Cooking is a great way to connect with loved ones and save a little money while you’re at it. But home food prep can become less affordable when you consider all the kitchen tools you need to put a meal together. While we always prefer quality over quantity every time, there are a few shortcuts you can take to save cash when it comes to kitchen tools. Take a look at five items where you can save and five where you should splurge– you’ll have a chef-worthy kitchen in no time!
Mixing Bowls: No need for fancy ceramic bowls here. A set of simple, stainless steel bowls will provide you with the mixing space you need and also resist bacteria buildup. Bonus? They also perfect for a lunchtime salad or gigantic bowl of cereal.
Baking Sheets: Baking sheets are prone to food buildup, so no need to purchase expensive ones that will lose their luster quickly anyway. Pro tip: use a topper like aluminum foil or a Silpat sheet to preserve the smooth surface.
Spatula: Even the most expensive spatulas are still relatively affordable, but since these don’t get much wear and tear, an inexpensive model will last!
Colander: Whether for draining pasta or rinsing fruit and vegetables, this smart tool doesn’t have to be a splurge. Any model will do, although we recommend stainless steel over plastic for its antibacterial properties.
Nonstick pan: This is a kitchen workhorse, meaning that it’ll accumulate wear and tear quickly. It’s best to replace the pan as it wears (evidence suggests the nonstick coating can have carcinogenic properties as the coating breaks down).
Stainless Steel Skillet: Unlike a nonstick pan, this is a kitchen necessity where you can (and should) spend a little extra. These pans are good for everything from pancakes and eggs to steaks and chicken – and since they don’t have a coating, it’s better to get a high-quality pan that will last and last.
Cutting Board: A teak wood cutting board is an incredible kitchen tool. Instead of a cheap plastic board, teak wood boards are easier on your knives and also limit bacteria – even if any sinks into the wood, it can’t survive inside (unlike a plastic board where bacteria can hang out on top).
Food processor: The right food processor will make you a whiz in the kitchen. The key here is to opt for a quality processor that actually does the job. Cheaper models often don’t process the food properly and are prone to breaking quickly.
Storage containers: Hear us out – it might be tempting to buy cheap, plastic storage containers, but consider spending a little extra on quality containers that won’t crack, are BPA free, and are microwave safe. Brands like Tupperware and Pyrex are a good place to start.
Olive Oil: Did you know that a high percentage of olive oils available for purchase are actually fraudulent? Oils of inferior quality are being passed off as extra virgin olive oil. Instead, reach for real, high-end oils or go for a happy medium with Whole Foods California 365 – it’s “real” olive oil at a more digestible price point.