Kitchen Essentials on a Budget


It’s already been established that nutrition is a HUGE component to weight loss, muscle gain, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By preparing your own meals you have control over ingredients, quantity, and budget. Unfortunately, cooking for yourself is also really time consuming and can get complicated – grocery shopping, preparation, cooking, storage, etc. Over the years I’ve accumulated various kitchen related appliances that I could take or leave, and right now I think I’ve developed the perfect arsenal to make my meals for the week so that I can feel good about that cheat dish on the weekend. Take a look at the below for kitchen tools that are multipurpose and efficient and easy to clean! Although I’ll just go ahead and confess, when I see “hand wash” I read that as “top rack dishwasher safe.” Oops.

Kitchen Essentials

Food Processor: I have owned both a food processor and blender and would choose the FP over the B any day. Not only can you use it for chopping, slicing, dicing, and pureeing, you can ALSO use it to blend. I make my smoothies and protein shakes with the food processor and each time my fruits and veggies are blended to perfection. Disclaimer: I’ll be saving my pennies for a Vitamix right after I buy those Stewart Weitzman 5050 boots. Priorities.

Magic Bullet: Technically, you don’t really NEED a food processor and the bullet…but you may WANT it. The best part about the bullet is that it makes single sized servings AND you can make/transport/serve in the same container. That means minimal clean-up and I like that. I’ve made phenom omelets using the bullet whipping up egg whites to perfection. Definitely something to think about, especially if you buy at Bed Bath and Beyond with one of the 10,000 mailer coupons you have laying around.

Muffin Pan: PERFECT for making individual serving sizes of tons of dishes. Stay tuned for more recipes on The Four Percent!

Measuring Cups: I think we can agree that these are needed for everything, right?

Mixing Bowl: Perfect for tossing salads, beating eggs, and basically any other dish with more than 3 ingredients!

Dressing shaker: Making your own condiments can be a total god send when trying to eat healthy. I hate to say it, but after a while everything kind of starts to taste like cardboard and stale air if you’re not adding in spices and clean dressings. Skip buying the “fat free” crap in the dressing aisle and make your own using high quality vinaigrettes and EVOO!

Grill Pan: You need one immediately if you don’t already have, this is your new best friend. Grilling is my favorite way to book meat and seafood. It reduces fat and adds flavor. Living in Chicago we are able to grill for approximately 45 days out of the year – don’t let the weather throw you for a loop! Throw any of your proteins, veggies or even pineapple on the indoor barbie and your meals will be taken to the next level.

Crock-Pot: SO convenient. Put anything from protein to steel cut oats, set the timer, and walk away. Go to work, go to sleep, go get a mani with your girlfriends. It does the work while you can go about your day.

Tupperware: By cooking for the week over the weekend you can store meals in your fridge and grab as needed. Bring them to work so you don’t have to schlep. Get ones that are air tight and freezer safe!

Images via: My house – HA, I WISH. Image via Small Shop Studio

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  1. I finally got a Vitamix this year and I can’t believe I went so long without it. My smoothies are perfect and it’s paying for itself with homemade nut butters. I’ve gone through countless blenders and food processors…the Vitamix is definitely worth the investment!

    1. It is seriously at the top of my wish list – I didn’t think about the nut butters though! Sounds so good, girl!