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Kitchen items can seem expensive, but several of them can actually help you save money over time. If you’re trying to lower your family’s food and beverage budget, make sure you have these three items in your kitchen.
Soda makers have some upfront costs, but you can make your money back pretty quickly, especially if your family drinks a lot of soda or sparkling water.
How much you save will depend on the amount of money you already spend on beverages. A SodaStream Genesis costs about $130. It includes a CO2 cartridge and several syrups to get you started. If you buy a 12-pack of sparkling water each week, then you probably spend about $10 per week on it. At that price, you’ll break even in just 13 weeks.
The math is a little different when you make colas. It will take longer to make your money back since you have to purchase syrups, but you’ll still come out ahead within a year.
Espresso makers can cost anywhere from $30 to $1,000, so let’s assume that you’re buying a mid-range design that costs about $100. Unless you own a cafe, you really don’t need to spend more than that.
Of course, you have to buy beans to make drinks. In most places, you can find locally roasted 16-ounce bags of espresso beans for around $20. You should be able to get at least 25 shots out of that. If you have two shots of espresso per day, you’ll spend approximately $1,275 during the first year, which includes the price of the espresso maker. That’s not a small amount, but it’s $550 less than the $1,825 you’d spend getting the same drinks at a cafe.
Some evenings, you just don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal for your family. That usually means that you’ll get something from a restaurant. Since the average meal outside of the home costs $12.75, a family of four can expect to spend $51 each night out. Do that twice per week, and you’ll spend at least $5,304 by the end of the year.
Slow cookers make it easier to prepare meals, even when you don’t have time. In the morning, you just add your ingredients to the slow cooker, turn it on and enjoy a meal when you get home. A mid-range slow cooker costs about $50. You still have to buy ingredients, but at-home meals average just $4 per person. That means you’ll make your money back after just two or three meals.
Not every kitchen gadget will save you money, but these three can lower your budget considerably.