I'm a grown-ass woman, which means I’m busy, and I’m trying to be more responsible with money. It also means I need to get better at cooking, or else I'll spend way too much on takeout. How? Well, my kitchen is pretty basic, so I'm investing in
weird kitchen tools to help make meal prep go faster and easier.
I used to only be able to make simple stir-fry and pasta dishes. I realized if I had some more
kitchen gadgets, I'd probably be able to expand my skill set while becoming more efficient at my cooking. I can't order in or go out to eat every night (something I'm guilty of on occasion), because it ends up feeling like a waste of money. Instead, I spent a fraction of that money on some new tools, and it's inspired me to cook more. Plus, I'm getting better at it!
Purchasing some simple things like a handheld
spiralizer, a salad dressing maker, or an herb chopper can help you add some variety to your meals. Functional tools that multi-task will accomplish meals quickly. All of them will encourage you to use your kitchen more often, which your stomach and wallet will thank you for.
Cook With Garlic And Onion Without The Lingering Smell On Your Hands
Amco Rub Away Bar, $8, Amazon
If you've ever chopped a lot of onion and garlic, you know what happens—your hands smell like the stuff for the rest of the day. Now you can cook to your heart's desire with this
stainless steel rubbing bar. It removes any lingering odors: All you have to do is wash with soap and water, use the bar, and wash again. Smelly hands no more!
This Tool Makes Avocado Toast A Breeze To Make
OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, $10, Amazon
Have you ever made avocado toast or guacamole at home, only to cut yourself when removing the pit? I have a few guac related injuries myself. With this
avocado tool, you can cut, peel, de-pit, and slice an avocado easily and safely. One user said, "OMG! This thing is absolutely amazing! It's all plastic yet it cuts right through the skin of the avocado with truly great ease. ... This nifty little item is easy to hold and handles well."
Never Struggle With Opening A Jar Again
Zip-Eat! Jar Opener by Ototo Design, $15, Amazon
Jars are hard to open, and the old tricks of running them under hot water or wearing rubber gloves don't always work. But you're a grown-ass woman now, and you need to tackle the difficult stuff, so solve the problem with this awesome
jar opener. It comes in a cool zipper design that you can use on jars of many sizes. The rubber helps create a grip so you can open even the tightest containers all on your own.
Keep Your Food Fresher For Longer With This Nifty Tool
Linden Sweden Twixit Seal And Pour Bag Clip, $8, Amazon
It can be hard to keep food fresh when it comes in a bag that isn't resealable. Eliminate the chance of it having it go stale with this
seal and pour bag clip. It's perfect for bagged coffee, cereal, sugar, flour, popcorn, and more. It's also great because you can pour whatever you need without removing the clip, and also keep it spill-free.
Make Homemade Popcorn In The Microwave With No Added Oil
Silicone Microwave Popcorn Maker Popper, $13, Amazon
If you're always hosting movie night, a
popcorn maker is a great addition to your kitchen gadgets. This one lets you pop kernels in the microwave instead of the stovetop, so no oil needed! It also lies flat for easy storage, is BPA-free, and will be much cheaper than microwavable bags. You'll also have healthier and more customizable popcorn—sprinkle it with parmesan and truffle salt, or try paprika and garlic powder.
Up Your Cooking Game With This Tool For Fresh Herbs
RSVP Herb Scissors, $10, Amazon
Slicing up herbs always makes a huge mess, and it still somehow never turns out as finely chopped as you want it to. Using
herb scissors can make the process a whole lot easier, and will encourage you to use fresh herbs more often. Add them while cooking, or impress people with your garnishing skills. One user said, "These are so easy to use and clean. They make the tedious prep work and garnish absolutely perfect without crushing delicate herbs."
Keep Your Fridge Smelling Fresh With Charcoal
Charcoal Odor Absorber And Air Purifier, $8, Amazon
odor absorber is made with charcoal, which is highly absorbent and doesn't need to be replaced as much as baking soda. Store it in your fridge to eliminate odors, prevent mold, and keep everything smelling fresh. It'll last up to two years—all you need to do is place it in the sun every so often to let it recharge.
