While you can cook with just a hot plate and a knife, having a few small kitchen appliances can help you cook at home more easily and save you money.
I own fifteen small kitchen appliances. That’s probably a lot by many standards. It’s probably not what one would expect in a frugal kitchen.
But, here’s the thing. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and have learned at least one important thing:
Having the right tool for the job makes a huge difference.
Now, have I prepped meals with nothing more than a hot plate and a cheap knife I bought at the corner Monoprix? Yes, yes, I have.
My junior year in France was where I first started building my repertoire of recipes to cook at home in a closet-sized kitchen with just a hot plate and a knife. Since then our family has traveled for long periods away from home and away from my kitchen. I know that you don’t need much to make great meals.
But, I’ve also learned that I am more likely to want to cook at home—and therefore save money—when I’ve got the right tools for the job. To that end, I shop around, compare prices, research my options, and then make sure that each small kitchen appliance I buy can prove its worth.
This year—the 26th since we got married and 11th since we got out of debt—has been the year to replace many of my favorite small kitchen appliances. Many have done their duty in the Good Cheap Eats kitchen for a decade or more.
As they’ve started to wear out, I’ve realized their value and often times replaced them with the exact same model. They were that suited for my purposes!
I bet you, too, with all the cooking at home this year, have learned which small kitchen appliances are worth it for you and which aren’t. Here are mine.
Small Kitchen Appliances That Save Me Money
Alternate title: Small Kitchen Appliances I Wouldn’t Want to Live Without.
Below you’ll find my favorite kitchen tools as well as the specific model I own. If you’d like to jump to a specific one, you can do so here:
- Electric griddle
- Waffle maker
- Slow cooker
- Instant pot
- Toaster oven
- Food processor
- Immersion blender
- Stand mixer
- Hand mixer
- Hot water kettle
- Food slicer
- Panini press
- High-speed blender
- Electric can opener
- Nespresso machine
The Electric Griddle makes quick work of meal prep.
What is an electric griddle?
An electric griddle is just that, a long griddle that plugs into the electric socket instead of being heated on the stove.
Buying an electric griddle was my first foray in out-of-the-normal small kitchen appliances. My husband rolled his eyes when I came home with it, but he slowly came to see the light.
An electric griddle can cook up to 8 pancakes or tortillas as a time as well as multiple sandwiches or quesadillas. You can even cook a full breakfast on it, provided yours has a drip tray to catch grease.
Do you need an electric griddle?
You could use an electric griddle if you frequently cook things such as tortillas, pancakes, sandwiches, and quesadillas in large batches.
Do you need a lot of space for an electric griddle?
Maybe. There are some models that fold up or have removable sides so that the base unit is the same size as a cookie sheet. We store ours atop a cabinet out of the way, so it’s not a big issue.
What’s a good brand of griddle?
I have always had good success with the Presto brand. I just bought our third. Each of the previous have lasted 7-8 years. I just unboxed this Presto electric griddle this weekend.
My Waffle Maker makes many people happy at once.
Waffles are fun food. Even when I sneak zucchini into the waffle batter. My kids have always loved waffles as a fancy breakfast with berries and whipped cream or an easy portable snack.
Having a large waffle maker means I can make many at one time, for batch cooking or simply to keep the masses happy.
What is a waffle maker?
A waffle maker is an electric contraption that cooks waffles, from 1 to 4 at a time. You pour the batter onto the bottom plate, close the lid, and the batter cooks in the shape of a waffle. They come in Belgian and traditional styles.
Some waffle makers do other things as well such as act as a griddle or panini press.
Do you need a waffle maker?
You only need a waffle maker if you enjoy eating waffles often. You can buy frozen waffles at the store if you’re not into eating them on a regular basis.
Do you need a lot of space for a waffle maker?
Waffle makers range in size. Ours have always been small enough to fit in a cupboard. Often they will stand on their sides, allowing you to make use of vertical space.
What’s a good brand of waffler maker?
We are on our second Cuisinart waffler that makes 4 large Belgian-style waffles. The first one lasted almost ten years. I just replaced it with this waffle iron.
The Slow Cooker rocks my world, especially with cheesecake.
If you followed along with Crocktoberfest, you know that the slow cooker rocked my world with how amazing Slow Cooker Chocolate Cheesecake is. Wowza!
