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.

home gadgets you don't really need

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. 

wine opener

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.

5. Spiralizers

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.

home gadgets you don't really need

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.

pouring water into ice trays

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.

home gadgets you don't really need

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. 

sliced banana

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.

Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine. She loves writing about family and living life to the fullest. Follow Cora on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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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  1. only disagree with the ‘spiralizer’ [zoodler]. love zuchinni noodles Vs ‘regular’ pasta & i am just not capable of using other methods without peeling/grating my own skin 😉 however the smaller ones work as well as the big ones, so it doesn’t take up much space 😀 and hubby has perfected the egg cooker so the shell just falls off without sacrificing egg white/shape.

  2. The only one I own is the salad spinner. I grow almost all our salad greens and they often need a good wash. I soak the in the bowl of the spinner for a few minutes, rinse and spin! Id go through a lot of towels so this works for me. I hate gadgets , except this one!

  3. I’m happy to report that the only one I have is a salad spinner which I do use occasionally. My neighbor sometimes gives us homegrown lettuce and the spinner comes in handy then.

    I am not a gadget person and don’t have a ton of kitchen storage space. That helps keep my purchases to only what I need and will use. I also don’t like a lot of items on my kitchen counters and that also helps to keep new purchases down.

  4. The only one I have is the countertop ice maker and I use it daily. I have a large family and ice trays in the freezer take up too much freezer space I need for food. It took at least 6 to 8 trays to manage my family ‘somewhat’ and that was with me limiting ice usage LOL. My ice maker is actually quiet and when I get home from work, I start it and it will run continually throughout the evening. Anything extra gets stored in a zip lock bag which seems to take up less space than the ice trays. Probably because what I make in an evening pretty much gets used up. It’s hard keeping up with the demands of a large family and this seems to simplify my life. I went for years without one, mainly because I apparently didn’t know they existed, and I seemed to struggle with never having enough ice and constantly fighting with food falling out every time I opened my freezer door!! LOL For me it has been a help though it does use about a square foot of my counter space. Me ever replacing it will be questionable though, because I have well water which is very hard and I’m sure probably won’t take long before the ice maker is no more. I started out using distilled water, but it then got pretty expensive, and I couldn’t keep up with having enough on hand, so I have just been using from the tap. So well see… They certainly aren’t cheap devices but at the moment helpful to me…

    1. I too must have that. Like you no room in small freezer and takes too long. We had temperatures in the 3 digits for nine months and that ice maker saved me.

  5. I love my electric wine opener. I have arthritis in my hands and am not able to use the manual openners any longer. Keep this in mind for your wine loving elders at gift giving time.

  6. Totally agree! We only have a panini press which is used regularly (makes really good toasties and is kept out of sight in a cupboard) and an apple slicer which I only keep as it encourages my son to eat fruit 😉

  7. I fall into that category of hating the Instant Pot. I wasn’t on the wagon with the people who loved it, but years later when it was on sale, I bought one. I like it for perfectly hard boiled eggs. Other than that, I just use it as a slow cooker. I don’t need the IP and a slow cooker, so I just have the one and use it like a crock pot. I would like to learn to use some of the other features it has, I’m just not there yet.

  8. I bought the salad spinner at a thrift store. I haven’t used for salad greens yet, but got it because my daughter hand washes certain tops and hangs them to dry. She now can spin her top to remove excess water before hanging. There are times my area does not get enough of breads. So I do have the bread maker. Bought the countertop ice maker. I don’t have enough room to have cube trays. And I’m the only one that makes the ice because trays get empty and no one says there’s no ice left. Having to buy bags of ice was the best way to go for me. I have made 2 bags of ice to keep in deep freezer. I’m very pleased with mine and it has paid for itself.

  9. I agree that there are many gadgets that have not earned the space in our kitchen. However, we really like ice cream! We use our ice cream maker about once a week and it’s super easy to get all kinds of frozen treats that are much less expensive, not to mention healthier with less additives than their store-bought counterparts. Ours is a model that has its own refrigeration unit, so it will keep the gelato, sorbet, ice cream etc. cold until it can be emptied into a freezer container. It’s easy to make many different types and flavors….just add a few ingredients, press start and it’s finished in under an hour. It’s easy to clean and we’ve used it often since we bought it for a family Christmas gift three years ago. Well worth the money to have this treat fresh and able to be customized to whatever flavor wins the vote!

  10. Though this wasn’t one of the home gadgets mentioned in the article, the one that I have is a rice cooker. I don’t even like the way the rice tastes when it comes out. Soaking your rice for about 30 minutes before cooking makes the cooking time much less.

  11. Own two large and two small salad spinners and use them every day for fresh herbs and greens from the garden. Saves time for washing and drying and wouldn’t trade them!
    My instant pot gets used several times a week for beans and rice. Love it!
    Our electric ice cream machine is staying too. Love my kitchen gadgets and can’t imagine cooking without them. As a celiac I don’t eat out much. Knowing the ingredients are organic and quality is essential. Food is both medicine and creativity!

  12. I agree with the fact that there are too many one- purpose kitchen items and I learned long ago from Alton Brown that you need to keep that to a minimum . Reading the comments,I see that many cooks have one or two of these items that work for their counter space and their food preferences and also use it and then tuck it away in a cupboard. For me, I recently got a salad spinner that I use several times a week. It’s stopped me from buying the bagged lettuce so I’m happy about that and my whole romaine lasts longer than the salad bags. I have a small spinner because I’m usually making salad just for myself and I just wash it under running water and put it in the strainer to dry. I also know people that enjoy their rice cookers! Thanks for this article.

  13. I have 4 of the above, I don’t use the ice cream maker, juicer or noodle spiraling gadget much. i forget i have them. i love the instant pot. However, now I want the salad spinner and the banana slicer. Ha!

  14. I have three of the items listed above and I do love gadgets. They make my kitchen work and creativity even more fun. I don’t plan to get rid of them no matter how seldom they are used. My husband calls me “Inspector Gadget” for a reason 🙂

  15. I have a popcorn popper I use in my microwave. I love it. I don’t have to pore oil in a pan to pop my popcorn and it keeps my popcorn from being greasy and I use it a lot. I don’t eat microwave popcorn. it’s geasy and expensive.

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