questionsshould silverware sets be offered without two…

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Yes. How often do people use the salad or desert fork or the tea or soup spoon for its purpose. I know when I am eating I use whatever fork or spoon that is available.

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I've damaged and lost pieces of a good set. When I contacted the manufacturer for replacements, they stated that I could only buy them in the set. That bummed me out. Who would pay $200 again just to replace a single spoon and a fork?

I agree when you buy silverware, instead of buying them as a 4 placesetting set, you should be able to buy a pack of just the forks or spoons or knives if you wanted. As for me, I go through more forks and teaspoons than the soup spoons and butter knives. So I'd like to have extras of those around but you cannot get them separately.

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I've never had an issue buying single silverware items, but I believe it's not cost effective on consumer sets of the type you're speaking of to offer this. What makes me crazy is the pointless "mug" thing that's offered with so many of the four place setting dishes. I'd be happy to buy just the plates, or even just two sizes of plates, but I do not want bowls and I really do not want mugs. The last time I purchased a set, I took the mugs and bowls over to a charity thrift shop (I needed the plates since nothing I had could go in the microwave).

I actually have everyday stainless silverware of nice quality that I bought at a grocery store, years ago, and it was all singles. I have formal silver, and it has far more than just salad forks and dessert spoons, and I wonder if the other sets make sense any more.

The five piece place setting has become an anachronism, a holdover from another time. Me, too.

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@cengland0: If you know the manufacturer and pattern name, you might check ebay for single (or multiple pieces of a single type) replacements. My sister needed more forks a while back and I was able to get them at like $1/piece on ebay, brand new. I think hers were Oneida, so it might only be some brands, but it's worth a look.

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@cengland0: You can also check http://www.replacements.com for, well, replacements for missing or damaged items from a set. They have china, crystal, silver and other stuff.

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@shrdlu: I disagree on the mugs and bowls.
When you buy a set, you want to get a complete set for all of your dining needs. That includes cups of some sort and bowls. If you need just a few plates, there are places you can buy them a la carte, like a Corningware-Corelle store, Christmas Tree Shops, Crate and Barrel or even Ikea.

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Were you people raised by wolves?? Just kidding.

Lately, we spend more time eating in front of the tv rather than at the dining room table, I am sad to say. Those of us who don't eat a sandwich in two bites, SON!, seem to use the salad forks for salad, soup spoons for soup, etc. The boy,? He eats cereal out of a small mixing bowl rather like Jethro Bodine. In fact, when he's studying or writing papers for school, he's been known to stack/layer his dinner in a bowl like they do at KFC. I just look away from the carnage. I'm lucky if I get back ANY of the silverware. I made sure when I purchased what we currently have, it was all available as open stock.

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Well, I'm not even really sure how to answer this, because I think it sounds crazy to NOT have a full set of silverware (flatware really -- nobody has silverware anymore), or a complete set of dishes....
I'll agree that the small forks are used less often, but "small" spoons are typically used, and I really enjoy having the larger spoons for soup/chilly/cereal/etc.
Small forks will be brought out with dessert if not already on the table.
I don't think they they interfere with each other in the drawer, because you can typically find a drawer organizer with at least 5 slots (small fork, large fork, small spoon, large spoon, knife).

I LOVE drinking out of mugs, I guess I don't "need" them to match, but often times it's nice...definitely want the bowls to match though...

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@driley1974: So you're a heathen and the rest of us -- who eat with the proper utensils -- should be punished for your slothfulness?

Bah!

:::ducking quickly:::

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@mml666: Just a comment about replacements.com : they are absolutely, undeniably, freakin' outrageously over-priced on what they sell.

I bought some items from them years ago, before eBay was an option, but I wouldn't touch them today unless I was utterly desperate for a piece I couldn't find elsewhere. I've seen plates and platters for sale on eBay for less than 25% of what replacements.com wanted for the same items.

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@sgrman05: I have silverware. I also have two sets of china, and I use all of those items. My silver is a 10 piece place setting for 12, with serving pieces to match. I have never used all of it at once, but it's nice to know I could if I wanted to. I have a second set of silver that is a 6 piece place setting for 8. I also have many pieces from my Grandmother's set, with the monogram, which would have been a wedding gift for her.

Times have changed. I don't know any young bride who would rationally choose to have silverware, which then needs to be polished, and cared for. In addition, silver conducts heat and cold. There's an unpleasant surprise waiting for anyone who has just used a silver teaspoon to stir hot coffee. It's beautiful, though, in a way that stainless is not (at least it is to me).

I echo what @magic cave just said about replacements.com, with the caveat that they are sometimes the ONLY place to get an item.

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@lavikinga: Your comment brings back fond memories of my youth...
Eating Cereal out of a large mixing bowl and wondering why the boxes weren't bigger....
My brother would go through a gallon of milk a day and want more...
My father said we would take the food off of his plate if he let us...

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@shrdlu: Yes, my mom has Silver as well...when we registered for gifts, we chose flatware...I'm thinking that it was around $100 a place setting (5 piece) for actual silver...
Replacements.com is a great site -- I know my parents have ordered from there before for a couple of pieces of china that were broke/chipped/missing/etc. when my mom inherited that set. Also agree that they can be very expensive and would not buy individual pieces from them just for the sake of not having to buy a whole set -- that's for sure!

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Then, it technically wouldn't be a "set" would it?

I'm fairly sure you can get silverware with having to get sets.

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I think there should be an option to substitute sporks in place of the additional forks and spoons.

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with 3 young kids, the smaller salad forks and dessert spoons are perfect for them.

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I actually like having a variety of sizes: I use the larger spoons to serve yogurt out of the large containers into a bowl (if the container isn't full and I use a small spoon, my fingers end up inside the container - plus the handle of the spoon gets covered in yogurt, so my fingers get covered when I use the spoon to feed myself the yogurt!). I prefer to eat with the smaller forks: better proportioned for me, plus it means that I have to eat slower/have an illusion of more food (similarly, I almost always use luncheon-sized plates: there's some cool research that shows people eat an quantity of food relative to what it's being served in). Unless I'm serving yogurt, I prefer to eat with the small spoons, and the larger forks are useful for cooking, scraping dog food out of a can, or when all the small forks are dirty. :)