Being a busy Mom to two boys I am always looking for ways to save time around the home and particularly in the kitchen. Having nice, healthy home cooked meals is one thing but having the time and energy to achieve healthy home cooked food is a real challenge. The good news is there are lots of brilliant kitchen gadgets around which make great gifts because by having these kinds of gadgets in their life you are also helping them save time.
Gadgets for the kitchen are also fab at helping people cook from scratch which generally is a lot cheaper than buying processed food so by giving gifts like these you will be helping them save money too.
I also like to be ethical so some of the items in the list will help people reduce their environmental impact.
If you have people who share similar goals to the ones I do, it may be worth looking into getting them an time saving, money saving or ethical gift for their kitchen that will also save them time and money. Read on for some ideas:
Cooking from scratch is almost always better for the environment. There generally always tends to be less packaging with the ingredients used. It also tends to cost less when you cook your own meals as well.
The downside can be that it is time consuming and takes lots of energy. Who really feels like cooking after working hard at work all day?
This is where a slow cooker can be a God send. Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day and dinner is done when you get back home from work.
Slow cookers don’t take up an enormous amount of energy, they use just a little bit more energy than a traditional light bulb. Cooking this way means that you can use fresh ingredients which tend to have less plastic packaging.
Paperless towels are a fab alternative to kitchen towel. Just like kitchen towels they will mop up spills. They can then be thrown in the wash, ready to be used again.
They are fab for the enironment as you won’t be using single use kitchen towel. They can just be thrown in any wash and don’t take up much space.
As you will no longer be buying kitchen towel they will save you money in the long run as well.
Another fab appliance to help you cook from scratch is a rice cooker. Yes, it cooks rice but it does so much more than this too. You can use it to steam vegetables, make soups and pasta like mac n cheese.
There are lots of things to like about a rice cooker. Rice is perfectly cooked everytime. Once cooked it will keep the rice warm so you are it’s ready when you need it. This is great as you don’t need to perfectly time cooking meals. And as already said it makes other stuff as well.
It is fab for convenience. It will take a minute of work to make a pot of rice. And you don’t need ot keep checking on the rice and be around in case it overboils etc. So it can be a real time saver.
One of the main draws for me is that you can cook risotto in the rice cooker. I love risotto but don’t love all the stirring that goes with it. Cooking risotto in the rice cooker is a lot easier, not all the stirring required. Check out this rice cooker risotto recipe.
If a rice cooker helps you cook more from scratch, this can also help save you money as well as spend less on pre packaged convenience foods.
Reusable Snack Bags
Reusable snack bags can be excellent for lunches and snacks on the go. They make a great alternative to plastic containers or plastic bags.
The great thing about them is that they can easily be shoved in the dishwasher after each use, so you don’t even have to worry about cleaning them.
If you are using plasic bags for snacks it will help you save money in the long run too.
A food processor can save you time slicing fruits and vegetables. I also use mine for mixing ingredients for baking.
It takes me minutes to make a base for a pizza as I just wack the ingredients in my food processor and let it mix them for me. It can save you money as you can easily make things like a pizza base or muffins from scratch. The food you make will also tend to be healthier too.
It’s easy to use to chop vegetables for a stir fry, grate carrot, make hummus, slice cucumbers, the uses are endless.
A Grater With A Container
A grater with a container is a simple little piece of equipment but is great for saving time.
You can grate carrot or cheese but as it collects at the bottom of the container, you don’t have to worry about the clear up afterwards. You can use what you have collected or keep it in the air tight container for use later.
Cutting Board With Drawers
This is a really simple idea that can save on prep and clean up time.
The cutting board has drawers where you can store your veg as you go. It’s great for chopping multiple items as you can just slide what you’ve chopped into one of the drawers and then move onto the next item. Then just shove them in the pan as you need them.
The drawers snap back into place so you don’t have to worry about loosing them. They also stack if you prefer, which minimises counter space needed once you’ve finished with the chopping board.
As everything is so organised it minimises clean up time.
Silicone Dish Sponge
Save money on constantly buying sponges to wash dishes and get a silicone sponge instead.
