6 cheap kitchen tools that will save your holiday cooking

My kitchen was the first room I really invested in as an adult: I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer, a dutch oven, a high-end chef’s knife and nice plates and wine glasses. But aside from the chef’s knife, a few smaller purchases have become more vital to my daily cooking and food prep routines than any of the luxury items. For just a few bucks, in some cases, these tools can change the experience of cooking, and make the elaborate prep involved in the holidays much more manageable.

Here are six tools that can seriously elevate the quality and aesthetic of the food coming out of your kitchen.

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The single best investment in my kitchen over the past four years has been a mandoline. Essentially, it’s an adjustable slicer for fruits and veggies, and it makes preparing salads a breeze. All the intricate slicing you normally have to do for good salads is so much easier with a mandoline, and prepping veggies for pickling is just as easy. Not only does this make everything you slice look uniform and beautiful, it also gives you fantastic opportunities to punch up textures in your typical dishes.

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If you cook steak with any regularity, you probably already have a cast-iron skillet. But those skillets are just as helpful for making all kinds of meat, from chicken to octopus. One of my favorite recipes I’ve been honing over the years is an octopus-lime bagna cauda — and well-seared baby octopus is one of the most important components. When it’s too cold, or I’m too lazy, to use the grill, my cast-iron skillet is perfect for searing those tiny tentacles.

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A good chef knife isn’t cheap, but it’s an investment that’ll last you years. The problem is, many of us settle for mediocre knives because our old ones get dull and we don’t want to shell out for a $150 knife every couple of years. The tool that helps you keep your knife performing as well as possible is a sharpener. You can pick up a sharpener that works well for as little as $6 on Amazon.

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One of the biggest roadblocks to preparing complex dishes is the prep. If you have to mince, dice or roughly chop a half dozen ingredients, having a spacious cutting board makes a world of difference. Yes, you can pick up small, plastic cutting boards for crazy cheap on clearance at T.J. Maxx, but it’s a better investment to just spring the $20 for a board that’s at least in the range of 18 by 14 inches. You’ll immediately be grateful when you can keep three separate piles of herbs on it, plus chop carrots without the slices rolling onto the floor.

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If you really want to get into baking high-quality breads or desserts, a kitchen scale is a must-buy. You can get one for a little over 10 bucks on Amazon, and it will make your recipes so

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These Cheap Fall Decor Finds Are Amazon’s Best-Kept Secret This Season

Amazon

Autumn, arguably the most beautiful time of the year, is officially here, and these surprisingly inexpensive home goods are ready to make your house look (and smell) like the season. 

There are tons of affordable ways to decorate your home for fall — think burlap bunting, orange plaid throw pillows, gorgeous gourds, and cozy candles. We foraged Amazon’s home department and discovered tons of fun fall finds that are all loved by shoppers, come with hundreds of rave reviews, and (perhaps the best part) are all under $30. 

Fall Decor Under $30

  • Yihong Orange Fairy Lights Set, $10.32 with coupon (orig. $13.99)

  • Happy Fall Burlap Bunting Banner, 8.99

  • 4th Emotion Buffalo Check Throw Pillow Covers Set, $12.99

  • Yankee Candle Crisp Fall Night Jar Candle, $23.41

  • Ulmisfee Autumn Outdoor Lantern, $19.99 (orig. $39.99) 

  • Fall Leaf String Light Garland, $9.89 (orig. $10.99)

  • Mulee Plaid Check Pillow Case Covers Set, $14.99

  • Simhomsen Embroidered Leaves Table Runner, $19.99

  • RY King Battery-Operated Flameless Candles Nine-Pack, $25.99 (orig. $39.99)

  • Gold Tan Ivory Tassel Garland, $10.49 (orig. $13.99)

  • Yankee Candle Autumn Wreath Large Jar Candle, $16.88 (orig. $27.99)

  • Denlix Mercury Glass Pumpkin Light, $23.75 with coupon (orig. $25)

Shoppers looking to add shades of red, orange, and yellow to their home can do so with a festive garland or a colorful embroidered foliage table runner. Updating your throw pillows with buffalo check-clad covers is another easy upgrade, and these $13 beauties have earned a near perfect rating and over 4,700 five-star reviews.

