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Affording and Saving Money On Quality Kitchen Essentials For Your Family

Affording kitchen essentials can be hard for some families. It is especially hard when you can only rely on one income and can only get the cheapest out there. However, are the cheapest kitchen essentials really worth it or is this costing us more money?

I know for my own family, there was a long time where we can only get the cheapest out there. It would work for a few months before needing to buy another one. I remember one year, we went through four electric can openers in one year, that totaled $84.80! Not only did we have to buy multiple can openers, but the frustration it caused along with time and gas used to head back to the store and get a new one. For my family, we need electric more than manual due to a few family members do not have full function of their hands, so to help them with independence we need an electric can opener at all times. 

kitchen essentials. how to buy kitchen supplies


This same year we decided to try out slow cookers and we went through three of them in one year. I know this is not typical for most families. One time it was unknown why it stopped working, maybe I overused it, this was the very first one we had.

The second one didn’t make it to our new house when we moved and the other I accidentally dropped it, it slipped and tapped the sink I only assume that was the cause. Either way, we got the largest one at the cheapest prices, which were roughly about $100.00 in total.

Now though two of those were our own error, it did cost us more money. We didn’t plan the accidents and we decided to get the cheapest one for us to learn how to make great meals with it. They were not the one I would have chosen if given the opportunity of planning out the purchase.

Now that we know better, we can plan accordingly. Each was the simplest, only one setting, we learned that for our needs, we need more functionality and options. 

This is when I decided that it was better to spend just a little more money to get a better quality item instead of making impulse buying decisions just to quickly fill the immediate need. It just makes more sense to really shop around, yes even for an electric can opener!

  • Through our money wasting trial and error mistakes, we have learned that brand does matter! 

Figure Out What Kitchen Essentials Your Family Needs

What my family needs as a kitchen essential may not be the same for another family. Each of our lists may be slightly different from another family and that is OK. 

I also would take into consideration location. When I lived in Boston, I didn’t have to think about this as much as I do here in Florida. See our electricity can go out with the slightest wind change and when there is a storm, it gets worse. So for my family, we try to have both electric and manual as much as possible. 

Questions To Consider Before Buying Kitchen Supplies

  • What kinds of meals do you make and how often are they repeated?
  • What about space and storage in your kitchen, this includes cabinets, pantry, and fridge?
  • Do you prefer something that is multi-functional and is that the most cost-effective way?
  • Will you be batch cooking or prepping for cooking later or are you a family who decides the night before? 
  • Do you literally make everything from scratch or do you use a combination of some boxed or canned items? 
  • How much time do you have to prepare ingredients and do the actual cooking?
  • What about plating your meals? Do you prefer fancy dinnerware, portion control settings, does anyone in your family have preferences (ex: plates that have separate sections so foods don’t touch one another)?
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These type of questions are to help you create a list of items that make sense for you and your family. They should be in line with your needs and goals. 

For my family, our kitchen essentials include things for prepping meals in advanced, like choppers and slicers to easily get vegetables and other foods ready ahead of time. Honestly, I have so many medical related appointments, sitting there for a few hours slicing and chopping all by hand just is not ideal for me. So please take into consideration your lifestyle and life demands. 

We also need things like a rice cooker, slow cooker, an instant pot and storage supplies. 

For plating and consuming the foods, I had to keep in mind a few things like two members with sensory needs, I mainly consume with a shovel – umm-errr I mean large spoon haha, and some of us need portion control. 

Buy Your Kitchen Essentials When It Is On Sale

Next figure out what items can wait a little while longer or see if you can put together a family wish list, I have mine located on Amazon Wish List. This way if ever I happen to get lucky and someone asks us what we need as a family, I can easily send them my Amazon Wish List link.

We may only get asked once every few years, but at least I have a running list even for our own reference. When we have saved enough money, we can easily go down the list and order an item. This is also helpful to have and give the link out for things like a baby shower, new home or new move type of event as well. 

stocking kitchen supplies. kitchen wares

As you are creating your kitchen essentials shopping list, be sure to mark down which month is best to make that particular purchase. For example, it is best to buy smaller kitchen items during certain months of the year, use this purchasing guide to help you make notes and organize your shopping lists for each of the months. 

Kitchen Essentials To Start Off With 

Keeping in mind that our kitchen essentials may differ from others, there are some that are pretty common among us. Our family needs to eat, and it is more cost effective to use certain types of kitchen items to help facilitate this.

For example, making large batches of foods, portioning it out and freeze it. Then thaw and eat as you need to. Slow cookers and instant pots are amazing for this! I can easily feed my family of ten with just these two alone. Another great kitchen essential staple to have is a rice cooker.

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Not only do these items make cooking easier and less labor intensive; they allow my family to eat more home cooked foods, even while in school or at work.

For days where we have two doctor appointments on opposite ends of our county, it makes it less worrisome and less stress on me knowing that I can easily use an instant pot or pull out a meal I have already prepared for the family. 

Quick Cost Efficient Kitchen Supply List

If you are just starting out or if you don’t have lots of space or money to work with I recommend starting off with just a few basics and then add on as you can.

This is what we did, so don’t worry that you don’t have a fully stocked kitchen full of supplies and gadgets. We still do not have everything that would make things a little easier or allows our cooking imaginations to expand. 

When I started out, or even to this day I sometimes use a baby bottle to measure liquid ingredients! So don’t be afraid to improvise where and when needed. We aren’t living life as a professional chef or one of those cooking shows, so no need to pretend that we are, making ourselves go broke over aesthetics. 

  • Labeled Knife Set
  • Cutting Boards
  • Space and Mess Saver Slice, Dice, Chopper
  • Measuring Set
  • Slow Cooker
  • Silicon Cooking-Server Set
  • Reusable Freezer To Microwave Plates With Covers

Having the right knife set matters. You can save time by having a set that allows you to go from cutting fruits, veggies, herbs to meats and fish without fuss. We batch chop and cut things most of the time, so we can quickly reach for the meat knife or the fruit-veggie knife because it is clearly marked and organized. This is especially helpful when you get the kids involved like I do. 

We also have one cutting board for meats, it has sort of this section all around to catch the blood from the meats, this keeps things less messy and fewer bacteria all around and is easier for cleanup purposes. 

Our fruit and vegetable cutting board actually goes over the sink and on one side of it has a little colander to easily and quickly wash them as soon as they are cut up. Or we use our chopper-dicer pro especially since it holds them in the bowl after cutting them, less mess to clean up later.  

I prepare two different recipes at a time. One for the slow cooker, the other for the oven. We can be even more efficient with time by using our grill, which I will do sometimes but not consistently. I then portion out the meals into reusable containers that are able to be placed in the freezer, then the microwave and then into the dishwasher!

So how easy is that? With just seven different things, you can begin having a life again. Your kitchen will have the beginnings of all the essentials needed to make sure your family eats more well-balanced foods. 

Check Out The Products Below To Stock Your Kitchen With A Few Important Essentials
What Are Your Own Kitchen Savvy Tips To Share? 






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