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13 Cheaper Alternatives To Life's Expensive Necessities

Sure, Vitamix and Le Creuset are great if you want to spend all of your money. But we found the next best thing that will save you tons.

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1. Blender: Vitamix vs. Ninja /

In this test, the Ninja and the Vitamix performed almost exactly the same making smoothies and milkshakes. The Vitamix was a little quieter and easier to clean, but for $320 less, the Ninja is a great alternative. Get one here.

3. Dutch Oven: Le Creuset vs. Lodge

In this test, both brands performed exactly the same. The Le Creuset comes in slightly different volumes (3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 7.5 quarts) than the Lodge (3, 4.6, 6, and 7 quarts), but otherwise the $350 difference doesn't get you anything different. Check out the Lodge here.


5. Stand Mixer: Kitchen Aid vs. Hamilton Beach[KSM150PSES]-400120/KSM150PSES/ /

For $100 less, this Hamilton Beach mixer is almost as good as the Kitchen Aid, besides being a little harder to clean. Get one here.

Or, if your heart is set on a Kitchen Aid brand mixer, they are frequently available used on Craigslist and Ebay. And you can replace the bowl for around $40.

7. Chef's Knife: Shun vs. Victorinox /

Although the Shun is a time-tested favorite, the Victorinox Chef's Knife is a great alternative and the first choice of many professional chefs. And at $85 cheaper, you can even afford to get an extra paring knife to go with it. Get one here.


8. Espresso Machine: Rancilio Silvia vs. DeLonghi /

Rancilio Silvia might be the "Mercedes of Espresso Machines," but you could almost get a used car for the price. Enter the DeLonghi, a pump-driven machine at a steam-driven price. Even coffee snobs will appreciate the quality of this machine. Get one here.