Tuesday, October 23, 2012
31 Days:: 7 Ways To Save Money on Kitchen Gadgets
I don't know about you, but I have much more than just food in my kitchen. Cookie sheets, a stand mixer, good knives, a pancake flipper, and more are all essential to my time in the kitchen. Here are a few ways to save on non-food items:
1. Determine if you really need it. How much will you use the item? How much time will it save you? Do you already own another gadget that can perform the same task? (For instance, you can make bread dough in your stand mixer intead of in a breadmaker and yogurt in your oven instead of in a yogurt machine.) Do you really need that Vidalia Chop Wizard, or will a knife work just as well? Oh, wait a minute, how exactly did I justify that onion chopper?
2. Buy multi-tasking gadgets and appliances. In the case of the onion chopper, I use it to chop much more than just onions, so I figured it would be worth the money (and it has been!). An ice cream maker isn't exactly multi-tasking (unless you count the different flavors of ice cream you can make in it!) but then again, I'm not judging you if you have an ice cream maker...if your family enjoys homemade ice cream and you use your machine a lot, then it's worth your money.
3. Buy quality. You'll spend a little more up-front, but you'll save yourself time and money in the future if you don't have to replace the item over and over again.
4. Take advantage of your warranty. Many kitchen gadgets and small appliances come with short-term warranties. Don't throw away that warranty information (or your receipt) until the warranty has expired. You just never know!
I received 10-year-warranty non-stick Calphalon pans as a wedding gift. After about 9 years and 9 months, I noticed that the non-stick coating was peeling on some of them. I felt a little foolish calling when I knew my 10 years was so close to being up, but Calphalon replaced the pans, no questions asked.
Another great warranty I've found is on Cutco knives...they are warrantied for life, and you can also send them back to be sharpened for a small fee.
5. Put it on your birthday or Christmas list. If the appliance or gadget is something you're not sure you really need (or even if it is something you need!), put it on your list.
I've been grateful to receive bread machines, Tupperare scrapers, Cutco knives, and food processors (or money towards these items) as birthday and Christmas gifts. Whether it's something I need, or just a fun gadget, I didn't pay a dime for those items. When I was younger, I never understood why my mom put that kind of stuff on her list...but now I do :)
6. Buy it second-hand. You can find gently-used appliances and gadgets at Goodwill or other thrift stores, as well as at garage sales and on Craigslist and eBay.
I've purchased pans and Tupperware at garage sales, Cutco knives off eBay, and recently, I was thrilled to find my KitchenAid stand mixer on Craigslist. My Sunbeam stand mixer was 12 years old and on its last leg, so I stalked Craigslist for a few months. My 9-months-old-and-used-four-times KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer retails on Amazon for around $330. I snagged it for $170. Oh, and I put birthday money towards it too :) (I don't know if I was more excited about the mixer itself, or about the great deal I got on it!)
Remember to be choosy about your second-hand purchases. Some second-hand items come with warranties still intact (Cutco knives and Tupperware), but other items are "buy at your own risk".
7. Enter a giveaway. Oh, wait, that's tomorrow!
How do you save money on kitchen gadgets and small appliances? Would you buy a second-hand kitchen gadget?
Looking for more ways to save money in the kitchen? Check out the rest of the articles in this series, and come back every day this month for fresh ideas!