Stock up on stainless steel flatwareSpring is officially here (thank goodness!) so you can expect to see lots of winter styles moving out to make way for fresh spring products and colors. Here, three product picks if you're looking to get a bargain this month!
Related: 12 Easy Spring-Cleaning Tips
1. Stainless Steel Flatware: Retailers are moving utensils out this month to make way for new styles. To find the best bets for your table:
- Look on packaging or pieces themselves for an "18/10" marking - 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel. Chromium gives flatware strength and keeps it from rusting, while nickel helps it resist acids and gives it a silver-like look.
- There should be no burrs or rough spots between the fork tines - pinch at the space and run your fingertips down it to check.
- Good knives are forged as one piece. The blade should be finely serrated, and have a little "give" so it won't break when cutting hard foods - grasp it at either end and flex to check for slight bendability.
- Hold the pieces in your hand - they should feel substantial.
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2. Ranges: Spring sales may put high-end features within your budget. We recommend that you:
- Start with the rangetop. Look for a griddle burner if you often make pancakes, use a fish poacher, or deglaze roasting pans.
- Consider induction. Buying an electric range? It's a splurge, but an induction stovetop uses magnetic fields to heat quickly and responds to your cooking adjustments instantly, yet stays cool to the touch. (You'll also need induction-friendly cookware, which must contain steel.)
- Weigh your oven options. Avid bakers will want a range with one large oven or a double oven with the bigger cavity above the small one (so you don't have to stoop to reach the large oven.) Not much of a cook? You may like a double oven with the smaller cavity up top - it could replace a toaster oven.
- Check the extras. Does the storage drawer slide smoothly, and the door click into place to stay open halfway? Try out all knobs and buttons - make sure they're easy to turn, press, read, and understand. And don't even consider a model that doesn't self-clean.
Related: Colorful Serveware for Spring
3. Winter Workout Wear: It may be too warm to even consider wearing thermal layers or insulated sports bras, but now is the time to think about stocking up at deep discounts. To find the best sweat-ready gear:
- Check for its water-wicking abilities. Bring along a water bottle when shopping so you can discreetly squeeze a droplet of water onto a garment you want to purchase - if it beads up, take a pass. (Or, buy the item and do this at home, then return if it doesn't absorb.)
- Go the extra mile to find the right fit. When trying on fitness clothing, move around (walk, do jumping jacks, try out a yoga pose, etc.) to be sure the item isn't too snug and the seams won't chafe.
- Remember that cotton is the enemy of warmth. Now is the time to pick up thermal under-layers and cozy windbreakers so you'll be prepared for any shift in the weather. Look for wool or synthetics, especially for your base layers - never cotton.
- Seek out no-smell socks. We found that socks made with silver were able to fight odor in GHRI tests.
Which sales are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!
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