I was using one of my favorite thrifty kitchen tools the other day when a thought struck me, “I wonder if everyone out there knows what tools a thrifty family uses to save money in the kitchen?”
So if you are wondering just what kitchen tools are worth the investment and then some, you came to the right place; read on to see if you have these 15 money-saving tools in your kitchen.
15 Kitchen Tools That Will Save You Money
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1. Set Of Spatulas
A spatula has filled many a peanut butter sandwich that would have gone empty if a knife was used on the almost empty container. I don’t want to think of the hundreds of wasted pancakes that would have been washed away in the batter stage if it were not for my spatula.
Currently, I have this set of four spatulas and LOVE it. I love that the set has spatulas small enough to get into jars with narrow openings, helping me use even more food and household products to the last drop. The set is extremely durable too since they are made in one piece, meaning the spatula’s head won’t fall off.
2. Popcorn Popper
A bag of popcorn kernels is so much cheaper than buying microwave popcorn. Plus, an air popcorn popper (this is a link to the brand of popcorn popper we own) lets us decide how much butter and salt we want on it, which is healthier for us.
3. Ice Cube Trays
When the ice maker broke on our old fridge, I knew it would be fifty dollars or more to get the repair guy out to look at it, and then who knows how much more to fix it. Instead, I bought a set of 4 sturdy ice cube trays (the link goes to the exact set we own) and filled them once in the morning and once at night and we have plenty of ice without the expense of the repair.
Not only did the ice cube trays save us money on repair costs, but I noticed that our electricity bill dropped once we started using them. It has been years since I bought those ice cube trays, and they are still going strong. However, I use them in our travel trailer now instead of our home since our new fridge has a working ice maker (and yes, our electricity bill did go up again the month after we bought it and put the ice maker to use, but I lost the battle to continue using the trays).
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 soap when he did the dishes. We use foaming soap dispensers a few more ways to save money; you can read where here.
Not only is a crockpot (this is the brand we have had for years without issues) 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 crockpot can also save you money when you come home to a hot meal instead of grabbing dinner out.
6. See Through Glass Containers
I love my pyrex glass storage containers for leftovers (I also own some anchor hocking containers, but I do find their lids don’t last as long). It allows me to see what leftovers we have to eat up for lunch in a simple glance in the fridge.
Thrifty tip: You can buy replacement lids for glass pyrex containers that also fit anchor hocking containers from Amazon. You can also use silicone stretch covers. So next time you see glass storage containers at yard sales for twenty-five cents, don’t let the lack of a lid keep you from snatching them up.
7. Plenty Of Cloth Rags
My name is Victoria, and I am addicted to knitting dishcloths. However, my habit saves us money in the kitchen as I grab my ample dishcloth 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 number of paper towels we use substantially.
If you don’t knit, there are plenty of other options, including
Thrifty Tip: Our family cuts worn out bath towels, t-shirts, and sweatshirts into rags for cleaning messy spills. If the spill is not only messy, but gross, we toss the rag in the garbage after cleaning up the mess.
8. Toaster Oven
Cooking a meal just for one? Turning on the oven for a meal for one or even two can seem like a waste of electricity. Instead, I pop small meals into my toaster oven. Toaster ovens come in all shapes and sizes, from the basic four slices of toast sized model to the deluxe 6 slices of toast-sized model that not only toasts and bakes, but can also be used as an air fryer. Of course, the bigger the model, the more electricity it uses to run.
9. Bread Machine
I know some frugal folks argue that it is cheaper to make bread by hand than with a bread machine. Still, if I didn’t have my two 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.
Thrifty Tip: Bread machines are the type of appliances people buy with the best of intentions of using it, but few do. Those who don’t usually end up selling their unused bread machines in their yard sales or donating them to their local thrift stores. This is where I have picked up all of ours for a fraction of the cost of a new one. If you decide to do this, check a few things before you buy it. Make sure the loaf pan locks into position, that the dough paddle is functioning properly, and if you can, plug it in and see that it starts up. I have bought four different secondhand bread machines in the last 18 years and all worked for several years before the elements went.
10. Mixed Assortment Of Glasses
You might be scratching your head going, what does she mean by “a mixed assortment of glasses,” how will that save me money? Here is how: there are five people in my home; we have five different types of glasses (about two per person, a few have three), each person has claimed a type. Doing this has saved us a tonne on dishwashing supplies (water, 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 (i.e., the healthy child drinks out of the glass of a child with a cold).
