Summer picnics and barbecues usually call for paper plates and plastic utensils, but some are better than others.
There’s nothing worse than sitting down to eat and not being able to cut the food because of a crumbling plastic knife.
Or you try to pick something up with a plastic fork, only to have the tines snap off.
It even seems that some plastic paraphernalia are so small that they are meant for a doll set.
To prevent you from wasting money, The US Sun did a ‘quick test’ and tried some of the most popular plastic paraphernalia from the most popular grocery store as part of our latest installment in the ‘Bang For Your Buck’ series.
We wanted to find out which set of forks and knives is worth the money and which ones break under pressure.
The brands we tested are Great Value by Walmart, Smartly by Target, Boulder by Aldi, and Dollar Tree.
Each set of utensils was rated on a scale of one to ten in three categories; Durability, size and value, overall the highest possible score of 30.
We put the paraphernalia to the test with a meal of grilled chicken, hash browns, steamed broccoli, and carrots.
There were significant price differences between brands, which made judging a bit more difficult.
Read on to find out which brand offers the best value for money.
4. DOLLAR TREE
- Score: 14 out of 30
- Price: $1.25 for 48 pieces
While the Dollar Tree cutlery held up, the actual size of the utensils was much smaller than the others.
The tiny fork and small knife made me feel like I was using children’s paraphernalia.
When it came time to cut the chicken and broccoli, the knife wobbled a bit, but with a little more pressure it was able to cut all the way through.
I was only able to find a 48-piece utensil set, which at $1.25 is a decent amount, but it would have been nice to have a larger amount available.
- Score: 19 out of 30
- Price: $3.94 for 48 pieces
I know this result shocked me too.
While the knife and fork slice through chicken and veggies with ease, there’s little justification for shelling out $3.94 for just 48 utensils.
I thought about getting the 120 pack but it was a whopping $7.99.
That might not sound bad, but considering it’s more expensive than Target, one wonders if Walmart is still the place to go for the lowest prices.
However, the cutlery was a good size and felt durable, I didn’t feel like it would break while enjoying my meal.
- Score: 22 out of 30
- Price: $7.69 for 96 pieces
Aldi’s Boulder line offers a pack of just 96 utensils for a whopping $7.69.
It was a bit more expensive, but the amount I got made up for it.
These were very similar in size and durability to the Walmart paraphernalia, but the Aldi paraphernalia are just a tad larger.
The fork and knife cut through my food like it was nothing and the knife nearly cut through the paper plate I had.
Without the value of the Target option, this would have taken first place.
- Score: 25 out of 30
- Price: $3.99 for 120 pieces
Target is the winner of this Bang For Your Buck, but it was close.
At $3.99 for 120 pieces of flatware, you couldn’t beat it.
This is actually the smallest size offered. If you need more, you can grab the 240 pieces $7.89.
The paraphernalia itself was a bit smaller, but still larger than Dollar Tree’s.
As I ate my food, the knife was a bit picky, but the fork held it all in place.
I would buy these again knowing I’m getting a great deal and a utensil set that won’t ruin my summer BBQ.
If you want to have fewer dishes or are planning a big party, disposable utensils are the right choice.
Target is the best option overall. The 120 cutlery box was reasonably priced and sturdy enough to use for dinner.
I was surprised that the Aldi option was over $7 as the store is known for their affordable items.
I’m not sure I would buy them again, but it’s an option I’ll always keep in mind.
On the other hand, the Walmart option wasn’t worth the money to me, nor was the Dollar Tree option.
The smaller batches were cheaper but not very useful if you plan to have more than a few people visiting.
Find out which plastic cup brand offers you the best value for your plastic utensils.
And take a look at what we think is the best paper plate option.