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Kitchen Gadgets come in all shapes in sizes – here are my top picks for those that will also save you money
Having been a chef most of my adult life, I’m a sucker for various kitchen gadgets. While this can range from anything to fancy blenders and bread-makers to the more humble kitchen timer, there are a few I simply wouldn’t be without. Here are a few of my favourites which after the initial investment should also save you money in the long run. Teaming up these kitchen gadgets with the books recommended in my recent post about the best cookery books to become a budget savvy chef could really help you save some pennies in the kitchen this year.
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1.Spaghetti Measure / Pasta Cup
Surely I’m not the only that struggles to accurately gauge pasta before cooking it. I’m always paranoid I won’t have enough and the end up cooking way too much. Even though I usually only buy the very cheap basic pasta, I still wanted to prevent food waste and stop wasting money, which is what this simple measure does.
Equally, as with pasta I know many people struggle to measure rice too. Even when using scales to weigh it out portions I used to get it wrong – my fault because it doesn’t look like enough and then I’d add a bit more and end up with too much once it’s cooked. Unlike my uber cheap pasta, I do tend to buy slightly more expensive rice. While it is still a very cheap ingredient, I still want to cut back on food waste where I can, so this measuring cup as been a godsend (now I’ve learnt not to randomly add more rice to it!)
3.Slow Cooker/ 3 Pot Slow Cooker
A slow is one of the ultimate kitchen gadgets for saving both time and money and I use mine at least once a week, if not more often. The appeal is universal – bung some ingredients in first thing and come home at 5pm to delicious fully cooked meal. Particularly popular in the winter months for making soups, stews and casseroles, slow cookers can also be used for all sorts of other things such as overnight porridge and gooey chocolate sponge cakes.
Slow cookers are also great for using up leftovers – see this post for three ways you can reuse your Sunday leftovers for a delicious Monday night dinner.
If you really want to up your slow cooker game you could invest in one that has more than one pot – meaning you can cook more than one thing at a time. For exmaple, you could have a curry in one part and the rice in another. It also means it’s easy to accommodate fussy eaters or children by cooking two things at once.
4. Fruit and Veg Covers
These Fruit and Veg covers are great little kitchen gadgets. As well as helping prevent food waste by keeping cut items fresh, they are also reusable and prevent the need for endless sandwich bags, tin foil and clingfilm – thus saving you money in the long run. They can also be used to cover pots and bowls provided they are the right size.
5. Glass bowls with Plastic Lids
Another great kitchen gadget for keeping food fresh – a set of glass bowls with fitted lids was actually one of the very first things I purchased for my own kitchen when we bought a house. They stop the need for faffing about with clingfilm and tinfoil and being reusable are more eco friendly too.
6. Kitchen Timer
Having worked as chef for a great many years, you’d think I’d be an absolute whizz in the kicthen at home, especially considering I usually only cook for just the two of us. Well, you’d be wrong. The problem with cooking at home is, I’m very easily distracted. Whether it’s the television, putting washing away, nipping upstairs to grab something and ending up doing something totally different. There are so many occasions I’ve come back to the kitchen to burnt food or pans boiled dry. A simple kitchen timer has stopped this – even if I just set 10 minutes until I come back and check on everything!
7. Digital Scales
I’m a bit of a disaster when it comes to baking – I’m so used to doing the chef thing of chucking everything into a pan and hoping for the best that I really struggle when it comes to precision and accuracy. Queen of cakes Mary Berry recommends digital scales for accuracy when it comes to baking and I think she’s right. It’s far better to measure everything accurately and have a wonderful creation at the end of it, than have a disaster that ends up in the bin.
8. Food Seal Clips
These food seal clips are multi-functional, come in a range of sizes and are ideal for keeping food fresh. Personally I’m guilty of favoring large bags of crisps and popcorn but I hate rustling noises while snacking in front of the T.V so I’ll often decant half a bag into a bowl only to bung the other half into the cupboard unsealed and forgotten about. A great budget buy at under £3 for a pack of 20 these keep opened food fresher for longer.