Seriously, you can use a slow cooker all month long without much effort. It cooks while you do other things!
We have taken the slow cooker on vacation with us, domestically, to help us save money on travel food costs and used it at potluck meals as a way to keep things hot without a lot of fuss. I’ve even heard of folks using their slow cookers in their cars and while camping!
What is a slow cooker?
A slow cooker is an electrical appliance consisting of a ceramic crock placed within a metal sleeve heating element. Slow cookers are tremendous for long cooking and braises, but can do well also for shorter timed recipes when monitored closely.
Do you need a slow cooker?
If you like to cook roasts, beans, sauces, soups, or stews from scratch, a slow cooker will come in very handy. Likewise if you do a lot of potlucking.
If your cooktop is small or you like to bulk cook, a slow cooker will give you extra space for any number of dishes.
Do you need a lot of space for a slow cooker?
Standard slow cookers are about the size of a large pot. If you’ve got room for a large pot, you’re good to go. That said, they do come in a number of sizes, all of which should fit in a kitchen cupboard.
What’s a good brand of slow cooker?
While many of the slow cooker reviews out there recommend other name brands, I have always owned the Crock-pot brand. They do a fine job for what I’m making and are generally affordable and long lasting.
I own these:
- 7-quart oval
- 3-quart round
- 3.5-quart casserole
- a smaller Chefmate round
An electric pressure cooker will make so many things—hands free!
I received my first electric pressure cooker years before the trend took off and was truly skeptical when it did. However, once I cooked rice in the instant pot as well as instant pot black beans, I was a believer. Instant Pot Hard Cooked Eggs are also amazing.
What is an electric pressure cooker?
An electric pressure cooker is a pressure cooker that has its own heating element as opposed to one that cooks on the stove. Electric pressure cookers are said to be safer than stovetop ones.
While billed as a multi cooker—Instant Pot has added multiple functions to their machines, such as rice, bean, yogurt, and slow cooke—it tends to work best as a pressure cooker.
Do you need an electric pressure cooker?
I would like to say no, but the truth of the matter is that my first one broke, I waited a few months to see if I really missed it, and I did. So, I know I need one. As for you, if you cook eggs, beans, rice, chicken, and pasta on a regular basis, I guarantee that an electric pressure cooker will help.
Do you need a lot of space for an electric pressure cooker?
Electric pressure cookers do take up a fair amount of space. Mine doesn’t fit easily in the cupboards; I have to store the lid separately.
Measure your storage space and compare it to the dimensions of the machine you’re thinking of buying if you want to make sure you can put it away versus leaving it on the counters.
What’s a good brand of an electric pressure cooker?
Instant Pot tends to be the most popular brand. I have also owned one made by Power Cooker.
I currently own this model of Instant Pot.
My toaster oven does more than toast!
We’re on our third toaster oven in about 16 years. I just bought the newest one, so it appears that last two averaged a life span of about 8 years each. I waited a couple months before getting this new replacement so I could do more research and see if we wanted to upgrade to a pricier air fryer/convection oven. For the money, I decided to stick with the classic, albeit cheap, toaster oven. And I’m glad I did!
We use this all the time, every single day, multiple times a day. It toasts bread and bagels, reheats pizza and other leftovers, and can even function as a full-fledged oven. I made sure to get one that would fit a 9×13-inch pan. It fits the bill for small baking jobs.
What is a toaster oven?
A toaster oven is a small electric, counter top oven that can toast, broil, and bake.
Do you need a toaster oven?
Whether or not a toaster oven is for you will depend on the space you have and how often you like to toast and bake. A toaster oven is more versatile than a pop-up toaster.
Do you need a lot of space for a toaster oven?
Toaster ovens are about the size of countertop microwaves, though they can range in size. It will need to be stored on the counter, so consider this before making your purchase.
What’s a good brand of toaster oven?
I looked at a lot of toaster ovens this fall and read a lot of reviews. I ended up going with the same brand we’ve had the last two times: Black and Decker.
This is the toaster oven we own.
The food processor is a whiz at many things!
My first food processor was the original Cuisinart, like the very first model! An elderly family friend was downsizing her home right about the time we got married and gave me hers. It was a war horse and lasted a good ten years under my watch.
