Cooking at home is one of the most frugal habits you can develop. Once you understand how to save money on groceries, you actually have to use them, right? When I started learning to cook, Jacob and I decided that we wanted to continually eat healthy meals, and that meant I had a lot of learning to do! Not only were the meals to be healthy, but also low cost. And so began my journey to building my frugal kitchen.
I was never really into the whole cooking scene. It was just a little too domestic and boring for me when I was younger. But, as I’ve grown up, I’ve found my inner 50’s wife and embraced her wholeheartedly. Turns out she’s a pretty creative, sassy, and down-to-earth chick and we hang out on the regular. She wears polka dot dresses, and I choose gym shorts, but it’s whatever.
Since I’m a total noob to this whole kitchen thing, sometimes I shoot for the stars without realizing I’m cooking way outside my skill level. Like, when I very first started cooking, I saw Giada on the Food Network and I thought I could replicate her dishes. She made it look so easy!
I was in love with Giada. She is gorgeous, has a house on the beach and a cute-as- can- be baby, and lastly and most importantly, she’s a boss in the kitchen. When I say in love, I mean, I just wanted to live her life. If I didn’t say she was an inspiration for me to get in the kitchen, I’d be lying.
So, when I was inspired after watching the Food Network, I would try my hand at it. Just ask Jacob- some were winners, and some, well, let’s just say that for the first time in his life, he wished we could afford a dog so he could feed the meal to it while I wasn’t looking.
However, for those meals that tasted like Giada was in the kitchen cooking for me, I have some special people ahem…I mean appliances and kitchen tools to thank, and without which, I wouldn’t be the inner 50′s wife I am today.
Silicone baking cups: These suckers are amazing. Never worry about greasing your cupcake/muffin tins again. No matter what you put into these little cups of joy, they pop right out with little to no prodding. This is a frugal investment because I never EVER waste any of my muffin, biscuit, or cupcake batter. Every last crumb comes out cleanly. Not to mention, I never have to use butter/coconut oil to grease the muffin tins and I won’t ever have to buy the paper or foil baking cups again.
Juicer: This masticating juicer is a thing of beauty and we were really thankful to receive it as a wedding gift. It’s super easy to clean and a child could figure out how to use it. We make all our own fruit and vegetable juices, limeades, lemonades, and ciders. The reason this appliance is so frugal is because we never pay for watered down, sugared up, preservative infested juices and we only use fruit and vegetables that are on sale for the week. It is an expensive investment, but it’s a quality product and the huge warranty backs that up.
Mixer: I have wanted a Kitchenaid mixer for half my life. It was the #1 thing on my wedding registry and I use it almost every day. It is so easy to clean and use. The reason this beauty is a frugal buy is because we will never have to buy another one for the rest of our lives. In this instance, quality is high, so need for a replacement is moot.
Microwave: Yes, yes. I occasionally use the microwave to defrost meat or soften butter. I don’t cook with the microwave, but it’s been nice to have around. Our microwave is a frugal find because Jacob, the deal master, bought it for $3 at a garage sale. Don’t dare pay retail for one of these!
Blender/Food Processor: Kefir smoothies, salsa, chopped veggies, green smoothies, and milkshakes are just a few of the delicacies we’ve prepared in our Ninja blender. We use our blender almost every day. After 18 months of use, the motor is still strong, and the blades still sharp. This belongs in our frugal kitchen because it is great quality and will last us a long time. It has already outlasted two $17 Walmart blenders.
Jars: Jacob and I like our food to taste good, which generally means adding spices of all kinds. We have been ordering spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and curry online, but once I opened them, what was I to do with the messy bags? These cute little jars we got for free from a lady in the town we live. We never saw her. She simply left her glass jars on the porch and let us know they were ready for pickup. Pretty slick, eh? Yeah, that’s my husband for you. He found them on a website called Freecycle. Its kinda like Craigslist, except stuff is free.
So, there you have it. This has been a peak inside my frugal kitchen. I’d love to know what’s sitting on your counters and in your cabinets that will make me green with money saving envy. Give me a shout out and let me know what other products I should be using in my frugal kitchen.