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What I Learned – 24 Kitchen Products For People Who Live Alone

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Updated 18 hours ago. Posted 20 hours ago

Cooking for one is awesome because you don’t have to share any of your delicious food.

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1.

A do-it-all Instant Pot so you can consolidate several appliances into one and cook dinner in 15 minutes (instead of having to order takeout). The 3-quart version won’t yield too much food for one person.


Amazon

This handy kitchen gadget has seven functions: rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer! Check out our review of the Instant Pot!

Promising review: “This is quite possibly the coolest, most versatile kitchen gadget I’ve ever owned. I love it so much that I’ve purchased two more for friends and relatives. What can it do? I think the real question is ‘What can’t it do?’ I truly believe you could replace every cooking appliance (including your oven and stove top) and do EVERYTHING in the Instant Pot. I purchased two-sizes for my own use: the 3-quart (which is my almost-every-day workhorse for two-person dishes) and the 8-quart (which I bring out to handle my dinner party dishes). Everything I’ve tried has been fabulous. In the realm of kitchen appliances, there is no better investment than the Instant Pot. Highly recommended!!!” —Stereoman

Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in three sizes).

2.

A microwave pasta cooker to save you on nights when you’re too tired to cook. It’ll make one serving of pasta in no time — just add sauce.


Amazon, youtube.com

Read our review of the Fasta Pasta Microwave Cooker (#2 on the list)!

Promising review: “I don’t want to get all gushy over a pasta maker, but man… I really love this gizmo! I try to limit my monthly food expenditures, and the Fasta Pasta helps me work in at least one inexpensive pasta meal every week, if not more. First of all, I like spaghetti, but I’m lazy and impatient and don’t like things that take a long time to make, with a bunch of steps, and a big clean up afterward. The Fasta Pasta is perfect for me. I get the exact amount of correctly measured spaghetti; it’s faster than boiling water in a big pot then having to watch and stir the pasta; the pasta comes out perfectly cooked every time and the cleanup is a snap. No big pot, no colander, no spaghetti fork to lift out the pasta. Just the easy-to-clean Fasta Pasta, and a pot to heat up the sauce. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!” —Smilin Sam

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

3.

A set of storage containers for keeping your produce fresh for much longer so you actually have a chance to finish everything in time. Go ahead, buy the big box of strawberries.


Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

These are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. Read our review of the Rubbermaid FreshWorks storage containers!

Promising review: “This is the second set that I have purchased. I bought the first set about two years ago and I love it! I use the small one for berries. The larger one is perfect for grapes, lettuce, and strawberries. I am so happy to have a second set now!” —psneed

Get a set of two from Target for $16.99.

4.

A compact air fryer that’ll work faster than your oven and deliver crispier results (without any oil). It’s just the right size for one to two servings and won’t take up too much room on your countertop.


Amazon

You can obvs add oil if you prefer, but you don’t need it to get crispy results! I actually own this air fryer and use it every single day to heat up leftovers, cook frozen chicken nuggets, and even bake cookies. It’s way easier and quicker to use than an oven, especially if I’m just feeding one person.

Promising review: “If you like the taste of fried foods, but do not care for the health risks of frying foods in the traditional way, air frying is the way to go. This air fryer from Dash is awesome. My wife and I have always wanted to try an air fryer, and since we got this one, we have not looked back. We make oven fries very often, but they are not crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. However, with an air fryer and 20 minutes to spare, you can have restaurant-grade fries that have the crispy outside/juicy inside. Easy to clean-up and store the fryer. Five stars all the way!” —David M.

Get it from Amazon for $49.99 (available in five colors).

5.

A clip-on strainer so you don’t have to deal with storing and cleaning a full-size colander. Plus, your hands can remain a safe distance while draining hot liquids.


Amazon

It’s BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.

