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Many kitchen gadgets aren't worth paying for

MMI Copywriter

By Kim McGrigg, MMI Community Manager

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:

  • First, the apple corer. A knife can get the job done just as easily. Even easier is to just take a bite right out of the apple.
  • The second unnecessary tool is an avocado slicer. Slicing an avocado is easy, plus, you’ll probably need the knife to remove the pit anyway. As the chef and cleaning crew, I usually try to limit the number of things I need to wash.
  • The same argument goes for cheese and egg slicers. While these tools might give you nice even cuts, they can hardly be called “necessary” objects.
  • The next tool is a mango pitter. There’s no doubt that cutting mangos can be tricky, but I’ve learned the hard way that using the pitter isn’t any easier than using a knife.
  • Next we have a melon baller. This gadget is totally unnecessary since everyone knows that melon cubes are just as delicious as melon balls.
  • And finally, we have the strawberry huller. Although cute, I can’t believe this gadget even exists. After all, you wouldn’t buy a banana peeler, would you?

While a lot of kitchen gadgets are unnecessary, I did find a few that might be worth buying.

  • The first one is a garlic press. Sure, you can use a knife to chop the garlic, but if you use a lot of garlic, this handy tool is probably worth the money.
  • Next, is the potato masher. I haven’t found another way to effectively mash potatoes.
  • Finally, the one gadget I really can’t live without is my peeler. I use this tool to peel a lot of different kinds of produce including cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, kiwi, and apples. Thankfully, this little gadget is also one of the least expensive to buy so it is a good use of my money.

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.

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MMI releases free eBook for small business owners


Money Management International (MMI), the nation’s largest nonprofit credit counseling agency, announces the release of its latest eBook, "The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Personal Finance," which is designed to help small business owners better manage personal finances.

With this eBook, small business owners will have the opportunity to explore these topics:

  • Discover if owning a small business is right for you.
  • Learn how to turn your ideas into a business plan.
  • Understand the difference between personal credit and business credit.
  • Find ways to fund a small business.
  • Get relevant information on self-employment taxes.

The free eBook was released in conjunction with National Small Business Week – an event recognizing the nation’s top entrepreneurs. This year’s event is slated for May 16 to 20, 2011, and will commence in Washington, D.C.

In addition to "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Personal Finance," MMI is offering free webinars geared toward small business owners. In The Small Business Primer: Managing Income and Expenses participants will learn how to assess their financial situation, set financial goals, create a budget, use comparison shopping to save money, and protect assets. The next webinar is June 2, 2011.

The Small Business Primer: Credit Report and Scores, on June 7, 2011, will teach participants how to order a free credit report, how a credit score is calculated, how to dispute inaccurate information, how to understand credit scores, and how to improve a credit rating.

To register for either webinar, visit the Small Business section on

To download the free eBook, visit, click on Resources, then eBooks.

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
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