My List of Essential Kitchen Items: 11 Items That Save Me Time and Money in the Kitchen

Have you ever heard you must spend money to make money?

I’ve learned, sometimes, we must spend money to save money. What do I mean?

There are certain items in my kitchen that I purchased which have saved me a ton of money. Now that I have them, I’ll never go back to living without them (by choice, anyway.)

Here is a list of essential kitchen items in my home that save me a tremendous amount of time and money.

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1. Drinks All Around

My kids will fly through drinks, and they aren’t always the healthiest drink options.

To keep my family a little healthier, I purchased glass water bottles. They come with a neat little coozy, and bottle brushes to make cleaning them easier.

I chose glass because they’re easy to maintain and there’s less toxins. Plus, these are a great deal!

Surprisingly, I’ve saved a ton of money. I no longer need to purchase prepackaged drinks. My kids drink a ton of water out of these bottles because they love water flavoring.

Before, they would only use the water flavoring in prepackaged water bottles. Now, they reach for these bottles every chance they get!

This was money well spent because they paid for themselves in the first month.

2. Set It and Forget It

A quality crock pot is a must around my house. My husband and I have been married 12 years, and I never purchased a new crock pot until a month ago.

I appreciated the secondhand crock pots, but ya’ll, there’s nothing like a new crock pot. The one I got is eight quarts and programmable.

How does this save me money? We eat at home. On days that I know will be busy, I pop something into my crock pot, and we still eat at home that night.

It doesn’t heat up your house or make you stand on your feet for 45 minutes after a long day. You simply find a few delicious crock pot meals and put them to use.

3. Ice Cream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

When summertime hits, all my kids want is ice cream. In all fairness, we live on a farm. There are many long days spent gardening or canning, and they just want to get cooled off.

If I bought ice cream every time they asked for it, or hit a drive-thru for ice cream each time, my budget would be toast.

Instead, we beat the heat at home. I bought an ice cream maker that allows me to make ice cream while we’re canning or working in the garden.

The kids work harder because they know the delicious treat that awaits them, and I’m happy because I’m not going broke due to ice cream.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you should get one. They come in electric, hand-crank, both, or as a counter top ice cream maker.

You can even make two flavors at once with this ice cream maker!

4. Containers Good for EVERYTHING

I’m not against all plastic containers, but I’ve learned they don’t hold up as well as glass. Therefore, I’ve switched to using more glass containers.

In fact, mason jars are my go-to for storage. Why? Because they’re durable, multipurpose, and can hold as much (or as little) as you want.

I use mason jars for canning, storing my DIY salad dressings, for my sourdough starter, to store leftovers, and soup.

If you can purchase one item and use it many ways, why wouldn’t you? Mason jars make my life easier and are a key in saving money around my kitchen.

5. Bread Machine

Yes, you can buy bread at your local grocery store. However, you can make bread cheaper than you can buy it…usually.

In an effort to save money and maintain a level of convenience, I use a bread machine. You can make any number of bread recipes in one machine.

I’ve had the same bread machine for almost 10 years and love it. You just pop the ingredients in the bread machine, hit a button, and in three and a half hours you have a fresh loaf of bread.

It doesn’t get much easier or cost effective. Plus, you can use a bread machine to make jam as well.

6. Quality Cooking Gear

One major way to save money is to cook at home. If you don’t have the right cookware and cooking utensils it can make your life difficult.

Have you ever tried to make an omelet in a poor-quality skillet? I have, and it’s no fun. This is why I mainly use cast-iron in my kitchen.

It’s durable, easy to maintain, and can be used for any variety of recipes. When I say this cookware is durable, be prepared to will it to your children if you take care of it!

Having the right items to cook with will encourage you to cook more at home. Cooking at home usually saves money, if you know how to budget.

7. Pass the Water, Please

Most people don’t realize what they’re missing out on by not owning a stainless-steel water pitcher. Many people have the water and ice maker on the outside of their refrigerator and think that’s good enough. At least, that’s what I thought.

However, I accidentally ordered a small stainless-steel water pitcher thinking I was ordering a large stainless-steel pitcher to hold our green tea.

When it arrived, at first I was disappointed. But my glass water bottles soon arrived, and they weren’t the easiest to fill from our refrigerator door.

I began using the water pitcher, and I’ll never go back (by choice.) I keep a pitcher of water on hand at all times in our fridge.

It’s always cold, easy to pour into water bottles, and my kids drink more water because they think the pitcher is cool.

8. Can’t Start My Day Without It

I’m a coffee-lover. There’s no hiding it! I love regular coffee, but I’m a believer in bulletproof coffee as well.

You can hit a drive-thru every morning and grab a cup of coffee to go, but how much money are you spending to do that?

Plus, who has time to hit a drive-thru every morning? You know that a coffee pot had to be on my list of essential kitchen items.

In my household we have two coffee pots. My husband likes his coffee to be brewed when he wakes up, and he also likes the option of coffee pods when he wants one cup and not a whole pot.

For him, we have a combo coffee pot that does both.

I’m a coffee snob and prefer percolated coffee. I use an electric percolator every morning. However you choose to make your coffee, make sure you have a coffee maker at home.

It can save you money, and it allows you to have a cup of coffee as soon as your feet hit the floor.

9. A Kitchen Aid is a Must

I’m not a baker. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. I think it’s because I’m not much of an artist, and I lack patience for baked goods.

However, I’m a mom with kids who love cookies. I also learned how to make a pie from scratch over the years, and I can do basic cakes.

With these few skills, I’ve learned a few short cuts along the way. My biggest shortcut is a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Mine is a hand-me-down and one of the original models, but all these years later, it still works beautifully. I use it on a weekly basis.

If you do some baking, a Kitchen Aid mixer can save you a ton of time and headache while in the kitchen. And obviously, making your own baked goods is much cheaper than buying them.

10. Tiny Wooden Spoons

This may sound odd but when I started making my own sourdough starter, I struggled finding the right sized spoon that would fit in my mason jars.

My husband noticed this and bought me these awesome wooden spoons. I use them for everything now!

They’re great for stirring coffee, stirring sourdough starter, and fitting in tight spots around your kitchen when cooking or baking.

I love them, and they make my life a ton more efficient.

11. Cast Iron Bread Pans

The last item on my list of essential kitchen items that will help you save money and be more efficient in your kitchen is cast iron bread pans.

I’ve tried glass and silicone bread pans, but I love my cast iron bread pans the best. They’re durable, easy to keep clean, and do an excellent job.

Having the right equipment to work with is vital when trying to be efficient in your kitchen while saving money too.

These are the 11 items in my kitchen that I absolutely would not want to do without. They make saving money on food much easier and keep my kitchen running smoothly.

Hopefully this will inspire you to invest in your kitchen too. But that’s how to look at it: as an investment. Because once you have it (and if you take care of it) most of these items could last you for years to come.