Must-Haves: Kitchen Supplies
Know anyone headed off to college soon? Have a friend getting married? You should definitely encourage him or her to start going to estate sales before going to retail stores. This is especially true when stocking a kitchen, whether for the first time or expanding and renewing a kitchen when moving into a new home.
College Students and Newlyweds: Stock Your Kitchen Cheap!
So there may be plenty of ramen-noodle-nights, but college students will ideally become responsible adults, and eventually they will need a well-supplied kitchen. The best time to start building a kitchen is while they are in college. It allows them to stock up on kitchen supplies slowly, so they can afford to find great deals (at estate sales!), even if that means it takes a little time.
Newlyweds may have a more limited time-frame, but when possible they should always check estate sales first. They may benefit by first making a list of what each person already has and then making a list of things they still need. Remember to keep in mind how much space you will have, and that can help with making decisions about items on neither list.
4 Kitchen Things to Buy at Estate Sales
- Silverware: Besides the fact that silverware at estate sales is often much cheaper than buying from a retail store, you can also find unique and stylish pieces at estate sales that you aren’t likely to see elsewhere. If you’re buying real silver, remember to check the back of the items for company and product information.
- Dishes: Plates, bowls, and glasses are important whether you’re eating ramen noodles or feeding a large family. Platters, bakeware, and serving dishes may be used less often by college students, but at least a few times a year they can come in handy. Estate sales are a great way to start collecting dishes at rock-bottom prices.
- Cookware and appliances: This is where you have to be careful. Both cookware and kitchen appliances can be good buys at an estate sale, but they can also be really bad decisions. For cookware, make sure it’s made of something durable. Stainless steel cookware can be worth buying if in good condition, and cast iron is almost always a good decision because it can be restored with enough effort. Anything that’s non-stick, flaky, or rusting is a definite no-no. If you’re not sure about a piece, don’t risk it.
Regarding appliances, items that are seasonal and rarely used can be a steal. However, beware of anything with blades that could be dulled or motors that could be going out. If it has mechanisms you can’t see from the surface, especially if you can’t verify how well it works, steer clear.
- Cookbooks: Yes, there are millions of recipes online that can be accessed for free, but there’s nothing quite like a good old cookbook that teaches the principles of cooking, as well as offering yummy recipes. For those who may consider moving beyond take-out and ramen some day, this is a great investment of a couple dollars.