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Monday Q&A | Kitchen-Aids and Kindles (are they worth it?), plus Checkout Donations

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

I am interested in two items””a kitchen aid mixer and an e-reader. The mixer seems so nice but VERY expensive. I have always used a hand mixer. Until I saw kitchen aid, I thought that was fine. Now, I am not so sure. If you had not received one as a wedding gift, would you see a need for one or even the value of one over a hand mixer?

The second item, the e-reader, interest me only because some blogs offer things cheap or free by way of e-readers. I prefer hard copies but sometimes, that is not an option and if it were, the free part goes away. E-readers are not cheap.

Any ideas on cheap ways to go here or even whether you personally even would?


Well, if you made me choose between a Kitchen-Aid and an e-reader, I would SO choose the Kitchen-Aid! I use mine all the time, and I sort of can’t imagine living without one. If I hadn’t received one as a wedding gift, I’d definitely have saved up to buy one.

A stand mixer is more powerful than a hand-held mixer, and it’s also handy because you can turn it on and then go do something else. For instance, I often turn it on to mix bread dough and then leave it to mix for a few minutes while I put away dishes. I do the same thing when I’m whipping cream or beating egg whites.

I own the Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer $339, a step up from the KitchenAid Classic ($269) , which is the most basic model and has a smaller bowl.

You can get factory-reconditioned KitchenAid Artisan Mixers for $219, though, so that could save you some money.

Either way, my opinion is that the KitchenAid mixers are well worth their price, and if you use a mixer often, I don’t think you’ll regret spending the money.

Now, about the Kindle…we do have a Kindle e-reader, and while it’s nice, I could definitely live without it.

My two favorite things about the Kindle:

-Kindle books don’t take up any space in my house.
-I can take a bunch of books with me when I’m out of the house or on a trip, and all I have to bring is the Kindle.

What I don’t like about the Kindle:

-I forget that I have books on it because I can’t see them. And then I forget to read them!
-I can’t easily flip through a book to skim something or re-read something.

You can get a basic Kindle for $79, but I’d be inclined to spend $99 and get the Kindle Touch. There are other e-readers out there, but the Kindle is the only one I have experience with. I’m sure my readers will be happy to chime in and tell you about other e-reader options.

If you’re wanting a Kindle just to get free books, though, that might not make a lot of sense. It would take a fair number of freebies to make up for the Kindle purchase, and considering that you can get a lot of books free from the library, an e-reader just might not be worth it to you.

I was wondering how you handle stores asking for donations. I usually only make one stop for groceries, but yesterday I had about 4 different stops to make. I donated a dollar to the first stop and felt really good about it. Then every stop after that I was asked to donate more. I denied and felt guilty. My husband and I do tithe every month, so it’s not that we don’t give. We are on a budget and a dollar here and there really do add up.


I typically say no to these kinds of donations. Often, the donations are for a charity I know little about, and I don’t want to make a split-second decision about whether I want to support it or not. I like to give to charities that manage their money well (for example, I like to give to charities that don’t spend exorbitant amounts on administrative costs), and it takes some research to figure that kind of thing out.

There are a zillion and one charitable causes out there, and you can’t possibly give to them all. So, decide with your husband how much you can give and where you’d like your money to go, and then try not to feel guilty about saying no to other requests. It’s really ok!


Readers, what are your thoughts on Kitchen-Aids and e-readers? And how do you handle checkout donations?


Today’s 365 post: The sea-creature bed (from Zoe)

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Thursday 9th of August 2012

I LOVE my KitchenAid stand mixer. I got it for a wedding gift and although I envisioned using it only for baking, it does so many other things (like shred chicken - a huge time-saver!). As much as I love it, I probably under-utilize it because you could pretty much use it in some way for every meal. The counter space it takes up is the only down-fall, but it's worth it to me. Plus, those things last forever so I know I'll have it for years.


Wednesday 8th of August 2012

I would suggest looking in to E-readers before buying one. Kindle is NOT the only option out there. In fact, I chose a Nook, because I didn't want to be limited by Kindle's proprietary software. (On my nook, I can read any PDF, giving me the ability to do things like download from Google books. Or put my work documents on it to read.) Plus, I prefer shopping for books (electronic or physical) at Barnes and Noble, rather than Amazon. I have the old e-ink Nook, because I like to read outside. But, with a simple app, I can read those same books on my Ipad when that makes more sense. (Yes, I'm spoiled. I probably wouldn't have bought the Nook after the Ipad, but I bought it several years before I received the Ipad as a gift.) If you do your research, you may find that some other e-reader all together makes sense for you.

Also, on the donations, I have two rules that have really simplified this for me. I do not donate to/buy from solicitations at my door, nor do I donate when approached at a store, etc. (Girl Scouts excepted.) I do offer to take information about the charity/school/etc. and consider it. My husband and I then make thoughtful decisions about planned giving using that information. It works really well for me, and because I know I am going to be making real decisions about how much and where to give, there's no guilt.

Hannah P.

Wednesday 8th of August 2012

Re. Kitchen Aid: I inherited one from my mom that is over twenty years old (she has upgraded to a Bosch for the larger capacity). I can't leave it on the counter while I do other things, because it will creep off. In fact, it jumped off the counter years ago-- but it still works well. Though every now and then, I have to give it a wallop to correct the speed. ;)

Monika D

Tuesday 7th of August 2012

I downloaded the free Kindle for PC so that I can get the freebies without having to purchase a Kindle. So I can read the e-books on my laptop, and I can print them if I want (for the cost of ink and paper, of course!)


Tuesday 7th of August 2012

I'm not sure anyone has mentioned this benefit of using a Kindle -- you can change the font size. I'm on the verge of needing bifocals, and especially when I am tired I like to make the type size nice and big and easy to read. I can even take my glasses off in the evening and read my Kindle without them. Unfortunately I sometimes get so comfortable that I fall asleep with my Kindle in my hand. My main issue with the Kindle is that it is so easy to carry around that I take it everywhere. Really, I should be able to walk the dog for five minutes without needing a book to read. And washing dishes with the Kindle propped on the window sill is probably a bad idea, but I do it anyway. I'll be sorry if it falls in the sink!


Tuesday 7th of August 2012

Ooh, the font size thing is a very good point.

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