Promising review: “Love, love, love my new kitchen gadget! I’ve always dreaded bringing out that big ol’ colander and having something extra to wash — especially if it was for something small like a box of mac ‘n’ cheese. I’d then find myself struggling with trying to use the pot lid and losing half the food in the sink. I’ve only had this for a week or so, and I’ve already used it several times with different sized pots for different food items. Tonight it was used on my biggest pot for a large helping of spaghetti. It fits every pot perfectly, no food ends up in the sink, I can throw it in the dishwasher when done, and it doesn’t take up a ton of space in the cabinet or in the dishwasher. Worth every penny!” —Tired

Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in three colors).

6.

An adjustable plastic bag rack to hold storage bags open while you scoop food into them (which means less spillage on the counter and the floor). No roomie to lend a pair of hands? No problem.


Amazon

It folds down flat so it can fit into any kitchen gadget drawer.

Promising review: “I use this thing way more than I thought I would. It’s genius and something that you didn’t know you needed until you use it. When I cook, I put food waste and scraps into a plastic bag, so they don’t stink in my trash. This inexpensive, simple device is awesome. It solves that annoying problem of continually having to hold open the bag when putting scraps into it. I know, I know… first world problems, but seriously, when your hands are dirtied from cutting/prepping raw meat, I don’t want to have to touch anything else.” —CarDude

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $11.35.

7.

A handheld spiralizer for an easy way to turn every vegetable in your fridge into noodles. While a full-size spiralizer can feel like an overkill, this tool will fit right into your drawer.


Amazon

This spiral slicer has dual stainless-steel cutting blades for thick or thin pasta strands. It’s dishwasher-safe and can be used on zucchini, squash, carrots, and even potatoes! Read our full review of the Vegetti!

Promising review: “What a fantastic kitchen widget! I actually have a large spiralizer and never use it because it is a pain to get out and clean. I saw this and bought it and couldn’t be happier. Easy to use and easy to clean if you rinse and clean right away. Small and compact makes this easy to store without taking up tons of space! The option for two different size of noodles is a nice feature!” —Jamie E.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

8.

A manual food chopper that’ll do all the slicing and dicing for you. From chopped onions to guacamole, this lil’ gadget is literally made for small-batch cooking. Plus, it’s quiet and can operate without electricity.


amazon.com

It’s top-rack dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Promising review: “BUY THIS NOW. I’m not kidding when I say it is not only a time-saver, but I literally cannot even dice this good if I try. 😂 After three pulls you have perfectly diced onions.” —Kiana

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

9.

A breakfast sandwich maker so you can whip up your very own version of an Egg McMuffin at home in five minutes — definitely faster than waiting for drive-thru at McDonald’s.


Hamilton Beach

The cooking surfaces are nonstick and the removable parts are dishwasher-safe.

Promising review: “I’ve been using this for about two months now and it has paid for itself many times over. I use it the most for muffin breakfast sandwiches but also use it to make crispy garlic bread. It’s super easy to use and clean! Once you get a hang of the removable piece and how to use it, it’s so quick to remove, wash, and return. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!” —S Loftin

Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in three colors and a double-size).

10.

A silicone freezing tray to make meal prep a breeze. You can cook in large batches and freeze everything into individual portions to enjoy over the week. No need to start dinner from scratch at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night.


amazon.com

It comes with a lid to help maintain freshness and keep out odors. It’s made of food-safe silicone that’s BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.

Promising review: “This is the best invention since sliced bread! How many times have you thrown out soup that you forgot about in your fridge??? Well, say goodbye to spoiled soup! Finally, a way to store measured quantities of broth, but I love to use mine for soup and…wait for it…SMOOTHIES! These cubes are the best for freezing measured quantities of smoothies, simply throw one in the Vitamix, and boom! You have a fresh, already icy cold smoothie for breakfast or a snack! For anyone with limited freezer space which, let’s face it, is most of us, this is a real gem. I was a bit worried about how easily the cubes would slide out, but no problems at all! The best part is how easy the cubes store in a gallon sized ziplock bag so you can reuse the cubes. AND they are dishwasher safe??? Souper Cubes, why did you take so long to come into my life!??! I can’t wait until the holiday season so I can gift these as stocking stuffers — to anyone I know, you now know your gift.” —jane s. catalano

Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

11.

