I have always been thrifty, which is really just a nicer way to say that I have always been stingy. I go to the clearance section in shops first, and I always click lowest price and shipping first whenever I'm browsing eBay. I always look for a good deal, and if there's a way to pay less for what I want, you can bet I'm going to find it.
I understand why some people aren't like this, though. People don't say "you get what you pay for" for nothing; that can be very true, but not all the time. I believe there's a time to splurge, and a time to hold back.
Whilst I do have plenty of favourite brands that I know and trust, I hate how prices on really simple items are always increased purely because of the brand's name - especially when it's not worth it. Today I am going to share some really cheap and awesome baking tools that I have bought, so other baking novices like me know what items you really DON'T need to splurge on to get a good result.
When I Google cake stands, five pop up in the sponsored shopping section at the top of the page. They're all white or clear, and they range from $25-$100. That is ridiculous. I understand if you want a pretty, fancy one with a nice base or patterned edge then you'll have to pay a bit more, but you can get the same plain white cake stand that someone is selling for $100 from Kmart for $5, and it's going to do the exact same thing. That's not being cheap, it's being smart with your money.
DISPOSABLE PIPING BAGS
Yes, it's true, I am a disposable piping bag kind of gal. I own one reusable one and it's a nightmare to use and clean. In fact, I've only used it less than a handful of times because it just never feels clean. I am also someone who uses multiple icing colours and tips at the same time, so I need lots of piping bags on hand. I used to buy packets of five piping bags for $3.50 which seemed like a great day, until I checked eBay and realised that I could get 50 for $3.69. I haven't looked back since.
The amount that some shops sell their spatulas for should be illegal. $30+ for some wood and silicon? No, thank you! I would never pay more than $5 for one, unless it was a certain theme or shape, but I've even seen a Frozen themed spatula for $5, so there's no reason that a regular spatula should be anymore. Big W and Target have some for $2, and Kmart has them for $1.50. They all have different colours too, so don't think that you have to compromise on appearance just because you're paying less, just make sure you shop around!
ICING SMOOTHERS AND SCRAPERS
These are another example of some truly overpriced items. I've seen these things for $30 before. They're just tiny plastic or metal rectangles! I'm sure you could use many items around your house and get a similar result, so there is no way you should be spending that much on them! I bought my smoother for $1.59, and my scraper for $1, and I love them. There's no way you should be paying anymore than that for these items! (Also, here's eight fondant tools and cutters for $1.67. You're welcome.)
eBay really is my best friend, I'm not going to lie. I think I buy an average of 10 items off of it every month,
These are a little more tricky than cake stands. I bought a $10 one from Kmart, but it's also a tilt table - and quite a flimsy one at that - and part of the stand snapped off after a few uses. It still works perfectly fine so if you're thrifty like me I'm sure you'll enjoy it, but for an extra $5 Wiltshire have a nice looking one that doesn't look like it will fall apart straight away. Keep in mind that I haven't actually used this one, but Wiltshire products haven't let me down before!
CAKE TINS AND MOULDS
Cake tins are something that you should really shop around for before you buy. I wanted a plain, round cake tin and I went to four different stores to make sure I was getting the best deal. I just don't understand how some stores can justify selling something for $30 when a shop nearby is selling the exact same thing for $5. Are people really that focused on brand names?
I understand if you're looking for a really obscure shape or mould that they may start becoming a bit pricier since the demand for them isn't that high (although in that case, once again, eBay is my best friend!), but for your generic cake and cupcake tins, don't spend more than $10-$15 - and even that's pushing it. If you love visiting thrift stores, it's always a good idea to look for cake tins there as well, that's where I found some of my really unique ones - just don't get the really dirty or dusty ones. If you're anything like me, no matter what you do, they will just never feel clean....
Is there anything that you refuse to splurge on, even though most other people seem to insist that you should? Or is there anything that you will only buy if it's a certain brand because no other brand compares? I love discussing what items to splurge on, and what items to hold back on. Sometimes a high price doesn't always equal quality, but other times, paying that extra money is so, so worth it.
Until next time,