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Quality Gifts Reduce Wasted Purchases
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most newlyweds have a closet full of gifts they didn't need or want, but choosing a quality item will reduce the chances of a gift going into storage instead of regular use.
Kitchen items are popular wedding gifts for engaged couples. Most newlyweds, especially those setting up their first home, need practical and quality items that will last for years.
"It is better to give one quality gift than to give two of a lower quality, especially of items that will be used a lot," said Dr. Barbara McLaurin, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
Consider quality as a priority on baking pans and sheets (select heavier weights) and on non-stick pans.
Small practical items include cooking spoons, spatulas, knives and sharpeners, vegetable peelers and scrubbers, scissors and measuring spoons and cups. Gifts such as small electric hand mixers and electric knives also can be useful.
"Consider the size of the couple's kitchen before giving larger, space-consuming items," McLaurin said. "A hand operated can opener, stackable bowls, and dual function items like a salad spinner/colander can be thoughtful gifts."
McLaurin said useful, nontraditional gifts can be greatly appreciated. An experienced homemaker may give the new couple a seasoned cast iron skillet or a collection of often used spices.
"Slow cookers can be ideal for new cooks. Don't assume that since slow cookers are easy to use that even a new cook will know how to use it. Include a cookbook or personal recipes for that special touch," McLaurin said.
"When selecting cookbooks as gifts, look for the basic and comprehensive books that include cooking tips as well as recipes. Choose cookbooks that have been on the market and revised for several years," McLaurin said. "Avoid specialty cookbooks, especially for newer cooks."
The specialist said gifts that are always appreciated include casserole dishes, quality pots and pans, mixing bowls, cutting boards, storage containers and kitchen timers.
"When you think a couple may have everything, consider buying a gift bag including gloves, hand lotion, scrubbers and dish towels," McLaurin said.
Many couples register kitchen needs at local stores. When in doubt, find out specifics on what they need and want.