8 Ways to Save Big on Small Appliances

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

I never pay more than $10 for small appliances. That's because I never buy them new.

The following post comes from Lynn Bulmahn at partner site The Dollar Stretcher.

This morning, I enjoyed a breakfast of eggs fried in that small, handy tabletop appliance that advertises on TV for three easy payments plus shipping and handling – totaling about a king’s ransom when you add it all up.

Have I lost my mind? Did I fall prey to the hard sell featured on the constant infomercials that hawk the product? Not at all! My little meal/snack/dessert maker cost me $4.99 at Goodwill.

OK, it didn’t come in the box. It didn’t include the C-shaped spatula designed for it. It didn’t have the instruction/recipe book.

I don’t need the product box. I use a regular spatula. I downloaded the book for free. I printed out the instructions and recipes onto some three-hole-punch computer paper and put them into a notebook.

The infomercials now say this product has been supplanted by a new, improved model. Great! I want one! But I won’t be talking to the operators who are standing by to take my order via the phone.

Instead, I’ll scout thrift/secondhand stores, garage sales, estate sales, and salvage/overstock/liquidation places. I might not find it for a couple of years, but I can wait. I won’t pay more than $10 for it. I’ll probably pay much less. This is how I buy small appliances, and it saves me a bundle!

My toaster was a really fantastic find. Being from the South, I don’t eat bagels. I eat just bread, and I have zero use for a toaster that adjusts to accommodate different thicknesses. Most new ones do.

At a garage sale, I found a toaster identical to my grandmother’s. It only toasts bread slices, and it’s a sturdy old thing made in the USA. Perfect! It’s especially perfect since I only paid $2.

For seven years, I used a microwave that set me back a whopping $20 at a church garage sale. It died last year. My total cost was under $3 per year.

I have several slow cookers. None cost me more than $6. Yes, they’re secondhand. I only get the kind where the inner crockery vessel lifts out so that I can wash it in the dishwasher. When a crock got cracked, I bought the same part at a thrift store for $4. It came with a lid, so I have a spare top.

The only bad luck I had was when buying a portable sewing machine for $25 at a thrift store. After I got it home, it didn’t sew. Turns out, it’d been dropped and couldn’t be repaired. The lesson learned was that I should try before I buy.

Secondhand small appliances are plentiful and cheap. When people get a Keurig single-cup coffee machine, they sell or donate their coffeemaker. When newlyweds get too many toasters, guess what happens to the extras?

There are a few things to remember when buying used…

  1. Make sure all necessary parts are included. While it’s possible to order parts and accessories from the factory, it may wind up being expensive. Remember that some items are not necessary, such as the special spatula that was supposed to be included with my small cooker.
  2. Look carefully at any glass, plastic, or ceramic parts to ensure there are no chips or cracks.
  3. Test the item before you buy it.
  4. Make sure there are no damaged electrical parts or frayed wires. You don’t want to burn down the kitchen!
  5. If the cord is detachable, be sure it is the right cord that’s supposed to go with the item.
  6. If there are no instructions, you can usually download a set or go on a chat room to find a copy from someone else.
  7. Check to make sure the product has not been recalled. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website will let you know.
  8. Always compare prices. Even though used is usually less than new, that’s not always so. Last December, a big-box discount store sold slow cookers for less than Goodwill charged for one.

Take the next step

  • For more on small appliances, visit here.
  • Have an idea on where to buy small appliances on the cheap that you’d like to share? Then visit the Comments section below. We’d love to hear your great ideas, so don’t be shy!

Follow The Dollar Stretcher on Twitter.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 25 Ways to Spend Less on Food

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,909 more deals!