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A food processor is one of those gadgets that some people swear no one should be without while others just don’t get it. If you’re considering buying a food processor for the first time, though, your biggest question may be “Is it worth it?”
It depends. If you find yourself in the kitchen only to do food prep like making smoothies, you’re going to be best off sticking with a blender. Food processors do blend, of course, but buying one to use only for blending would be overkill.
If you’re the kind of cook—or aspiring cook—who could use some help with tedious tasks like slicing, shredding, chopping, mixing, and pureeing, too, then a food processor is exactly what you need to save time and, possibly, some money. Most food processors come with some basic attachments:

  • an s-shaped blade
  • a shredding disc
  • a slicing disc

Your s-shaped blade can tackle everything from fresh nut butters to dough. By pulsing the machine, you can also use the blade to chop and mix fresh salsas, hummus, sauces, and chip dips—all those things you might like to customize to your family’s tastes and save some money on if you’re consuming it in bulk! If you’re growing your own tomatoes and peppers, that’s some obvious savings. Buying ingredients for hummus may cost slightly more up front, but result in a greater quantity than a store-bought container.

If you prefer to buy products like carrots and cheese pre-shredded, have you noticed how they’re more expensive than buying them whole? That’s because you’re paying for convenience. Compared to shredding by hand, it may be worth it to save your knuckles and time, but what about when you can shred your own carrots for carrot cake and your own block of cheese for nachos in your own food processor? You won’t break a sweat, cut yourself, or ever go back to buying pre-shredded again.

Using the slicing blade is another way to save on pre-prepped foods like meat and veggies for pizzas; fruits, nuts and veggies for layered salads; and anything you can put into a casserole or sheet pan meal. The even slices will make for prettier and more even cooking and sautéing, too.

A food processor won’t only help you save time from cutting and shredding by hand, and money from buying pre-processed ingredients, it can help reduce the amount of waste produced in your kitchen, too. Shredded foods have to be sold in plastic packaging, but carrots by the bunch don’t! It sounds like a pretty good investment when you consider this appliance as a purchase that will benefit your household and our planet, too.