Kitchen luxuries you should and should not buy
It’s always nice to save money, particularly when it comes to the daily activities undertaken at home. This includes cooking. However, there are times when frugal cooking shouldn’t eschew kitchen luxuries, as life is too short not to enjoy what you eat. Here are some kitchen luxuries that are worth the expense and some that aren’t.
Worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 1 – Good cookware
If you have quality cookware and treat it well, it will last. Considering that some items can be purchased second-hand, it’s inexpensive to get started. Baking sheets and cake pans that aren’t the new non-stick style – and hence won’t burn your cookies – are readily available second-hand. A cast iron skillet is also vital. If you must go non-stick, try Calphalon, suggests Wise Bread. It’s scratch-resistant and long-lasting.
Worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 2 – A top-quality knife
A good, sharp knife is useful for nearly any food preparation job. Get it right the first time by spending just a little bit more on a good, general-purpose kitchen knife and you probably won’t need to buy another. Just make sure that you clean it by hand, rather than in the dishwasher.
Worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 3 – Silicone liners
With silicone liners like Silpats, you don’t even need to oil your pan. Considering that silicone will also protect your baked goods from getting burned in the oven, Silpats are yet another excuse to avoid non-stick pans. Go with regular baking pans and spend less.
Worthwhile kitchen luxury No.4 – A garlic press
In his 1980 film “Garlic is As Good As Ten Mothers,” documentarian Les Blank extols the virtues of the tasty plant. While a garlic press is perhaps more specialized than what the average home cook might need, being able to quickly smash a clove is a great convenience. It goes without saying that garlic is essential for most dishes, save perhaps breakfast cereal.
Worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 5 – Herbs and spices
If you’ve seen the movie “Ratatouille,” you’ve been exposed to the idea that “anyone can cook.” The chance of this being true decreases significantly if a cook doesn’t have herbs and spices on hand for flavor, however. Fresh herbs, finishing salts, olives and more can add needed color to any dish.
Not so worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 1 – A dishwasher
This may seem like a sacrilege to convenience-minded consumers, but if you’re single and live alone, you can live without a dishwasher. Wash your dishes right after you use them, and put them away. It’s a way to avoid an uncluttered lifestyle. You’ll use fewer dishes in general, so you won’t have to buy as many.
Not so worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 2 – Overly specialized appliances
You love quesadillas, crepes and waffles. But would you eat them every day, or even every other day, just because you have an appliance that helps make them? Probably not. As such, if you’re stocking your kitchen on a budget and want to know which kitchen luxuries you can pass over, these kinds of specialty appliances qualify. When you want a nice crepe, go to a restaurant.
Not so worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 3 – Name-brand food
Generics cost less; it’s a fact. Some of this must be achieved through trial and error, but in general, look for the generic of a particular food product rather than the brand name. You’ll save significant cash over the course of a year.
Not so worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 4 – Microwave
Microwaves offer ultra-convenience in terms of food preparation time, but they can take up a lot of space and alter your food in ways you may not like. If you can stick with a stove top and oven, you can live a more mindful food lifestyle. Staying away from microwaves can be healthier, as you may avoid more processed foods.
Not so worthwhile kitchen luxury No. 5 – New storage containers
This calls for a trip to the thrift store. Find mix-and-match glass jars and containers of varying size and you have your kitchen supply storage problem solved. Don’t spend a bundle on this type of counter top storage.
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