Affordable kitchens

 Hello Dear Reader,

I was asked about kitchen equipment and if I could recommend any ‘essentials’. I love all kitchenalia and love to nose around ‘cook shops’ and then I go away with ideas in my mind and find ways and means of getting it at prices I can afford or even for free. Some of the photos here are ‘stock’ and some are my own. I thought I would share a few of the kitchen items that I use, as well as the stories behind their acquisition. 

Hand Held Food Mixer – I’ve had one for years, from Argos and the cheapest they had. They are a great substitute to a full size mixer and an affordable starter piece of equipment. Ask your colleagues, put a shout out on Freecycle, put a notice up in your church foyer. There will be one lurking somewhere. 

 Plastic jugs – Look out for these in Poundland, Trago, your local 99p store. They are really useful for microwaving veg, just cover with an upturned plate. I also make cake mix in them and pour the mix into the cake tins.

Cake stand – Car boot sales, jumble sales and charity shops. Look in flea markets or on ebay. I paid £5 for mine at a car boot sale. The blue spotty jug is great for gravy, custard, milk or as a water jug on the table. £1 at a car boot sale.

 Casserole Dishes with lids – the old fashioned enamelled dish came from Trago, you can also buy them on market stalls or cook shops. They are well worth having as the dimples do the basting for you. The cast iron dish was from a car boot sale, it was stained but I filled it with water and a strong bleach solution and it was good to go. 

Deep Saucepan with lid/Stock Pot – An old pressure cooker will do, but don’t screw the lid on tightly. I buy most of my saucepans from charity shops and car boot sales. They are easy to come across. You will pay £2/3 and they are well worth it. 

 Kenwood Chef – My retro orange 1970’s Kenwood chef, was lurking in the small ads of our local paper for £25 and it is one of my best purchases. They cost hundreds new so keep your eyes open on ebay or in the local paper. They are too heavy to post and difficult to pack, so you may find one in your local area at a reasonable price. 

Food Processor – This came from a jumble sale, they gave it me! They didn’t know if it worked or not. I gave them a £5 donation and was delighted with it. You can search on line for instructions. I didn’t get all the bits, but for £5 what I got was well worth it.

Preserving Pan – One of my greatest charity shop finds! £5 from the local Salvation Army shop and it makes jam making so much easier as I can keep the jam on a rolling boil for longer and get a better set. 

 Electronic Scales – I measure directly into the mixing bowl or jug. I just place the receptacle on top ‘zero’ the scales and then measure. 

 Chopping boards – It is advised that you have different boards for different jobs. I use wooden chopping boards and scrub them with hot soapy water, spray them with bleach solutions and then scald rinse them with boiling water from the kettle. 

Loose bottomed cake tins  – mine came from the same jumble sale as the food processor and they make like so much easier. I even make smaller quiches in them and it makes my life so much easier to just lift them out. Another good item to look for at car boot sales and in charity shops.

Electric Slicer – We bought ours years ago, it was expensive at around £20 but we have used it for years. Argos sell these. I also slice home made bread on this, so we have ready sliced bread to use.

 Saute Pan – This is basically a deep frying pan with a lid, I start casseroles in these by browning meat and they are far easier to use than a regular frying pan. I use an ordinary frying pan for pancakes or eggs. 

 Knives – I’ve bought my knives over the years from TK Max. I buy the best I can afford and use a steel to sharpen them every time I use them. If I won the lottery? I would buy Sabatier knives. I have cheap kitchen scissors which I use to open packets and cut up herbs.

Steamer Saucepan – This is mine and again, it came from a car boot sale. Kitchen equipment being sold by ‘booters’ is usually something that they really want shot of and usually goes quite cheaply.

I’ve included just a few kitchen items that I find really useful. I could live without some of them, but they make my life easier. I hope the person who requested this finds some of it useful. 

Now over to you Dear Reader, what advice would you give to the person who asked me; what do you find really useful in your kitchen?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx


26 thoughts on “Affordable kitchens

  1. I find a little zester for citrus fruits very useful and a veg peeler where the blade lies at right angles to the handle rather than in line with the handle. Quilted pot holders made from old teatowels or patchwork with wool or cotton batting. a stick blender for soups and smoothies. A slow cooker; big stews, bolognaise, curry etc for the freezer.


  2. i have about 10 wooden spoons of various shapes, i love them, everyone should have 2 at least. my prized possesion is my chefs knife i paid a small mortgage for it but i love it, its a zwilling. a stick mixer is really handy too, but i also use a good old whisk.


  3. Its fun to see what others have in their kitchens! I have tried to think what I couldnt do without..I have to say that my huge jelly roll pans. I use them for freezing everything separately before storing in a holds a huge bunch of chopped veggies, bacon slices, chicken breasts, not to mention cookie baking.


