Here are some recently acquired kitchen gadgets of mine:
manual grain grinder
I bought the hand grinder at the Provo Macey's for $50. Quite a steal, really. Orem Macey's in Utah Valley charges $69 and I heard the Pleasant Grove charges $79. The whole idea was to save .70 cents on white rice flour and 1 dollar on brown rice flour per pound. Quite a significant savings when taking into consideration the price I can buy the rice for in bulk on a good sale. This does take time and some arm, but for the money it is a great grinder. One day I will be getting a good electric model and using this manual one for emergency/back-up purposes.
I also got this apple/corer/peeler/slicer gadget at the Provo Macey's grocery store. It was just under $20. I am really really hoping to make some apple sauce this year. I used one of these gadgets to make applesauce with a friend years ago, and have wanted one of my own ever since. Homemade applesauce is so very heavenly! Both gadgets are Victorio brand.
It seems as though I blog quite alot about food or related topics. What can I say? I am always thinking about food. I am always planning, cooking, and cleaning, all because of food. It really is the whole aspect of cutting gluten and other common foods, and then trying to eat this way on a shoe string budget. (Or at least as cheaply as possible, while doing my best to get good nutrition down my family. Trouble is, gluten free/dairy free can be an expensive way to eat.) I am always looking for ways to cut down on the grocery budget without compromising fresh fruits/veggies and without making us bored to death of our food. I have looked into several strategies.
Generally, couponing to save money on groceries does not work really well for me. Usually, coupons put out by manufacturers are not for food that we would normally eat, or for what we should on our diet. However, my husband does get sent to work with lunch food that I used coupons on. (He does not have the diet issues of our son and myself and it helps him resist the urge to buy extra snacks while on the road.)
GF/CF mixes are a no go for me. They are convenient, they save tons of time, but really, they are horrid for my budget, (very expensive,) and usually contain one or more of our "eat seldom and with care" list. (Corn, soy, and sugar are among the "eat with care" list.) I do not even buy flour mixes. I mix my own flours. If rice, I grid it myself, too.
Canning is something I have taken to this season. When you know people who can hook you up with free fruit for the picking, that is a great way to fill the pantry. True, it is not the same as eating fresh, but there are many wonderful, tasty, and nutritious things that can be made from my stockpile.
My ultimate solution for our diet/budget situation: eat simple food, and make everything from scratch. Eating simple is for my sanity, our health, and our budget. Making it all myself insures that I know what is in it, and that I am spending even less.