Top 10 Household Appliances for Homeschool Families + Bonus!
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I’m an appliance junky. If an appliance looks practical and easy it will find its way in my home and credit card bill.🙈 Some eventually end up at Goodwill (if not easy or practical enough), while others make it on my “Must-Have Lists”. ↓
I’m currently in my 5th year of homeschooling and my very first year teaching different grades to all 3 of my children. This year has definitely been challenging but not in the way you’d think. Homeschooling my 3 beautiful humans hasn’t been as hard as trying to keep up with running our household. Meal prepping, together with trying to keep the house clean, are my top 2 chores that have been a thorn in my side. Add to those keeping up with the laundry and yard work and forget it, I just want to cry. 😭
Although I really don’t have any great hacks for the laundry to automatically clean itself 😂 I do have 10 great household appliances that have helped me immensely in the kitchen and keeping my floors mopped and clean with little to no effort. Although I’m a bargain shopper you’ll find some of these appliances might cost a pretty penny, and here is why they are worth every single one of them. They are much cheaper than hiring a cleaning lady, a cook, or going out to eat every evening. In addition, each one of the below-mentioned appliances ⤵ are worth every penny for your mental sanity.
1. Bissell CrossWave (Floor and Carpet Cleaner with Wet-Dry Vacuum)
Are you looking for a vacuum cleaner to also mop your floors at the same time and do it well too?
Look no further, you’ve found it! I have it, I love it, and I truly believe everyone with hard floors needs one of these because it does everything
it claims, and it does a darn good job at it too! Forget the Swiffer Mop or whatever spray mop you had been using. Throw out your mop and bucket now because none of those are needed once you have the “Bissell Crosswave“. I own one and the best words I’d use to describe it are: It’s Fantastic!
For years I’ve dreaded mopping my floors, for one reason or the other, it just wouldn’t get done on a regular basis (shhhh🤫 don’t tell my mom…).😆 By the time I’d be done vacuuming I wouldn’t either have the time OR desire to go over everything again and mop. I’ve tried them all, from the conventional mop + bucket to the Swiffer, Cedar, Steam mop, etc… The truth is, not only I lacked the time to mop my floors after vacuuming, but also neither of those options did a great job anyway, not even the Steam mop! When I finally would get the chance to mop I felt all I was doing, was pushing around the dirt and my grout lines were paying the price.😢
The Bissell Crosswave does a wonderful job vacuuming and mopping at the same time. I was honestly expecting it to be a lousy mop but boy was I wrong. The vacuum is very powerful and does a great job picking up everything on the floor (bigger and smaller particles), and the mop is absolutely Genius and Fantastic! We have a 90 lb dog who sheds about 90 lbs of hair a day (ok maybe a bit less 😂) and the Bissell CrossWave is unphased by it.
This Wet-Dry vacuum comes equipped with 2 water tanks. One tank holds the clean water/soap solution and the other tank holds the dirty water the vacuum sucks up and dumps in there while mopping the floors. Again this Vacuum/Mop is AMAZING! Say goodbye to all those waists of time mops that just “wipe” your floors, the Bissell CrossWave thoroughly mops the floors with little to no effort on your part.
To give you a general idea, to mop our 2100 sq. ft. house it only requires me to fill the water tank 3 times. On the other hand, the wastewater tank holds less so I have to drain the dirty water about 5-6 times. This isn’t even closely as time-consuming and back-breaking as the good ol’ mop and bucket I was using and my floor is 100 times cleaner too! The wire is also extra-long and I only have to change plugs 3 times while vacuuming and mopping. But if plug changing isn’t your thing, the good news is, there is also a cordless option available. I chose to save some money and deal with the cord since some reviewers stated it was pretty long.😊💲
Bissell sells the soap solution to use with the CrossWave, truth is, you could easily use it with your own choice of floor cleaner and it will work just fine. So far I’ve used it with the Bissell Multi-surface cleaning solution and I love the fresh and not overpowering smell. On the contrary, I’m not a big fan of their Pet version of this cleaning solution as I found the smell to be too strong and in my opinion not that great either. It contains Febreeze and I’m personally not a fan of Febreeze so I’ll be sticking to the plain type.
