I’ve bought a few ridiculous gadgets over the years. Go ahead and throw me your best side-eye and squint in my direction with a little indignant disdain. I can take it.
But hear me out for a second, ’cause most days I’ll only purchase products with proven value, need, and quality. But sometimes the most absurd gadgets can actually be kinda awesome.
I’ll probably be laughed off the cost-conscious, frugal-minded, and penny-pinching zones of the internet for admitting to these ridiculous spends, and that’s OK. I bet you’ve got a few gimmicky gadgets in your kitchen, bathroom, or closet that make your life awesome too.
Welcome to my list of ten ridiculous gadgets mostly worth the money (or gift ideas for that special someone who has everything. )
1. Egg Cooker
Which came first: The single-purpose kitchen appliance or the blogger with egg on her face?
Go into any kitchen essentials store and you’ll find a dozen different gadgets devoted to cooking eggs. EGGS? Seriously! I’ve laughed at all of them until now. After visiting Carl’s family in Berlin (yeah, Germany) I’ve come to appreciate the perfection possible by steaming a good egg with a ridiculous gadget — the Egg Cooker. Europeans (well, Carl’s family) are serious about soft boiled eggs. They are delicious when they’re not toooo hard and not toooo soft. Yes, I am now the Goldilocks of eggs.
Sure, I could boil some water (free) and use a timer (got one on my iPod) to cook a soft boiled, medium boiled, or hard boiled egg, but I’d rather use my egg cooker to get it right every dang time.
I’m not egging you on, I really did buy this silly kitchen gadget, and I’m eggstatic over it’s awesomeness. Basically, you prick the egg, measure a bit of water, start the unit, and in minutes you’ll have a good egg.
Yes, I will be laughed off the interwebs for owning this gadget. Bite me.
2. GoToob Travel Bottles
I boarded eight freaking planes in October. EIGHT! Each flight had airline liquid restrictions, plastic baggy requirements, and picky security people interested in confiscating cosmetic leaks. Me (and all of my liquids) made it through every security check without fail thanks to my super awesome, and somewhat ridiculous, $19 GoToob Travel Bottles.
These airplane carry-on approved squeezable bottles boast a ‘no drip’ valve that keeps the cap clean. The cap also has an ID dial to mark the liquid type. They are food safe and 100% BPA-free. They are also super fun (and cute) to use. I LOVE THESE THINGS.
Carl bought himself a set before our trip and I had buy one too to contain my moisturizer, conditioner, and shampoo. A great gift for travelers, campers, and those who hate big bottles cluttering their bathroom space.
3. Milk Frother
I told the internets how to Make a Starbucks Frappuccino for $0.32, and that crazy post went viral. So now I’ll share my secret for turning a regular coffee into something special. It’s called a milk frother, and it, well, turns milk (or soy) into a delicious frothy foam.
It’s easy. Just heat some milk, and use the milk frother to froth up some foam. The only downside is you’ll need some batteries. But you’ll save some cash on cappuccinos, lattes, coffee frapps, and anything else in dire need of foam. FOAM. I dunno. Guests love it, too.
The Aerolatte Milk Frother has the best foaming reviews in town. I should have bought that one.
4. Vinturi Wine Aerator
Close your eyes, ears, and tastebuds if you’re a wine connoisseur with a palette that’s only pleased with a $100 bottle of something I’d never buy. This gadget ain’t for you.
OK, everyone else pay close attention. You know when you buy that cheap box of wine (gasp) or you pop the plastic cork and the vino tastes less than satisfactory after a good breathing? Relax. There’s a cure.
It’s called a Vinturi wine aerator, and this awesome gadget “conveniently enhances the flavor, bouquet, and finish of any wine”. I’m sold.
Basically, this unnecessary gadget is entirely necessary in my home — all my guests agree! Just hold the Vinturi over your glass of wine and let the vino flow. Apparently, the Venturi mixes the proper amount of air into your drink to make it taste delicious. This thing makes a bit of a rude sound, but after a bad box of wine everyone will think it’s hilarious.
