I admit it. It’s nice having all the gadgets around the house that make life just a little bit simpler. But have you ever given thought to which ones you really need? Ever thought about how much money you can save by not buying them? By not using the ones that require electricity?
Not all gadgets do, of course.
Electric can openers are one gadget I find to be pretty unnecessary. Cans aren’t that hard to open. I can see where you might want some help if you have hand or wrist issues, such as carpal tunnel, but otherwise?
Electric mixers are another thing I don’t see as necessary very often. They’re great for some uses, but most days if I need to mix something, a spoon or whisk works just fine. Although my kids do grumble if it’s a treat and there aren’t any beaters to lick when I make a treat.
Out in the yard, leaf blowers just horrify me. Such a waste of fuel, not to mention loud! Get a broom, start sweeping. Just like hanging clothes out on the clothesline, it’s good exercise as well as good for the environment.
All that said, yes, I love my breadmaker, which certainly counts as a gadget. Ditto my rice maker, which frees me from having to time rice cooked on the stove so carefully. I could get along without them, but they do legitimately make my life easier. The breadmaker in particular means that I am willing to make bread at home, which I probably wouldn’t try (aside from banana bread and zucchini bread) without it.
And that’s because some gadgets are good. It’s hard to determine where you should balance between the energy efficiency of a specialized gadget and using more power. You have an oven most likely, but that doesn’t mean a toaster isn’t a better choice for making toast. Takes a lot more power to heat the oven. However, so did making the toaster.
So how do you decide? What’s a worthwhile gadget? What’s unnecessary?
Stephanie-I have to admit I am a gadget person, although it mostly technology gadgets like the iphone, laptop, camera’s that I love! I have absolutely no need for an electric can opener either. My manual one works just fine!
Regarding gadgets, I like to go the way of Alton Brown. He says that the only uni-tasker he’s got in his kitchen is a fire extinguisher. I can’t stand seeing all of those silly, one-purpose gadgets that some people think they need to be a good cook! Hardly any of it is necessary. If you’ve got a toaster oven, it can be used to bake tons of things. I use it for roasting vegetables or baking small batches of cookies all the time. And the electric can opener.. oh gosh, don’t get me started!
I don’t have a bread machine or rice maker. I rarely use my mixer, only if it’s something that needs whipped faster than I can or my wrist is really hurting.
Now my husband has a leaf blower but it’s battery powered with rechargeable batteries.