The most expensive utensil or appliance is not always the best. Learn where it pays to skimp on kitchen items.
Avoid sets of matching cookware -- you'd likely wind up using only two or three of the pieces. Instead, purchase open-stock
items. You can choose only what you need, and it's easier to find great deals.
Fancy corkscrews can cost nearly $100, and they do the same thing as a $5 one. So get what the pros use -- a "sommelier knife"
-- and save. If you're worried you'll break the bottle's cork, search YouTube for a video tutorial.
Pricey nonstick ones might seem more convenient, but once you scratch them, they are ruined (nonstick coatings are possibly
carcinogenic, so never use one that is flaking). Go with aluminum trays, and use cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Automatic coffeemakers come in a wide range of prices, but getting one that heats water to the optimal temperature can be
costly. Many coffee aficionados prefer the French-press brewing method. Invest the money you save in a quality coffee grinder.
These days, many toasters have special settings for frozen items and even sandwiches. But if all you want to do is toast standard
slices of bread, a basic model will accomplish the task just fine, and it will take up less real estate on your countertop.
Dull knives not only make food prep tedious, they also can be dangerous. Solve both problems by honing knives regularly with
an inexpensive home sharpener.
A stand mixer can cost upwards of $250, but unless you invest in the special attachments (for grinding meat, making ice cream,
etc.), it performs the same function as a hand mixer. For the occasional baker, the latter will get the job done.