Other ways to reduce the number of glasses used in a day
- No-slip drink bands in various colors
- Use Sharpies to write family members’ names on the glasses. (It will stay on for several washes before fading).
- Silicone Mason jar sleeves in various colors.
11. Menu Plan
Menu planning can be done in so many ways, but what matters most is that you have ingredients on hand to make dinner so you don’t end up running through the drive-thru night after night.
12. Instant Pot
Confession time, I found a like-new Instant Pot at a yard sale for a quarter of a price of a new one, but I have yet to use it. All my thrifty friends rave about how much less energy it uses and how it saves them money by allowing them to cook something up quick instead of ordering out take out on those days where things didn’t go as planned.
So I am including an Instant Pot on this list based on what my thrifty friends have told me about them and not personal experience. Hopefully, I work up the nerve to use mine soon; right now, I find it intimidating.
13. Quality Is Key
I have learned the hard way that sometimes you save money by spending more money. For instance, I went through close to half a dozen inexpensive hand mixers before spending more than double on a KitchenAid hand mixer. It has lasted three times as long as my inexpensive ones and is still kicking.
14. Grater (But Not For What You Might Think)
A boxed style grater is a thrifty classic in the kitchen, but not just for its ability to grate bulk priced cheese. Graters can save you money by rescuing that batch of cookies that are slightly burnt on the bottom–run them over the grater a few times and the burnt part is gone. This idea also works with muffins, toast, and other baked goods.
15. Basic Ingredients For Quick Meals
Meal planning is a great money-saving tip, but there is one more thrifty trick you need to know to avoid the price ouch of unplanned trips through drive-thru–quick back-up meals.
Here is my list of 20 quick meals using basic ingredients you can keep in your pantry for those days that you can’t possibly make that roast chicken with veggies because the baby has caught a tummy bug or other unplanned events. You can use my list to make up your own list of three or so quick meals your family likes and then keep ingredients for them on hand and when you use them, be sure to replace them.
3 Ways Thrifty People Purchase Kitchen Tools For Less Money
Gift Cards Earned Through Point Programs
Did you know you can earn gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more through point programs like Swagbucks and Prize Rebel? And you can use these to purchase the kitchen tools you need when on sale and using a browser tool for a thrifty savings stack. These types of programs and more like them are great ways to stretch your budget further.
I have the browser tools of these three companies below installed on my computer and each month they save me money. It might not be much per order, although sometimes it is; over the course of a year, I save at least a hundred dollars or more.
If you frequently shop online, get the Rakuten browser tool, it makes it easy to start earning cash back at all qualifying websites. Rakuten does have a $5 cash out threshold, and it does only give out payments each quarter, but it is well worth using. I have received as much as $15 in cash back from one order. Go here to sign-up for Rakuten.
Mr. Rebates doesn’t seem to get mentioned by many other bloggers and I am not sure why, as it is a great program. You need to have a balance of $10 to cash out, but once you do, you can cash out at any time. Go here to sign up for Mr.Rebates.
Honey has saved me so much money! On average, it saves me $10 for each website that it can find me a promo code for. And the best part is that it is instant savings– you don’t have to wait for cash back with Honey (unless you use the Honey Points cash back area, which I don’t tend to). Honey has a browser app too, which makes applying a promo code a breeze; in fact, at many sites Honey can enter the promo code for you with just one click. Go here to sign up for Honey.
Yard Sales And Thrift Stores
Thrifty people like myself love yard sales, and I often find small appliances such as bread machines still in great shape for 10% of the cost of new. I have also bought small appliances in like-new shape at thrift stores for much lower than I could purchase them new even with stacking savings. I found this red cast iron dutch oven in brand new shape at a thrift store for one quarter of the lowest sale price on Amazon.
I hope you found a few thrifty kitchen gems on this list that will save you money in the kitchen.
What are your favorite thrifty kitchen items? Please share them with me in the comments below!
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
Would you like more thrifty tips? Join my Thrifty People Of Snail Pace Transformations Facebook page, where I share tips for saving and earning money.
Three More Posts That Will Save You Money In The Kitchen
- 10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Groceries
- 20 Quick & Simple Dinner Ideas That Will Help You Avoid The Drive-Thru
- Step By Step Grocery Shopping With A Thrifty Person