Anyone who enjoys cooking and baking, is likely to have at least once in their lifetime been tempted to buy, or succumbed to a purchase of, a kitchen appliance that ended up getting used less than a handful of times per year. If that!
It’s easy to think you need a specialised appliance to make that one dish perfect. In most cases, those extra appliances are not worth the money. But, once there, take up space in your kitchen for many years.
All kitchen appliances can be substituted with an old-fashioned tool
Unless an item gets used at least once a month, then there is no need in having it, and it is best to create that one dish without that additional item even if it takes a little longer and requires extra effort. The pasta maker likely will only get used a couple of times, and will spend the rest of its life on a shelf gathering dust. Somehow we think we need a pasta maker to make the perfect pasta, yet, Italian grandmothers are still making and shaping the tastiest pasta by hand without the need of a gadget.
Beware of fancy looking jewellery for the kitchen
Some equipment is impossibly tempting. Expensive stand mixers look fabulous, like jewellery for the kitchen. However, a requirement they are not, especially if baking is something that is reserved for Christmas. Besides, it is not hard to use an old fashioned whisk or spoon. For the occasional baker a cheaper hand whisk will do the job, if one has to have something electrical. It will take longer but the results will be the same. And, it can get stowed away easily in a drawer, unlike the big and bulky stand mixers. The fact is that someone who bakes only a few times a year won’t need a stand mixer. It’s perfectly fine to knead bread by hand on those rare occasions.
Too many machines for simple needs
We can buy a variety of mixers, fruit juicers, ice-cream makers, bread makers, rice-cookers and pressure cookers. The list goes on. All to make our life easier and to help us with our dietary requirements. However, our need in all of this is quite simple: Food & Water. We need food and water to survive but somehow, over the last 60 or so years, the machine need has crept in. In a way it’s laughable that we need this or that machine to satisfy simple needs.
It is always good to remember that while they may make our lives easier, they are also making our wallet lighter. Consider this, is it worth spending money just because we cannot be bothered to spend an additional 10 minutes of physical effort?
What problem are these machines exactly solving?
Most of our needs are created out of the fantasies of manufacturers and clever marketers, trying to sell, for example, coffee in pods at hideously expensive prices. Nobody really needs coffee machines that make coffee within a couple of minutes at a push of a button. All one requires is water, electricity and coffee. The world has functioned before these came into existence and coffee making, as far as I remember, has always been a pretty straightforward experience. Here we list some ideas on how to save money on our favourite energy drink.
It’s okay to use our physical strength from time to time
It seems, that everything in daily life needs to be more efficient. Where everything is done at a push of a button or a voice command, and that’s it. Like we are not supposed to move or use our body at all. The other day I saw two guys on TV making a floating island dessert with just a bowl and a non-electrical hand whisk. The guys had to take turns, because it is arduous work. However, it took them only ten minutes and the result was a perfect meringue. Everything is possible to do without a machine. A positive side-effect was that they got their biceps and triceps trained.
Surely, certain things one cannot live without. I would not want to miss a blender and a washing machine, simply because I love soups and hummus. And life without a washing machine in a household of many could become a nightmare.
Re-assess what items add value to your life
It’s about knowing what really creates value and what does not. Anything whose part in your life is fleeting, is a waste of money. When it comes to electronic kitchen appliances its good to know your day to day habits and your dietary requirements. New dietary requirements often mean new kitchen appliances.
Don’t buy a new kitchen appliance for a new diet
Tip: if you are thinking about buying a new kitchen appliance because you want to make changes to your diet; try buying the dietary items for a month from a shop to see whether this new addition to your diet has the potential to stick in the long run.
Tip: Wait before you make that purchase! Leave a four week thinking period. If after these four weeks, you still want that appliance, then get it.
Tip: Use the manual tool instead. It’s possible to whip cream by hand, and it is possible to grate carrots with a simple grater. It doesn’t take a lot of time. In actual fact, I might even take the same amount of time depending on the quantity, because the electric kitchen appliances can be sometimes a pain to unpack, to assemble and to clean.
Reselling kitchen appliances is very difficult
Remember: re-selling electrical items can be difficult. It’s unlikely to get 50% of its’ original purchase price, especially if the warranty has already run out. Electronic items are tricky to sell. For buyers it’s a risky second hand purchase. Electronics might be faulty, which the buyer won’t be able to see. If something goes wrong, there is no warranty. Most, if not all charity shops don’t even take electronic items because faulty electrics can cause fires. And these are some of the reasons why reselling electronic household appliances will come at a huge loss.
Act responsibly when disposing of kitchen appliances
Final thought. Disposing of electrical appliances is a time consuming undertaking. They need to be driven to a recycling centre. They should never be just left outside in the streets or thrown into household waste because electrical appliances can contain harmful materials.
Roughly 53.6 tons were dumped in 2019 according to this Earth 911 article. That is 48,625.102 kilograms! However, only about 30% of this waste actually gets recycled. A lot of these electronic appliances can contain quite valuable materials such as copper, gold, silver or platinum.
But, they can also contain very toxic materials that are harmful to animals, humans and the environment. Therefore, it is a good to think about our purchases not only from a money saving perspective but also from an environmental perspective as well. The earth doesn’t have finite resources of materials nor does our wallet have finite resources of cash.