I use my kitchen every.single.day. Between making oatmeal for Lillian's breakfast, preparing lunch and making dinner, the thing gets a massive amount of use.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Except I will take a dish washer. Not the actual machine (have one of those) but someone who will follow me around the kitchen cleaning up the messes I make. That would be awesome.
The following five kitchen accessories all cost under $5 and are items I use on a daily (or several times a week). For me, these are the essentials:
While I don't have a dish washer person at my disposal, I do have this. It's a Plastic Scraper I picked up from the local kitchen store for under $2. It cleans gunk off dishes like nobody's business. It also helps clean up dough off the counter when I'm making bread. Or pie crusts.
These bamboo spoons came in a set from Walmart for $4.95. I've had them for five years, use them every day and they're still in fantastic condition. Don't hate on Walmart people - you can find some really good things there.
I also picked up this from the local kitchen store - bamboo tongs. They were $1.79. I often eat toast for breakfast and these make it so easy to grab the toast without burning myself or worrying about getting shocked. Plus, my Grandma had similar ones and it makes me think of her every time I use them.
My silicone baking mat. I bought this for $3.99 at TJ Maxx several years ago. It completely changed my baking - no more scrubbing pans after making a batch of cookies. It helps act as a protective barrier to keep me from burning bottoms of baked goods.
Not that I ever burn things. or forget pans of cookies in the oven. Never.
My salt bowl. I actually made this in a college ceramics class so you could make an argument about whether it was free or it cost me $350. Either case, you can buy a small ramekin or dish for under $5. Pour kosher salt into it and keep it next to your stove for quickly adding a pinch of seasoning.