Here’s the budget-friendly stuff I’m obsessed with.
Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed
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Hey! I'm Melissa — I'm BuzzFeed's food editor, and I spend a bunch of time in the kitchen.
Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed
These flexible cutting boards that streamline prep-to-pan transport.
These are perfect for quick prep jobs (like cutting fruits or vegetables) because when you're done, you just curl the board and use it as a funnel to get your prepped items directly into wherever they need to go: pots, pans, storage containers, etc. They're also great because although they're durable, they're also really thin/non-bulky — so you can easily slip them into even the fullest of dishwashers or cabinets.
These bendable ice cube trays for plain ice...
Having grown up with a family freezer that was stocked with those hard (definitively '90s!) trays that took forever to actually get ice out, I was late to the game on silicone versions. But after a friend introduced me to them — and how the ice immediately pops out once you give the tray a quick twist — I never went back. These things rule.
Get a two-pack on Amazon for $8.99.
Melissa Harrison / BuzzFeed
This leveraged jar opener that'll easily unstick even the most stuck-AF containers.
LOL, I got this as a white elephant gift one year. Someone offered up a six-pack of beer, a bag of tortilla chips, a jar of salsa, and this jar opener — along with a note about how the last thing would come in handy, if you had too much of the first. 🍺
Fast-forward a few years — and this is still in my kitchen, and comes in handy more frequently than I'd like to admit. (Amazon reviewers point out that this is also really useful if you have arthritis or trouble with your hands.)
A surprisingly handy garlic press — which helps cut prep time way down.
A while back, I'd asked BuzzFeed Food readers to share the most underrated gadget in their kitchen — and a ton responded with their garlic press. I had my doubts (just use a knife!) but I eventually picked this one up to see what the fuss was about. And let me just say: I GET IT NOW. If you use a ton of garlic when you cook, this little thing saves so much time. Just peel your cloves, pop 'em in (about three-ish cloves can fit at a time), and press down. Instant minced garlic. You'll never go back to the manual way. (Or at least I won't. 😛 )