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When it comes to new kitchen gadgets, I understand how it may be hard to say no. The pretty designs and novelty are quite alluring. It seems though that the most interestingly designed tools are only made for a single purpose, and for what they cost, buying all of them can be really expensive. In fact, the kitchen gadgets I have in front of me today cost more than $100 to purchase.
As much as I love the idea of having a kitchen full of cutesy gadgets, I’ve come to accept that I don’t need EVERY one. After all, the word gadget refers to something that appears useful but is often unnecessary or even trivial. So how do you know when to say no? The answer is simple: if you can do the job with an everyday utensil, the gadget is probably not worth purchasing.
Here are some examples of kitchen gadgets whose function that can easily be tackled with a decent knife:
While a lot of kitchen gadgets are unnecessary, I did find a few that might be worth buying.
However, more often than not, kitchen gadgets are designed for a single purpose, so you’ll be better off spending your money on something that won’t just take up space in your kitchen drawer.
And for more frugal food ideas, be sure to check out our free Cheap Eats eBook. You might also enjoy reading the post by Anna Kronzer that inspired this video.
a hand mixer does an excellent job of mashing beans and potatoes
OK, it's obvious that you aren't a cook or do more than heat things in the microwave! A melon baller is a great tool for small cookies, preparing bite-sized appetizers (it makes cracker-sized mounds easily); if you make potato salads and other salads, you are really going to get good use out of an egg-slicer (it also cuts strawberries, etc.); the apple corer is a great tool if you are trying help your child be self-sufficient (they can use this without cutting themselves, where I would never have small children try to cut apple pieces with a knife -- if you don't have children, you don't really need one of these). I wouldn't own an avocado slicer or mango slicer, but I have known people to seriously cut themselves using knives to accomplish the task -- if you have coordination issues and eat a lot of either of these items -- buy the tool. I don't own, nor would I ever WANT a garlic tool -- a knife always works better and is faster, with less cleanup. A potato masher can also be used to make pastry dough, so, yes, I have one of these. A good set of knives will work for most of these tasks, especially if you seldom do any cooking that requires the tool, but there is no way that I would go through life without my industrial-sized cherry pitter -- I make tons of jam and I couldn't imagine using a knife to cut each, individual cherry, to make jam. Please add qualifiers and think outside your own specific circumstance on these articles.
I have a strawberry huller – it’s called my thumb nail! My “to buy or not to buy” guideline is, “if it takes longer to find the gadget specific to any job that could be finished by the time you FIND the specific gadget, you don’t need it.” Or whatever—you get the idea!
Oh, you like those things that let you squeeze out the water or oil in a can of tuna?!
I dont think these items are going to break your bank account. However I do think you can save your money by not buying that Mango slicer and spend it on a Grande Mocha at Starbucks.
The video was informative and I agree with much of it, but I would certainly include the comments by Caroline as balance. I also use a potato masher, but to finish the job I pull out my hand mixer to make real creamy potatoes.
I was expecting an article involving why not to buy appliances. You've really missed the boat on some of the multiple uses some of those items can have... like the strawberry huller... I use it as an apple corer and a melon baller. Maybe mine is different than yours. I'd have appreciated an article about the excessive appliance issue more. I guess I'm saying I'm with Caroline here.
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