I replaced it with the base level Cuisinart that would have lasted much longer. Somewhere after we went debt-free I treated myself to an upgrade that I didn’t really like because it was hard to clean, so I continued using the basic version until the bowl had broken in too many spots. Replacement parts were too much so I’ve been using my bells-and-whistles version (similar to this one) that has since been discontinued. I wonder why. LOL
What is a food processor?
A food processor is an appliance that can slice and dice, chop and grind, shred and puree many foods as well as knead dough. Food processors usually come with both metal and plastic blades as well as slicing and shredding disks.
I regularly use my food processor to shred cheese, chop or slice vegetables, mix salsa and pie dough, and grind bread crumbs and nuts.
Do you need a food processor?
If you batch cook, meal prep, or do a lot of scratch cooking and baking, a food processor will save you a lot of time and effort. The parts are usually dish washer safe, so clean up shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Do you need a lot of space for a food processor?
Depending on the size of processor you buy you will need some dedicated storage space. Bryan built me a custom drawer in a kitchen cabinet that is strong enough to hold the base, bowls, and attachments. It makes it easy to find everything I need.
What’s a good brand of food processor?
Cuisinart was the first brand to bring food processors to the US from France. It’s the brand I’ve always owned. Except for my bells-and-whistle version being hard to clean, I’ve always been happy with it.
This is a great starter Cuisinart.
Why didn’t I buy an immersion blender sooner?
Stick blenders were all the rage in the 90s yet I resisted ever buying one. They looked ridiculous.
About ten years ago I decided to give it a try. I found a Cuisinart Smart Stick for less than $25 and tried it out. I’ve been smitten ever since. I am loathe to wash extra dishes and this blender makes it easy to blend without dirtying the blender or food processor.
What is an immersion blender?
An immersion blender is a hand held blender blade on a stick that can be immersed into food and blend it in a pot or bowl or the cup that comes with it.
Do you need an immersion blender?
If you blend food regularly for sauces, baby food, and purees, you will find an immersion blender very handy.
Do you need a lot of space for an immersion blender?
This is one of the few small kitchen appliances that is super easy to store. It fits in a kitchen drawer and takes up hardly any space.
What’s a good brand of immersion blender?
I’ve only owned one, a Cuisinart Smart Stick and so far it’s lasted almost ten years. I’ll be sad when it goes, but I will definitely replace it. While I love the brand, their current models are a little pricey. If I were replacing today, I’d be tempted to try this Mueller version. It gets good reviews.
A good stand mixer will stand by you.
Every home baker dreams of a stand mixer majestically poised on the counter. It’s a badge of honor, telling the world that you know your bread from your butter.
Earlier in my bread baking career I was a fan of the bread machine, but by the time we went through our fourth machine in about a dozen years, it was time to move on.
What is a stand mixer?
A stand mixer is an apparatus with a motor that you attach a mixing bowl and attachments to knead, stir, or whip. A stand mixer eliminates your need to hold any of the elements, allowing for hands free food prep.
Do you need a stand mixer?
If you bake often, a stand mixer could come in handy, especially if you bake in bulk batches.
Do you need a lot of space for a stand mixer?
A stand mixer is likely going to need dedicated counter top space. They are not small or light machines, making them difficult to move around easily or often.
What’s a good brand of a stand mixer?
I have owned two KitchenAid stand mixers. The first, a 6-quart model from Costco. We repaired it a few times, but it bit the dust after about 14 years in action.
I upgraded to the 7-quart Pro Line version a few years ago. I bake so much at one time, it made sense to get the larger model. It’s currently out of stock—and almost $200 more than I paid for it in 2018.
A hand mixer can be really handy!
What is a hand mixer?
A hand mixer is an electric beater that you hold in your hand to mix cakes and other batters. It’s handy for smaller jobs that still need a little elbow grease.
Do you need a hand mixer?
If you don’t have the space for a stand mixer, then a hand mixer will come in very handy. Additionally, there are some recipes that are too small for a stand mixer, making a hand mixer a good asset.
Do you need a lot of space for a hand mixer?
Most hand mixers and their beater attachments can fit in a kitchen drawer or cupboard, limiting the storage space needed.
What’s a good brand of hand mixer?
I have had good results with the two hand mixers I’ve owned. The first was a cheap model I bought at Kmart during college. The motor far outlived the beaters which were no longer available to replace.
