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Everyday Cheapskate: Furnishing your First Kitchen: Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools

Mary Hunt on

4. Measuring cups and spoons

Every kitchen needs at least one set of quality measuring cups and spoons, preferably stainless steel. Find ones that will nest together for easier storage.

5. Dish towels

Also known as bar mops or restaurant cleaning towels, you need a stack of them -- clean and ready to go. You'll save a ton of money not buying paper towels. As they become soiled, throw them in the laundry hamper.

6. Colander

I can't tell you how many times I reach for my colander in a typical day. I use it for so many things. And now that I have begun cooking rice as I do pasta (in a lot of water, uncovered, boiling rapidly until it's done and then draining and rinsing under hot water), I'm using it even more.

7. Tongs

I wouldn't know what to do without them. Truth be told, I have three pair. Look for ones that lock in closed position for easy storage.

8. Baking dishes


Whether it's a cake or a casserole, you're going to need something to bake in. I recommend a set of inexpensive Pyrex glass dishes.

9. Instant-read thermometer

You need this -- you really need this kitchen tool! With a reliable thermometer, you won't suffer the heartbreak of overcooked steak or undercooked chicken. Thermapen makes several great models.

10. Cutting board

Face it: Cooking means a lot of cutting, chopping and mincing. You need a good cutting board to protect and preserve your cutlery and countertop.

A nonporous polypropylene board will be easy to clean and sanitize. And it's safe in the dishwasher.

You can find specific brand recommendations and additional resources at

Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, "Ask Mary a Question." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of Debt-Proof Living, a personal finance member website and the author of the book Debt-Proof Living, Revell 2014. To find out more about Mary visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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