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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.

Thinkstock / Amazon / Ninja / Google / Amazon

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.

2. Vacuum: Dyson vs. Shark /

This video review shows the Shark actually sucks more than the Dyson. (In this case, sucking is a good thing.) And you'll save $240! 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.

4. Juicer: Breville vs. Hamilton Beach /

In this comparison, the Breville was rated a 10.0 and the Hamilton Beach, which is $100 cheaper, got a 9.9. Get one 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.

6. Pet Brush: Furminator vs. Oster /

While the Furminator is one of the most recognized brands for pet grooming, the Oster Undercoat Rake can also prevent shedding just as well and costs less than half the price. Get one here.

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.

9. Tablet: iPad vs. Nexus /

It might not be a necessity but, if you're going to splurge, the Google Nexus is the second-highest-rated tablet to the iPad with a much smaller price tag. Get one here.

10. Noise Canceling Headphones: Bose QuietComfort vs. Sony MDR-NC7 /

The Bose QuietComfort is one of the highest-rated noise-canceling models. But for $230 less, the Sony model works almost as well. Get them here.

11. Cables: Monster vs. Monoprice /

For any cable length under 6 feet that isn't going in-wall, Monoprice cables perform just as well as the more expensive brands. And they come in many more colors! Get them here.

12. Battery iPhone Case: Mophie vs. Lenmar /

At almost half the price of the more popular Mophie, the Lenmar case is actually easier to use and performs better. Get one here.

13. Memory Foam Mattress: Tempur-pedic vs. NovosBed /

At nearly $3,000 cheaper, the NovosBed is incredibly similar in material and owner satisfaction to the Tempur-pedic. Get one here.

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