There’s a special Vinturi set for red and white wine lovers. You’re welcome.
5. Ear Thermometer
Regular under the tongue or up the bum (sorry) thermometers are cheap, like ten bucks. But once you stick that temperature gauge in someone’s ear you’re paying around $30 for the awesome convenience.
I mean, what sick little kid wants to sit there holding a thermometer in their mouth? More importantly, what parent wants to stand over their sick child (who’s probably flailing around due to being sick) and convince them to keep that thermometer under their tiny tongue?
Kate, my sister-in-law, loves her ear thermometer. With a five month old baby and a 3-year-old toddler ruling the roost, she uses this gadget frequently to “just check” and make sure that every running nose needs a tissue, not a doctor.
The Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer has some absurd feature called “ExacTemp Technology” and parents (or wives) with sick and squirmy young children (or husbands) say it’s awesome.
6. USB Charger
Why blow $30 on an Apple USB Power Adaptor when spending just $15 on a regular USB charger recharges your iPod, iPhone, iPad, cell phone, or MP3 player for 50% less.
Enter the long worded but super awesome Belkin AC Charger with Swivel Plug & Charge Sync Cable for iPod and iPhone.
You won’t need to plug your iThing into your computer ever again. Great for travelers and families with multiple devices in need of a recharge. I love mine.
7. The Epilator
It’s not easy being a female mammal. Enter the epilator — a machine that rips the hair out from under your skin with dozens of cruel tweezing pincher things. It’s hurts like hell, and it works. The money I’ve saved on razors, waxing, and other hair removal methods is astounding. I listen to Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On a Prayer whenever I use it though, ’cause it doesn’t exactly tickle.
I own an old school Epilady. For a few bucks more you too can enjoy a hair-free existence with the highly rated Emjoi AP-18 Emagine Dual Opposed 72 Tweezer Head Epilator. Awesome and ridiculous at the same time, non?
Warning for the fellas: DO NOT buy this as a gift for your wife or girl friend. Re-read that last sentence. Women don’t want men to imply that they are hairy mammals. Even though WE’RE ALL MAMMALS (hopefully) it’s not a super sentiment to send. “Here honey, go epilator that over the holidays.” Yeah, not awesome.
8. Diva Cup
I get sooooo much email about this bell-shaped thing. I’ve easily saved hundreds of dollars with this absurdly awesome gadget. Women love it, men hate reading about it. I’ll spare everyone the details.
The curious can read this insanely popular post: 10 Reasons the Diva Cup Can Change Your Life for more info.
I slapped my forehead and produced an epic stink eye when Carl declared he needed a ScanGauge for his car. Carl, an undisputed technology geek and lover of everything with wheels decided that measuring his fuel consumption could save us money.
I’m not going to argue with the man. His words: Yeah, it’s a toy. It gives you instant feedback when your driving is burning through more or less fuel. Many times I’ve thought, ‘$hit, better ease off on the gas.’
Personally, I’m all for slower speeds and better fuel consumption.
10. Canon 5D Mark II
Buyer’s remorse lasted only minutes after I went and bought myself this very pricey DSLR camera. I saved up for over a year with the intention of buying a super nice camera that would last me many years, so when this baby went on sale I pulled the trigger and took a shot. This camera is an obscenely major upgrade from my old beginner digital camera, and that’s OK. This was a planned, and budgeted for, spend.
The sensible in me says the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (or even the T3i), and perhaps the gorgeous Canon EOS 60D would have more than met my need for thousands less. But no, I went balls out and spent $2,800 on the sexy Canon 5D Mark II ’cause that’s where my want blew past my need. Since I take A LOT of photos for business and pleasure, I’m thrilled with this insanely awesome ‘gadget’.
Oh, and I paid for this baby with cash in hand!
Your Thoughts: OK, be honest! What ridiculous gadgets do you love?