Spend Less on Kitchen Gadgets With One Tool

How to save money on kitchen gadgets. Budget for things you need and don’t buy things purely because you want it.

by Jackelin Connelly| October 17, 2018

Jeff Shedlon on Unsplash

Have you ever bought kitchen gadgets because you thought you needed it in your kitchen arsenal but you rarely use it? I did! My first big purchase was a Kitchenaid stand mixer from Costco. It was the holiday season and I wanted to make big batches of cookies with my niece to give to friends and family. We have a hand mixer which works great but all the pastry chefs on TV or online mix everything conveniently with a stand mixer. I had to have it!

With all the new excitement from my purchase we were super excited to try making the most difficult pastry in the world, albiet I’m a noob when it comes to baking, the notoriously famous French Macaron. We attempted and failed miserably at baking Macarons for the first time. After streaming countless videos online we still did not perfect this incredibly sensitive and time consuming delicate cookie. The second attempt did not bring much success so we put the stand mixer back on the shelf where it collects dust to this day. It has been one whole year. Also, the stand mixer was not great for beating small amounts of egg whites to stiff peaks, so that set us up for failure!

Rose Elena on Unsplash

The point is, instead of buying a gadget that every desperate wannabe pastry chef (aka me) is using in the kitchen, and in my case not using. Go with a cheaper alternative that will work for almost everything.

For a long time I sat on the idea of purchasing an immersion blender because I already have a stand mixer. This tool can blend, chop, and whisk, it’s like a stand mixer and food processor all in one. For roughly around $25 to $40 you can make mayonnaise, salad dressings, whipped cream, blend up tomato basil soup, cream up your chicken tikka sauce, and much more. Ok I am starting to sound like a QVC infomercial. But seriously! Why didn’t I just buy this in the first place and save so much money?! I’m not a professional baker, I don’t need an expensive stand mixer. I haven’t even graduated from making chocolate chip cookies from a box! Another tip, do your research before making big purchases. Don’t just cave in to temptation while sampling food at Costco. Better yet, go on a full stomach whenever you leave the house for any type of shopping.

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you need to be a hardcore minimalist, you can buy things from time to time that align with your values: does this purchase make me happy, will I use it often, how will my life be without this, do I have something similar that I can use instead? When my blender came in the mail, the delivery guy literally tossed it and the box toppled over on my front door step. I caught all this on my security camera…creepy. I was horrified! Once opened I noticed it was scratched on the body and in weird crevices at the top of the handle which couldn’t have been from the delivery guy’s carelessness. I called Amazon the next day to tell them about this and debated on the phone with the poor representative who had to listen to me delibrate on whether or not to return it. So far I’ve used the blender just once to make mayonnaise and it worked fine but felt a gut-retching reaction when I discovered the scratches.

The Amazon rep gave me two choices, get a 25% discount or return it for a new one. It was a hard choice to make because I obsess over new things. I’m that annoying person who pays lazer focus attention to details when I buy anything at the store. I have to examine the product to my liking. I’m working on loosening up this extreme behavior... So after debating on what to do, the old me would’ve been like; “I want my blender unscratched and brand new dammit!” But the new me who only officially started budgeting in September was like; “I am going to take the discount because the device functions well.” Boom! Decision well made, there goes $8.99 that has the potential to grow over time or to use toward another Amazon purchase…insert palm to forehead. I will just have a glass of wine to calm my OCD-ness after using the scratched blender each time…just kidding (don’t drink and operate machinery).

Does anyone want my stand mixer now that I have my cool new immersion blender? No? Ok I’ll just set it back on my shelf. Alright, alright, I will try to make macarons again! Tenth time’s the charm? Wish me luck and I hope you find this helpful. Spend your hard earned money wisely and learn from my mistakes.