Fragrant candles and twinkling lights are the way to go if you want to warm up your space. Battery-operated candles and fairy lights can be set up just about anywhere, while fall-inspired scents, like “Autumn Wreath” and “Crisp Fall Night,” will infuse your abode with seasonal aromas. Take a cue from Meghan Markle and fill your home with both scented candles and unscented pillars that you can light up during your next cozy night in.

If you’re in need of more inspiration, there are seemingly endless decorations and styling ideas featured in the retailer’s home section, or you can keep it simple and stick to these shopper-loved pieces below. With tons of Prime-eligible options, you can give your house an affordable refresh in no time. 

Amazon

Buy It! Yihong Orange Fairy Lights Set, $10.32 with coupon (orig. $13.99); amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Happy Fall Burlap Bunting Banner, 8.99; amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! 4th Emotion Buffalo Check Throw Pillow Covers Set, $12.99; amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Yankee Candle Crisp Fall Night Jar Candle, $23.41; amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Ulmisfee Autumn Outdoor Lantern, $19.99 (orig. $39.99); amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Fall Leaf String Light Garland, $9.89 (orig. $10.99); amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Mulee Plaid Check Pillow Case Covers Set, $14.99; amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Simhomsen Embroidered Leaves Table Runner, $19.99; amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! RY King Battery-Operated Flameless Candles Nine-Pack, $25.99 (orig. $39.99); amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Gold Tan Ivory Tassel Garland, $10.49 (orig. $13.99); amazon.com

Amazon

Buy It! Yankee Candle Autumn Wreath Large

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These Luxe-Looking Kitchen Finds Are Cheap (& Actually Useful)

As much as we dream of pristine cabinetry, bold granite countertops, and gleaming stainless steel accents, our cook-space reality looks more cramped budget than luxury living. But, just because we don’t have the coin for some big remodeling project doesn’t mean we can’t achieve elevated kitchen status — we just need to be thrifty about it.

After pounding the virtual pavement in search of the most effective solutions for making cheap look luxe while still serving a purpose, we distilled our findings down to the most cover-worthy cooking material. Ahead, our under-$50 hacks to take kitchens from meh to okurr in an add-to-cart instant — from Spanish-style stick-on tiles to Art Deco oven mitts, geometric trivet sets, and more.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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48 Cheap Things Interior Decorators Secretly Rely On To Upgrade A Home

Let’s face it: You have outdated countertops, plain white walls, and floors that are scuffed all over. That’s OK, though. It’s common for houses to need little upgrades here and there, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on renovations. Just stick to all the cheap things on Amazon that interior decorators use to upgrade homes.

Giving your dull or worn-out surfaces a makeover can help breathe new life into a room — but if you’re living in a rental, you’ll probably want something that’s removable. The white marble contact paper I’ve included will bring your outdated space from 1970 into 2020. And if your counters are already pristine, you can just as easily use it as an accent wall to your kitchen (or even as a peel-and-stick backsplash).

Contact paper isn’t the only thing that decorators use to upgrade homes for less. According to designer tips by Family Handyman, you can prevent your home from feeling stale by switching up the textures in every room. Faux fur step stools and a wrought iron wine racks are not only functional, but they make your home feel more “you.” And in the event your home is already something straight from HGTV, there’s also a pastel rug that’s subtle yet chic, pendant lights for a farmhouse vibe, and even a mulberry silk pillowcase to upgrade your bedding.

So what are you waiting for? When you’re looking to upgrade your home for less, you can’t go wrong with all the products that designers secretly rely on. Keep scrolling to discover their picks.

1

The Molding Trim That’s Ultra-Versatile

2

A Roll Of Stylish Wallpaper For Renters

3

These Smart Light Bulbs That Are Compatible With Alexa

Just pair these smart light bulbs with Alexa or Google Home, and you’ll be able to control them using voice commands. They’re energy-efficient to help you save on utilities, and each one has a lifespan of up to 35,000 hours.

