5 Must-Have Home Appliances That Save Time And Money

Many of us have been spending more time at home since March 2020 – as we continue to work, learn and enjoy leisurely pursuits under various movement control orders. In the new norm, investing in certain home appliances can make your daily routine more efficient, and save you money in the long run.

We take a look at the best money-saving products out there, and see how they can make your life easier.

1. Microwave oven vs pan and stove

With a microwave oven, you can reheat meals and leftovers safely in minutes! Just place your dish on a microwaveable plate, bowl or container, pop it into the microwave, set your timer, and you’re done.

This saves time compared to cooking with a pan and stove – where you’ll have to wash dirty pans and additional plates. Unlike the microwave, you also can’t leave the food unattended as you need to ensure it isn’t burnt.

Using a microwave will not cause a spike in your electricity bill. According to the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) home energy calculator, if you use a 1,500-watt microwave for 30 minutes a day, that would amount to an estimated RM7.12 monthly

On the other hand, if you prefer an electric stovetop, cooktop or hob, the TNB calculator estimates that you’ll have to pay RM11.87 per month if you use a 2,500-watt electric stovetop for 30 minutes daily. As for gas stove users, you’ll have to order cooking gas on a regular basis, and a 14kg cylinder will cost about RM26.60.

If you’re interested in buying a microwave oven, here are some of the best online deals right now:

AppliancePrice (as of March 4)
Midea 20L Microwave OvenRM186.00
Sharp 20L Microwave OvenRM229.00
Toshiba Microwave OvenRM230.00

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According to the TNB home energy calculator, if you use a 1,500-watt microwave for 30 minutes a day, that would amount to an estimated RM7.12 monthly.

Related: Save Money By Making Your Own RM5 Meals

2. Multi cooker vs rice cooker

These days, a multi cooker can prepare more than just rice. Besides steaming the usual white and brown rice, there are many multi cooker recipes you can try – such as chicken briyani with saffron cream as well as mac & cheese.

These are just some of the dishes that you can make. In addition to steaming, most multi cookers also have different functions such as boil, hot pot, grill and fry. So you can savour a variety of easy-to-cook dishes without having to spend more on multiple appliances. There’s less need for you to fork out more money for an additional hot pot (about RM31.90), grill (around RM43.50) or deep fryer (about RM39.90).

So if your old rice cooker is no longer functioning, now’s a good time to get a modern multi cooker.

Estimated electricity consumption charge if you use an 800-watt multi cooker for 30 minutes daily: RM3.80 a month (based on TNB’s home energy calculator).

(Please take note that the TNB home energy calculator is only a guide for your estimated electricity consumption.)

AppliancePrice (as of March 4)
Cornell Mini Multi CookerRM55.00
Samu Giken 2 Layers Electric Non Sticky Multi Cooker, Food Steamer 4-in-1RM125.90
Khind Multi Cooker RM234.90

Related: You Can Save Money by Not Wasting Food, Here’s How

3. Cordless vacuum cleaner vs broom and dustpan

With your family members and housemates staying at home even more, there’s bound to be more dust and dirt on the floor. Affordable cordless vacuum cleaners can save you precious time compared to vacuum cleaners with retractable cords, or a broom and dustpan.

According to U.S. hotel Comfort Suites University, their staff were able to reduce vacuuming time per room from two minutes to one minute when they switched to cordless vacuum instead of the corded ones. They were cleaning 18 x 24 sq. ft. rooms with one or two king-size beds and a sofa bed. So imagine how fast it can be when you’re cleaning your home.

Instead of sweeping the floor and emptying your dustpan every five minutes, you can use a lightweight cordless vacuum that doesn’t make a lot of noise. There are also no lengthy cords to handle or retract. Additionally, a cordless vacuum is easy to maintain, as you only have to change its dust bag about once every two months.

So you can use the time you’ve saved up to focus on work and side jobs, and subsequently, increase your income.

Estimated electricity consumption if you charge a 700-watt cordless vacuum cleaner for four hours weekly (estimated battery charging time for 30 minutes of usage): RM3.55 a month (based on TNB’s home energy calculator).

AppliancePrice (as of March 4)
PerySmith Cordless Vacuum Cleaner RM199.00
Deerma VC20 Plus Cordless Vacuum CleanerRM239.00
Hiraki 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner RM259.90

Related: 8 Side Jobs for Malaysians to Earn Extra Money During CMCO

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According to U.S. hotel Comfort Suites University, their staff were able to reduce vacuuming time per room from two minutes to one minute when they switched to cordless vacuum instead of corded ones.

4. Air fryer vs deep frying (wok and stove)

Here’s a time and money-saving tech that enables you to enjoy fried foods with less fat and oil content. According to a recent Healthline article, you can use an air fryer to prepare timeless favourites such as fried chicken and french fries with little or no oil, thus reducing your calorie intake.

By using this device, you might save a lot on potential medical costs in the future as people who eat lots of fried foods tend to have a higher risk of contracting heart disease.

According to research think tank The Centre, treatments for heart disease such as an angiogram (X-ray of the blood vessels) or one stent angioplasty (a procedure to open narrowed/blocked blood vessels) in a public hospital would range between RM50 – RM200, whereas in a private hospital, it will range in between RM15,000 to RM45,000.

On the other hand, a coronary bypass (a procedure that restores blood flow to the heart muscle) in public hospitals would cost RM4000; comparatively in private hospitals it will range between RM25,000 to RM80,000.

As you can see, heart surgeries aren’t cheap. So it’s highly recommended that you take all the necessary precautions to prevent future health complications. Try using an air fryer and only indulge in fried foods moderately.

Estimated electricity consumption if you use a 1500-watt air fryer for 30 minutes daily: RM7.12 a month (based on TNB’s home energy calculator).

AppliancePrice (as of March 4)
PerySmith 3L Mini Air Fryer X Bossman Kaden BK220RM139.00
Russell Taylors Air Fryer XL (4.8L) AF-34RM249.99
Haier 2.5L Digital Air FryerRM229.00

5. Blender vs mortar and pestle

You don’t have to dig deep into your wallet to prepare convenient, nutritious smoothies or seasonings that spice up your meals. For instance, you can make your own sambal paste without adding preservatives. Putting the ingredients in a blender to make a paste is more convenient than using a mortar and pestle.

Besides sambal and other seasonings, you can also prepare delicious, nutritious, time-saving smoothies with your blender. All you have to do is add fruits, vegetables, milk and other ingredients into the device, and then blend away.

Estimated electricity consumption charge if you use a 250-watt blender for 30 minutes daily: RM1.19 a month (based on TNB’s home energy calculator).

AppliancePrice (as of March 4)
Pensonic Blender 250W with mill attachmentRM59.99
Philips Daily Collection BlenderRM72.90
KHIND Multi Blender Chopper Grinder Juicer with Safety LockRM142.99

Want to skip shopping? You can attain some of these appliances right away by signing up for a credit card. A Sharp microwave oven can be yours when you successfully apply and spend with a Standard Chartered credit card. If you prefer to air-fry your food, an A&S 4.0L air fryer is also up for grabs when you sign up and use an HSBC credit card.

In fact, we have many more goodies that you can enjoy when you get a credit card. Check out our latest credit card promotions here.

Related: 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Credit Card