10 Kitchen Tools Thrifty People Own

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I was using one of my favorite thrifty kitchen tools in the kitchen the other day when a thought  struck me “I wonder if I could list 10 kitchen tools I own that are thrifty in nature”, and so this post was born.

10 kitchen tools that will save you money

10 Kitchen Tools Thrifty People Own

spatula1. A Spatula

A spatula has filled many a peanut butter sandwich that would have gone empty if filled with a knife that isn’t able to get into the edges of the bottom of the jar like a spatula. I don’t want to think of the 100’s of wasted pancakes that would have been washed away in the batter stage if it were not for my spatula.

popcorn popper (small)

2. Popcorn Popper

A bag of popcorn kernels is so much cheaper than buying microwave popcorn. Plus our air popcorn popper (this is a link to the exact popcorn popper we own and I LOVE it) lets us decide how much butter and salt we want on it which is healthier for us.

ice cube trays3. Ice cube trays

When the ice maker broke on our fridge, I knew it was going to be $50 just to get the repair guy out to look at it and then who knows how much more to fix it . Instead I spent just under $14 on a set of 4 ice cube trays ( link to the exact set we own) and fill them once in the morning and once at night in hot weather and we have plenty of ice without the expense of the repair.

foaming soap dispensers (small)4. Foaming Soap Dispenser

We use and refill a foaming soap dispenser for the dishes we wash by hand. This saves our family $100 a year as our teenager was using way too much of soap when he did the dishes.

crock pot5. Crock Pot

Not only is a crock pot (link goes to same brand as ours but not a product match) energy efficient but it can also make an inexpensive yet tough piece of meat soft and tender. If you face a busy day ahead a crock pot can also save you money when you come home to a hot meal instead of grabbing dinner out.

glass kitchen containers

6. See through glass containers for leftovers

I love my pyrex glass wear  for leftovers ( I also own some anchor wear containers, but I do find their lids don’t last as long). It allows me to see in a simple glance in the fridge what leftovers we have to eat up for lunch.

dish cloths

7. Plenty of cloth rags for spills

My name is Victoria and I am addicted to knitting dish cloths. However my habit saves us money in the kitchen as I grab my ample dish cloth supply  to clean up spills instead of paper towels. No we are not a 100% paper towel free home but having a good supply of cloth rags to clean up spills does reduce the amount of paper towels we use substantially.

toaster oven

8.  Toaster oven

Cooking a meal just for one? The oven is so expensive to heat up for one chicken breast and a lonely baked potato. Instead I pop them in my toaster oven (link goes to our prior model that we had for years and years before our current model,and I am going back to it once our current one dies). Great to do enough toast for a family too.

bread machine

9.Bread machine

I know some frugal folks will argue with me that it is even cheaper to make bread by hand than with a bread machine (link goes to same brand as one of ours but not same model), but if I didn’t have my 2 machines (yes two) I would not make all the different bread items I make to feed my family since my machine does all the work for me; except baking it, I do that part. (for tips on getting the most use out of your bread machine visit my bread machine tips page)

drinking glasses

10. A mixed assortment of glasses

You might be scratching your head going, what does she mean “a mixed assortment of glasses”, how will that save me money.  Here is how there are 5 people in my home, we have 5 different types of glasses (about 2 per person a few have 3), each person has claimed a type. Doing this has  saved us  a tonne on dish washing supplies (water and soap, and electricity to run the dishwasher). Each person gets out a clean glass in their style in the morning and keeps it for the day. No more wondering whose glass is whose and then putting them in the dishwasher after just one use to avoid cross contamination (ie; healthy child drinks out of glass of child with a cold).

3 ways thrifty people purchase kitchen tools for less

3 Ways Thrifty People Purchase Kitchen Tools

Gift Cards Earned Through Point Programs

Thrifty people earn  gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, Target and more through point programs like Swagbucks and Prize Rebel and use these to purchase the kitchen tools they need . These  types of programs and more like them are great ways to stretch your budget further.

