I have three sets of flatware, and (though we're cleaning house and purging a lot of items) none of them are going anywhere.
- I purchased the first set at Walmart in 1997. It was cheap in the worst sense of the word. This is the set I have employed for the uses below. It's no big deal if a piece gets lost or ruined. If it weren't for the list below, I'd have thrown it away a decade ago.
- The second set was my Aunt Anna's. She bought it shortly after she married my Uncle Kenny in the late 1940's. I used it for years, until I received my third set. These days, I keep it tucked away in my china cabinet, safe from little imaginations and clumsy husbands.
- The third set was a wedding gift from Aunt Helen. It's our every day flatware.
10 Uses for Cheap Flatware
- Lunch boxes. There is no way I'm sending a fork from my set in a lunch box. Lunch boxes get lost. They become lost & found fodder all over the place. Forks get left behind and thrown in the trash. We have gotten rid of disposable plastic utensils in the name of frugality and green living, so I send the old cheap ones instead.
- Make a homemade cherry pitter. You can follow the instructions in this video to make and use it. I have a real cherry pitter, so this isn't a tip I've tried personally. I still think it's a neat idea.
If you don't have a cheap set of flatware, I bet you could get a couple of forks at the Dollar Store or a thrift store and still try this pitter.
- Fondue. Why buy special fondue forks? You could break out the cheap forks and let them sit in the fondue. Just be careful; they handles will be hot when you take them out.
- Carve out a pumpkin or squash. I would never use my good pieces to carve out a squash. I'd be afraid of bending a tine. I grab the cheap ones to do all of the heavy lifting. If they get bent, I just bend them back.
- Plant seeds. We do a lot of gardening. Forks and spoons are perfect tools for planting seeds in seed starter packets. The wells are tiny - just about the size of a spoon or fork - and I hate getting dirt under my fingernails. A fork makes perfect holes in the soil and a spoon moves just enough of it to cover the seed with ¼-inch.
- Plant marker. Along the same lines, a knife or spoon is just big enough to write a seed name and a planting date. I don't buy row markers because I can write on utensils and stick them in the end of the row. Sharpie markers will come off with a little rubbing alcohol, so I wipe them off and re-use them again next year.
- Screwdriver. The downside of living with another human being is that he moves my stuff sometimes. Whether he put it "away" in a spot I don't know about or used it and didn't put it away, if I need a screwdriver or a hammer and can't find one, I am not above getting out an old knife or an old fork. They work in a pinch.
- A wedge. The lids of canning jars sometimes stick. Windows get stuck in moist paint. Doors get jammed. Hamburgers and pieces of bread freeze together. For all of these tough situations, I use an old knife (sometimes heated with hot water)Ã‚ as a wedge to force the items apart.
- Crease paper. I keep an old knife in my scrapbook supplies to use as a creasing tool. After you fold a piece of paper or cardstock, rub the smooth side of the knife blade along the crease to flatten it.
- Crush pills. I keep 2 old spoons in our medicine cabinet to crush pills for the cats and the children. Put the pill in one spoon, lay another spoon over top, and whack the whole thing. The pill will be smashed, and the dust will be contained.
How do you use cheap flatware?