It's a fact of life: You are always going to need new kitchenware. A years-old butcher knife is going to give out on you, a beloved wooden cutting board is going to get moldy, or maybe, like mine, your silverware drawer seems to inexplicably leak forks. Whatever the case, your kitchen can be improved once you're armed with the knowledge that there is cheap yet excellent kitchenware at Ikea, and you can score it for less than $7.
When I first moved out to live on my own, my grandmother gifted me with a giant box of kitchen items. Everything from a mini pepper grinder to a ceramic knife to a thing that can cook omelettes in the microwave for you. I'm still not sure if I need that last one, but all the other items she bought me ended up being so necessary I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to buy them myself. That's become a pattern, actually; I often don't realize I need a particular kitchen item until I'm working on a recipe or I catch myself thinking, Dang, it would be nice to have...
I have learned that browsing the kitchenware sections of stories is the quickest way to make sure I'm stocked up on all the items I could need. So whether you're looking to replace your current kitchenware or are just up for some browsing to see if there's anything your kitchen is missing, check out these rad $7 or less items from Ikea.
1. Grunka 4-Piece Utensil Set
Grunka 4-Piece Kitchen Utensil Set, $4.99, ikea.com
These are things you're always going to need. Not only for their intended purposes, but for things like "emergency replacement ice-cream scoop" and "oh no my office is having a potluck and everyone is going to forget to bring serving spoons."
2. Idealisk Potato Press
Idealisk Potato Press, $6.99, ikea.com
You may be wondering, When on earth am I going to need a potato press? And my answer to that is: You'll be surprised. Surprised, and prepared.
3. Gubbröra Rubber Spatula
Gubbröra Rubber Spatula, $0.99, ikea.com
You can never have too many spatulas. Trust me when I say they're the most versatile kitchen implement you can own. And at $0.99, these flashy little Gubbröras make it easy to stock up.
4. Vörda Utility Knife
Vörda Utility Knife, $6.99, ikea.com
If you've watched literally any cooking show ever, you know how essential it is to have a good knife. This one is six inches long and made of stainless steel, so it's ready for pretty much anything you can throw at it.
5. Finfördela Flexible Chopping Boards
Finfördela Flexible Chopping Boards, $1.99, ikea.com
If you, too, have lost a wooden cutting board to the vengeful mold gods, consider going with a different material for your next one. These are flexible and have an anti-slip bottom, so you can put 'em wherever, cut what you need, and fold the cutting board up around your ingredients so you don't drop them.
6. Bevara Sealing Clips
Bevara Sealing Clips, $2.99, ikea.com
Yes, I know, bag clips are not exactly a glamorous item. But they're a necessary one. You can use them for chips, bread, open bags of candy, bags of fresh herbs, whatever. And there's 30 in this pack, so it'll be a while before you lose all of them (RIP to all my bag clips loved and lost).
7. Pruta Food Containers
Pruta Food Containers, Set of 17, $5.99, ikea.com
So, they're not glass Tupperware, but they will extremely do the job. They're a set of 17 reusable, stackable (and dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe) containers, which you can never have enough of — especially if you like giving leftovers to your family, friends, and random strangers.
8. Measuring Utensils
Dessert Measuring Cups, Set of 4, $3.99, ikea.com
Along with your knife, these are your kitchen BFFs. You can snag these dry measuring cups for $3.99, this 34-ounce measuring cup for $5.99, and this set of teaspoon and tablespoon cups for $4.99. Measure one, measure all.
9. Flundra Dish Drainer
Flundra Dish Drainer, $2.49, ikea.com
This is technically for drying your dishes after you wash them, but I keep mine in the sink and use it to keep my dirty dishes organized, which takes an unbelievable amount of stress out of sorting and washing them all together.
10. Stinn Oven Mitt
Stinn Oven Mitt, $3.99, ikea.com
Oven mitts are a must-have. Even if you never use your oven to cook, a silicone mitt like this one can be used to take stuff out of the microwave, to drain your sink if your washing water is too hot — and they're easier to clean than cloth mitts.
11. Fantast Meat Thermometer
Fantast Meat Thermometer, $6.99, ikea.com
This may be the hypochondriac in me, but deciding if meat is done based on, "Eh, that looks fine," is not ideal. Grabbing an easy-to-use meat thermometer is like giving yourself the $7 gift of no food poisoning.
12. Backig Bowls
Backig Bowl, $1.99, ikea.com
This bowl is fittingly named, because if you're the type of person who buys matching dish sets, it's a good back-up if you break one, since black blends well with virtually any dish set. And if you're like me and none of your dishes match — hey, it's a heavy, high-quality bowl for less than $2.
13. Ostron 12-Piece Flatware Set
Ostron 12-Piece Flatware Set, $5.99, ikea.com
Losing and/or breaking silverware hurts so much less when you only pay $5.99 for it. Also, if you're willing to stretch your budget, for slightly over our $7 limit, you can get a $7.99 20-piece stainless steel set, which will hurt a little more, but not as much as it could.
Kitchenware is excellent because yes, it's necessary, but when you find sweet deals like these, stocking up your kitchen feels a lot like treating yourself.