Many frugal people are also minimalists. In some ways we are minimalists, but when it comes to kitchen appliances you might think otherwise. While some people avoid kitchen appliances that take up space and only perform one function, we have found that many of those kitchen appliances save us money. They are worth their space in gold!
Here’s our list of kitchen appliances that are worth their space in gold.
When we received our Food Processor as a wedding gift, I had no idea how much we would love it. I had never really used a food processor before, so I didn’t know what I was missing. Unfortunately for you, the model I have, which we affectionately call “Gonzo,” is no longer made.
We use our food processor when we puree tomatoes to can, when we puree pumpkpin to freeze, when I grate zucchini, when I grate cheese in bulk, when I make homemade laundry detergent, and when I want thin slices of zucchini, carrots, potatoes, just to name a few!
Since we started having Cold Cereal Sundays instead of having cold cereal everyday, pancakes and French toast became staples. The griddle allows me to cook a lot more at once than I could do in a pan. We made sure to get a griddle that can handle 8 pancakes at a time. Using the griddle and my homemade pancake mix, we can whip up pancakes in no time flat, which saves loads of money.
I use my Blendtec to make green smoothies nearly every night. I’ve talked about how we made our regular blender last for a year of green smoothies before we upgraded. We really, really love our Blendtec. Besides smoothies, we use it for purees, soups, eggs, and frozen treats.
Unlike other blenders, it grinds wheat. My sister doesn’t have a wheat grinder so she mixes her pancake batter, wheat berries and all, in the blender. The Blendtec makes nut butters as well. I love that is has pre-programed cycles, so I can just press one button and the blender adjusts the speed to go through the appropriate cycle. It has a greater capacity than our other blender which is great since I’m blending for five smoothie-lovers. With it’s flat sides, it is a cinch to clean. You can read more about how we eat healthy and save money with our Blendtec.
Rice is the epitome of frugal foods. It is a staple for most of the world. We love including rice in our menu, but making rice on the stove is not our forte. Even when I watch it like a hawk, I still end up with the rice at the bottom of the pan burned or congealed together. With the wise use of a gift card, we got a Rice Cookerabout 5 years ago and it has made all the difference.
Besides allowing us to eat ever-frugal rice, the rice cooker also steams veggies. Just stick the veggies in the steaming basket on top of the rice for the last 10 minutes of the rice cycle and you’ll have perfectly steamed veggies! Our rice cooker also has a delay timer, so our rice can be ready for us right when we want it.
Making home-cooked meals can be difficult for people who work. After a long day of work, the idea of cooking from scratch might not sound like much fun. A slow cooker changes all that. Crock pot meals involve tossing all the ingredients in the pot and plugging it in. When you get home from work or a busy day of errands, dinner is waiting for you. Using a slow cooker will save you again and again as you eat at home instead of ordering take-out.
In addition to making whole meals ahead of time, I use my slow cooker to make homemade yogurt. I can make a gallon of yogurt at a time! I also cook beans in bulk in my crock pot. I freeze them in can-sized portions. It’s much cheaper than canned beans and doesn’t have any weird preservatives!
If you don’t have a crock pot, check out a yard sale or thrift store. Better yet, ask some newlyweds. They probably have several!
Ever since we got serious about paying off our student loan debt, I have been making all of our bread from scratch. A while back, we bought about a year’s supply of wheat at a good price. We store it under our bed which is raised up on cinder blocks (you do what you can when you live in a basement). Needless to say, our wheat mill has played an integral part in making our own bread.
This is a bonus, because it’s an appliance we don’t actually have… yet. My kids love popcorn, but we don’t eat it very often. Our friends have a Stir Crazy popcorn popper that is pretty amazing! I am on the lookout to find one at a yard sale or thrift store.
Even in our small basement kitchen, everything has a place. Besides these money-saving appliances, there’s also all of our canning equipment! I thought about including those items too, because they save us loads of money, but since they don’t plug in they aren’t really appliances. You can read about a few of our favorites here.
What about you?
- Are you a kitchen appliance minimalist?
- What are your favorite kitchen appliances that help your family save money?
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