Discounted Gift Cards

Thrifty people purchase discounted gift cards from Cardpool or Raise.com to stores where kitchen tools are sold and use them to save anywhere from 2 percent to as much as 20 percent on their purchases before they even walk into the store.

Yard sales

Thrifty people love yard sales and often find small appliances such as bread machines still in great shape for 10% of the cost of new.

What are you favorite thrifty kitchen items? Share them with me in the comments below!

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  1. I was curious what would be on your list. I do have most of them, but don’t or wouldn’t use a few of them. My kitchen is extremely small, so I have to be choosey what goes into my kitchen. I do like the idea of certain glasses for all day. That’s how it is in our house (we all have our own Tervis with lid because we are all incredibly clutsy) & we had the same thing growing up. But growing up it was “which color Tupperware tumbler was yours for the day.” 🙂

    • Yes I am extremely blessed to have a double row of upper cabinets in my kitchen, it allows me to store a lot more small appliances than what would fit in an average kitchen. I think my tumbler color growing up was red, now that I think of it!

    • For the past 25 years, my household has used a rubber band method of marking cups. Because many of my cups and glasses are in matching sets, and because I often have an expanded population in my home (day care, friends, Bible study), this has turned out to be the most flexible option.

      Each person chooses a combination of color, width and number to designate their cup. It could be just 3 yellow bands or a red and a blue. Others pick 2 wide and one skinny, with particular colors or not.

      This has worked great because the rubber bands actually add grip to the cups, are cheap and easy to remove/add, make it obvious that glass is “claimed”, easily explained and implemented by even the young, can stay on in the dishwasher or for hand washing, leaves no residue, can even be artistic and, finally, it is almost infinitely expandable for even large groups.

  2. Do you have a pattern that you use and love for your cloth rags? A yarn in particular that you like?

    • I LOVE Bernat cotton for my wash rags, but a close second is Sugars & Creme cotton. I use a simple pattern that I am guessing is available on the Bernat website, I know it is also printed on the side of their labels a lot as well.

  3. Rebecca Dula says:

    I love all your choices. Instead of glass glasses, our family invested in Tervis cups with everyone’s first initial on them and a different colored lid. Works perfect for our family and the cups have a lifetime guarantee.

  4. All so true- love this! My toaster oven handles small casseroles and pizzas; and that and the slow cooker and electric wok save on the gas bill. They also make for less heat in the kitchen in summer. A yard sale bread machine lasted 2 years, so after it broke I started mixing dough in the KitchenAid stand mixer that we already owned. Tossing the broken machine made for less clutter, so it all worked out for us. I won $25 and used it to purchase a grating/slicing attachment for the mixer from ebay- freezing sliced garden veggies and grating from Sam’s Club cheese blocks is so easy now. My dream? A meat slicer to slice our own deli meat!

    • My mother in law had meat slicer when all her kids were home, it does save money especially if you have a large family.

    • I agree that a hand grater is a very thrifty tool. I don’t buy shredded cheese because it is more expensive, is coated in ingredients to keep it from sticking together and it goes bad faster. It takes just a few seconds to grate some cheese off of a block when you need shredded cheese.

  5. Oh, and I’m glad I’m not the only one addicted to making (crocheting, for me) cloths! I can’t find it in me to crochet anything else, but I must try….

    • That is my problem too! I am addicted to knitting dishcloths I give them as gifts, use them ourselves and even sell some. I love that they are so easy to complete in a short amount of time, I don’t have the energy to attack something more difficult most days.

      • The Internet has lots of dishcloth patterns, but plain old garter or seed stitch works. Cast on 30 sts.and use size 7 or 8 needles. For crochet, chain 32, then do rows of sc or half double, back loops only to make some ridges, H. Hook, until the cloth is square. I give them for hostess and teacher gifts, and set out a basket of them tied in ribbons for Christmas gifts for parties, work, doctor’s offices, etc. Everybody loves them.

        • Yes my dishcloths are garter stitch. I give them as gives all the time too. You are right everyone loves them in fact some after they have gotten a few as a gift will come to me and ask them if they can pay me to knit them more. Which I am happy to do, it keeps me in yarn.

