3 Cheap Kitchen Tools that Make Life Easier

I love a great kitchen gadget; especially those that simplify my life and don’t cost an arm and a leg.  Here are a few of my recent favorites.

  • Painter’s Tape ($2, WalMart)

    Ok, I know this low-tack tape probably doesn’t qualify as a kitchen gadget to most people, but I use it in my kitchen all the time.  I’ve even got a special hook inside my cupboard door to keep my roll of tape handy (and keep it out of the hands of my tape-loving kids).  I use it for all kinds of things like making a reusable seal on bags of snacks or to close up bags of frozen goods before they get tossed back into the freezer.  I’ve even been known to make a tape line across my kitchen floor when I’m prepping a big dinner.  When my kids see the blue line on the floor they know Mom is stressed out and they’re not allowed to cross…unless someone’s bleeding…a lot.  Sorry, but sometimes we Moms just need our space.  Please tell me I’m not alone on this one.
  • Fruit Spray ($1, WalMart)

    We’re big on fresh fruit at our house.  I probably buy at least 10 pounds a week because Sam’s Club has such a great selection and because I hate the look and texture of the canned stuff.  One tool that comes in really handy is this little spray bottle of lemon water I keep in the fridge.  It’s just a simple travel-size bottle of water mixed with a few tablespoons of lemon juice.  When I’m chopping the kids a snack for school or making a fruit salad for dinner I just grab my bottle and give the fruit a quick spray.  It keeps the fruit from browning (even several hours in advance) and gives everything a nice bright flavor.
  • Pineapple Cutter ($7, Bed Bath & Beyond)

    One of the fruits that never seemed to make it to my Sam’s Club cart was fresh pineapple.  As much as I loved to eat it, chopping it was a sticky, tedious mess.  That is until I found this handy gadget a few months ago.  It’s a really simple device that cores a pineapple and produces a long, neat spiral of fruit in about 10 seconds.  In fact, if you’re feeling fancy you can even use the hollowed pineapple base as a serving bowl (my kids were very impressed by this).  It’s machine washable and made entirely of plastic so it’s very kid-friendly.  Needless to say, fresh pineapple is now a staple on my Sam’s Club list.

See? I told you they were cheap.  For under $10 you can run to the store and get all three of these handy kitchen tools and start making your life a little easier too.  They’ve worked great for me.  Just thought I’d pass it on.

Do you have a cheap kitchen tool you can’t live without?  Share it with the rest of us in the comments area below.


  1. I love these gadgets, now if I can only find them in Grenada, and I like your idea of blue tape on the floor… I might have to try that!

  2. Once again- I love your idea!! I knew lemon juice was good to keep fruit from browning but never could find a practical way to do it. Thanks!!

  3. Okay, I know I’ve already emailed you about the Demarle stuff… and they’re not cheap, but they are now a staple in my kitchen. I use them more than anything! I love my food chopper, too. You can find them cheap at Target and they are amazing! I use that probably more than my knives.

  4. holy nanners-this post is brilliant!!!
    i always new about the lemon water, yet lacked a convenient way to go about the technique without any waste. you. rock.
    totally digging the pineapple cutter too.
    the painter’s tape is swell too. we’ve been using extra rubberbands that stack up on doorknobs from the newspaper.

  5. Can I just say that the blue tape on the floor is BRILLANT! I don’t know if my two and one year old will honor it, but I definitely think it is worth a try. And the lemon spayer – wonderful! I have a question about the pineapple corer, though: Do you feel like it wastes pineapple around the edge. That’s always my issue because I want to eat ALL my pineapple and it looks like it leaves extra on the pineapple. Has that been your experience? Thanks for a great post, Maria!

    • Hey Emily,
      Honestly I don’t feel like it wastes any pineapple. When I try to chop them up myself I find that the outer 1/2 inch of the pineapple flesh is really tough and dotted with little brown things. The same is true for the core, it’s way too tough to eat. That’s why I like my little tool, it only gives me the scrumptious, tender part of the pineapple and leaves the rest behind. I hope that answers your question. Good luck with the tape idea – trust me, it’s never too early to try!!

  6. I used cloths pins to reclose all my open bags.

  7. The tape idea… genius! Nobel prize worthy, I have bought a million “chip clips” and zip-lock bags when all I ever really needed was tape! Thanks for the tip.

  8. Kati Resnick

    Great ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I used the blue tape once when my kids were like 3 and 5. I put an X on the drawer where the sharp knives were. They never went in that drawer. It’s funny: EVERY adult that came over asked why there was an X. LOL I use rubber bands and/or zipock bags for open bags. Not the best system. My sister uses binder clips. strong and compact. They don’t stick up like “chip clips” or clothespins.

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