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Kitchen Gadgets on the Cheap0

I like kitchen gadgets as much as the next gal, or guy, but there’s a limit. Convenience, utility and cost are the three foremost considerations for what makes it into my kitchen.

When you come right down to it, I have my half dozen tried and true favorite utensils that I use regularly. They’re the practical, inexpensive workhorses in my kitchen. But I’m amazed at how much a person can spend on kitchen tools when a perfectly good solution is available at a fraction of the cost.

For example, here’s a gorgeous stainless steel meat pounder for $34.99 . . .

MIU France 3600 Meat Pounder, Stainless, 2-Pound

. . . and here’s mine for $2.89. Handy for pounding chicken cutlets in the kitchen and for pounding tomato stakes in the garden.

Rubber Mallet, 8 oz

You can get this great Panini pan with press for $99.99  or use your cast iron skillet with a brick. 

And that Jack LaLanne Juicing Machine is certainly impressive. But I have my grandmother’s three-piece aluminum Wear-Ever hand juicer with pouring spout that juiced her California citrus just fine. There’s something I find very satisfying about using it.

Other simple substitutes include using clothes pins for fancy chip clips, a dollar store paint brush for a pastry brush, and your husband’s blow torch for a kitchen torch. Why break the bank for kitchen gadgets when perfectly good solutions can be found for a fraction of the cost.

Now if I could just figure out a substitute for that nifty stainless steel jalapeno roaster I saw in the last Williams Sonoma catalog I’d be all set for summer grilling.

text and juicer photo by Ann D. Travers

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