The Best Kitchen Upgrades We Bought This Year — Psst… They’re All Under $50

published Dec 30, 2021
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White Kitchen
Credit: Margaret Rajic | Stocksy

This year, while our editors highlighted the tools, pantry staples, cleaning supplies, and more that we loved in the kitchen, we also found products that just made life easier — and didn’t cost much! We’re here to talk about our favorite kitchen upgrades we bought this year, all that cost under $50. These were the small, simple items we bought and tested that wound up making a huge impact on our daily routines. Ahead, we rounded up the picks that really wowed our editors in 2021, including ingenious storage solutions like the pair of magnetic shelves for your fridge or popular Amazon buys like stylish wooden Mason jar lids. These little improvements went a long way to make our kitchens feel cozier, cleaner, and more organized. They might just be exactly what you’re looking for to start the new year off on the right foot!

1 / 9

These chic wooden Mason jar lids were a huge hit with our readers! They were dubbed one of the best Amazon buys of the year because of their super cute appearance, plus their rust-resistant design unlike the normal metal lids. One of our contributors put them to the test, loving how airtight they are and how pretty the acacia wood looks. If you have open shelves or you keep your jars on your counters, then these lids are such an easy upgrade to spruce up your space!

2 / 9

As a repeat favorite compost bin winner on our list of Essential Tools, this surprisingly attractive container will actually make your counters look better. Our contributor who regularly composts at home tried it out this year and loved it, particularly because of its odor-blocking disposable charcoal filter. This allows you to keep the bin on your counter and wait until it's full to dispose the contents, instead of dumping it earlier when it starts to smell. It's a simple upgrade that will make a big impact on your composting routine!

3 / 9

Sometimes the smallest item can make the biggest difference. Case in point? These silicone stove gaps will instantly make your kitchen feel cleaner, just like they did for our best list writer this year. You won’t have to pull your oven out to clean again because these handy covers will prevent any food from sliding down the gap between the stove and the counter.

4 / 9
was $28.55

Readers were obsessed with these magnetic racks that create storage out of unused space on your fridge. They’re the perfect find for a small kitchen since they store spices without taking up valuable cabinet, counter, or wall space. Plus, unlike the wall-mounted spice racks mentioned previously, these require no installation, an especially appealing feature for renters.

5 / 9

This versatile lazy Susan is one of our favorite kitchen organizers because it’s an easy way to see all your spices or supplies without missing out on hidden items. This turntable in particular has a non-skid bottom, so it’s great for storing jars and bottles that won’t move when you spin it. It also fits perfectly in standard kitchen cabinets or in smaller, oddly shaped corner cabinets that are notoriously hard to keep tidy. We even like these lazy Susans as freezer organizers!

6 / 9

As another Kitchen Essentials repeat winner, we love this Rubbermaid container set for so many reasons. In addition to the various useful sizes and odor-resistant BPA-free Tritan plastic design, we especially appreciate the vented lids that allow steam to escape so you can microwave it with the top on. We continually feature this set as a meal prep must-have for obvious reasons! This year, ditch your mismatched containers for this amazing set.

7 / 9
Great Jones

Our favorite sheet pan got a seriously cheery upgrade this year with the new colorway, Raspberry. We’ve put this pan through the ringer in our own kitchens, and we can definitely report that the steel rods and thick rolled edges can stand up to high heat. You can’t warp these pans if you try. Unlike other baking pans, the Holy Sheet is coated with ceramic, a naturally nonstick material for stress-free baking. This is a kitchen upgrade that you'll get use out of constantly, whether baking cookies or making a sheet pan dinner.

8 / 9
Bed Bath & Beyond

Joseph Joseph is such a reliable brand for smart kitchen storage solutions. This compact flatware organizer is a perfect example with its narrow design, perfect for storing your cutlery in small kitchen drawers. It's such a great space saver and inexpensive that you have room for more than one in each drawer, making it easily customizable. Transform your drawers on a budget in 2022 with these handy organizers.

9 / 9
was $20.00

Meet your new favorite tool for breakfast, the Soft-Edge Turner from Material. This handy tool is designed to easily flip and fold, meaning it's ideal for eggs and pancakes! Its smooth, rounded handle is comfortable to hold, and its rounded edges ensure no corner of your pan goes untouched. It's also dishwasher safe, heat resistant to high temperatures, and doesn’t scuff up any pan. At just $20, it's an affordable way to each morning much more enjoyable.