A divided nonstick pan for whipping up a full meal all in one pan, which means you’ll only have one thing to clean afterward as well. Dinner for one doesn’t get any more convenient!


Amazon

Promising review: “I use this pan every morning. I’m single so I only need to make breakfast for myself. I do eggs, potatoes, and sausage very well.” —Bob F.

Get it from Amazon for $30.98.

12.

A 5-in-1 wine corker that can also be an aerator, pourer, filter, and leak-proof stopper. Can’t finish a bottle in one sitting? Just pop this in and it’ll keep your booze fresh for the next wine night.


Amazon

Promising review: “YOU NEED THIS! I love this wine corker. These do exactly as they say they will. When I got mine, I immediately took one out, put it on a bottle of wine and purposefully turned it upside down, shook it, and let it sit that way for 10 minutes. NO LEAKS! I was so happy…finally something to keep my wine from leaking. Not only did it not leak, but the aerator design allowed my wine to taste wonderful and stay fresh.” —Mary B

Get it from Amazon for $9.25.

13.

An under-cabinet jar opener so you’re never stumped by stubborn lids that, for some reason, just don’t want to be opened.


Amazon

Promising review: “I love that it is permanently installed under my cabinets and not taking up space in my drawers. It works flawlessly to open any jar that I’ve tried so far. It is an extremely simple concept and easy to use. If I ever move, I will definitely order one for my new home.” —Rin

Get it from Amazon for $12.95.

14.

A set of crystal clear storage containers with leak-proof lids to store inevitable leftovers. You can pop them in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher with zero problems.


Amazon

This set includes two 1.3-cup, two 3.2-cup, and one 9.6-cup containers, plus lids, for a total of 10 pieces. Read our full review of the Rubbermaid Brilliance food storage containers!

Promising review: “If you like food, you will love these containers. I pack avocados (already cut) for lunch and they still look appetizing six hours later. Not to mention these bad boys have kept some of my favorite leftovers edible for a week straight! I have accidentally left casserole in the large one for 2.5 weeks and it still looked edible (of course, I didn’t test it). They’re great for keeping fridges smelling nice too. I will be buying more of these.” —Morgan S

Get a 10-piece set from Amazon for $19.99.

15.

A reusable food wrap (made from organic cotton infused with sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin) for saving your avocado and lemon halves — it’s an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap.


Amazon

When it gets dirty, just wash with cool water and gentle soap, then reuse. Each piece can last up to one year.

Promising review: “Can’t recommend these beeswax wraps enough. The antimicrobial aspect of the beeswax keeps fruits and vegetables super fresh for much longer than plastic bags. They keep bread soft and fresh for much longer than ziplocks. They are so much better for the environment, and they can be reused for months. We have been using our set for almost two years and they are still as good as new. No waste! Just make sure to wash them with cool water, as warm/hot water will melt the wax.” —Publisher

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $18.

16.

A single-serve Keurig machine so you can enjoy coffee at your own pace throughout the day. Just brew a fresh cup whenever you’re ready instead of struggling to finish a whole pot.


Amazon

Promising review: “I love my new little Keurig. It’s perfect for work. Takes almost no space, simple design, it works fast, so much better than having to clean a coffee pot every day. And I don’t have to reheat coffee that has been sitting in the coffee pot, I can have a fresh cup when I want with no cleanup. Oh, and it is super quiet as well.” —Godsgirlgirl33

Get it from Amazon for $78.40+ (available in four colors).

17.

The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook — it’ll make preparing a meal for yourself a fun experience and less of a chore. All the recipes are designed to be quick, tasty, and made with ingredients you can actually find. You’ll save money, food, and time.


Adams Media

You’ll find simple yet delicious recipes like lemon blueberry scones, cashew chicken, chili cheese baked potato, and more!

