Ok, so although I have been baking (as a hobby) for about 5 years, and recently decided to try and start this as a business, I have NEVER owned or USED a Stand Mixer... not even a hand mixer... I always did it manually. I didn't really mind before because I wasn't baking often enough to really want one, but for the past few months or so I have been baking like crazy! I have been dying to go out and buy a stand mixer since things have been picking up and as you all can imagine, my forearms are beginning to look like Popeyes (LOL) from all the mixing.
The only reason why I haven't been able to get one is because money is tight and I want a KA (don't we all!! ), I have always figured it is best to just go with a quality product rather than go the cheap route. I rather just go with what I know is good and not go through the hassle of wasting money on something that isnt a good product...
Well, my husband isn't into the notion that I want to decorate professionally (he says I should continue in banking and stop wasting my time... ughhh HATE IT!!!) so there is no way he'd allow an investment like that right now... especially since we just had a baby and bought a house all within the last year and we are still trying to adjust...
ANYWAYS, I have a giftcard from Macys that I have been holding on to for a few months and I have been saving some cash from some of my previous cakes so I have around $125 in total that I can use for a mixer right now.. I know they are having a BIG sale tomorrow @ Macys (Stand mixers are 33% off)... seems like a great deal and I am SOOO tempted to just run over there and buy whatever I can get for $125... I think I saw on the site a sunbeam and a cuisineart...
I know I should continue saving, but I don't know if I would make it past this next week w/o one... (this week I have a Bday cake due monday, 2 dozen cupcakes due thursday, a birthday cake due Saturday and two more due Sunday.. not to mention that I have been working on 3 fathers day cakes this weekend - never had that many orders in a weeks time EVER before)...
So what I need to know is: should I continue saving and deal with the Popeye syndrome for just a bit longer until I can afford the KA? OR should I invest in something cheaper until I am able to afford the KA? Has anyone used another brand that isn't so expensive? If so, what are your thoughts on it as far as quality and performance??
Any and all suggestions GREATLY appreciated!!!
Sunbeam used to be a really good brand apparently, but it's not anymore. I killed 4 mixers before I bought my KA, and one of them was a sunbeam that spit its plastic gears into my bowl of batter.
I have a GE mixer that I bought a couple of years back that seemed to do all right making icing. It was around $50 at Walmart and has a detachable stand so you can use it as a hand mixer too. It still works but I don't use it anymore since I got the KA (which I wanted for 10 years before I ended up buying it)
Don't get the kind of mixer that has a bowl with notches in the outside and then a plastic gear to turn the bowl. Those break the fastest.
I think if I were you, I'd get a hand mixer to use for now and keep saving for the Kitchen Aid.
Good luck to you with all your upcoming baking!
I don't know which KA mixer you want or how much it is, but I think the Sunbeam Mixmaters are probably in your price range. I now have a KA, but I am a Mixmaster girl at heart. The KA is much more powerful, but I find it awkward to use for so many reasons. It's tall and the bowl is narrow and hard to scrape. With the Mixmaster, you can scrape while you mix. You really cannot do that with the KA.
I don't know how you do it all manually. I have an old hand mixer that I still use for small jobs so I don't have to drag out the KA. Maybe you can get an inexpensive hand mixer until you can afford the KA you really want.
I don't know if this is of any help to you.
And I think I read somewhere that gift cards from some stores decrease in value after a while, so I wouldn't wait too much longer to use it (just in case Macy's is one of those stores.)
Thanks to you both!! I think I will take your advice and get a handmixer now since it will help out BIG TIME and I don't really do enough cakes at this point to really justify the stand mixer... is KA still the best when it comes to hand mixers? i see a few on Macys' website all under $70! leaves me with some $ to start my savings pot for a KA again!!
o and cutthecake, thanks for the tip, I will definately check to see if the gift card has depreciated any... hope not!! ::crossing my fingers::
THANKS AGAIN!!! have a good night... off to bed (its almost 2am and I gotta be up at 6! wahhh!
I got my KA hand mixer (Ultra Power Pro, 5 speed). Ummm....13 years ago as a wedding present....it is still going strong, it's been a really sturdy mixer.
Upgraded to a KA stand mixer about 5 years ago. Love them both, still use them both, so I wouldn't feel that a hand mixer would be a waste of money, because even when you get the KA stand mixer, the hand mixer is still great.
Just a suggestion and I don't know where you live but check your local craigslist. I was given a 5QT professional KA stand mixer years ago as a gift and have recently bought a back up of the exact model with all attachments in excellent condition for $60 (you can barely buy a replacement bowl for that) and at least once a week I see them on there ranging from $70 and up. People move or are desperate for money you just may get lucky if you keep your eye out! I highly recommend KA mixers from my experience though.
also, to follow up Jillangel's post, you can find reconditioned ka's online that are warranteed for at least 1/3 off the current retail price. I bought a great one (worth over $300) for my daughter for christmas one year and even with shipping it was less than $200. I forget where i got it from. Might have been amazon. I was googling and found it.
I have a KA Classic (holds 4.5 qts) and it has been wonderful. One day, I hope to upgrade to a bigger model, but for now this works great!
I was in a similar situation except I'm just a hobby baker and didn't want to invest in what a KA costs. I do have a Sunbeam stand mixer that works fine for cake mixes but couldn't handle making fondant with the dough hook. I get emails daily from different shopping sites that I frequent and one day Buy.com was offering a Morphy Richards Food Fusion Machine for $99 (no tax or shipping). I checked the Morphy Richards own website (they are a UK company) and buying it from them would have cost $369. I went ahead and ordered it and I've been really happy with it. It has a 700 watt motor, 4.5 quart bowl and the paddle, whip and dough hook just like KA. I've made fondant with it and it works like a charm. I had never heard of this brand before but for $99 I feel like I got a fairly good mixer for a great price. I hope I don't sound too much like a commercial but if you look around I'm sure you'll find something in your price range.
I got my KA 600 pro at Christmastime....Amazon.com was running a deal...I got it for $225+ free shipping. Save back the profit from all these orders and keep watching the deals. The internet is your best friend when it comes to bargain shopping! You can check out comparison sites like Bizrate.com to find the lowest prices (although they don't feature all stores). Be sure to look for refurbished models on the Kitchenaid site also. I love my KA Pro and would recommend nothing less! Good luck!