Food for Thought: Saving Money in the Kitchen
Foodies. They used to be called “‘gourmets” or “bon vivants” (and it’s probably no coincidence that those terms both originated in France, where the obsession with food reaches epic heights). Today, the term “foodie” describes not just people who like to eat great food, but also those who are making an art out of preparing and serving it. Whether you’re just learning the basics of cooking or are a seasoned chef (pardon the expression), you’re always on the lookout for the best kitchen equipment, gadgets, serving dishes, and table decor you can find.
But what if the budget is tight? Can you stock your kitchen with top-quality cookbooks, tools, and ingredients without breaking the bank? Let’s ask Martha Stewart, doyenne of all things food and entertaining; here’s a video with her advice on choosing basic kitchen hand tools, from tongs to spatulas. She also has a series of videos that total up to 20 essential kitchen tools, with each video focusing on one specific item; this one tells you what to look for in a cast-iron frying pan.
Once you have your kitchen-equipment shopping list ready, check around for sales and other discounts before you buy. Williams Sonoma coupons, for example, can make it easier to splurge a little on beautiful dishes and specialized gadgets – like that stainless-steel citrus press you’ve had your eye on.
You can also get more for your money in the long run by choosing the best quality you can afford when purchasing certain items; knives, for instance, are worth spending more on now, so you won’t be replacing them more often than you’d like. But there’s no general rule for which items deserve a no-compromises approach; it depends a lot on the kind of cooking you plan to do. For example, if you intend to do a lot of Asian-style dishes, it might be worthwhile to invest in a specialty item like a hard-anodized stovetop wok and at least a few really solid knives. On the other hand, if grilling is your specialty, perhaps your splurge item will be a set of stainless-steel Henckels tools.
Not sure how to get started? There are many online resources like NerdWallet that simplify the process of comparison-shopping, so you can easily find coupons and discount codes to save money— leaving you with more time, as well as cash, for your continuing foodie adventures.
Then there’s the food itself. You may already use coupons when you shop for food, but what if you long to try something a little more exotic than the usual grocery-store suspects? Head on over to the Tasting Table! While this website is not specifically discount-oriented, it does have detailed information about ingredients, ready-to-use food products, and also great advice on wine and liqueur pairings, plus (of course) recipes that you won’t see anywhere else, including from some of the top chefs in the world.
So whether you’re just learning to cook or already an all-out foodie, by putting a little extra prep time and effort into finding great deals, you can afford to make fabulous meals— and eat them, too!
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