4

A Light Switch Plate That Looks Like Glittery Granite

5

The White Noise Machine That Makes Your Ceiling Look Like Art

If you’re regularly having trouble falling asleep, it might be time to give this white noise machine a try. Unlike many competing machines, this one features soothing aurora night lights to help you ease into sleep, along with six built-in nature sounds. Plus, adding ceiling decor can revamp a room — and these lights can help.

6

An Affordable End Table That Comes In Different Colors

Coffee tables can easily add decor to any living room — and with raised edges along the top, this end table is a great addition. (It also makes it hard for drinks and items to fall down to the ground.) It’s made from rust-resistant metal with a wear-resistant coating, and there are six colors to choose from: mint blue, pink, dark green, and more.

7

These Magnetic Curtain Ties For Letting Natural Light In

Tired of your curtains falling loose? Keep them tied

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Easy, cheap tips to organize and upgrade your kitchen – Lifestyle – providencejournal.com

I bought a plastic-bag organizer recently, and the other day, as I was shoving a grocery bag into its neat confines, I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. It was an emotion that was hard to place, one that resided somewhere between calm — all too fleeting these days — and, dare I say it, joy?

So maybe you don’t have the energy for a full Marie Kondo-style purging of your household, but if the novelty of home cooking has worn thin as the pandemic continues, consider a kitchen overhaul.

Here’s a roundup of cheap — mostly free — tips for inspiration. If they sound like no-brainers, well, maybe they are. But both my husband and I have noticed how these minor adjustments have made our lives noticeably better — and easier. And who couldn’t use an easier life right now?

Do a deep cleaning

It may sound like a drag, but put on some dance music and see how much pent-up aggression you can work out. Do all the crummy jobs: Get in the corners; clean the grease off the tops of the cupboards; pull out the stove and the refrigerator. Getting rid of that blanket of dust on the fridge motor will make it function more effectively too. You need a clean slate.

Rearrange your refrigerator

Yes, clean it and throw out the long-expired condiments. But then, take a look at the shelves. Are you always struggling to find a spot for the milk? Consider reconfiguring them to eliminate minor daily hassles.

Rethink your drawers and cabinets

What other annoyances could you eliminate with a bit of rejiggering? Where else could you put the tongs that make the drawer jam every time you open it? How about employing a little-used vase as a utensil bucket so you don’t even need to open a drawer for those tongs?

Could you streamline your movements around the kitchen if you shuffled what you have in your cabinets? I’m not sure how I chose the cupboard for my plates when we moved in; I suspect it was the one closest to the box where the dishes were packed. Moving the plates made my prep area more efficient and saved a few steps — which may seem minor, but who has even a few steps’ worth of energy to spare these days?

Engage in some gentle KonMari

As you reorganize, think about what you have and whether you really need it; if you can shed it, get rid of it. Note what’s worn out and needs to be replaced. If you can afford to replace that dull can opener, do it; if not, put it on a list for down the road.

Invest in organizers for convenience

A small, cardboard box (free). Back when I tested a bunch of meal kits, one of the companies sent its produce in a small cardboard box (think shoebox), which I saved to keep onions, potatoes and other root vegetables in a dry cupboard. Should something rot

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Dfsk Car Interior Air Vent – Find cheap Dfsk Interior Air Vents

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Complete the three simple steps in our form, telling us the parts you need and parts suppliers will Text, Email or Phone NO OBLIGATION quotes to you – in moments! You don’t have to wait, you get a price for the part you need, including delivery to your door. Our service is 100% free for you to use and you could save up to 80% off car parts list prices within minutes.

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When you send in your quote request you’ll be accessing our database of Dfsk car spares from breakers, scrap yards and dismantlers across the UK. We literally have 10,000’s of car spares available for collection or delivery to your doorstep.

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Our online database of car breakers and vehicle dismantlers, already supplies Dfsk Interior Air Vent and other parts in their thousands across the UK, at huge discounts of up to 80% off main Dfsk dealer parts prices. View our video to find out more:

 

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Too many people search from scrap yard to scrap yard in hope of finding the second-hand Dfsk Interior Air Vent parts they need, but this is usually time

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Cheap House Insurance Quotes: Tips for Increasing Your Chance of Getting Affordable Home Insurance

Are you a new homeowner? Or do you wish to have cheaper insurance? Finding cheap house insurance quotes online isn't difficult. You just need to weed out the good offers from the bad. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can in all likelihood get a good deal.

