If you’re a frugal mama, you probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So much of living on a tight budget is making a lot of your own items. Most of those items seem to be food. With all that time spent in the kitchen, you’re probably wondering what are the best frugal kitchen tools. You want to be able to make the most of your DIY kitchen work but you also don’t want to spend money on a tool that isn’t going to be worth it or breaks too quickly. You also want tools that do more than one things. Single purpose tools often aren’t worth the expense or drawer space. With all that in mind, here is a list of the best frugal kitchen tools for a “make it from scratch” home chef.
Best Frugal Kitchen Tools
What list of kitchen tools would be complete without a food processor? These can do so much! You can use it to make pie dough, shred cheese, make your own brown sugar (1 cup of white sugar + 1 tablespoon of molasses), even make your own baby food. The thing to look for is to make sure your food processor comes with the shredding discs, not just the blade. That makes it do so much more. You may find you don’t even need a full sized blender anymore.
These are good for more than just baking. The littlest ones are great for getting the last of something out of a jar. We can usually get one more peanut butter sandwich out of a jar of peanut butter by using a rubber spatula. A bigger size if good for scraping all the rice out of the pot or when you are packing up leftovers. They can just get up so much more than a spoon. Make sure you don’t get the cheapest ones as they often bend when you really try to scrape something.
My personal favorite is the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I love all the attachments you can buy for them. We have a grinder attachment that came in really handy when my husband still hunted. It was perfect for making ground venison. My mom uses hers to grind of whole cranberries when she makes cranberry relish. There’s a pasta maker attachment and even a bowl to make ice cream. Even if you don’t use the attachments, a stand mixer is a perfect addition to any frugal kitchen. It is so much easier to make bread and other baked goods when you don’t have to mix by hand or hold a hand mixer.
With all the bulk cooking you are doing, freezer bags come in really handy. Make sure you have both quart and gallon sizes on hand. Sometimes you will make a little too much rice and can pop it in a quart bag and stick in the freezer for a different meal. Or maybe you made a big batch of cookies or muffins and want to freeze some. Gallon sized freezer bags are perfect for this. Not to mention freezer bags are perfect for breaking up big packages of meat to put into the freezer.
Metal measuring cups and spoons
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Why metal cups not plastic? Because plastic ones usually have the measurement painted on. If you are making most of your own foods, you will be using your cups and spoons a lot. Which means you will be washing them a lot. Washing wears the paint off. The metal ones are stamped/engraved right into the cup or spoon. Metal ones will last you quite a bit longer than plastic ones. Yes, more money up front, but in the end, you will be saving money from not having to replace them for many, many years.
Yes, this is big. But it is still a tool! A lot of frugal cooking involves using the freezer, especially if don’t want to can produce and such if you have a garden. You don’t need anything major but something more than just the one with your refrigerator would be ideal. They come in lots of different sizes. The size you need depends on your family and how much you plan to freeze. My advice would be, if you are looking at a really small one, go up one size. You will find that you will fill it.
Lastly, we have the slow cooker. I cannot speak highly enough of the slow cooker. I take fitness classes two nights a week and am not home to make dinner. The slow cooker saves the night much of the time, which keeps us from just using something like frozen pizza (which does have it’s place). It’s also great for doing things like cooking dry beans or making applesauce/apple butter or even browning a bunch of ground beef at once.
Frugal kitchen tools are an absolute must if you are trying to stretch your budget by making most things from scratch. These tools aren’t frugal in the sense that they are inexpensive. These are the things that you are going to use day in and day out. They are the kitchen tools that are going to do the most for you and help make your time in the kitchen easier and go more smoothly. Which, in turn, makes you more productive. If you have any favorite kitchen tools, be sure to share it in the comments!