I recently heard from EC reader Douglas, who wrote: "Would you please repeat your column that describes the best inexpensive small kitchen appliances? I want to replace my mixer and small food chopper. Thanks. Your column is great. I look forward to it every day."
After a few moments of unproductive searching, I realized that while I've included a small kitchen appliance in a "best inexpensive" column from time to time, the column Douglas was looking for didn't exist. Now it does. Thanks, Douglas, for that kick — and for your nice comments.
1. FOOD PROCESSOR. The Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Food Processor is simple to use and offers two speeds, a powerful 450-watt motor and a large feed tube. It's just the perfect size, too. It costs about $22.
2. HAND MIXER. When selecting an electric mixer, consider your personal needs. If you only use a mixer occasionally for small jobs, my pick for best inexpensive is the KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer. It costs about $38.
3. STANDING MIXER. If you use a mixer to make and knead bread dough, to make large batches of cookies and to even shred meat and poultry, my pick is the Cheftronic Stand Mixer 6 Speed Kitchen Electric Mixer Machine. This machine performs as well as machines that cost two to three times the amount. It costs about $140.
4. BLENDER. You can spend $400 for one of the trendy power blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec, or you can save a lot of money with the 1000-watt Ninja Professional Blender. This machine rivals its expensive competitors and comes out on top. It's a beauty! It costs about $80.
5. IMMERSION BLENDER. The Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender is powered by 200 watts and has two speeds. It's a very handy kitchen tool. It costs about $30.
6. CHOPPER. The Vidalia Chop Wizard is still my pick for the best inexpensive chopper. It's easy to use and simple to clean, and it produces beautiful results! It costs about $20.
7. TOASTER. The Black & Decker 2-Slice Toaster is simple, sleek and totally functional for toasting bread and bagels. It costs about $18.
8. PRESSURE COOKER. You won't find a better electric pressure cooker than the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker. It also functions as a slow cooker. It has a large easy-to-use control panel, 14 micro processor-controlled programs, dual pressure, automatic keep-warm and three temperatures for saute and slow cook. Every kitchen needs an Instant Pot. About $100.
9. SLOW COOKER. If an Instant Pot is overkill for your situation (which is difficult to imagine but indeed possible), a slow cooker will be ideal. The Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker is my pick for best inexpensive slow cooker. It costs about $50.
10. TOASTER OVEN. The Black & Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven has four functions: baking, broiling, toasting and keeping food warm, plus a 30-minute timer. It's simple to use, easy to clean and attractive. It costs about $35.
11. COFFEE MAKER. The Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker is my current pick for best inexpensive coffee maker. It has a programmable timer and an extra large capacity reservoir. The single-serving side comes with a mesh filter to hold ground coffee or pre-packaged Senseo Pods (not included). It costs about $55.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com