Saving money on your household budget often starts in the kitchen. Any time you can prepare your own food and drinks, you’ll see savings. But with a busy schedule, the time, effort and creativity needed to hone your kitchen skills may be in short supply. That’s where these small appliances come in. They can bridge the gap and help you prepare delicious food and drinks quickly, with minimal effort. Your lifestyle and eating habits will determine which ones you choose. Here are 7 small appliances that can help you save money:
From drip coffee makers to single serve brewers to cold brew kits, there’s an almost endless amount of ways to make your morning cup of Joe. And the best news? All of them will save you money over hitting your favorite coffee shop’s drive-thru 5 days a week. Sure, there will be times when you want to treat yourself to something special you can’t make at home. But those days should be the exception, not the rule.
If you buy food in bulk with good intentions, only to end up throwing it away because it goes bad, a vacuum sealer is perfect for you. You can use it to bag and freeze leftovers like soup, stew and chili, or to freeze fresh meat, chicken and fish to protect it from freezer burn. You’ll be amazed at how much less food you waste (and how much money you save) when you start using a vacuum sealer.
Every kitchen needs a good blender. Of course, there are the obvious uses, such as making healthy smoothies, tasty frozen cocktails or indulgent milkshakes. But you can also use it to mix batter for pancakes, waffles and muffins, blend cream soups, pudding and sauces, as well as to chop fresh herbs and even grind coffee beans.
When you’re too tired to cook dinner, it’s easy to rely on take-out multiple nights a week. A slow cooker changes all that. Imagine throwing in your ingredients, turning it on and coming home to the aroma of a delicious, perfectly cooked meal. It really doesn’t get much easier! Plus, you can use it for big batches of hot cocoa and cider during the holidays. It’s great for keeping party food warm, too.
Don’t have the time or patience to wait for the oven to preheat? A toaster oven is your answer. It’s great for reheating leftovers, heating frozen meals and of course, making toast. Because the heat is contained in a small area, food cooks quickly. And you avoid the expense of heating up a large oven just to cook a small amount.
White and brown rice are low-cost, high-yield pantry staples. But cooking rice so it’s just right can be tricky. A rice cooker gets it right every time, so there’s no waste. Plus, although it’s called a rice cooker, you can use it to cook other grains, like quinoa, couscous and oatmeal. You can also use it to steam vegetables and make soups or stews.
Have a weakness for fast food fries or crispy wings? You’ll want to add an air fryer to your kitchen. Instead of using hot oil, it uses a fan to circulate super-hot air around food to leave it crispy and delicious, but without any added fat. Air fryers are great for getting all kinds of food hot and crisp, including frozen French fries and tater tots, frozen battered fish and hash browns. You can also use an air fryer to quickly roast vegetables and potatoes.