Getting tired of takeout? If your busy life keeps you from cooking meals, we have just the solution: A bunch of products under $20 that can help you save time while making meals that are nutritious and inexpensive.
Following are eight clever products that make meal prep and clean up quick and easy. Think of all the money you’ll save on pizza delivery!
A slow cooker is a great shortcut for preparing easy, healthful weeknight dinners. But the Western Orange Slow Cooker Crock Pot Liners ($7.99) make this cooking method even more convenient by eliminating the time-consuming clean up. No muss, no fuss — just line your crockpot, add in your ingredients, prepare your meal and toss the liner when you’re done.
Want to make delicious, nutritious salads in mere minutes? Simply add your ingredients to the AngLink Salad Cutter Bowl ($10.28). This “60-second salad maker” lets you strain, slice and serve. It eliminates the need for a cutting board (one less item to wash) and helps protect fingers from accidental nicks and cuts. Made of durable, high-quality, BPA-free plastic.
The Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer ($11.98) takes “the strain out of straining,” the company says. The clip-on silicon colander is designed to fit most pots, pans and bowls. The heat-resistant, dishwasher-safe strainer was built to stay in place with heavy foods, such as potatoes. Drain water from pasta and veggies without worry about messy spills.
Forget the knife and cutting board! The Microplane Veggie Wedgie Slicer ($12.99) will help you slice carrots, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, Roma tomatoes, baby potatoes and zucchini into six consistent wedges. With one quick push, its sharp, stainless-steel blades “efficiently guide the food through for exact slices,” the manufacturer says.
Preparing fluffy rice, polenta and couscous is a breeze, thanks to the Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker ($13). The manufacturer says the lid features a steam-release vent for “splatter-free heating” and “cool-to-the-touch, easy-lift tabs” that protect your hands from heat burns. It’s dishwasher and freezer safe and can even be used to store leftovers.
When you want to enjoy grilled cheese for dinner, you’ll appreciate the Kitchemy 12-Pack of Reusable Toaster Bags ($14.87). These convenient, reusable toaster bags help keep the mess contained. But don’t let the name fool you. The multipurpose, heat-resistant bags — which come in three sizes — aren’t just for toasters. They can also be used (between 50 and 70 times each) to warm up a variety of foods in the microwave or even on the grill.
Save time chopping garlic — and keep your hands odor-free — with the Kitchen Innovations Garlic-A-Peel Garlic Press, Crusher, Mincer and Storage Container ($14.99). It allows you to “peel, slice, dice and grate” the strong-smelling bulb for use in all your favorite recipes. A clear container catches the crushed garlic for easy transfer to your dishes, and all components are dishwasher-safe.
Forgot to take dinner out of the freezer? Not a problem! The MN Majestic Defrosting Tray ($18.95) will quickly thaw chicken, fish, burgers, steak, pork chops, lamb chops and more. It uses no hot water or electricity. Simply set your frozen food on top of the conductive aluminum mat and watch it thaw twice as fast as it would at room temperature on another surface.
Do you have suggestions for more great items that can make dinner easier? Share them in comments below or on our Facebook page.
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