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Five small, indispensable kitchen tools

I like to keep a somewhat minimalist kitchen.

But there are a few things I have in my kitchen that I cannot imagine living without; they make my life easier every single day.

bowls on a shelf.

I know that no two home cooks are exactly the same, but if these things are helping me, they miiiiight also help you.

And none of them is particularly expensive.

1. A narrow rubber spatula

A lot of people have the typically-sized spatulas, which are super useful, to be sure!

But I really, really love having a narrow spatula. It’s about half the width of a typical spatula, and it is SO useful for getting the last little bit of food out of containers, especially if they have narrow openings.

narrow spatula

I use this for various sauce containers (Thai red curry sauce, for example) but most often, I use it to get the last of the peanut butter out of a jar. Since it’s narrow, it can fit just fine even if you have a smaller peanut butter jar.

spatula in peanut butter jar.

Your frugal heart will be happy about the way this spatula helps you use up ALL the food in a jar/container.

This kind, with a wooden handle, is not my favorite. The wood always gets mildewy for me!

I’d go with an entirely silicone version, like this one.

2. A tiny whisk

I like my big whisks, but a teeny one is so super handy! When I need to whisk up a little bit of salad dressing or a few eggs, I always grab my mini whisk.

I know you can use a fork instead, but that really does not work as nicely as a whisk, especially when it comes to mixing up eggs or egg whites.

You can get these cheap ones for under $4, but in my experience, they rust and bend and just do not hold up well.

So, I think it’s worth it to pay a little more for a sturdier version, like this one.

3. Dishcloths

I have big feelings about this. I know it’s quite possible to wash dishes without a dishcloth…a kitchen sponge works fine.

Mighty Fix organic cotton dishcloths

But man, there is nothing that is as good for wiping down counters and other things (like appliances) as a dishcloth.

I hate trying to wipe tables and counters with a sponge. It’s too small! It’s too hard to use for corraling all the little crumbs and such!

Mighty Fix organic cotton dishcloths

So, I will forever and always have a set of cotton dishcloths in my kitchen.

Here are 8 tips for keeping kitchen dishcloths sanitary.

And here’s info on how I boil mine every now and again.

4. Kitchen scissors

I am always surprised when people do not have a pair of kitchen scissors!

kitchen scissors.

I find them to be so handy for things like:

  • opening food packaging
  • snipping herbs or green onions
  • cutting pizza
  • cutting up little kid food (obviously in my past now!)

Whenever I travel and use a condo/Airbnb kitchen, I always really miss having my scissors.

5. A good vegetable peeler

I know that a knife can work for peeling. But a good peeler is way faster and I think it results in less waste.

I got this little set of Kuhn Rikon peelers with carbon blades in 2013, and mine are still going strong.

fg peeler review

The green Kitchen-Aid one on the right is good too, but I prefer the Kuhn Rikons.

They’re great for peeling potatoes, squash, carrots, and even mangoes.

(You can also get a single peeler from Kuhn Rikon.)

I use them in a sort of backward way from how I use regular peelers, but it feels so, so comfortable, and I’m super fast with this method.

kuhn rikon peeler

Do you have a favorite small kitchen item that you’d recommend?

Five small, indispensable kitchen tools

Five inexpensive tools I use almost every day!

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Wednesday 7th of June 2023

OMG I am with you for four out of five - but the dishcloths aren't for me... And also, I will now need to peel a mango with a peeler - i've never tried!!


Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Not much on tiny whisk, but yes! to others. You will have to pry from my cold dead hands. I also love a little serrated bowl shaped tool for coring tomatoes, strawberries, tomatillos, etc. I use that or a grapefruit spoon to scoop seeds from melons, papaya. I prefer cloth napkins for dining so keep a stack stained and worn on the counter for hand, counter wiping, drying vegetables. After washing and draining berries, I line the plastic box with one of my old napkins and store the berries back in container.


Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Who doesn’t have kitchen scissors?!? I once made a salad, including ‘chopping’ lettuce and tomatoes, with only kitchen scissors (we moved and I forgot the ‘handy place’ I’d packed the kitchen knives).

I like tongs but the ones where the loop slides up and down to tighten them and not the ones that you pull out the end. That way I can use them one handed.

Many tea pigs or strainers, a device for opening champagne bottles (realistically cava usually), and really good knives. If we stay self catering anywhere I take my knives.

Anita Isaac

Tuesday 6th of June 2023

i use bar mops for wiping things. i love them and they come in beautiful colors.


Monday 5th of June 2023

I always say a pair of good scissors would be my one item I would need if I was stranded on a desert island. And cotton dish cloths and a spatula are my loves, as well. My Oxo peeler is fine, but I might have to think about a tiny whisk. Your articles are fun to read. Love the action photos.

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