One of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving – besides overindulging in pumpkin pie – is pouring over the Black Friday ads.
In years past, I used to scour the deals WEEKS ahead of time, come up with a strategic game plan for hitting as many stores as possible, as early as possible, and as painless as possible.
While that was definitely fun, my shopping technique is a bit different nowadays. Instead of looking what’s on sale first, now I write a list of what we’d like to give and to whom, and then what store has it for what price.
I’ve found that this method makes it MUCH easier to not only stay within budget, but it’s so much more practical than my previous method of standing in line at 4am and freezing to death.
Being a foodie, I love to give foodie gifts. For my own good, I’m semi-banned from Williams Sonoma.
And Cost Plus World Market.
There are scoops for this, spoons for that. Place mats and coordinating dining ware. Bamboo serving spoons and pretty jars.
Oh, the jars!
I don’t know about you, but it’s SO easy for me to get caught up between the “needs” and “wants” in the kitchen, and even more so when I know I’m giving to someone else.
But there’s nothing worse than giving a gift that the other person won’t ever use!
So last week I went through my kitchen and thought about all the fun stuff, and really thought about the items that I truly love. The ones that I’d be heartbroken if they failed, or distraught if they got lost.
I figure if I enjoy these things that much, then chances are other foodies will too.
And it’s just so much fun to shop for fun kitchen gadgets!!!
This list of affordable kitchen gadgets to shop for on Black Friday is a super practical gift-giving guide for those on your list who love all aspects of food. I included approximate price points for you, so just in case you’re out shopping Black Friday (or doing it from the comfort of your jammies and the sofa), you’ll be able to spot a good deal and take advantage… wherever that may be.
Affordable Kitchen Gadgets to Shop for on Black Friday – $10 or Less
Cookie Scoop. This awesome little guy gets used ALL THE TIME in our house. Cookies yes, but also for scooping ice cream, balling fruits (like in these vanilla cheesecake baked apples) and even measuring things like coconut oil and shea butter.
Gift Idea: A cookie scoop with homemade cookie dough in a jar.
Fine Mesh Strainer. What once was used for just kefir grains is now used for straining homemade chicken stock, pomegranate seeds for homemade juice and straining yogurt for homemade Greek yogurt. I prefer this nylon strainer, since kefir grains are sensitive to metals and little particles of food don’t get stuck under the rim after a wash in the dishwasher.
Silicone Muffin Liners. Speaking of not wanting to grease all the little cups, silicone muffin liners to the rescue! The simple ones are round, but there are other shapes like rectangles, squares and mini muffin liners too. We use these most often for – you guessed it – muffins, but they’re also great for keeping items separate in homemade lunchables.
Mini-Loaf Pans. These are the pans you never knew you needed. I use them not just for mini-loaves of bread (both yeast and quick breads), but they’re THE BEST pans for homemade fudge! They’re also great for having on hand when you want to make banana chocolate chip muffins, but don’t feel like greasing a billion little cups.
Gift Idea: Two mini-loaf pans with a mini-loaf of naturally sweetened pumpkin bars. (Frugal Tip: These are often sold in packages of 4. Consider dividing them and giving a set to two people on your list.)
Funnel. Totally boring I know, but it’s just so practical! Again, I use this for getting homemade chicken stock into the glass jars, plus anytime I’m canning homemade fruit butter or even just pouring beans or rice into reusable containers. Have you ever spilled rice all over a newly swept floor? I have. Not fun. Use a funnel.
Affordable Kitchen Gadgets to Shop for on Black Friday – $20 or Less
Silicone Baking Mats. This became the newest edition to my kitchen when I found a pack of 3 for $18 at Costco. With all the Einkorn rolls lately and homemade tortillas yesterday, baking mats are worth their weight in gold at keeping my counters free from crusted on wet flour.
Gift Idea: A set of baking mats with a loaf of homemade rosemary olive oil bread and the recipe handwritten on a recipe card. (Another idea – these mats come in packages of two, so you could split both the mats and the batch of bread and cover two gifts!)
Large Loaf Pans. By themselves, one of these is less than $10, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about baking bread is that RARELY is any bread recipe for one single loaf. Most time, they’re for two, and it will drive a bread-baker batty to have to bake one loaf while crossing their fingers, hoping the second loaf doesn’t ruin with the extra long second rise. Be a good gift-giver and give two pans. They’ll thank you later.
Wide-Mouth Glass Jars. I personally prefer wide-mouth jars over regular because of looks, but glass are a must in any real food kitchen. Homemade ketchup, homemade apple cider vinegar and sourdough starters all started in these jars. It’s nice to have an assortment of sizes available, so be on the look-out for quart (32 oz), pint (16 oz), half-pint (8 oz) and 4 oz jars too.
Gift Idea: Wide-mouth glass jars filled with an assortment of homemade goods, like apple cider vinegar or granola bars in-a-jar.
Candy & Oil Thermometer. It seems far-fetched, but I used this thermometer often for baking bread to make sure my non-water liquids are the right temperature. I’ve used it to make homemade salted caramel too, as well as homemade yogurt and Mr. Crumbs has used it to make sure a chicken was done once. But just once, since I kinda gave him the stink eye for that one.
Apron. Yes, a trusty apron is a MUST-have for any real foodie. Slap this on and say good-bye to grease stains on shirts and flour all over your nice dark jeans. I kid you not, I cook faster when I wear an apron.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to acquire some useful tools in the kitchen. Keep an eye out for good deals, and pick one up as the budget permits. But if you happen to be shopping on Black Friday, don’t forget that writing “To Mom, From Santa” is totally acceptable.