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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Small Kitchen Appliances

Frugal Kitchens 101

Looking back on my culinary adventures over the years I can honestly say I wish I knew then what I know now.  There are so many small kitchen appliances out there that end up being used a couple of times then are discarded.  While they are waiting to be discarded they take up valuable storage space.  What a waste!  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 is my list of small kitchen appliances that I've used and my views on them.  I will qualify my list in that I prefer multi-purpose small appliances and don't like small electrical appliances sitting on my countertop.

  • breadmaker/bread machine - This single use appliance is quite useful but takes up valuable counter space.  It's great to use just on dough setting then bake in the oven.  It really limits how much bread you can make at one time.  I no longer use a breadmaker.
  • electric can opener - I've had three electric can openers all totally worthless!  In hind sight I should have bought a good quality manual model like I now have rather than waste my time and money on electric models. 
  • electric knife - I've seen them, used them but have never had one and don't feel a need for one.
  • stand mixer - A stand mixer with attachments is one of the most frugal purchases I made.  My only regret is I did not buy one sooner.
  • yogurt maker - I have a very old, individual 5 c yogurt maker that I love.  It sees regular use and saves me money plus it was bought used for about $1 so has been and continues to be a very frugal choice.
  • toaster - We went through 2 then went without never missing it but now have one that sits in a cupboard until needed.
  • toaster oven - This is one of those appliances that takes up room on a countertop with little payback.  I had a used one to try out but didn't like it and have no desire for one.
  • rice maker - This is one of my must have appliances.  I get good, consistent results every time.
  • slow cooker  - I have 3 slow cookers used mainly for entertaining and bulk cooking.  They are still a frugal choice even though they don't get a lot of use.
  • countertop roaster - I have a 6.5 qt countertop roaster that sees a lot of use.  It does a wonderful job without heating the kitchen.  I absolutely love mine.
  • food processor - I have a dying food processor that has served me well.  I have no plans to replace it when it finally dies although I did by extra attachments for my stand mixer to take over the food processor's role.
  • countertop grill - I've had 3 of these units and still have one even though I have the grill cartridge for my stove.  These units are good for additional grill space when entertaining but also for those who can't grill outdoors.  Despite having both indoor and outdoor grill capabilities the countertop grill still sees use.
  • large surface flat griddle - We thought this would be an appliance we would not use yet it gets a lot of use and not just for breakfast foods!  This is one very well worth appliance.
  • blender - This is a must have even though the use is not consistent.  
  • percolator - We have a circa 1960's percolator bought used for about $2 in use daily.  It makes awesome coffee!
  • coffee grinder - We love our coffees so a coffee grinder is a must have.  
  • espresso maker - In our household this is a must have!  I can make all kinds of fancy coffees at home whenever I want without paying those high prices at the coffee shops.
  • deep fryer - We are now on our fifth deep fryer if my calculations are right.  This time we bought a self filtering, stainless steel model that should last considerably longer than the cheaper ones.
  • vacuum food saver - Hands down this is one of my most frugal small appliances.  It saves on food storage both dried and frozen extending the life of those foods.  
  • stick blender - At first I did not embrace this kitchen appliance but  it is now a valuable appliance in my kitchen for soup and sauce making.
  • electric kettle - I did not use an electric kettle until about 4 years ago.  It is invaluable when canning much quicker than a kettle on a burner.


3 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

It's amazing what i have learned about need since I made a temporary move... 6 months or more without the gadgets... all i really need is a mini chopper. the rest is just nice

easy home cooked meals said...

Nice thinking kept it on

Nazia Rauf said...

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