5 inexpensive (ish) things to put on any gift registry (or just buy as gifts)

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Hi all! I am Erin Seims, a friend of Smarter Living. I’m getting married this summer, which means it’s time to start putting together an important part of the wedding: the gift list!

But gift registers aren’t just for weddings. They can be useful for many special occasions like housewarmings, birthdays, graduation ceremonies, and baby shower because they take the guesswork out of a gift and can help avoid duplicate gifts. (That said, wedding gift records are certainly not mandatory, and modern couples are getting creative in how they approach the tradition of gifting.)

If you do choose to register for an event, the key is to create a register filled with items that you will realistically use and profit from over time. Also keep in mind that a well-balanced ledger should include items that fall within a range of budgets.

To help you strike that balance between affordability and quality, here are five inexpensive (ish) things that will fit any gift list, put together in collaboration with Wire cutter, a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products.

Knife

Choose a few high-quality knives instead of a set of knife blocks, as sets tend to have a lot of filler knives that you don’t need. Wirecutter suggests three different knives for the average cook: the chef’s knife, the paring knife and the serrated knife. The chef’s knife I signed up for was Wirecutter’s choice for most cooks, the Mac MTH-80. It’s on the high end of cheapish, so if you’re looking to save a few bucks, Wirecutter’s choice of budget knives is the one. Wüsthof Pro 4862-7 / 20. For a serrated bread knife, Wirecutter recommends the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 10¼ inch Serrated Curved Bread Knife, and for a paring knife his favorite is the Victorinox 3¼ inch paring knife.

Cutting board

You need a good cutting board to go with this knife. Because I plan to go from zero to “Top Chef” status, I signed up for Wirecutter’s two favorites: the OXO Good Grips Plastic Cutting and Cutting Board and the Proteak TeakHaus Rectangular Grain Cutting Board with Handle.

Cast iron pan

These things will last a lifetime – my grandfather’s cast iron is over 50 years old and my family still use it. And when grilling outside isn’t an option, you can’t beat seared meat with a cast iron skillet (like this delicious pan-seared steak recipe of our kitchen team). I signed up for Wirecutter’s first choice, the Lodge 12-inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet.

Sheets

Comfortable linens can make all the difference to a good night’s sleep, and it may be a good idea to sign up for a second set. Wirecutter’s first choice, the Royal Velvet 400 TC anti-wrinkle sheet set, is a good economical option for satin sheets. Wirecutter also recommends the Threshold Performance 400 Thread Count Sheet Set like best sheet under $ 50.

Oil diffuser

Yes, it is a little different from your typical registry item. But I recently received one as a gift, and it really helped bring some zen into my life. So what better way to start your marriage than with therapeutic essential oils? (I love using my diffuser with eucalyptus oil.) Wirecutter’s first choice is the Aroma essential oil diffuser 300 ml Urpower.

Do you think I’m missing something? Let me know! Write to me at [email protected].

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