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It's time to replace these items in your kitchen

Sometimes being frugal can be wasteful and dangerous.

Josh Miller

It's so easy to ignore the faults of your favorite kitchen items, especially when you're trying to save some money. There's no reason to throw out a perfectly good toaster, right? Not so fast.

Take a look around your kitchen and you'll see there are likely things you should replace ASAP so that you can cook efficiently and stay safe. Head to your kitchen to check (and maybe chuck) the following items.

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Old cutting board

If your cutting board look like this, toss it.

Getty Images

Cutting boards

Cutting boards aren't meant to last for years. The little cuts and dings in a board are the perfect place for bacteria to grow. And no, the dishwasher isn't the sanitizing savior you need for most types of boards. 

When your cutting boards starts getting noticeable grooves, it's time to toss. Need a new one? We look at the merits of plastic, wood and glass cutting boards to help you decide which one is best.

Sponges

Hopefully you've used my tips for sanitizing a sponge in 2 minutes or less, but how do you know when it's time to just throw it away? When it starts to stink. 

A stinky sponge is a sign that it's breeding bacteria. Here's how to pick a new sponge for your cleaning needs.

Plastic spatulas

You probably know that you should use a plastic spatula when cooking in nonstick pans to prevent scratches. The problem is, sometimes the spatula gets left in the pan too long and the end starts to melt. Is it time to throw it away?

Let the spatula cool and examine it. Are there little pieces hanging off? Do little pieces break off in your hand when you rub the melted part? If so, it's time to toss it so it won't contaminate your next dish.

Appliances

Appliances that are past their prime are inefficient and can even be dangerous. But knowing when to throw appliances away or repair them is tricky. 

The following guides will help you figure out if it's time to say goodbye:

Pots and pans

I know, I know. You have pots and pans that have been with you since your first apartment. However, your attachment could be wasting energy or contaminating your food, though. 

Grungy Cast Iron Skillet

A rusted cast iron pan can be fixed, but if your other pans look like this, it's time to throw them out.

Getty Images

Warped is wasteful. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found that boiling water in a pan that is warped on the bottom can use 50 percent more energy than a new pan with a flat bottom. 

As soon as they start flaking, your nonstick pans need to go, too. Those flakes will end up in your food and could even pose health risks. Some nonstick coatings contain perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, which is a suspected carcinogenic substance -- definitely not something you want to be ingesting. 

Rust is no good, either. The only exception is cast-iron pots and pans, since for those it can be fixed with a few simple steps

Bottom line? If it's warped, rusty or flaking, trade up.


How many of these cooking terms do you know?  

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