Most of us have a kitchen (or storage space) filled with kitchen gadgets. They accumulate like dust bunnies and most of the time we go out of our way to avoid them. Since I discovered that cooking meals from scratch saves serious money, I’ve dusted these gadgets off and figured out how to actually use them
My two favorites are my crock pot and my bread maker. I now use them several times a week and the amount of money I save because of them is amazing!
When you think of the crock pot you might think of your childhood family get togethers, with all the elderly relatives hauling their large crock pots around and everyone making meatballs I received one as a gift several years ago (yes from a grandma), and I never took it out of the box till last fall. I had no idea what to do with it so I jumped online and realized that the crock pot is seriously the wonder tool of the kitchen. This thing can make everything from yogurt and applesauce, to bread and ham! And they’re ridiculously easy to use-plug in, dump ingredients in, come back 4-8 hours later and complete meals have been made!
The recipes are also endless for the crock pot. I love the large Crock Pot thread in the Kitchen Forum here on Diaper Swappers. I also love A Year of Slow Cooking and the crock pot section of Recipezaar. Last night we had Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Tater Tot Crock Pot Bake -it cost $7 to make and it was enough food for two meals which equals $3.50 per meal, to feed a family of five! I paired it with super easy Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits and fresh fruit-super yummy and cheap!
Bread makers are a gadget that are coming back in style and I love what I can do with mine. I used to spend quite a bit of money each week on pre-made dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and pizza crusts but now I use my bread maker and make better tasting versions for a fraction of the cost. I’m still exploring all the ways I can use my bread maker but so far my family’s favorite is cinnamon rolls (I skip the frosting and just mix a bit of milk and powder sugar together to make a glaze). Bread makers are great for making doughs that can be used for a variety of things.
What kitchen gadgets do you have collecting dust in your house? I challenge you to pull them out and learn frugal new ways to use them!