Affordable alternatives to pricey kitchen appliances

I recently discovered my blender is kaput.

Clearly I haven’t made a smoothie in  a long time, but sometimes the stomach wants what the stomach wants and a smoothie requires a blender.

My discovery set-off a search for an affordable blender. The old one — a Waring Pro — costs $300, just a hundred bucks shy of the almighty Vitamix.

When I made that purchase a decade ago, I was a raw food enthusiast and literally could not have lived without a good blender. That phase lasted six months before I decided to upgrade  to vegan, then vegetarian, then pescatarian — and eventually back to “oh hell, give me a burger!”

I’m no longer willing (or able) to pay that much for a blender, but I still want something that works. I spotted this recent post on MoneyTalksNews that offers cheap alternatives to pricey kitchen appliances.

The writer studied reviews and tested expensive and cheaper stand mixers, food processors, toaster ovens, coffee makers and blenders.

The upshot? Pay $450 for a Vitamix standard or $49.95 for an Oster 8-speed Glass Jar blender.

I think we know which one I’ll be buying.

And coffee lovers take note…while everyone is gaga over the Keurig’s  K-Cup brewers starting at $99, the $39 Mr. Coffee 12-cup Programmable Coffee Maker is apparently a suitable substitute.

What pricey kitchen appliances have you avoided? What did you find to be a suitable substitute?

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– Nedra Rhone, for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

8 comments Add your comment

just me

January 14th, 2013
4:59 pm

How is a 12 cup coffee maker a suitable substitute for a Keurig? People buy Keurigs for the speed, customization and convenience of making coffee one cup at a time. I LOVE mine for those reasons. How is someone that wants to make coffee one cup at a time going to be just as happy using a standard 12 cup coffeemaker? When you’re the only coffee drinker in the household, this would be the dumbest idea ever. Thats like saying a Ford Focus is a suitable substitute for a Vespa.

Maybe you MEANT the Mr. Coffee coffeemaker that USES K-CUPS through a deal that they have with Keurig. Usually those are about $80, but you can find them on sale for as low as $50-$60. Your welcome!

Oh Really?

January 14th, 2013
6:09 pm

I bought a 20+ dollar 4 cup GE coffee maker at Wal-Mart. It fills a large mug or two small mugs twice. For the same price of a twelve pack of Keurig pods I can buy a large can of decent quality coffee that makes almost 300 cups. And yes I can wait for the coffee to brew. If I absolutely gotta have my coffee in thirty seconds then I would really need to be working on my time management.


January 14th, 2013
6:34 pm

I have a Waring blender. Recently I purchased a $25 Ninja at Walmart. It’s a much better machine. It’s awesome. The multiple blades make a difference, and it’s got a bit motor. Plus, it cleans easily. It is the BEST kitchen appliance I’ve gotten in years,


January 14th, 2013
6:35 pm

that should be big motor, not bit.

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mystery poster

January 15th, 2013
9:36 am

I would never buy a Keurig. They are the epitome of over-packaging and wastefulness.

mystery poster

January 15th, 2013
9:37 am

@Oh really: “if I absolutely gotta have my coffee in thirty seconds then I would really need to be working on my time management.”

So true!


January 17th, 2013
2:28 am

agree with you @oh really