The same is true for the Sunbeam I purchased on Target clearance a good ten years ago (similar to this one). The motor is holding strong while the beaters are, well, taking a beating. The rubber coating handle has started to disintegrate so Bryan wrapped it with electric tape. We’ll see how long we go!
A hot water kettle keeps things simmering.
What is a hot water kettle?
A hot water kettle is an electric hot water pot perfect for heating water without a stovetop.
Do you need a hot water kettle?
We love our hot water kettle! We’ve actually purchased pots overseas when we were traveling and taken ours on vacation domestically. It’s so handy for making hot drinks, oatmeal, soups, and other hot dishes when you’re stuck for kitchen access.
I even have one in my room so I don’t have to go downstairs to make my tea!
An electric hot water kettle also frees up space on the stove top. Most models have an automatic shutoff making them a bit safer than a stovetop kettle.
Do you need a lot of space for a hot water kettle?
A hot water kettle takes up a bit of space on the counter, but not too much.
What’s a good brand of hot water kettle?
We have had many brands of kettles, unfortunately, because they aren’t the longest lasting of small appliances. That said, we use ours multiple times a day so that could contribute to their shorter life span.
The current model we have in the kitchen is this one; We’ve had this model since 2013 that we use upstairs.
A food slicer will make it easy to slice bread, meats, and cheese.
What is a food slicer?
A food slicer is an electric machine that slices bread, cheese, meats, and other foods evenly to your desired widths.
Do you need a food slicer?
This is definitely on the low end of priorities for most home cooks, especially if yours is a small household. I purchased ours a couple years ago after I started baking all my own sourdough bread. We prefer the even slices that the food slicer makes.
Plus, I buy large deli roasts of turkey and ham at Costco and slice those on the machine as well.
If you cook for a lot of people on a regular basis, a food slicer might be a good thing to own, but it’s definitely not a priority.
Do you need a lot of space for a food slicer?
A food slicer does take up a fair amount of space. I store it on a shelf in my kitchen. My parents always stored theirs in the cabinet above the fridge.
What’s a good brand of food slicer?
I did a lot of research before I bought ours, and ended up with the now discontinued Chef’sChoice 6150000 Food Slicer. I believe this one may be similar.
We can indulge with easy grilled cheese in the Panini Press.
What is a panini press?
A panini press is a two sided grill used for pressing food, such as sandwiches, between the two plates, thereby cooking both sides at once.
Do you need a panini press?
We have had our panini press for about ten years and use it at least weekly. It makes it easy to make grilled cheese sandwiches and panini without a lot of hassle. It was a gift, so I’m not sure I would have ever bought one myself, but we do like it.
Do you need a lot of space for a panini press?
The panini press is about the size of a waffle iron. I store them together in a cubby in my kitchen.
What’s a good brand of panini press?
Our Hamilton Beach model doesn’t appear to be available anymore, but this one looks similar.
My kids use our High-speed Blender every single day.
What is a high speed blender?
A high speed blender is a ramped up blender designed to liquify foods much better than a traditional blender. Often they will come with single serve cups.
Do you need a high speed blender?
If you make a lot of smoothies, which my kids do on the daily, a high speed blender is super handy.
Do you need a lot of space for a high speed blender?
I store my blender base in the corner cabinet of the kitchen with the pitcher, all the cups, and blades nearby.
What’s a good brand of high speed blender?
There are lots of expensive blenders out there. I can’t justify the cost. I was gifted a Ninja Ultima Blender six years ago that continues to work well. It is similar to this model which I consider to be rather affordable as far as blenders are concerned.
Open cans hands-free with an Electric Can Opener.
What is an electric can opener?
An electric can opener attaches to the can and allows for hands-free opening of the can. Some models do so without leaving a sharp edge, making it a handy tool to let kids use to open cans.
Do you need an electric can opener?
My daughter rolled her eyes when I bought the Kitchen Mama last month, but I’d been honestly been struggling with our traditional can openers. The electric takes a bit longer than the traditional, when the traditional behaves, but it hadn’t been behaving for me.
Since the purchase, my daughter has agreed its value in terms of accessibility for a wide range of people, from kids to older folks to people who may have some kind of physical limitation.
Do you need a lot of space for an electric can opener?
Unlike the behemoth my parents owned in the 70s, my electric can opener fits in a drawer, so it’s super easy to store.
What’s a good brand of electric can opener?
