A garlic press? Yes, it's a life saver.
By clicking one of our links you're supporting our labs and our independence, as we may earn a small share of revenue. Recommendations are separate from any business incentives.
I love cooking. I find myself whipping up a meal upwards of five nights a week (much to the astonishment of my roommates) . It is always worth it in the end, especially since I save a bunch of money when I eat in.
By the same token—since I am a savvy (or maybe just cheap?) shopper—I rely on kitchen gadgets that aren’t state-of-the-art but that are still good quality. Sure, I could buy a $50 cutting board—but I could also buy a $23 one that is just as good!
Perhaps someday I’ll stage a fake wedding to curate an expensive registry filled with upscale kitchen goods from Williams Sonoma—but even so, I’d stick with my beloved $3 spatula—and these other inexpensive kitchen must-haves that the folks at Reviewed can’t live without.
“A sink full of dirty dishes drives me crazy. I'm lucky enough to have a dishwasher in my apartment, but I also have a lot of stuff that has to be hand-washed, and not a lot of counter space for a dish drying rack. This handy little device is crazy perfect for my double sink. It lays perfectly over half the sink so I can wash in the other half and then let everything drip right down the drain. No moldy spill trays, no wet counters. And the fact that it rolls up for storage? Amazing.” — Samantha Gordon
“When I first got into the spiralizing trend, I had one of the larger models, which I now use for sweet potatoes and beets. I also invested in the $10 Veggetti that I affectionately call the Zoodler (I really hate the OG name). I only use it for spiralizing zucchini, which is what I probably spiralize most. It's smaller, easy to clean, and I can travel with it, so I've found myself ‘zoodling’ more because of it.” — Courtney Campbell
"It’s way easier and faster to push a few cloves of (unpeeled!) garlic through this mechanism than it is to peel and mince the cloves with a knife and cutting board. The cleanup is way easier too, thanks to the spiky mechanism that flips around to push any stuck garlic back through the grates. Plus, the whole process is quick, gratifying and your fingers won’t reek of garlic for eons to come. Also, jarred garlic is NOT just as good (don’t @ me on this, Olivia)." — Jessica Teich
“We received this Copper Chef non-stick frying pan as a gift last Christmas. Since then, it's been our primary frying pan for all of our cooking (love to make scrambled eggs in the morning). It's also really great to clean too since everything just slides off.” — Kyle Hamilton
“I love this small, angled 2-ounce measuring cup (also called a jigger). I see bartenders using this exact version all the time, as it's perfect for making cocktails, but I use it for general cooking measurements as well. I particularly like the stainless steel version with etched markings because I know it won't fade no matter how many times I run it through the dishwasher.” — Jeremy Stamas
“This spice/ coffee grinder is probably the single biggest improvement I saw in my cooking for under $25. Grinding your own spices is almost always the better choice, and this machine has been reliable, easy to clean, and breaks down even really tough spices like annatto seeds to a consistent powder.” — Andrew Winson
“My most favorite inexpensive kitchen item is my soft boiled egg cracker. My parents brought one back years ago from France, and it completely changed my breakfast game. Spoiler alert: I eat A LOT of soft boiled eggs. I am not sure why really, I just always grew up eating those because I loved dipping my bread into a runny egg sitting in a perfect little cup. I digress. Mine looks like this BUT the top rated one on Amazon looks a bit different” — Patricia Camerota (That’s me!)
“I absolutely love this foil cutter to open my wine bottles. Sure you can use a knife, but this in one quick squeeze cuts the foil off the top of the bottle, without the fear of cutting yourself in the process.” — Alicia Cypress
If you've got a cast iron skillet (and especially if it's a Lodge) you should spend the $3 and get these plastic scrapers. You can clean burnt- or caked-on food off without having to use soap or something super abrasive that would damage months of careful cast iron seasoning. They're cheap, convenient and incredibly useful. — Mike Roorda
"I feel very passionately about this can opener. First, it has a locking mechanism so that once it punctures the top of the can, the handles are bound together so you don’t have to squeeze the entire time, or worry about having to go back over half-opened sections of aluminum again. Secondly, it has magnet on the front to remove the lid of the can once it’s opened, so you don’t slice a finger on the sharp can edge. It’s wonderful." — Jessica Teich
“I like to make a half-and-half with beer sometimes and normally I just use a spoon that I bent to do so. It works pretty well, but if I was ever going to get a real pouring spoon, I'd go with this cheap and official spoon from Guinness. It can work in a number of different ways and is probably better than my old spoon.” — Connor Whooley
“My favorite appliance is my $15 Imusa rice cooker. The thing is, we use it almost every night, and it always produces perfectly cooked rice. I know there are better rice cookers, but mine brings me joy. Rice cooked in a pan on the stove never tastes as good.” — Cindy Bailen
"Sorry, but there is no other way to cut a pizza than with a pizza wheel. It slices through toppings, cheese, and crust with ease without disrupting the integrity of the arrangement. I recently stayed in a house with no pizza cutter and suffered many a homemade pizza with cheese that had been ripped in a pitiful glob from its rightful, evenly distributed home. Never again. Pizza cutters forever." — Jessica Teich
“I'm always trying to eat healthier, and one of my favorite healthy snacks is sliced up apples (usually with peanut butter or cheddar cheese. sue me.). But when I try to cut one into slices, I usually make a mess of things. So I picked up this apple corer and have never looked back. It's ridiculously easy to just push through your apple and then chop it into neat, seed-free slices. And the tool is the perfect size to stick in any drawer, unlike those big bulky apple slicing monstrosities (even though they work great too).” — Samantha Gordon
"I have a pint-sized Mason jar obsession, and I can't get enough. I find myself reaching for them constantly for holding veggies as I meal prep, for juice drinking glasses, and especially, for leftovers that I pack for lunch." — Cindy Bailen
“OK don't get me wrong. I really enjoy chopping veggies the old-fashioned way. But if I'm in a time crunch or just have way too much prep work to do, I'll grab this guy out of my cabinet and use it to dice onions, shallots, bell peppers, and things like that. What I really like, aside from the fact that it prevents onion tears, is that it also stores my produce until I need it, giving me more room to prep everything else. It also comes apart really easily and the whole thing is dishwasher safe, so cleanup is easy too.” — Samantha Gordon
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.
Sign up for our newsletter to get real advice from real experts.