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Home-cooked meals are crucial for households seeking to meet nutrition and budget goals. While you don’t need fancy gadgets to cook, a few staples can make the task far easier and more enjoyable. If you don’t have these three kitchen staples in your arsenal, it’s time to hit that “buy now” button and make your meal preps easier than ever before.

Dutch Oven
A great dutch oven will last decades. A well-seasoned cast iron dutch oven will be nonstick and will require extra care. An enameled dutch oven can be more easily washed and stored and comes in plenty of beautiful colors to match your kitchen decor. Whichever you choose, this kitchen staple is ideal for cooking hearty stews and roasts in the oven or to simmer and saute ingredients and sauces on the stovetop.

Immersion Blender
Purees, soups and smoothies all can be made in a large standard blender, but if you’re looking for a quicker and easy-to-clean option, an immersion blender may be just what you need. Immersion blenders also have the advantage of taking up less space than their traditional blender countertop counterparts. Use your immersion blender to puree soups right in the pot or use it to make smoothies directly in your favorite large smoothie cup. Plus, if you have children, creating baby food or even homemade applesauce for snacks is a breeze.

Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets can take some getting used to, but if you care for them well, they will be one of your favorite cooking tools. Every kitchen should have a cast iron skillet waiting in the cupboard ready to saute and cook on the stovetop or in the oven. Versatile cast iron pans allow you to sear your favorite meat on the stovetop and then stick the pan directly into the oven to cook all the way through—you certainly can’t do that with your nonstick set of pans.

With all the gadgets on the market, it’s hard to decide what will be truly useful and what will just sit in your cupboards untouched. Thankfully, these three kitchen staples are handy for everyone, no matter your cooking prowess.