I like the Kitchen Mama version I bought, though it doesn’t always work perfectly.
Brew a nice cuppa with a Nespresso machine
What is a Nespresso machine?
A Nespresso machine is an automatic espresso machine that uses small capsules. As a Keurig is widespread throughout the US, the Nespresso is ubiquitous throughout France.
Do you need a Nespresso machine?
Nobody needs a Nespresso machine, but they sure are fun to have! We first got interested in them during our month in France back in 2014 and treated ourselves to the Inissia model. I later looked for sales and bought Bryan one for work.
We stock up on capsules on sale. Penciled out, it runs about the same cost as our favorite ground coffee on sale.
Do you need a lot of space for a Nespresso machine?
The Nespresso machine is pretty compact and doesn’t take up much space on the counter, about the same or less than a traditional coffee maker.
The coffee maker and electric kettle are absolutely essential – where would we be without tea and coffee, our days would never get started.The espresso maker comes out every so often. The microwave and toaster oven are both used every single day. Being just 2 older folk, the toaster oven is big enough for lots of stuff. I can even bake bread in it! The hand mixer gets a lot more use than my Kitchen-Aid. The immersion blender is fabulous but there are times when only a full size blender will do. Food processor,both standard size and a mini one both have their uses whereas the electric can opener probably hasn’t been used since we lost our last cat – about 16 years ago.
I keep it so that if we get to losing strength in our hands we could still open a can – of course, I don’t use many cans anyway. The electric slicer is a godsend when I need it but I don’t need it very often. The ice cream maker, like the slow cookers, doesn’t get much use but it’s nice to have.
As far as air fryers and instant pots,they’d be fun to try but I cannot justify them, even to myself.
I’m sure I’ve missed some but we all have our favourites and what works for our own life style. Panini press or waffle maker, no way at this stage of life! Interesting reading – thanks,Jessica!
Oops, I forgot my breadmaker!
You might be my long-lost twin… I spent the first few years out of college living in France, so I definitely know how to live with a minimalist kitchen arsenal, and I also do a January pantry/freezer cleanout. I can cook my way out of the most ill-equipped vacation rental kitchen, but life does get easier with (certain) appliances. We limped along for the first few years of married life without a stand mixer and while it was just fine, I definitely found myself wanting to cook and bake more once we had one.
One item I love in our kitchen (I promise this isn’t an ad, it’s just a great appliance!) that does the task of three on your list is the Cuisinart 3-in-1 griddler. It has plates you can change out to make it a griddle, a waffle iron, and a panini press/griller. They sell it with and without the waffle plates, so you might have to buy them separately, but I think we paid less than $100 for the griddler and the waffle plates altogether. We’ve had it almost a decade and have even used it for raclette! I love how much space it saves.
The griddler sounds interesting. I wish I’d heard about it before I replaced two of those three. Will keep it in mind in the future, though. Using it for raclette is a clincher!
It’s always interesting see what other people are using most. I probably use my instant pot the most right now along with the slow cooker. I should actually go thru my slow cookers and determine the ones that aren’t getting much use. I have 4 larger – one 4qt that was my first one, 7qt manual, 7qt digital, and the casserole one. I probably use the 7qt digital and the casserole one the most. Could probably get rid of one of the others and relegate the other to ‘deep’ storage. We have a large extended family so I like to have options for keeping food warm.
I’ve been eyeing a hot water kettle, but haven’t pulled the trigger on that yet. I’ve also been looking at the air fryer/toaster oven option. It’s definitely an investment plus takes up quite a bit of space, but we’ll see what ends up happening.
I’ve got some things that need to be replaced, my griddle is older and I don’t love it. I’m not sure that I use it enough to warrant getting another although the one you linked looks awesome. Some of the reviews were talking about uneven heat so I’d be interested to hear what you have to say about it. We also have the hand held electric can opener, but I’m not sure if it’s working correctly. I need to check that out.
My biggest struggle is space and making sure that if I get something it earns it’s spot in the kitchen.
It is hard to find the space, especially if you have kids you need to be able to put things away properly. It’s a challenge here.
