I’m crazy about gadgets—everything from quirky can openers to smartphones. Hand me a Swiss Army knife and I’m in heaven—the more blades and utensils the better.
And how about that One-Second Needle? It was a great idea, but sadly that is one gadget that needs to be put out of its misery, in my humble opinion.
My favorite gadgets, of course, are ones that actually help me to save money. I’ve been fooled from time to time, spending good money on things that just did not perform well. Or the gadget turned out to be so cumbersome using it actually complicated rather than simplified my life. But now and then I strike on a gadget that is so magnificent in its functionality and money-saving properties, I can’t wait to tell you about it.
Today I want to tell you about three gadgets for the kitchen that I consider to be wise investments. All three are inexpensive enough to pay for themselves in immediate grocery savings and will then go on to keep paying off in food savings. That’s saying a lot as food costs continue to soar.
Vacuum sealer. I’ve depended on a vacuum sealer in my kitchen for so many years, I cannot imagine getting along without it. Now and then I get lazy and I get an immediate jolt that reminds me why I do this. Take strawberries for example. If I put them into a container and vacuum out all of the air, fresh strawberries will last for at least two weeks in the refrigerator—and will be as fresh as the day I bought them. Placed in the refrigerator in their original container, strawberries often start to show mold in just a couple of days.
My FoodsSaver gets a workout every day. Depending on the type of food, I use FoodSaver containers and canisters, plastic bags and also canning jars to seal food items (this requires the jar sealer accessory). I vacuum seal raw rice, sugar, spices, meat, baked goods (I freeze them first so the vacuum doesn’t crush them), fresh fruits and vegetables. I even vacuum seal silver flatware to keep it from tarnishing. I vacuum sealed my birth certificate the other day, and my Social Security card. I promise if you get too close, I just might vacuum seal you and your kids, too!
Recently, I got to test drive the new FoodSaver V3835 Food Sealer in my son’s kitchen and all I can say is Wow! At under $175, this is one fantastic piece of kitchen equipment. It is highly improved over my older FoodSaver Pro. I can’t wait for mine to arrive. I think it just might have a brain with its liquid detection system. It also functions more automatically than the older Pro version. And it looks great sitting on the counter.
A vacuum sealer, when used diligently, will extend the shelf life of every type of food imaginable. That means your garbage disposal and trash can will cease to be the best-fed members of your household!
Juicer. I am more convinced than ever that healthy eating is the most cost effective thing we can do to reduce healthcare costs. That’s why every household needs a reliable, affordable juicer—one that can handle raw carrots and other dense fruits and vegetables. And it needs to be easy-to-clean. My recommendation for the best inexpensive juicer out there is the new Breville 700-Watt Juice Extractor.
Every Breville product I have tested has come out with high marks, and this juicer is no exception. At under $100, I just don’t think you can beat it for functionality and reliability.
Dehydrator. No one was more surprised than I by what a terrific money saver a dehydrator can be. Of course you have to actually use it. But when you do, you’ll be quite amazed. The cost of dehydrating your own food is a fraction of the cost of commercially dehydrated foods and with no additives or preservatives. If dehydrating is something you’ll actually do, consider EC’s best inexpensive choice, Presto Electric Food Dehydrator.
Bargain-priced at about $35, this food dehydrator is compact, has a see-through cover so you can gauge what’s going on, drying trays that are dishwasher safe and it is small enough for easy storage. I love this gadget and I think you will, too.
Question: What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
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