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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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