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Three Cool Cooking Gadgets Thrifty People Will Love
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Three Cool Cooking Gadgets Thrifty People Will Love

Prices never seem to go down do they? Even fresh vegetables in their seasonal glut don’t get reduced until the last minute, usually when I’m not around to take advantage. Then of course you get hit with unexpected expenses, in my case a greyhound with grit in her little paddy. However, there are several kitchen gadgets that really can cut your bills.

After the initial outlay, you will make real savings, in fact the power company sent a very nice man round to both read and check out that our meter was working after we bought and started using a halogen oven – I’m not kidding here! He admitted they thought we’d tampered with the meter, saw we hadn’t, and as far as I know was going to buy his long-suffering wife a halogen oven. No, I don’t know her personally, but I can promise you she is very long-suffering.

From the day it arrived I loved using it and watching food bubbling and changing color through the glass as it cooks. Absolutely everything went in it, from heating pies to a full roast meal and I most especially enjoy cooking the legendary awkward soufflés which can now be watched and plucked from the heat with perfect timing– you name it we cook it in there.

Starting at just over thirty dollars to buy one of the cheaper models, it doesn’t take long to see a return on the cost either. Because we now use a light bulb to cook with instead of heating a large oven, it’s saves us just under a third of our bill each quarter – a fair amount of money over the two years we’ve used it and certainly enough of a drop on the meter to get our energy provider all in a tizzy.

Halogen ovens are so easy to use and clean, I’m truly surprised more cooks don’t use them, in fact many folks don’t seem to know they exist. They make great gifts as well, particularly for first time home owners and for smaller families or people living the single life, great for students off to college in the fall as well, a small powerful oven that’s cheap to run and easy to clean.

The second gadget which over time has easily paid for itself twenty times over now, is a meat and food slicer. The premium cost on food which has been manually processed by hand is high, so sliced cooked meats, sliced pre-packed cheese and produce like cubed steak can be double the price per lb.

It may not seem much money each week as you grab a packet of pre-sliced ham to speed up the sandwich making process in the morning – but it adds up. If like me you have a lot of hungry young mouths to feed and the school bus is a constant time target, it’s all too easy for the occasional packet to become an expensive habit.

Food slicers for home use are not as big as their commercial cousins, and nowhere near the price either! From about $70 for a budget model, there may be the additional cost of a smooth blade, smart manufacturers sell them with a serrated blade and most folks prefer the smooth blade for cooked meats, actually for most slicing jobs.

You can produce a large range of thicknesses, choose from wafer thin slices of cooked meat or thicker slices for cheese, bread and raw meat, either way they’ll be beautifully evenly sliced every time, and cost you about half the price.

Finally, one of the best sellers on Amazon in three different categories is not sold on the cost reducing features but because it is one of the most flexible indoor griddles on the market. In addition to non-stick plates which flip from ridges over to smooth in any combination, you can also buy special waffle maker removable plates to snap in and convert an already clever appliance into a very smart deep Belgium waffle iron.

It makes four sumptuously deep waffles at a time and I have to warn you, the waffles are delicious and hold an utterly disgraceful amount of lightly poached fruit with cream, or maybe bananas and cream, with Malibu and chocolate sauce drizzled over the top.

The reason I call the Cuisinart 5 1 Griddler a money saver, is the speed with which it comes up to temperature and then cooks the meal - a whole heap faster than your main oven or grill I’ll bet. Over quite a small time period there is a measurable difference in energy bills, and if you are either single or two persons, then the saving is overall larger.

The cooking surface area is big enough to feed a family of four (six if you aren’t greedy, or the mouths are small ones!). Panini sandwiches come out gloriously browned and scarred from the ridges, with just the right amount of heat having carried through to the middle.

There are plenty more ways you can save money in the kitchen by using modern kitchen gadgets, but not all of them are as delicious as waffles.


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