Making Your Kitchen Gadgets Earn Their Keep – Frugal Challenge

Several weeks ago, I wrote a review on one of my newly discovered (Thank you Hubby!)  kitchen gadgets, the Magic Bullet mini blender.  You can check out my review if you’d like by clicking right here: Magic Bullet Review.

Since that time, I was talking with a friend of mine about the Magic Bullet, and she confessed that she had one, but had retired it to the back of her pantry.  Now, after reading my review, she has decided to drag her Magic Bullet back out and give it another chance.

She granted her Magic Bullet some prime real estate on her kitchen counter and started to put it to work, hopefully, to save money and get a return on that investment she made.  Truthfully, many folks buy kitchen gadgets that they abandon after only a few uses.  That is a tremendous waste of money.  Let’s see what my friend found out about the possible return on the investment she made in her Magic Bullet.

Because her family is hooked on those designer smoothies from the specialty shops, she decided to try making a gourmet smoothie of her own.  Having picked blueberries earlier this summer, she was hoarding them in the freezer, trying to figure out what she wanted to use them for.  And, this couldn’t be just ANY recipe, as those were some highly prized blueberries, hand-picked with love.  She chose a simple smoothie that would highlight and “glorify” (her words) the blueberries, and not hide the flavor behind something else.

Blueberries, soy milk, and drizzle of honey.

Using a simple recipe of just 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (yes, leave them frozen solid), about 1- 1/2 cups of soy milk, and just a drizzle of honey to bring out the sweetness of the blueberries, not to overwhelm the delicate flavor, she gave the mixture a few good whirls, and voila!, delicious frothy and very blue blueberry smoothies.  You can’t get much simpler than that.  It may not look like much to begin with, but check out the finished product!

Beautiful!  Delicious, too!

Isn’t the color of the completed smoothie beautiful?   I think this would appeal to very young children just because of the incredible color and the frothiness.  Of course, you can use any milk you want, but she just happens to drink soy milk.  Add a little ice cream and you have a very nice dessert, too.  This is one luxury that can be made at home for a fraction of what it would cost at a specialty shop.

So, can you actually save money by creating your own gourmet smoothie drinks at home, even when you figure in the cost of the Magic Bullet?

Yes, indeed, you can.  In order to treat your family to smoothies at a specialty smoothie shop, you know you won’t leave without spending $20 or more.  Even considering the one-time expense of purchasing the Magic Bullet for around $50, you’ve got that covered in your first few stops at the smoothie shop.  At home, you can blend up a whole mess of smoothies for less than a few cents each, depending on the ingredients you use.  If you’re using up fruit that’s gone beyond its freshest moments, you’re also helping your regular food budget by using up fruit instead of tossing it out.

Homemade smoothies are definitely saving you money.  Additionally, you get to control the ingredients you want your family to ingest.  I’ve also posted some great recipes recently that will make your family forget all about that gourmet smoothie shop!  Just click here to find lots of ideas and recipes for creating delicious homemade smoothies that will appeal to kids and grownups alike.

I think my friend’s Magic Bullet has probably earned its spot on her counter top already.  But, there are many more uses and recipes that she and I will both try.  It seems that the simplicity and ease of use will be what brings folks back to using the Magic Bullet time and again.  As a matter of fact, this little kitchen gadget may qualify as one of those tools you can’t live without, especially once you see that return on investment kick in.  If you haven’t purchased a Magic Bullet yet, you may want to click here to take a look.

My frugal challenge today, then, is to drag out your dusty kitchen gadgets, whether it’s a Magic Bullet, full-sized blender, or food processor, and put it to work saving you money.  Make your appliances earn their keep!

p.s.  I would love it if you would check back here and let me know how you’re saving money with your kitchen gadgets.  I’m always interested in hearing about what works for your family as you try to live a more frugal lifestyle.

p.p.s.  And, if you’re already hooked on smoothies but would like to find even more delicious and nutritious recipes, click here to find out how you can get all the recipes for smoothies that your little heart desires!

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11 Responses to “Making Your Kitchen Gadgets Earn Their Keep – Frugal Challenge”

  1. Catherine Says:

    I use mine constantly for salad dressing. It’s the chapest stuff to make and there’s no excuse for buying ready made if you can whip up frsh and delicious in your own home.

  2. Carol B Says:

    I tell you this article really rings true to me. My hubby really wanted a Presto Pizza cooker a couple of Christmases ago. It “bakes” frozen pizzas on a rotating pan. I plunked down the $50. After six months, it was never used. Now it is just a source of aggravation for me because it takes up cabinet space. I rarely buy ( in the words of Alton Brown) “uni-taskers” unless they are just indispensible like my toaster or hand mixer. If anyone out there has an idea about other uses for counter top frozen pizza cookers, please let me know. Thanks, Carol B

  3. Andie Says:

    I recently broke out my cheese grater. I have historically purchased block small cheese to munch on and preshredded cheese to use for cooking or topping. In a month, I have already saved about $20!

  4. Hillbilly Housewife Says:

    $20! Andie, that is an incredible savings! Good for you!

  5. Missy Says:

    I have just recently dusted off my bread machine and started using it again after finding a terrific home made bread recipe. It’s lovely. I need to find more uses for it now.

  6. Sheri Says:

    Carol B I don’t have a pizza cooker but I was looking at them online. Could you use it to warm hot dogs? My hubby likes them broiled (charred) and was wondering if there would be enough clearance. Also, what about frozen egg rolls, bagel bites, your own healthy pizza on sandwich thins or tortillas, quesadillas, eggs in a basket, bacon (too messy) or precooked bacon. frozen pancakes/waffles. If all else fails could you sell it online or give it to a college kid?

  7. Emily Says:

    I use my Magic Bullet regularly to make baby food. We grind up whatever we’ve had for dinner, canned or fresh vegetables, fruit or whatever. It saves us loads not having to buy store bought baby food. It definitely earns it’s place on our counter top!

  8. Christine Says:

    We have a meat grinder attachment for our kitchen centre (countertop Oster). It’s great for grinding up lentils for pasta sauce. Ground lentils make a much nicer pasta sauce than throwing in whole legumes (which you don’t want to do anyhow if you’re adding meat). It saves us money by reducing the temptation to add meat, or at least the temptation to add a lot of meat. Just make sure you add some olive oil to make up for the lack of fat in the pasta sauce, otherwise it’s not particularly healthy. We also use the meat grinder for making falafel (from dried chickpeas), which can’t really be purchased in the stores around here, but I’m fairly sure are still cheaper than buying the regular mix, at least from the grocery store.

  9. Carol B Says:

    Sheri: Thanks for the ideas! I think the frozen pancakes/waffles and egg rolls are genius ideas! Our microwave recently died and we can’t afford a new one for a few more pay checks. (I was laid off this summer) Carol

  10. Sheri Says:

    So glad I could help Carol B!

  11. April Connett Says:

    I use my Magic Bullet on a daily basis. I do not have a full sized blender or food processor, just my Magic Bullet. Obviously, I use it for smoothies, frozen drinks, and milkshakes. I also use it to powder the oats for home-made instant oatmeal. I make peanut butter. I chop nuts. I have used it many times to break down fruits and juices for jams. It turns cooked apples into applesauce and cooked pumpkin into puree. It blends so well, that I don’t have to take the skins off tomatoes to turn them into sauce. I even use it to powder and mix my homemade laundry detergent. The only thing I cannot use it for is homemade mayo.

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