Bang-for-your-buck gadgetsFrom kitchen appliances to music players, these GHRI-tested products do double duty to help you save money - and storage space - while still giving you out-of-this-world performance.
1. KitchenAid mixers, like the KitchenAid Ultra Power Stand Mixer KSM95ER ($299.99, amazon.com) take culinary multi-tasking to the next level. With a hub for accessories like an ice cream attachment ($99.99, amazon.com), you'll be ready to tackle nearly any culinary task without the expense of additional appliances.
2. Not just for mopping floors, the Oreck Steam-It Multi Purpose Steam Wand ($179.99, amazon.com) has adjustable settings for cleaning a variety of surfaces and those hard-to-reach overhead spots. Save money on specialty products and tools since this cleaning wizard claims to clean mirrors, countertops, windows, toilets - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
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3. A dependable kitchen tool, the Taylor Gourmet Digital Cooking Thermometer with Probe and Timer #1478-21 ($25, amazon.com) ensures your roast is cooked exactly how you want as it beeps when reaching the desired temperature. On top of that, it can be used to instantly read temperature or as a timer. A strong magnet on its back lets you anchor this budget-friendly, 2-in-1 tool to your range.
4. For just under $150, the iHome Dual Dock iPod Alarm Clock Radio ($149.95, amazon.com) is the ultimate multi-tasking product for the music lover. Not only do its speakers play music from either connected device (even a laptop, if you want to amp up the sound!), but it can charge two iPhones/iPods at a time (as long as they have a standard 30-pin connection, like those found on the iPhone 4S and older models). Plus, unlike a standard alarm clock, this iHome has three separate alarms that can be set as his and hers alarms or to wake you gradually using a custom iPod playlist.
Related: The Best Tech for Your Home
5. The Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe Duet Blender/Food Processor BFP-603 ($129, amazon.com) has a 48-ounce glass jar with a wide mouth that exceptionally grinds coffee beans and blends together a good margarita. At a reasonable price, this blender comes with a food processor attachment, meaning you may not need to invest in other pricy appliances to chop, puree, and slice your ingredients.
6. Quiet yet powerful, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 Vacuum Cleaner ($229, amazon.com) did a great job cleaning hard floors, dirty carpets, and other surfaces in GHRI tests. It boasts plenty of suction at the end of the hose for drapes and getting dust bunnies out from under the couch. Plus, this upright vacuum easily transforms into a canister for those hard-to-reach areas - giving you two vacuums for the price of one. The Shark boasts loads of attachments too, like a flexible crevice cleaner and upholstery tool.
7. For those end of summer cookouts, the Weber Spirit Gas Grill #SP-320 ($700, weber.com) evenly cooks steak and chicken with very few flare-ups. This three-burner grill comes with a side burner, perfect for sautéing onions or warming up a sauce, so you won't have to run back into the kitchen.
8. There's no need to dirty multiple containers with the Good Cook Bake, Take N' Serve Cupcake Carrier ($29.99, goodcook.com). This nonstick baking pan converts to a cupcake carrier with just a snap of the lid, and it stores a three-tiered server under the lid for easy display.
Related: 11 Great Budget Buys for Your Home
9. Easy to slip into your pocket or clip anywhere, the FitBit One Fitness Tracker ($99.95, amazon.com) accurately displays steps and calories right on its screen (or you can view a timeline on the online or app-based dashboard with your activity history to track goals and progress). Plus, you can journal sleep and diet on the associated app or online to keep you motivated. This fitness tracker's silent vibration alarm lets you wake up for that morning run without disturbing your partner.
-By Kristyn Lyncheski
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