Get it from Amazon for $8.06, Bookshop for $18.39 (to support local bookstores), or check your local library.

18.

A collapsible bread box to keep your weekly loaf (or other baked goods) perfectly soft and edible for more than just a couple days. If only more grocery stores sold half loaves of bread!


amazon.com

Promising review: “I think this thing is perfect. It adjusts to fit the changing size of my loaf, and it’s transparent so it keeps my bread happily in sight, which is good because as far as I’m concerned, if something is out of sight, it may as well be gone forever. Additionally, this thing is attractive and keeps the bread fresh because the seal is very good.” —Hey_McGee

Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

19.

A small slow cooker for simmering stews and casseroles as you go about your day. It’ll make just the right amount so there’s not a ton of leftovers to deal with. And in case you do have leftovers, this little guy would also do a great job of heating them up!


Amazon

It’s also great for turning overripe fruit into jams or sauces.

Promising review: “This is so perfect for when you live alone. I hate using my big Crock-Pot for small meals, and I’m also not a big leftover fan. This is big enough for a meal or soup for one person with two servings. I will probably be using this on an every-other-day basis to cook a meal while I’m in class. It’s just the perfect size to cook one meal for one person!” —leandra

Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

20.

A split pie pan because sometimes you can’t choose between two flavors, and there’s just no way you can finish two whole pies (before they get stale).


amazon.com, amazon.com

You can even take the divider out and use it as a regular pie pan.

Promising review: “This is perfect for me as I live alone. I can make meal and dessert in one pan or two different pies for two meals. Just love it.” —Pamela T Bapp

Get it from Amazon for $13.94.

21.

A pack of nonstick, reusable toaster bags so you can heat up a quick sandwich or pizza slice without turning on the stove. Easy peasy.


Amazon

Promising review: “I love using these! Since I live alone I don’t like having to dirty a skillet to make just one sandwich. This makes a great sandwich in the toaster without any muss or fuss. Easy to clean, just wipe it out or use a little soap and water if needed. The nonstick feature is very helpful.” —Branwynmars

Get a four-pack from Amazon for $7.99.

22.

A personal blender to make the perfect amount of smoothie for breakfast or lunch. The blending jar even doubles as a travel cup.


Walmart

This personal blender comes with two 16-ounce travel cups, two lids, and a 30-recipe guide to get you started. It’s dishwasher-safe.

Promising review: “This thing is amazing! I purchased it for my wife. She has been using it as her daily blender. It is doing well more than two years later! So easy. Just rinse off the blades and set them aside for the next day and wash the cup (yes, I use it, too)!” —Paul

Get it from Walmart for $70.56.

23.

A vacuum sealer for anyone who lives alone but still enjoys a trip to Costco. This will help keep large amounts of food fresh for a long, long time.


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “This is a great vacuum sealer. It suctions quickly and firmly, is very easy to use, seals well, and is very easy to take apart and clean up. It worked great for the sale on hamburger I found, and I froze up about 10 1-pound packages and 3 pounds of cooked meatballs. This is really going to be a great money-saver for me, as when I find good sales, I can vacuum seal up a bunch of items and store them for when I am ready to use them. I’ve used several brands in the past and have had difficulty getting them to suction all of the air out, but this one worked like a charm, absolutely no issues, once I got the hang of where the bags needed to be, I didn’t have a single redo or glitch in the bunch.” —Mel

Get it from Amazon for $54.99.

24.

An automatic pan-stirrer that’ll be the sous chef of your dreams. If you encounter an annoying recipe that calls for continuous stirring, this lil’ guy will do all the work for you.


Uncommon Goods

It has a built-in timer and runs on four AA batteries.

Promising review: “Honestly I laughed at myself for buying this. I stopped laughing the first time I used it! What a help! It freed me up to do other things while it stirred the sauce that needed constant attention. Bought another one! Not laughing now!” —Luvdvm

Get it from Uncommon Goods for $25.

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