When I wrote about some of my favorite cheap kitchen tools last week, I tapped the hive mind for additional suggestions in the comments.
I must say, you all are a clever lot. Here are some of the best responses, edited for content and clarity.
DIY chip clips
Farewell to those weirdly expensive sets that you always lose pieces of anyway!
My indispensable is alligator clips: They close plastic bags perfectly, let no air in at all. I reuse lots of plastic bags: alligator clip on that one-half bag of frozen peas. Or reuse a non-sugary, non-salty, bag to keep cheese, bread, etc. fresh. Keep crackers and chips in their original bags and close with alligator clip. The original bag is a lot stronger and more impervious to air because it was designed to keep contents fresh in the store. Storage bags you buy are relatively weak and let air in to allow the product to stale. — maryhonoria
Not just for melons
Despite its name, a melon baller is not a one-fruit gadget.
Oddly enough, for me it’s a melon baller. I rarely use it for its intended use, but it is wondrous for other purposes. Cut an apple or pear in half and quickly and neatly scoop out the center. Also it is wonderful for scraping out the fibrous center of a butternut squash or pumpkin after you have scooped out the seeds. — oldandjaded
Small pliers are more than cute
Craftsman makes several different sizes of mini plier sets.
Can’t live without the mini plier set from Sears. Yes, the tools are dedicated to my kitchen. No sharing with hubby. Each of the four tools in the set is about 5 inches long. Needle nose, regular, bent nose and dykes. Cut the string on a roasted chicken . . . done. Get the inner seal off oil . . . done. Pull out the wishbone . . . done. Just a minute ago I used one to get the stupid seal off the sour cream carton. They hold a place of honor with two other favorites: handheld can opener and sharp scissors. — tbva
Reuse those jar lids
Smart, keeps things neat and is environmentally friendly.
Upturned saved jar lids to stand bottles of oil on countertops to catch any drips/runs down the bottle. We even color code — blue for olive oil, red for grapeseed, etc. (the dark glass bottles are the same shape). They are easily washed/replaced and save time cleaning up counters. — wethetweeters
Jars can be hard to open for people of any age.
I think a handheld jar opener is a good investment, especially as you get older and your hands lose some of their strength. There are many to choose from, probably all under $10. I also use these mini colanders a lot. They’re perfect when you have a handful of berries to rinse off for cereal or a smoothie, or a couple tablespoons of capers. — tina sparkle
Jar opener hack
I’ve found that a rubber strap wrench works well for opening jars. It’s also handy for tightening the adjustment knobs on office chairs. The smaller size is good for bottles. — changez
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