Friday, January 27, 2012

Great kitchen finds from Goodwill

I remember reading about planned obsolescence many years ago in an American history textbook... I was stunned to realize that someone had the audacity (in the negative sense) to deliberately create products they knew wouldn't last, just to make more money.

So when I find second-hand items that I suspect may be years, if not decades, old that still work wonderfully, I'm thrilled.

Recently I found two at Goodwill. The first is a blender. Alas, my beloved Magic Bullet has stopped working. (While it's still under extended warranty, I'm not sure I can get it replaced. Hubby didn't screw the base on tightly enough once and liquid leaked into the gears). Since I love my smoothies, I knew I needed to find another blender quickly. I made the rounds to my favorite area thrift shops, finding several blenders that seemed cheaply made and upon testing, did not work very well. Then I found this one:


While Oster still makes blenders that look very similar, it's the kitchy yellow color that makes me suspect it dates back to the 1970's. And it works beautifully! The price: $7. Compare this to Oster's new blenders with glass rather than plastic jars (this one is glass), which run about $50.

The second item is a chopper. I've had two Ronco Chop-o-Matic choppers in my life, one that I owned before my marriage, and one that my husband purchased after we were married. Each of us had been convinced to by it by what seemed to be an amazing demonstration of the product's capability at a mall kiosk. In both cases, the product failed miserably. (Note that the average review on the Amazon link gives the product 1.5 stars! And most of the manual competitors listed on the page, except for the one by the always fabulous Kitchen Aid, fare little better in customer reviews).

So what did I find recently at Goodwill? This one:


This chopper is advertised around the web as a vintage product, with a glass jar, made in the USA by Gemco. The price at Goodwill: $4, compared to about $15 elsewhere. And again, it works amazingly well!

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