Our exchange in IG made me go look through my cupboards! Cooking styles influence our choices. For instance, I’ve never had a toaster oven and I don’t even know what it is used for. I have a pressure cooker but have only used it once or twice. I have a slow cooker but rarely use it (though I’m going to try your cheesecake recipe!) On a daily basis, because I cook AND bake, I use my stand mixer, hand mixer, immersion blender, microwave, thermometer. In my actual kitchen, I also have a drip coffee, a pod coffee, a kettle, waffle maker, food processor (which just blew up) mini food processor, a mandoline (does that count?), a yogurt maker. I also have a thermomix, which is a very handy tool. It replaces a lot of other tools and when used correctly, can save a lot of money! Then I have my basement. Yikes! Raclette, fondue set, dehydrator, canning equipment, sous vide wand… the list goes on.
Well, cooking in France is a whole different ball game, isn’t it? We wouldn’t need toast in France if we had baguette and croissant every day. 😉 Or you to make them for us! lol
We have a similar list
-instant pot (which also doubles as a crockpot)
-vitamix blender (from the 70s!)
-digital food scale
And I also had a vacuum sealer that recently kicked the bucket.
I do love a good kitchen appliance! I use almost all with frequency but I feel like each one will take its turn as THE item. I used to own a crockpot and it was great, but I also have an affinity for Dutch ovens so between the Dutch ovens and the instant pot I haven’t felt the need to replace it after it died.
Good point about the digital scale. I don’t think I listed that, but we use ours every day!
Well I have 12 on your list if I count the George Foreman as a panini press.
I have to say my favorites are my food processors 1 large and small(1 cup), the crock pot and the stand mixer.
I’d love a toaster oven but don’t have alot of counter space and the slicer we got while doing foster care needs to be donated to someone that would use it.
I am spoiled for counter space, that is true.
Favorite small kitchen appliances…
I have two slow cookers, one large and one smaller. They both get used all the time. I also have a Ninja foodi which lives on my counter and gets used often as well. I love that it’s both an air fryer and a pressure cooker. Sitting right next to it is another Ninja appliance – a combination high speed blender/food processor. It has three smoothie cups, a large blender jar, and a food processor jar. Very useful. Definitely love our toaster oven. Living in the south, you don’t turn on the oven in the summer. The toaster oven gets used for anything that needs baked for at least three months of the year, and for smaller jobs the rest of the time as well. Also have a microwave – built in – but it’s used frequently for reheating, defrosting, and popcorn. LOVE our electric kettle. We used to accept that they would break every year or so until this last one stopped working, we looked up some YouTube videos, and tweaked something on the bottom. I don’t want to jinx it, but… it’s been going strong ever since. Also get a lot of use out of our immersion blender and can opener.
Appliances gathering dust – a panini press, waffle iron, Instant Pot (sorry IP, but you’re not an air fryer), and an ice cream maker.
So glad you found the ones that work so well for you!
I live alone and have a very small kitchen, so have few small appliances. I had a slow cooker which I ended up giving away after I got my Instant Pot, because I can cook just about any slow cooker in it, and I like the texture of the food better. I also make yogurt in it, and it is very easy. When my toaster oven gave up the ghost, I bought an air fryer (Instant Vortex 7) and I use it all the time. I really like that it has two racks and also a rotisserie function, and the racks and drip pan slide right out to clean easily. I am tempted to buy the electric can opener because my trusty hand held opener doesn’t work well any more. I think they redesigned cans sometime in the last several years, because I bought a new opener and it was just as bad.
I’m glad to hear it’s not just me with the can opening. Seriously!
Your air fryer sounds intriguing. I looked at those when I was replacing the toaster oven, but wasn’t ready to pay the extra so we got another of the same.
My daughter turned me on to air frying. She loved it but there are five in her family and she always had to do multiple batches. After seeing mine, she gave hers to a friend and invested in one like mine. Just to give you an idea of capacity, the racks will hold a total of 8 slices of bread and the rotisserie will do a whole chicken. The other thing she didn’t like about hers was how bulky it was to clean. Mine is simple – slid the racks and drip pan out and put in dishwasher.
I have most of these items with the exception of the panini maker and the slicer. I also would add an air fryer and a food saver (vacuum sealer) to this list. My griddle is starting to show it’s age, when it finally bites the dust I’m going to check out the one you recommended. It looks amazing!!
We do have an air fryer but it’s too small to feed us all. I haven’t quite figured out how to make it work for us. And I used to have a food saver but gave it to a friend who promised I could borrow it back if I ever needed it. Turns out I never did. What do you use yours for?
