Living frugally does not mean accepting things that are cheaply made. It means buying quality things , as you can afford them. In the kitchen , you should have at least one well made knife. I recommend Wustof knives. These are made in Germany, where quality and craftsmanship still mean something to the consumer. You can often purchase these at T. J. Maxx on sale or clearance. Another place to keep your eye on is Williams and Sonoma, especially during their “After Christmas Sales”, or on ebay. I also highly recommend purchasing a cast iron enamel Dutch oven from the following companies: Le Creuset, Descoware, Dansk, or Cousances. Do not be put off by the price of a new one! You can often find these on ebay for affordable prices. You will only find Descoware, and Cousances on ebay , antique shops, or consignment shops, as they are no longer in production. I have several pieces that I have collected along the way. Another company I highly recommend is Lodge. Lodge is an American company that still makes cast iron skillets in Tennessee. You should have varying sizes of cast iron skillets in your kitchen, as they are amazing pans to cook with. If you cannot afford cast iron enamel, Lodge skillets are a wonderful bargain.
One thing you want to remember in living frugally is that the goal is not to have everything, or at least not everything right away, but part of the joy is in the delay or wait. Many of my most prized possessions in the kitchen I have gotten over time. One of the best places to look for kitchen supplies is at thrift stores, antique shops, and consignment shops. Things made during the eighties and older were still made in the U.S., and they were made to last and not break down. I encourage you to look around your kitchen and see what you are lacking and begin to collect quality made kitchenware. It will make cooking so much easier. Artists have the tools they need to create, and you should too! Your kitchen will be your creative domain if you prepare it for creativity with well made tools.