That said, I do try to strategize my measuring devices to avoid using too many. I always measure out the dry items first, for instance, because I can usually use the spoons again for the wet stuff without washing them before hand. And if a recipe calls for both oil and something sticky like molasses or nut butter, then I always measure the oil first so that the sticky stuff doesn't, well, stick. I've also been known to utilize the fact that 4 tablespoons equals 1/4 cup as a way to not dirty a measuring cup.
But often I'm happy that I have more than one tablespoon in my kitchen. While I have adapted Deborah Madison's pan of soapy water trick to quickly wash and reuse utensils, the truth is just dried items are often slightly damp no matter how much I wipe them with a towel. Besides, it's really not that much of a bother to wash an extra measuring cup or two.
How about you? Do you keep it minimal or do you like to have a few spare measuring cups and spoons around?
(Image: Dana Velden)