Being a good cook is more about skill than materials — you can turn out amazing dishes with just Grandma’s old frying pan and a few basic supermarket ingredients. That said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting fancy gear and gourmet foods.
Except the price.
But even that can be overcome, if you want to add more Le Creuset or Shun to your kitchen lineup, or cook with foods the likes of Kobe beef and fancy cheeses. A growing number of sites are offering limited-time sales on kitchen goods, with discounts that often eclipse 50 percent.
Of course, there’s always the old-fashioned way of signing up for stores’ email newsletters. Peruse any foodie emails you’re signed up for, too. Perusing a Weekend To-Do email from TastingTable.com netted Frugal Foodie 15 percent off at Broadway Panhandler in NYC, which offered the discount on anything you can fit in one of their medium-sized shopping bags. Hello, replacement cutting board and Le Creuset juicer!
What resources do you use to find kitchenware deals, readers? Add these six to your repertoire:
Blackboard Eats Market
Sign up for the email newsletter to get regular access to limited-time offers for members. Recently, the site offered 30 percent off at bartending and cocktail supply site Cocktail Town, as well as 25 percent off a regularly priced $105 BBQ package (two tri-tip roasts, two 6-oz. sirloin steaks, two packs of gourmet hamburgers and one package of frankfurters) from Kobe beef purveyor Snake River Farms.
Check out the regular specials on this new — mostly full-priced — site from flash-sale company Gilt Groupe. Among the current rotating specials, while supplies last: 21 percent off a game meat variety pack from D’Artagnan, and 15 percent off Walle Chas cheese from Murray’s Cheese Shop. The site has also said it plans to start offering limited-time deals on wines.
Browse limited-time, sales boutiques on the home section of Amazon.com’s flash sale site. The deep-discount sales — usually 50% off or better — last a few days or until stock sells out, whichever happens first. A recent showcase of Zodax barware, for example, offered a $170 wine cooler for $77 (55 percent off), and a five-piece bone handle bar tool set for $55 instead of $110 (50 percent off). Items can be returned for Amazon credit only.
Follow your favorite chefs and other well-known personalities on this free site to get access to limited-time, exclusive deals on their “favorite” items. “Carrots ‘n’ Cake” author Tina Haupert, for example, recently picked a $120 mypressi TWIST portable espresso machine to feature, a 29 percent discount off its usual $170 price tag. Sales last for a few days or until the product sells out, whichever happens first. You’ll get an email for each sale, so be picky about how many celebs you follow if you don’t want to get bombarded.
Buy secondhand gift cards for less than face value on this site. Those from Williams-Sonoma and Bed, Bath & Beyond, for example, see for a 10 percent discount, letting you pay $22.50 for a $25 card. Pair it with store sales or coupons (if you don’t have a coupon for 20 percent off any one thing at Bed, Bath & Beyond, you’re just not trying) to get even better deals. A $130 Le Creuset French oven is just $104 after the coupon, and you’d pay just $93.6 to get enough gift card to cover that amount. Effective discount: 28 percent.
Rue La La
Shop limited-time sales boutiques on the home section of the flash sale site. Sales last a few days or until stock sells out, whichever happens first. A recent sale on Kai and Shun knives, for example, offered an eight-piece Shun “Pure Komachi II” set for $49.90, a 49 percent discount off its retail price. A 6.5” Shun Santoku, sold for $99.90, was 50 percent off. Some items are final sale, so check before you buy.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie http://www.twitter.com/mintfoodie.