My 6 Favorite Kitchen Tools Under $15


Now that I have arrived in my mid-40s I recognize that there are very few things I “need” anymore. I can also look back into my past and see all the purchases I made that were less than stellar choices. In many cases, now I’d much rather have the money in the bank (with interest!) than the item itself. (Hello, lidded pumpkin shaped soup bowls I use once a year... )

The need to declutter seems never-ending in my house. We are lucky to have some nice thrift stores in town that benefit various worthwhile causes, so I can pass on items that I don’t use in hopes they will find a home where they will.

I enjoy drawers that are not overflowing because it makes it easier to find and select what I need, whether I’m in the bedroom looking for clothes or in the kitchen cooking. For all these reasons, I’m not one to add gadget after gadget to my kitchen.

But when it comes to the kitchen, no matter how many times I declutter, there are a few items I never want to part with. None of them are expensive and they don’t take up much room, but I use each of them very often. Each helps me to prepare delicious plant-based dishes more quickly, which gets us all eating more vegetables.

One of the best ways to keep things you don’t want out of your house is to give gifts ideas to those who ask for them. Cut down on the clutter by getting something you will actually use!

Since Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both right around the corner, one or more of these tools might be right for a little someone to give you this year. Or for you to give your mom or dad.

My 6 Favorite Kitchen Tools Under $15

Plus, my best tips for using and caring for them so that they will last a long, long time...

Disclosure: Some of the product links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

1. Glass Citrus Juicer Reamer

Sometimes the simplest option is the best. I wish I could say this was the first citrus juicer I purchased in my life. It’s more like my 3rd. That fancy metal squeezing option did not last in my house. The acidic juice corroded the metal. I began to fear we’d be eating metal in our lemon juice. A plastic one I bought snapped in half while I was squeezing a line. This glass one has lasted 5+ years already and if it ever breaks, unlike the other models, it’s recyclable.

Best Uses: Juicing lemons, limes or small oranges.

Dishwasher Safe? Yes. For best results, rinse immediately after use.

Usage Tips: Before juicing a citrus fruit, roll in back and forth on the counter or a cutting board to break up the membranes. You'll get more juice out if you do.

2. Ceramic Ginger Grater

If you ever cook with ginger, you will wonder how you lived without this! Again, something so simple and small, this ceramic ginger grater works beautifully to turn your ginger root into a paste that is easily incorporated into your favorite dishes, leaving little to no waste.

Best Uses: Use any time minced ginger is called for. Also can be used for making ginger juice, which is collected around the outside of the grater.

Dishwasher Safe? Yes. For best results, rinse immediately after use.

Usage Tips: Peel the skin off the ginger with a teaspoon and place grater on a dry countertop. The rubber ring underneath holds it securely while you rub the ginger back and forth on the grater. (To prolong the life of your ginger, store it in the freezer and defrost slightly before grating.)

3. Box Grater

When you don’t want to get out the food processor (or you don’t have one), this box grater is the answer. Easy to use and clean, even if you want to grate just one carrot.

Best Uses: Grating vegetables like carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, kohlrabi, squash, onion. Can even be used to make cauliflower rice.

Dishwasher Safe? Yes. For best results, rinse immediately after use. (Notice a theme here? Dried on tiny pieces of food on a sharp object is something to be avoided!)

Usage Tips: I never use the bottom piece, preferring to just grate directly onto the cutting board or a large mixing bowl.

4. Mini Angled Measuring Cup

Isn’t this the cutest?? This clear measuring cup helps you measure out liquids in tablespoons, ounces and milliliters and then easily pour it into your dish. You can use it to measure several liquid ingredients at once, which is very handy. At less than $5, it’s one of my favorite gadgets and the cheapest! I have been using mine for 6+ years and love it.

Best Uses: Making dressings and sauces, measuring multiple liquid ingredients without using every measuring spoon in the house! Also great back up for a ¼ cup measure.

Dishwasher Safe? Yes. Top Rack only (or hand wash).

Usage Tips: Seriously, get one! If you are like me, you will use it all the time. I’ve even thought of giving them out as party favors.

5. Microplane Grater/Zester

The granddaddy of zesters, this one is no joke. Sharp as a few hundred knives, it can create a pile of zest in seconds.

Best Uses: Zesting citrus fruits like lemons and limes. Grating chocolate, coconut or hard cheeses (even vegan ones).

Dishwasher Safe? Yes. Top Rack preferred. Or hand wash (carefully!). For best results, rinse immediately after use.

Usage Tips: If grating chocolate, freeze or refrigerate the chocolate for 15 minutes before grating. Keep the plastic cover it comes with for storage (and safety). The end is sharp and will scratch your countertop, so rest the end on a cutting board while in use to keep it steady and protect your countertop. If you need both juice and zest from a citrus fruit, use the grater first and then the juicer reamer.

6. Dough Scraper

I have to admit I had one of these for years before I discovered how useful it is. I don’t make pastry dough often. However, I’ve found it most useful for picking up chopped vegetables and clearing off cutting boards while saving the blades on my sharp knives.

Best Uses: Scrape under your cut up vegetables on your cutting board to quickly pick them up and move them into another pot or bowl. If you think of using a dustpan and brush, the bench knife is the dustpan and your hand is the brush, but unlike with the dustpan, you move the bench knife and keep your hand still. Often you may be tempted to use your cutting knife to do this, but that dulls the blade (and doesn’t allow you to pick up as much as one time.)

Dishwasher Safe? No, due to the wooden handle. Other models without wood may be.

Usage Tips: I have to admit, this little gadget makes you feel “profesh”, as my daughter says. It’s efficient and precise, like how we like to be in the kitchen.

So that’s it: The 6 Best Kitchen Tools Under $15

All these items together are less than $60 and would fill a lovely gift basket for a cook in your life!

Your Turn: Do you have a favorite inexpensive, but totally useful kitchen tool?

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Hi there! 
I’m Jennifer Haubrich, wife, mother, certified natural food chef & health coach (AADP).

 

I help smart families re-chart their path to create a delicious, healthy lifestyle by including more plant-based foods in their diet.

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