Who needs a $150 knife sharpener? We use the following method all the time to sharpen our knives. It works like a charm and costs us nothing.

To sharpen a knife, find a coffee mug with an unglazed rim on the bottom, or turn over a terracotta (clay) flowerpot (we like the coffee mug best). Set the mug upside down on a sturdy surface. Hold the knife blade at an angle and run it along this rough bottom edge of the mug. You don’t need to press too hard. Then turn the knife over, and do the same thing to the other side of the blade. Repeat the procedure until the knife is as sharp as you want it to be. (It usually only takes four or five runs.) Take your time and be careful! Food prep with a sharp knife makes cooking a breeze…and a lot safer.

More help in the kitchen…

• Don’t Let Contaminated Knives Make You Sick

• Great Gadgets That Make Cooking Fun

• Best Tool for Egg Salad and Guacamole