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Feb 12, 2013 10:22 PM

Any places left in MKE for inexpensive kitchen gadgets?

I am a gadet-a-holic.
I used to love the Rival outlet in Kewaskum where their "research" dept. sold off things they bought to test (when they shut that down I literally made two trips with a truck thinking the wife would kill me. She loved the fact "we" had Xmas gifts for the next two years). Same with the West Bend outlet. Lotsa neat stuff. The Salton outlet in the old discount mall on the way to Lake Geneva was fun as well (three truck loads there when they went under-everyone got $15 rotisserie ovens that year marked down from $150).

Any places left for discount gadgets?
I've gotten a $10 commercial vitamix at Goodwill, lotsa "as seen on TV" that people succumbed to for the cheap at Goodwill and St. Vinnies, and loads of cookbooks that threaten to sink the house at those places.

But I still "need" more gadgets to play with. Boelter is just too expensive <grin>.

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  1. While not local hidden gems...I buy a lot of random things for the kitchen at TJ Maxx and World Market.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bte576

      bte576, if you like TJ Maxx you may also like Ruby Tuesday and Marshall's. Complete hit or miss but if you visit often enough you can find some excellent deals. I found a Calphalon pan at Marshall's for $14.99. I also seem to recall some Le Crueset at Marshall's. Weird orange flame color though. :-)

      1. re: Fowler

        Ruby Tuesday?!? Are you perhaps thinking of Tuesday Morning?

        1. re: Fydeaux

          Ruby Tuesday, Tuesday Morning, Lennon and Ono's House of Innexpensive Kitchen Gadgets. All are just a blur to me.

          Good catch, sir.

          1. re: Fowler

            What is funny is that when I saw the short preview of this in my email I had brief flash that this was some sort of sarcastic comment about my liking TJ Maxx and therefore would also like Ruby Tuesday’s…ha, but then I quickly realized you must have meant Tuesday Morning...

            Which, btw, there is one sort of hidden in Pewaukee that I always forget about. Figured I would point that out in case others didn't know it was there.

    2. Next trip to Florida, search "outlet mall" for the towns close to you. Also Ross and TJ Maxx. Plenty of seconds of All-Clad, Calphalon, Cuisanart, etc.

      1. Beyond what has already been mentioned there isn't a whole lot in town that comes to mind. I have been known to swing by Superior by the airport and Fein Bros. on the near north side. Both are less expensive and have better selections than Boelter imho.

        I have found nothing of consequence in the way of useful gadgets at Goodwill or St. Vinnies the times I've been there. Certainly not anything like a Vitamix, you ever find one of those there again let me know!

        I will say that I don't get to either place often enough. I understand that the best way to get the cherry stuff is to pick a store and practically "stake it out", waiting for the good stuff to hit the shelves.

        I think that possibly all the really good gadgets are found at the rummage sales in the area as that seems to be the dominant way of second-hand sales in the metro area.

        I've read the stories of people finding great things at flea markets and off of Craigslist but you probably already know how dismal both are around here for finding really neat gadgets and tools.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MilwaukeeNate

          I don't yard sale much anymore, but two quick stories.
          I picked up two commercial air cleaners that I use twice a year to sterilize my vents. List on them was $1500, I got them for $10 each from a family whose insurance company had them use for a basement fire. I once stopped at an elderly lady's sale while driving through Whitefish Bay on my way to work. She had a small press grill for $5. I changed her sign to read "pannini press $50" when they were becoming popular. I stopped by on my way home to get the cookbooks I bought from her, she told me it sold within five minutes :)

          If anyone ever sees a "mirromatic" whiz grill

          That is the one kitchen gadget I cannot live without. I'll buy every one (within reason). (not for steaks like the picture shows


          My recent "find" was a Chinese "hot pot" made for US use for $5 at a goodwill. My Chinese neighbors are not from the regions that use them and are looking for me to figure out recipes and invite them. I did another post looking for any place in the area that had dinner using them.

        2. That $10 commercial grade Vitamix you purchased was a once in a lifetime score. Nicely done. A friend of mine purchased a used one on e-bay and she paid over $300 for the same thing.

          I have found that a good way to obtain inexpensive kitchen items is to keep your ear to the ground for restaurants going out of business. On the surface that may sound very ghoulish, but they often have public auctions to sell off their assets which can be as little as a light fixture or some tea cups.

          1. I often do quite well at 7 Mile Fair, but I know a lot of people dont care much for it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Fydeaux

              Fydeaux, I have never been there but have been curious as to how it works. Is it just businesses selling items or can anyone sell items there? Do they rent tables or booths by the day, weekend, season? Do they allow haggling?

              1. re: Fowler

                I have never sold there, but I would assume that rentals are available by both weekend, season, year, or combinations of same.

                While I have occasionally seen regular businesses in there [i.e. Blockbuster Video selling older rental videos], those are usually just for a weekend here & there. An exception is the "As Seen On TV" booth, which may or may not be tied in with the mall stores of the same type. It is mostly split between people who are there every week [and thus this IS their business] and people who rent spots for a weekend or two. There are many more of the latter in the warm weather months when more of the outdoors spots are available or desirable.

                And there is often haggling involved, although I have often been offered deals well below any marked price there might be without asking. I have almost always walked away with a price that makes me feel like I've gotten a considerable bargain but makes the seller feel like they havent given away the store.

                Dont let me mislead: This is NOT PRIMARILY food, cookware, and the like. There are more than a few perfume, t-shirt, knock-off athletic shoe dealers. Lots of tools, socks & underwear, and car stereos and other parts too. But there is quite a bit in the way of fresh produce, bakery, cheese; not artisinal as a rule, but good for making groceries.

                And just for the sake of mentioning it, the Rio Grande Mexican stand has some of the best menudo in the area.

                1. re: Fydeaux

                  When doing spice mixes for friends I would stock up on peppers, chills, and other items at 7 mie fair. Also huge amounts of strawberries.

                  I haven't been there in several years though.