I am on my fifth vacuum sealer in 32 years of marriage. When this one goes, I will be at the store the next day for one. I do a lot of freezer cooking and meal components. I have one deep freezer and two fridge/ freezers. When I see so good deal on b/s chicken, I divide it into entree size portions. I also will place it into freezer bags with marinade before doing the vacuum sealing. All ground beef is cooked with peppers, onions, and diced celery….drained and vacuumed sealed. A huge time saver on busy nights! My husband likes the port cheese balls…..so we cut in half to serve and then seal the other half for later in the month. We do the same with ring baloney. I also chopped and froze green peppers from the garden to use in our ground beef. My friend preps her twin daughters meals for a month at a time for college . Frozen flat and then stored vertical in the freezer saving space in their apartment freezer.
Love your blog….great ideas and wonderful way to save money….Thank You!
I have everything except the the electric can opener. And I have a coffee maker instead of a neppresso (& a frothier).
Wow. . .I thought I had a lot of small appliances, but I guess it just feels that way when I’m trying to organize the kitchen. For me it’s a fine line between the right tool for the job and my desire to spend little and minimize clutter.
Anyhow, the toaster oven and the food processor get the most use in my kitchen, hands down. The stand mixer/blender (Bosch) used to be used frequently, but I prefer to mix sourdough by hand and have found my food processor is better at things like creaming butter/sugar and making smooth cheesecake batter. Rounding out your list, I also have a hand mixer and immersion blender (used occasionally but indispensable when I need them) and an Instant Pot and very old slow cooker (can we still be friends if I admit I rarely use either one?). I do have a handful of other appliances, none of which would make a favorites list although I do use the coffee grinder daily (for brewing I alternate between stovetop espresso pot and pour over).
It does get cumbersome when organizing the kitchen, doesn’t it? After Crocktoberfest, I did donate two of my slow cookers and found a different storage spot for the others. That has made the cupboards much easier to navigate. FWIW, I absolutely understand that folks differ on what works for them, slow cookers included. 😉
Part of the kitchen issue is parsonage life–I don’t get to choose my house. I have a decent sized kitchen here, but I also have large family sized cookware (and corresponding number of dishes etc).
The slow cooker thing–everything my mom made had that funny slow cooker taste, so although I received one as a wedding gift I wasn’t motivated to use it from the start. On the flip side I ADORE my cast iron dutch oven so yep, I’m the follower who converts your slow cooker recipes to oven or stove top. 😉
Well, send me the conversion notes and I’ll add them to the recipe! 😉
I have pretty much all of those til you got to the panini press. At one point I had a George Foreman grill that we used for paninis and it was nice, but huge and didn’t get used very much. I think my drip coffeemaker, food processor, instant pot, vitamix (blender), stand mixer and toaster oven get the most use. I had a string of food processors with bowls breaking for a couple years and then I stopped putting the parts in the dishwasher and it’s been fine since then. I just rinse it immediately after using so it doesn’t become hard to clean.
I feel like things like this are so subjective though. I read a chapter in a book about simplicity recently that suggested having more than one vegetable peeler was redundant. I have 3. One in the style I prefer, and two in the style my kids prefer. And frequently the two of them are peeling things together. So obviously in my kitchen 3 peelers is a good thing, even if I was trying to simplify.
An interesting frugal tip I will pass on… when my kiddos were baby- preschool age my husband traveled close to two weeks every month for work. He was racking up hotel points like crazy. One time they sent us a catalog of things you could use your points for and there were small appliances! I got my vitamix with Marriott reward points. We also got a really nice Cuisinart ice cream maker that way.
Interesting point about the food processor bowls and dishwasher wear! I will keep that in mind.
I agree on the vegetable peelers. I own three as well and often they are all in use! (Justify away 😉 )
Good to know about the travel points. Thanks!
Everyone probably has a different top 10 list. I don’t have half of the items on your list and I have been cooking for a long time. I would add a toaster (if you don’t have the money, space or desire for a toaster oven). We have always had a drip coffee pot. I would also add a microwave. I never cook a meal in the microwave, but it is so convenient for the kids to reheat leftovers and meals I have made ahead of time. Now a list of my favorite kitchens would be a long list.
Honestly, I didn’t really think about the microwave because ours is attached to the house, but definitely good point. We use it for reheating all the time.