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A ‘Store Bought’ Tote, a Great Frying Pan, and More Things to Buy This Week

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Cherry earrings, “Store Bought Is Fine” tote bag, and a nonstick frying pan on a pink background

This post originally appeared on August 13, 2019, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.


Is the more expensive tool ever worth it? Often, the simple answer is no (ever heard a chef wax poetically about their plastic bench scraper or offset spatula?). Meanwhile, for bigger ticket items, it actually can be: The Vitamix, for example, truly has a more powerful motor than a cheaper, jankier blender, making the up-charge worth it.

So what about pots and pans? Eater’s Kitchen Gadget Test Show video series is back with a new season today, and host Esther Choi kicked it off by testing nonstick pans. Everyone’s omelette (and, like, everything else) essential, a nonstick pan needs to fulfill on its promise or it’s truly not worth it. But in testing three pans at three very different price points, Choi found that the cheapest pan was actually came through, whereas the mid-priced pan was persnickety and, yes, a bit sticky, and the expensive pan was good but not so much better it warranted the high price.

Don’t trust the price tag; do trust reviews — especially ones you can watch with your very own eyes.

Things to buy

  • The winning pan? The T-Fal 10.25-inch nonstick fry pan, priced under $20.
  • If you’re into food jewelry (which many of my Eater coworkers are), you should check out I’MMANY London, which boasts a veritable harvest of adorable fruit jewelry, including eerily real-looking cherry earrings.
  • You didn’t think you needed another tote bag. Then you saw this “Store Bought Is Fine” tote(Update, 9/23/19: Product no longer available.)

Things to know

  • Finally, a name for the furniture trend you know you’ve seen across restaurants and cafes and haven’t been able to describe: cute.
  • Boxed water is oh so yesterday; soon we will all be drinking water out of aluminum. This fall, Dasani is starting to sell water in aluminum cans and has plans for aluminum bottles (part of the company’s new BYOB vending machine concept); smaller brands like Ever & Ever and Open Water are already doing it. Not to mention, um, Liquid Death. Hope you like the taste of metal.
  • Relatedly, one’s own personal water bottle is a deeply intimate purchase, which is why I was glad to see the latest “haul” from the Strategist, in which the team’s editors share their favorite products, is all about water bottles.

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