Get The Very Best Out Of Your Tap Water
Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter, $35, Amazon
Grown-ass women should do their part in saving the planet, and eliminating bottled water from your life is an easy way to help. This beautiful
water pitcher has an oak handle and features plant-based filters. Made from coconut shell carbon, they remove chlorine from your tap water while improving taste. And every time you replace one, you're giving back — clean drinking water is donated to people in need with each filter purchase.
Save Your Leftover Fruits And Veggies
Dreamfarm Savel Food Saver, $13, Amazon
If you find yourself throwing out a lot of fruit and vegetable halves, you probably need a
food saver. This one covers and seals produce you cut into, so it stays fresher for longer. It even bends and folds to fit whatever you're trying to salvage, and it's perfect for avocados, citrus fruits, apples, tomatoes, and onions.
Boil A Bunch of Things At Once With This Mesh Bag
Lekue Cooking Mesh, $15, Amazon
If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, this
cooking mesh is a great addition to your kitchen tools. You can cook several things in the same pot of boiling water—boil eggs for meal prep, then switch them out for some veggies to boil next. Afterward, boil or steam some chicken or fish. All in the same pot, all without changing the water, all with this little mesh bag.
Create Tasty, Healthy Noodle Dishes With Ease
OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer, $15, Amazon
If you're looking to find creative substitutes for pasta, or you just want to incorporate more vegetables into your meals, you really need a
handheld spiralizer. It cuts zucchinis, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and more into long noodle shapes with ease. Top with sauce and eat them like you would any pasta dish, fry them, add them to frittatas, or level up your salads. This one is dishwasher-safe.
Make Your Own Salad Dressings Like A Pro
Kolder Salad Dressing Bottle, $10, Amazon
Sick of eating salad dressings with a whole bunch of preservatives or added ingredients, but don't know how to make your own? Pick up this
salad dressing bottle with precise measurements written on the sides for eight different classic recipes, and get cooking. It'll taste a lot better than the bottled stuff, and it's a lot better for you! One user said, "This is one of the best purchases I have ever made! ... It is very simple to use and you can add additional ingredients to the recipes if you want to make them your own."
Make Food Prep Easier With This Neat Cutting Board
Dexas Chop And Scoop Cutting Board, $15, Amazon
I'm sure you already have a
cutting board at home, so what makes this one different? The curved edges make it easy to chop fruits and veggies without them flying all over the place. It has non-slip feet so it doesn't slide around while you're prepping food, and the scoop feature even makes it easier to add your ingredients to your pots and pans.
Finally Take The Guesswork Out Of Cooking Meat
GDEALER Instant Read Thermometer, $13, Amazon
instant read thermometer takes away the worry of undercooking meat, and also prevents overcooking when you're just trying to be safe. And since it's instant read, you don't have to estimate or wait for a temperature read. It's also great to check on the temperature of fry oil, so your food will turn out crispy without burning.
Save Money With Your Own Breakfast Sandwich Maker
Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $30, Amazon
Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but most of us either skip it or spend too much money on quick options. With this
breakfast sandwich maker, you can make two delicious breakfast sandwiches in five minutes, all while you're getting ready for the day. The egg, bread, cheese, pre-cooked meat, and veggies all go in at the same time. In minutes, you'll be ready to eat—feast on both, save one for your housemate, or freeze for later!
Keep Your Leftover Food From Drying Out
Tovolo Collapsible Microwave Cover, $8, Amazon
Leftovers never heat up that well in the microwave, and it makes me hesitant to meal-prep or take home leftovers if the food is just going to dry out when I reheat it. With this collapsible and heat-resistant
microwave cover, your food won't dry out, it'll taste fresher, and you'll also eliminate microwave splatter. You can even use it to steam food in the microwave.
Strain Your Pasta Right In The Pot
The Original SNAP'N STRAIN, $7, Amazon
This super practical
food strainer clips onto pots and pans to save you a step—now you can get all the water out without pouring the food out with it! It's easy to use, easy to store, and snaps onto almost any pot, pan, or bowl. One user said, "What I can tell you is that this handy contraption is 1000x better than any colander or strainer that I've ever used."
Aerate Your Cheap Wine While Preventing Spills
Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer, $16, Amazon
If you love wine, then you definitely need a
wine aerator to make it a bit fancier. It'll be the perfect thing to have around when you want to buy a cheaper bottle, because the oxygen reacts with the wine and makes it taste better. This tool is also great because it's multifunctional—the spout on the top makes it easy to pour without spilling. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.