It is great at cleaning dishes and chuck it in the dishwasher everyday or wash with hot water to be used again and again.
Sponges can get really grimy very quickly, leading to lots of replacements so buy using this money will be saved in the long run. Many of the sponges we buy to wash our dishes are impossible to recycle so by using a reusable silicone sponge you will be reducing waste that goes into landfills.
To help the environment it’s best to look after the silicone to expand it’s lifespan and then recycle once finished with.
A handheld blender can save a lot of time when working in the kitchen. They are perfect for beating egss, whipping cream and pureeing fruits and vegetables. Making soups becomes a lot less time consuming as a handheld blender can be quickly used to puree the soup without having to pour it into another contraption and create more mess and washing up.
Most handheld blenders are easily washed after use or can be put into the dishwasher for super speedy clean up.
Also making your own soups and purees is not only better for your health it means you will be using more ingredients and cooking from scratch, potenitally using less plastic ingredients.
Power Pressure Cooker
Many of us may remember the pressure cookers our parents used to use in the kitchen but stay away from them because of their potential for danger.
The great news is that times have moved on and now there are some great electric power cookers. They are fab gifts if you are not on a budget and what to buy for somebody who wants to save time in the kitchen. The MultiPot is a slow cooker, instant pot, rice cooker in one. It also makes yoghurt and cake. It’s like a slow cooker but it cooks everything fast. Make rice in 10 minutes for lots of people, make soup in less than half an hour, cook meats, stews and lots more.
Food Scrap Bin
This food scrap bin is guaranteed to cut down on your kitchen clean up time.
The wire rim attaches to drawer to easily scoop scraps off your counter or cutting board. The scraps can easily go in a compost bin or into your regular waste. If you’re composting your waste, you can keep the scraps in the freezer until you are ready to compost them. So there won’t be any nasty smells as the scraps will be kept frozen.
It’s easy to empty, simply invert and press on bottom. It’s also 100% dishwasher safe and made of silicone.
Microwave Cooking Equipment
Cooking in the microwave is generally the most energy efficient way to cook and it can be often be really healthy as well. You can use the microwave to cook all kinds of things including steaming vegetables, cooking pasta and rice.
There are lots of items that make cooking in the microwave a breeze. They are often inexpensive and are smaller than some kitchen gadgets so can easily be kept in a drawer or cupboard in a small kitchen. For this reason they often make good gift ideas for college students.
Also cooking from scratch in the microwave is cheaper, healthier and more environmentaly friendly than cooking pre packaged microwave meals.
A microwave cookbook may be another fab gift for a student, solo dining, an office worker, someone who lives in an RV or has a small kitchen or somebody just interested in exploring microwave cooking.
A kitchen aid is the perfect gift for anybody who does a lot of baking in the kitchen and it can be great for general cooking tasks as well.
It is a massive time saver for anybody making things like cookie dough, bread, pizza bases, marshmallows, cakes and muffins. It is also fab for doing things like mashing potatoes. shredding pulled pork or chicken, beating eggs and cream.
If you think the person would use this item at least once a week it would make a great buy.
A well made dish brush can be a much more environmentally friendly way of washing dishes and as you use less sponges it will save you money too.
The one thing I really like about a dish brush is that it helps you keep your hands out of the washing up water when washing up. This can be much better on your hands as they aren’t being dried out by the hot soapy water.
This dish brush is dishwasher safe so you can shove it in the dishwasher at the end of the day and you know that it will get rid of all the bacteria those sponges hold. It’s made of high quality renewable birch hardwood with bristles made of natural Tampico Fiber. It can also be used to clean fruits and vegetables as well.
Reusable Bowl Covers
Many of us are always dishing leftovers into plastic tupperware or other container but a good way to avoid the plastic is to use reusable bowl covers.
They can just be put over a bowl with the leftovers inside and put into the fridge so no need to decant them into another container. Also eliminates the need for wasteful foil and cling film, saving money if you normally spend on these items.
They can also be used for covering food outside.
The bowl covers can easily be wiped clean or machine washed cold. And they have a fab design too.