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Holiday Frugal Gift Guide For Home Cooks 2019

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The holiday season is here and that means it’s time to think about gifts for our loved ones (or ourselves), but we all could save a coin or two.

As much as I love cooking, I just can’t bring myself to slap down a thousand bucks on shiny, new cooking equipment – no matter how many mushrooms bacon I am bringing home. 

However, there are a few kitchen bolts and nails in my toolbox that are reasonably priced and useful to have in the kitchen. Whether you’re treating yourself, or someone else, let’s shop responsibly. 

Everything on this list is budget-friendly and we aimed for items that are under $50 bucks. :: cue wallet applause :: Here are my top Christmas and holiday gifts for 2019.

Holiday Gift Guide For Frugal Cooks 2019 

Reusable Silicone Bag 

If you’re looking to reduce waste, reusable silicone bags are the way to go. You can use them over-and-over again. Similar to ziplock bags, they are perfect for storage, cooking sous vide, or tossing last-minute snacks for a busy day.

Non-Stick Pan 

This is the kitchen tool I use nearly every single day. It never disappoints and it’s especially essential for an oil-free recipe including vegetable “fried” rice. 

High-Speed Blender 

A blender isn’t just a vessel for fast blades – it creates masterpieces. A lot of my soups, gravies, smoothies, and cheese recipes are made in this bad boy. Treat yourself and get a blender that actually gets the job done. 

Canning Jars 

Aren’t they cute!? They are perfect for storing little desserts, puddings, or dry pantry items. 

Silicone Kitchen Utensils 

If you’re using non-stick pans and pots, it’s important to use the right kind of kitchen utensils. Meaning, you don’t want to scratch them up. Using silicone kitchen utensils is one right way to go about it. 

Measuring Spoons 

These are a must-have for any home cook. Especially when you dive into other folk’s recipes, or just want to get consistent. 

Measuring Cups 

Just like measuring spoons, these are very handy to have. I use measuring cups on a very regular basis, especially for testing out new recipes. 

Hot Plate 

If you don’t have access to a full kitchen, a hot plate is very convenient. It can do just about everything a stovetop can. It’s perfect for small spaces, dorms, or kitchenless homes. 

Kitchen Mittens 

Don’t grab that hot thing with your bare hands! Protect those paws with proper kitchen mittens that are meant for high-heat situations. 


Forks can be finicky when grabbing hot stuff straight from the oven or stovetop. Make your life easier by using tongs. I like to use them to grab food items like veggie bacon, plantains, and potato wedges. 

Kitchen Scale 

I don’t know about you, but I can actually appreciate a recipe that has ingredients weighed rather than measured. This is because this can be more precise. For example, there can be a variance between packed and loose 1 cup of flour. With a weight scale, it removes all the guesswork. A kitchen scale can be especially important for recipes that are sensitive to measurements, like baked items. 

Toaster Oven 

If you’re not in the mood to use your large oven, a toaster oven will usually do. When laziness sets in, sometimes I just throw in veggie nuggets into a toaster oven. You know, not every day is a beautiful cooking experience. Nuggets and toast for dinner, anyone? 

Wooden Spoons

Like silicone utensils, wooden spoons pair well with non-stick cookware. They won’t scratch your cookware like metal utensils will. 

Rice Cooker 

A rice cooker is hands down a must-have. It’s a set it and forget it kind of tool that just makes cooking easier. 

Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens are perfect for soups, stews, beans, sauces, and gravies. They are great for retaining heat and keeping cooked food warm. If you’re a soup lover, these things are awesome to have. 

Knife Set 

I’ve talked about dull knives and how dangerous they can be. Protect those fingertips and get a good knife set – it’s worth it. 


Anyone else a hot drink lover? Every night, like clockwork, I have a warm mug of tea – cinnamon or chai to be exact. A kettle just makes boiling water easy and fast. 


I store food often and it’s important for any cook to have a tupperware set to keep your food properly stored and organized. Thankfully, I have a full pantry. 

Mixing Bowls 

If you ever tried to mix large quantities of ingredients in a regular food bowl, you’ll know that spills and overflows are typical. They are very affordable, get a set! 

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