Keurig machines have been all the rage in the last year, and KCL has posted some spectacular deals in the past to help you score one for much less than their advertised retail price.

But KCLs know that more mileage can be obtained from appliances when they multitask. Though the Keurig is designed to help brew a cup of coffee, there are additional uses, as well. Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

1. Breakfast, soups, and snack foods

Consider your Keurig's uses as an automatic-drip hot water dispenser. Slip a bowl of instant oatmeal, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese microwavable cup, Nissan Cup Noodles, or coffee mug filled with quinoa or couscous under the dispenser, and allow the water to heat the food below. This can be a delicious one-cup serving of a food item or even a quick after school snack for kids that doesn't require heating up the stove.

2. Baby food

In much the same way you can use your Keurig as a hot water dispenser for the food you eat, consider using it to help you create quick food for your infant. Fill the cavity just halfway with water, and run the cycle to add a bit of hot water to Gerber Rice Cereal Mix (cool with a tablespoon or two of cold milk), Malt-o-Meal, instant mashed potato flakes, or even fruits (like bananas) to puree. Toddlers might enjoy a small bit of macaroni or veggie pasta "cooked" al dente via the Keurig machine. Note: always drain the excess water, and cool the food completely before serving it to a child.

3. Tea and cocoa

Place an infuser of loose leaf tea in or simply spoon a few teaspoons of hot cocoa into a mug.  The hot water from the machine can "brew" these items just as easily as coffee for a quick, one-cup indulgence.

4. Create cocktails

Tasty, unique cocktail combinations await when you mix flavored K-Cups with various liquors and other additives (like honey, whipped cream, or vanilla flavoring). Apple Rye Punch or Hot Buttered Rum, anyone? These are perfect for a spontaneous cocktail hour at home or when you invite a small group of guests over who may have different taste preferences for mixed drinks.

 

And just in case you still only want to use your Keurig for coffee purposes, consider these two cost-saving options for reuse:

5. Give the cups a second pass

K-cups are not designed to be reused; the company intends that you buy a fresh, pricey K-cup for each cup of coffee you want to brew. But as the above describes, lots of individuals have found a "second pass" of the K-cup through the machine still brews a small (though weaker-flavored) coffee. No problem for me! I just tell myself I've having a "blonde roast" for my second cup in the morning.

6. Use old cups to make new coffee

If you find yourself all out of K-cups, you can create a new one by using an old one in a pinch. This fun YouTube video shows one approach to doing that. Sidenote: who doesn't love Glad Press 'N' Seal (as shown in the video)? That stuff is amazing!

 

Your Keurig machine seems like an even better investment once you know how to use it for additional tasks in the kitchen.

Do you have a favorite Keurig cocktail recipe?  Do you have an alternate use for your machine not covered above? Share your ideas in the "Comments" section below!