Kitchen tools

10 kitchen utensils, apps and storage tips for neurotic solo cooks

As we turned the corner in 2022, I once again had a singular resolution in mind: to cook more food at home (rather than resort to my number one financial vice – having Postmates deliver food to my house. ). I live alone, and cooking for someone comes with its own set of challenges, especially when you’re neurotic about food freshness and not a big fan of leftovers. I tried meal kits: Daily Harvest, Blue Apron, Freshly, EveryPlate, Hungry Root, but never came up with anything that worked. So I turned to another way to pour money into a money-saving project: buy things that make home cooking easier and more psychologically appealing!!!

My friends… it worked.

Onion Glasses

If crying isn’t your favorite thing to do while you’re trying to cook a meal, there are plenty of tips for chopping onions without tears (some of which are discussed in this comment thread on another GREAT article on kitchen gadgets). kitchen for reluctant cooks!), but none of them really worked for me and my sensitive eyeballs. Then I found the magic formula: first, my genius brother informed me that refrigerating an onion allows you to chop it without tears. Second: ONION GLASSES!!!! A chilled onion + glasses of onion = a cutlet without tears.

Freshworks Storage Sets

Freshworks produces saver containers

A funny thing about me is that after many episodes of food poisoning, I developed an intense neurosis around the freshness and perishability of food, an illogical state of mind that defied the goodwill of many otherwise loving humans who think I determine a food to be inedible (due to perceived involutions in appearance, temperature, shape, or, most dreaded of all, its proximity to an expiration date) when they know objectively that it is good. So I figured buying a series of incredibly specific containers that extend the freshness of various foods would completely solve that problem – and it partially does! First things first: my veggies literally last an entire extra week in these things, and they also extend the life of my favorite food, raspberries. I have also read good things about these product storage containers from OXO.

That said, it’s a good idea to research the ideal storage for various products before storing them, as many are already arriving in their ideal containers! There are also plenty of great tips for when you want to store pre-chopped veggies or the ideal setup with wash and paper towels.

The Always Pan

Always Pan

In the 2021 Autostraddle Gift Guide, I stated my desire to always have a frying pan, stating “I think if I always had a frying pan that is good for ‘forever’, I would immediately start cooking more and save a lot silver.” My mom, bless her heart, immediately bought me an Always Pan, and getting an expensive gift is a great way to push me to change my behavior!!!!! ‘Cause what kind of asshole gets an expensive gift from his mother and then it’s like thank you but I order TenderGreens? NOT THIS GIRL. The Always Pan not only looks good, which kind of makes cooking more appealing (I can’t underestimate the importance of that), it actually cooks food better than any other pan in the universe. (by which I mean the Ikea and Target pans that I use all my life).

Lawyer Guardian

lawyer guardian

This avocado guard has been truly transformational, allowing me to use half an avocado one day and then the other half later that same day! I also have one for onions and tomatoes.

Brilliance Leakproof Food Storage Containers

Brilliance Leakproof Containers

I notoriously hate leftovers, but not anymore!! These microwaveable containers “lock in the cool” and I don’t know what that means, but it’s enough to calm my psychological issues.

Clear Stackable Kitchen Storage Bins With Handles

stackable bins

The longer this list gets, the more I question my sanity, but somehow the beautifully organized kitchens on TikTok made me think that if everything in MY kitchen was beautifully organized using of a series of overpriced plastic containers, it would make it easier to find the tools and ingredients I needed – and also to quickly locate important snacks before they passed their imaginary expiration date – and I would cook more and waste less food. Honestly, was I right?? Not sure exactly which bins I ended up buying as I went to HomeGoods but they looked like this – I use them for Lara bars, sparkling waters, microwave popcorn, bars That’s It, fruit snacks and more. It’s also good to keep tabs on what I’m missing now that my articles are no longer obscured by their oppressive containers.

All Bagel Seasoning

Thing is, I don’t even like all bagels, which is why I’m 85 years behind this trend, but a few months ago my girlfriend made me some eggs and I was like wow what’s in them, they’re amazing??? And that was the Everything Bagel seasoning. It makes everything really good.

The Meals app

App Meal Illustration of the process;  1. plan, 2. shop, 3. cook

This app rules! You can tell it what you already have in your fridge, your food preferences and foods you don’t like and also specify your priorities for your meal plan, like minimal food waste or an inexpensive menu, and that helps you create menus for the week and makes you a shopping list!!

Mamison Reusable Household Gloves

Mamison Waterproof Reusable Dish Cleaning Rubber Gloves, Non-Slip Oven Mitt (Medium) - 2 Pack

Let’s be honest: it’s not usually cooking that I avoid, it’s cleaning up after cooking. These gloves last forever and make washing dishes much more enjoyable. Plus, I can turn the water up until it’s HOT for what I perceive to be superior cleaning!

An Audible subscription

When I cook with a friend/partner or he cooks for me, we can sit in the kitchen and chat! When I cook alone, I find myself with a nightmare scenario: my own thoughts. I’ve noticed that I’m much more likely to cook complicated recipes when I want an excuse to keep listening to the book I’ve become obsessed with, so I also indulge in a fair amount of cheap psychological thrillers.

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Riese is the 39-year-old co-founder and CEO of, as well as a writer, blogger, novelist, editor, videographer and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan and lost her mind. . to New York, then west. Her work has appeared in nine books, including “The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female”, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web, including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books, and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, then she recapped The word I, and then she had the idea to create this place, and now we are all in it! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Riese wrote 2922 articles for us.