  4. I have a good collection of cast iron: 2 frying pans, 2 Dutch ovens, 1 large griddle. They cook so beautifull – on the stove, in the oven, on the grill.

    I couldn't cook without my food processor. I bought an expensive, well-made one (Cuisinart). I make mayonnaise, hummus, pesto, Nutella, nut butter, onion puree for potato salad, etc. in it. The blender cannot handle these things and I like to make them from scratch because it's cheaper and healthier.


  5. For me, it's storage tubs! I have various shapes and sizes and plenty of recycled margarine and ice cream tubs. But my favourites are my Lock N Lock containers I bought several years ago from Lakeland. Cost a lot, but such a worthwhile investment. They are still going strong and look as good as the day I bought them!

    Best Wishes
    Frugal Wife


  6. I do not have an electric slicer, but I do have a good bread knife that I bought from Pampered Chef (far more expensive than I usually spend) that I use for everything. It slices tomatoes, etc. perfectly and it slices bread great. I've been using it for so many years that it has paid for itself.

    I love the slow cooker, a roasting pan with lid (so versatile), and a whisk designed for non stick pans.

    And a good bundt cake pan. For some reason even the simplest of cakes seems much more festive in that “shape.”


  7. Slow cooker, I use 2, a small Hinari 1.5 lt, and a bigger Russel Hobbs 3.5 lt.
    They both get lots of use, I rarely do anything in the oven.

    And my favourite knife, 10″ slicing knife, gets used for everything, it was donated by a friend who up-graded; with a wooden chopping board I've had 20 years, it was a sample of Bosch worktop, solid beech.

    And a good potato peeler.


  8. A very useful LITTLE thing is my Magic Bullet, with just basic large and small containers, not the drinks cups. It's useful for making sandwich spread with egg, onions, cheese, gerkin and spices.


  9. Remoska, the little pan oven from Lakeland. It's a metal bowl on a stand with the electric element in the lid. Cooks a chicken beautifully and saves having to turn the big oven on. It's expensive but I bought the display model at least 10 years ago and is about the only thing I have left here in Australia that still has an English plug on and have to use an adapter. Except of course for some beautiful Christmas lights from Lakeland. Gotta love Lakeland. Wish we had one here.


  10. I'm a bit of a kitchenalia fan too. My most used bits of kitchen kit are:
    My pressure cooker (I have an 8 litre Fissler for my family of 4) – I make soups, stocks, stews, cook vegies and rice in it, using very little power as it cooks in about a third of the time. My pressure cooker revolutionised my cooking. Truly!
    A heavy base roasting pan, that you can put on the hob without it buckling. So you can get all the flavour out of your roasts for the gravy.
    A small, sharp paring knife.
    Cast iron casserole dish with lid.
    A good food processor is worth the investment.


  11. Enamel trays, flat no sides are useful for making pizzas on, reheating things on. The enamel ones with sides you know about half in depth are useful too! I use them because those non-stick tins you have remove the contents before cutting with a knife because the coating gets scratched!
    Julie xxxxxxxx


  12. My Remoska has to be the most cost effective thing I've bought, yes it was dear to buy but the electricity I'm saving is amazing and it does everything…and is easy to wash up!!

    Like you I find sharp knives the best and look after the ones I have.

    Also I love my old fashioned potato peeler, one the ones with string wrapped around the handle. Mine's a very old one and I'm worried one day it will snap so I keep trying to replace it with a newer one, but I can never find one as good and they get passed on and I stick with old faithful!

    Sue xx


  13. I would say my cast iron cookware is what I love the most.

    I tend to use most of what is on your list Froogs. A while ago I thinned out my kitchen stuff and only have what I use in there now, all the rest was donated to charity 🙂



  14. As our children got older and ate more (!) I invested in a second set of steamers like yours. You can use all four pans on top of the one pan, so using only one ring to cook a meal for four.


  15. I love my kitchen gadgets and tools I also use all on your list Froogs and few more.My Kenwood mixer is a favorite , my heavy based saute pan is used most days, my sgharp knives and my huge mason and cash mixing bowl that we bought whilst on honeymoon:-)my loose botton tins and my tupperware potato peeler…I could go on and on:-)


  16. I just bought the knives that were on offer with coupons at Tesco. They are fantastic and because the offer was extended but ends very soon you might be able to get a friendly cashier to give you a handful of tokens, rather than having to save them up. That's what I did and the knives are fabulous – all one piece and massively sharp!

    K xx


  17. I also have an old 70's Kenwood Chef which was given to me by someone who was going to throw it out! I've had it a good few years now and use it almost every day. The blender attachment is really good. I also love my Pampered Chef kitchen knives, they all have a holder which sharpens them each time up put them away. They have been going strong for years.


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