Mortar and pestle
Ballpark price: $30
You may have seen these used to make guacamole at your favorite Mexican spot, and while they certainly make the guac-making process easy, they’re useful for more than just that. Instead of spending a fortune on pre-packaged ground spices and herbs, spring for fresh and/or whole options and grind them down; they’re much more potent this way.
Ballpark price: $9
At some point in your adult life, you’re probably going to have to host your family and/or friends for Thanksgiving, and the boxed, microwaveable mashed potatoes just aren’t going to cut it. Spare yourself the embarrassment by investing in a sturdy peeler -- the Y-shaped variety offers a better grip than the traditional model -- and get peeling, friend. Leftovers? Try these fried mashed potato & gravy bombs.
Ballpark price: $20
If you think this tiny torch is only good for caramelizing sugar on top of creme brulee, think again. The handy butane-fueled tool can brown meringue topping on a pie, toast marshmallows when you don't have access to a campfire, melt cheese over French onion soup, roast bell peppers, solder together a house made of pizza, and plenty more. Plus, torching stuff is pretty fun.