  6. A friend of mine who has 6 kids solved the glass problem by making a decorated placemat (regular paper laminated) with everyone’s name on it for their cup. We ended up making one not only for our family but also for guest … instead of names for the guest placemat, we did pictures like a turtle, butterfly, cat, etc.

  7. Hello,
    I love your list and I would like to add to it. Ice cube trays are also great for freezing leftovers in individual serving sizes for less waste (ex. pasta sauce, pesto, herbs, etc)
    Thanks for sharing,

  8. I love the tip about the random assortment of glasses. Even better, you could easily pick up small groups of glasses at thrift stores since you don’t need a ton of them.

    I know it’s not exactly thrifty because the initial purchase was expensive, but I bought a double oven with a small top oven big enough for casseroles and a larger bottom oven perfect for the turkey or cooking multiple dishes on 2 racks. About 99% of the time, I use the top oven and since it is so small, it preheats really fast and takes less energy to keep it at the proper temperature.

  9. What a great list of kitchen tools and ideas! We do the same thing in our house with glasses! No more washing 50 glasses every day! I have a frugal link party that runs on Fridays and I would love it if you would drop this and more off! I leave the links up for about a month so that a lot of people can see them! I also pin each post! I hope to see you there – FeedingBig.com

  10. I LOVE my rubber spatula!!! Instead of a crock pot, I’ve started using a pressure cooker, which uses very little energy! I don’t own a popcorn popper either, I pop popcorn in a heavy bottom pot.

  11. My new favorite thrifty item is a handcranked pasta machine: for a $35 investment, I can now make fresh pasta at home in a few minutes for pennies per serving. YUM!

  12. Danielle Hull says:

    We use these ABC silicone drink markers for our drinking glasses! Because we would have to have 8 different styles of glasses 😉 http://www.amazon.com/Kikkerland-Glow-Graffiti-Drink-Markers/dp/B00ECDL8Q6/ref=sr_1_55?ie=UTF8&qid=1397356212&sr=8-55&keywords=kikkerland+silicone

  13. With a family of 7, I regularly cook for 10-15, and the best money saver I’ve ever found was a stash of disposable entree sized plastic containers. While I’m still sitting at the table and the kids are clearing dishes, I pack the leftovers into individual dinners and pop them all in the freezer. With a constant supply of homemade frozen dinners, the entire family enjoys school lunches that are the envy of everyone within smelling distance, and busy nights or nights when I just don’t feel like cooking, each kid can choose from a menu that rivals most restaurants. No one is going to dig through the fridge to assemble a plate of roast beef dinner leftovers. But they’ll grab a frozen dinner, pop it in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, and be eating like kings! The disposable containers, all the same size, are easily stored – and I don’t get too put out over the ones that don’t make it back home.

  14. I bought a bread machine at a thrift store for $10 (It had never been used). I am amazed at how much I use it! I make my own pizza crusts for family pizza nights. I make my own bakery quality cinnamon rolls. I haven’t purchased dinner rolls in months. I even make slider buns for bbq chicken sandwiches (The chicken is made in the slow cooker.) One other thrifty tool I use is a rectangular plastic deviled egg container with a lid. It holds 20 eggs. Use it for boiled eggs instead of deviled for lunches, snacks, breakfasts, etc.

  15. This is the first time I heard about using different styles of glasses per family member. What a great idea. My only question is why did you spend so much on ice cube trays? You can get them for a fraction of that price at pretty much any store. Heck you can even get them at the dollar store.

    • Victoria says:

      I had some from the dollar store my teens broke them in half within a week. So then I started researching “sturdy ice cube trays” and the Rubbermaid ones were the least expensive option.

  16. We have six in our family. Similar solution for glassware. We have a bag of colored rubber bands. Everyone claims colors

  17. The electric ice maker in the fridge is an energy sink hole too.

  18. Love the thing about the glasses. My husband and I each keep our own style glass by the sink and use it all day. Much better than using 6 glasses a day for 2 people!

  19. Yay a spatula lover! They are so good. Although the kids aren’t too happy when I use it after making a cake.

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