinking about what we call boot sales, I might just keep my eyes open now! cheers nell


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