Here are a few tips you can use to help you get cheap quotes and choose the one that is right for you:

1. You'll need the right amount of coverage in addition to the right policy. The amount of money you paid for your house is not going to be the same amount that it would cost to rebuild the house in the event it is badly damaged. There is always the potential for disaster occurring on the property around the house as well. Keep this in mind when determining the amount of coverage you should have. Also, carefully read over each and every policy for which you are provided a quote, including the terms and exclusions.

2. You can increase your chances of obtaining a cheaper quote if you "disaster-proof" your home. There is at least some potential hazard, no matter where you live. Even if you don't have to worry about earthquakes, tornados, or hurricanes, there is always fire to worry about. You never know when a big hail storm might cause damage to your roof. A small stream of water can potentially turn into a raging river if the rain is heavy enough. Adding reinforcements, such as storm shutters, can help you save on home insurance.

More Tips for Cheap House Insurance Quotes

3. Don't forget about security threats. Another way to get cheap house insurance quotes is to increase your home's security. You can do this in a number of ways, such as installing deadbolts, having an alarm system, off-site monitoring, and so forth.

4. Look for third party discounts, if possible. If the insurer is a senior citizen and member of certain clubs, for instance, discounts are available. You might qualify for a discount if you belong to a specific occupational organization, or through your homeowners associations.

5. Your credit score plays a role in the home insurance quotes you get. It is imperative for a any reason to maintain a good credit score. If you have poor credit or no credit at all, look for ways to make improvements or establish a line of credit. Make sure your credit reports are all up to date and contain no errors.

As long as you keep these factors in mind, you should be able to obtain cheap house insurance quotes . Begin your search for a good policy and coverage from Lemonade, which is a very reputable organization.

Source Article

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How to Buy a House For Back Taxes, Dirt Cheap, Without Competition

So you're looking for a smarter way to buy a property, either to live in, or to invest in. Congratulations. If you're reading this article, it means you've leapt out of the "thinking" phase and into the "doing" phase, and most people never make it that far. There are many deals to be had, if you're willing to do a little research.

You've probably heard that tax foreclosure property is a great investment, and you haven't been led astray; but now, you're going to learn how to buy a house for back taxes, dirt cheap, without dealing with the headache of competition. If you're looking for a cheap property to buy for yourself to live in, stay tuned as well-this technique will work even better if you're not an investor!

Right now, throw out everything you've heard or read about tax sales. If you're smart, you're going to figure out quickly that you can't compete with all the big companies that will be clamoring to bid against you at the sale. Tax sale, be it for deeds or liens, is not a place for the savvy investor in today's market. There's a much better way for you to buy a house for back taxes: from the tax delinquent owner himself.

Most people overlook this strategy, which is why you'll find next to no competition. If you've ever tried buying directly from an owner in mortgage foreclosure, then you understand why this is so widely unappealing to failed mortgage foreclosure investors. Frequently you can't get these owners to return your call for the life of you– and if you do get a deal, then you have to deal with mortgage, the second mortgage, the back bills, the back taxes; but when you buy a house for back taxes, it's a different animal.

Why?

Because these houses almost never have a mortgage!

That's right. The mortgage company takes care of any tax problems to avoid losing their interest in the property. So you'll find almost all these houses are free of a mortgage, or they wouldn't be up for tax sale in the first place.

Another thing that might seem counter-intuitive is that the owners will almost always return your calls, and when they do, they're eager to make a deal with you to sell to you, and for dirt cheap, just to get the property out of their name! This is because, as you'll see, many owners of these properties aren't people who are down on their luck, and are losing their homes. They're people who inherited property, or absentee landlords, who have had it with this economy, and actually let the property go to tax sale on purpose, just to get rid of it.

This gold mine of owners can be hard to find, making them great prospects, and you'll be pleasantly surprised to find how many of these owners are ready to hand over their deed for a couple hundred dollars to you, just because they'd rather see it …

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