By Paige DiFiore, Credit.com
Buying kitchen appliances can be expensive and it can be hard to decide which ones are smart investments. A lot of it depends on your lifestyle. For some, a waffle maker might be a great investment because if you eat waffles on a daily basis. If your waffle habit is not as strong, a waffle maker won’t be worth it. Kitchen appliances can save you money, but only if you actually use them. If your lifestyle doesn’t necessitate the use of these appliances on a daily basis, they might just end up gathering dust.
There are plenty of ways to save money in the kitchen and investing in small appliances can lead to major future savings. Peruse the list and envision your daily life — if you see these appliances as eventually paying for themselves and making your life easier, it might be a great money saver for you.
1. Single Serve Coffee Maker
A coffee maker adds major convenience to any morning, and it can also positively impact your wallet. If you don’t live with many people or are the only coffee drinker in the house, a single serve coffee maker can help you save major bucks. It can often be wasteful to make a huge pot of coffee for only one person — unless it’s a Monday, in which case, keep it coming.
Refillable single serve cups or pods can also be a bonus budget friendly option, allowing you to use your favorite ground coffee and save on disposable pods. Plus, they are multi-use, allowing you to use them to brew tea, hot cocoa or even soup.
You can also get cash back when you purchase coffee pods or K-Cups when using certain credit cards for coffee lovers. Before applying for any new credit, it’s best to make sure your credit score is high enough to qualify. You can check two of your scores free on Credit.com.
2. Rice Cooker
Perfectly cooking rice can be difficult and quick-cook rice pouches can be pricey. Uncooked bags of rice can be sold by the pound at an affordable price and using a rice cooker can be a huge money saver. Rice can also be a hassle to cook in a pan because you have to watch it carefully, so having a rice cooker frees up time for other tasks.
Though rice is a great pantry staple, rice cookers can be used for more than rice. Use it to cook quinoa, soups, porridge, cake and other meals. Plus, if your rice cooker has a steaming basket, it can be used to steam veggies. A quick internet search easily draws up plenty of results for rice cooker recipes.
3. Slow Cooker
If you dread cooking a meal after a long day of work and end up ordering out, a slow cooker can save you a lot of money. This saves money by cutting back on excuses when it comes to homemade meals. Add your ingredients to the cooker before going to work and come home to a tasty meal. Ordering food for dinner won’t be necessary if you’ve got it waiting for you. As you eat more home cooked meals and order out less, the savings can pile up.
The slow cooker can also be multipurpose. Use it to make cooking essentials, like chicken stock or vegetable broth. Slow cookers are also a way to turn cheaper cuts of meat into delicious meals. An inexpensive cut of pork can lead to tasty pulled pork.
4. Food Processor
For those who find their homes cluttered with blenders, graters and other appliances, this can also be a space saving option. One food processor can serve plenty of functions like pureeing, grinding, shredding, chopping and blending. It’s also great for making smoothies and milkshakes, no blender necessary.
A food processor can also be used to make affordable some pantry staples, like nut butters, hummus or pasta sauce. If you’re feeling bold, food processors can also be used to make laundry detergent.
5. Vacuum Sealer
This appliance is perfect for anyone with major freezer space who loves meal planning and keeping food fresh. If you’ve got plenty of freezer space, save major bucks by vacuum sealing everything from meats to peppers from your garden.
Freezer burn can lead to a lot of wasted food, and a vacuum sealer can prevent it. When there’s a great deal on chicken or fresh spices, buy in bulk and vacuum seal them to freeze for a later date. This appliance can also vacuum seal half-used refrigerated foods, like blocks of cheese, to extend their shelf life.
Keep in mind unless you’ve got freezer space or often buy or cook in bulk, this appliance may not be worth it.
6. Soda Maker
If you’re a big fan of flavored seltzer or sparkling water or soda, this can be a smart investment. Making your own version of soda and seltzer at home can lead to savings. If sparking water, soda and other carbonated beverages routinely eat up your grocery budget, this can be a great investment.
7. Toaster Oven
For quick tasks normally be done in an oven, toaster ovens are perfect. They take less time to preheat than ovens, making them a great money saving option for small meals or even side dishes. If you use your oven often, a toaster oven can be a wise investment.
Toaster ovens are also great for reviving leftovers. Plus, toaster ovens can be a substitute for toasters — a huge win for those who are trying to eliminate clutter or don’t want to buy more kitchen appliances.
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.