Inside: If you want a more minimalist home, here are home gadgets you really don’t need and what you can use instead.
A guest post by Cora Gold
In our consumerist society, there is always a new gadget on the market that promises to make our lives easier.
While many inventions have become necessities in modern life, like washing machines and vacuums, others simply take up space in our homes without serving a significant purpose.
A key element of living minimally is resisting the urge to buy something just because it’s new and popular.
Here are 15 home gadgets you may want to think twice about before buying.
15 Home Gadgets You Don’t Really Need (& What to Use Instead)
If you’re working to simplify your home, it’s important to carefully consider what you buy and determine what is necessary and what isn’t.
Whether you’re looking for a useful gift for someone in your life or are trying to streamline your space, these are home gadgets that you don’t really need (with ideas of what you can use instead).
1. Bread Maker
Bread makers promise homemade bread with minimal effort. However, they can be expensive and take up valuable kitchen space.
Baking bread in a traditional oven using a simple recipe and a good-quality bread pan can yield equally delicious results without requiring a specialized machine.
Baking your own bread is also a time-consuming task that most people don’t do very often, making them unnecessary for most households. Plus they take up a lot of counter space in your kitchen.
2. Ice Cream Maker
Instead of investing in a dedicated ice cream maker, you can make delicious homemade ice cream using a simpler method.
One popular alternative is the “no-churn” method, which involves mixing your ingredients by hand or with a hand mixer and then freezing the mixture in a regular lidded container.
Like bread, you likely buy ice cream at the store much more often than you make it anyway.
3. Electric Wine Openers
Electric winemakers seem like an effortless way to uncork your favorite bottle of wine. However, a good old-fashioned corkscrew can do the job just as effectively for a fraction of the price.
4. Pasta Makers
Pasta makers are appealing to those who love fresh homemade pasta, but they’re usually a non-essential kitchen gadget.
You can make tasty pasta without needing a dedicated machine by simply rolling out the dough with a rolling pin and cutting it into your desired shapes.
While pasta makers offer precision and consistency, traditional methods provide a more hands-on and rewarding experience. Investing in a pasta maker may not be necessary for those who don’t make pasta frequently, as you can still achieve homemade pasta using basic tools.
Spiralizers turn veggies like zucchini and carrots into noodle-like spirals, providing a low-carb alternative to traditional pasta.
While they can be a fun addition to your kitchen, they’re not a crucial gadget. You can get a similar outcome using a julienne peeler, grater, or a regular knife to create vegetable noodles.
Any tool that serves multiple purposes is much more valuable to have and will help you maintain a minimalist kitchen with the essentials.
6. Egg Cookers
Some people love egg cookers because they can make perfectly boiled or poached eggs with minimal effort.
However, cooking eggs on the stove is a straightforward and cost-effective alternative. All you need is a pot, water, and a timer.
It’s a skill that’s easy to learn and can save you counter space and money. You can still poach or boil eggs to your liking by adjusting the cooking time.
7. Instant Pot
This one tends to be a love-or-hate-it kitchen gadget. While some purchased the Instant Pot when it became popular years ago and have come to use it regularly, others have found it taking up precious space and rarely (if ever) being used.
While there are some unique things an Instant Pot can do, in many cases a crock pot or a dutch oven can do the job as long as you’ve planned a bit in advance.
8. Popcorn Machine
Popcorn makers come in various styles, from air poppers to microwave popcorn bowls. These may seem convenient, but making popcorn on the stovetop using a pot with a lid and a bit of oil is a budget-friendly alternative.
You can also easily make your own popcorn by putting popcorn kernels, oil, and salt in a paper bag, shaking it up, and putting it in the microwave. It’s healthier than store-bought and tastes better.
9. Countertop Ice Makers
Countertop ice makers promise a steady supply of ice, but they take up space and can be noisy. If your fridge doesn’t have an ice maker, consider using ice cube trays and your freezer to make ice cubes as needed.
If you find this method isn’t producing enough ice fast enough, you can transfer the ice to a container and store it in your freezer as the ice is ready. It’s a simple, space-saving solution that doesn’t require an extra appliance.
10. Electric Juicer
Electric juicers are convenient for extracting fresh fruit and vegetable juicers, but they can be costly and take up space.
Instead, you can use a blender to create fresh juices by pureeing fruits and vegetables, then straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
Research shows that juicing removes beneficial fiber from nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, so you may not need a juicer after all.
11. Panini Press
Panini presses are dedicated appliances designed for grilling sandwiches and paninis, but they may not be necessary in your kitchen.
You can use a stovetop grill or a regular frying pan to achieve the same results. Simply heat the pan, press your sandwich with a spatula, and flip it as needed to achieve that delicious, crispy outside.
12. Salad Spinner
While salad spinners can be handy for drying lettuce and other greens, they’re an extra gadget that may not be essential.
To dry your greens efficiently, wash them thoroughly and then pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. It’s a simple and effective alternative that requires no additional equipment.
13. Avocado Keeper
Designed to help preserve leftover avocado halves by reducing exposure to air, there are simpler alternatives.
An easy method is to store the leftover avocado in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap (with the pit still in), ensuring minimal air contact with the exposed flesh. You can sprinkle a little lemon or lime juice on the exposed surface to prevent browning.
14. Gimmicky Exercise Equipment
Vibrating exercise machines claim to help you lose weight and improve muscle tone through vibrations. However, there’s limited scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.
Opt for traditional workouts like cardio, strength training or stretching, which have well-established benefits and you can do them without special equipment.
Ab stimulators claim to give you toned abs with little effort by sending electrical impulses to your abdominal muscles. However, there’s no substitute for traditional core exercises like planks, sit-ups, and leg raises.
Ab stimulators don’t actually burn fat or result in noticeable weight loss. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups and require no equipment.
If you are eager to do core workouts that require machines or equipment like dumbbells and foam rollers, you can always consider a gym membership, where you’ll get more bang for your buck.
15. Fruit Slicers
There are individual slicers on the market for just about every fruit, from apples to bananas to avocados. They really don’t function any better than a regular knife, so there’s no need to clutter your kitchen drawers with them.
While some fruits, like avocados or pineapples, might seem trickier to cut, you can easily find tutorials online for how to do so with knives you already own.
One thing I would recommend though is reading the reviews of this banana slicer as they’re quite entertaining.
Think Twice Before You Buy Home Gadgets
While you may find these innovative home gadgets tempting, it’s essential to weigh their convenience against their cost. You can often achieve the same results with simpler and more affordable options without cluttering your home with unnecessary devices.
When you’re mindful of your choices, you can enjoy both convenience and frugality in your home.
Which of the home gadgets you don’t really need do you have? Do you use it? Share in the comments section below!
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