I used the Bissell CrossWave to wash my small area rug and it did a decent job on doing so, however, I don’t believe Area Rug cleaning is its strong suit but hard floors (wood, Vinyl, and Tile) certainly are!
**←Cordless version (more expensive)
2. Instant Pot – Pressure Cooker 6 qt.
Magical. Yes, it is magical how a meal goes from frozen to cooked in 5 to 10 minutes and it’s the magic any homeschool family absolutely needs.
Like many of you, I struggle to find the time to cook. Many times 1 pm rolled around and I was helplessly staring at the clock asking myself “What the heck am I going to feed my children now”? Dinnertime wasn’t any better. You could probably relate to the feeling of not wanting to cook after a day of teaching the kids. However, my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker changed all that once I started using it after years of just sitting on my counter collecting dust.
Want to make Steamed Salmon cooked to absolute perfection? The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker makes that happen in only 5 minutes. How about 2 lbs of absolutely delicious Italian Meatballs that melt in your mouth cooked in your very own Sauce? Make that 15 minutes and your 2lbs of raw meatballs will be cooked all the way through and the sauce you cooked them in will be insanely tasty too! I could go on and on, but the bottom line here is… The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker makes meal prepping a breeze.
These days, the internet is flooded with Instant Pot recipes. You can browse online and pick from the tons of Instant Pot recipes available, or you can just make your own! For example, I wanted to cook my own recipe of “Arroz con Pollo”, so I went online to check how long others were cooking their chicken thighs. My research brought me to a 20 min cooking time. I followed my own recipe and set my timer for 20 min and it was cooked to perfection! Gotta love the internet! Keep in mind, when I used to make this same dish on the stovetop, it would take 1 hour for the chicken to cook. The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker cuts down that time by 40 minutes, no joke. 🙌
You can make a myriad of things in this magical pot. Beans go from dry to creamy in 20 minutes (No more buying canned and already cooked boxed beans, Hurray🤩 ). A pot of Chicken Soup is done in 20 minutes (no more simmering that soup for hours, and who has the time for that anyway?). I’ve even made a delicious cheesecake in it! 🤤
If you like I also did a video on Youtube going over my first impressions when I received it here;
If there is one downfall to the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, it’s the fact anything you make in it won’t be crispy. Sometimes I’d cook my food in it and then have to transfer it on a baking sheet and broil it in my oven. Not any more folks! Instant Pot just released a new Pressure cooker that will crisp your food too, which brings me to my next pick…
3. Instant Pot Duo Crisp 8 qt.**or Ninja Foodi Deluxe 8qt
Since writing this post I’ve also purchased the Ninja Foodi Deluxe 8Qt and I’ve found to prefer it to the Instant Pot Duo-Crisp. I found the Duo-Crisp lid to be too bulky and very inconvenient to store and use. It weighs a little more than 6 lbs and I needed a dedicated space on the countertop to place the hot lid every time I checked or flipped my food. The Ninja Foodi Deluxe 8Qt has a much more compact style and the crisper lid stays attached. I found both these features make this appliance more user-friendly. Ninja Foodi Deluxe 8Qt perfectly fits underneath kitchen cabinets without taking any cabinet space. If having a Stainless Steel inner pot is a make or break deal, then go with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. I decided to return mine and instead get the Ninja Foodi Deluxe 8Qt with the hope they will come out with a stainless steel inner pot in the future. The review below is a reflection of what both pots can do (they do the same thing), with the mentioned difference above.
Instant Pot just released their Duo Crisp 8 Qt and it’s basically a Programmable Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer all-in-one. Genius! Since my traditional Instant Pot Pressure Cooker recently saved my homemade cooking life, I obligated and ordered this new IP Duo Crisp 8 qt (twist my arm Instant Pot! 😂).
We are a family of 5 and my 6 Qt Instant Pot Pressure Cooker was doing the job but I had decided I was going to put my Black Friday shopping skills to work and try to score a great deal on an 8qt size. Instant Pot had other plans for me and decided to release their brand new genius idea of an 8qt Instant Pot that also includes a Crisper Lid. How could I resist? You mean I can now pressure cook and crisp my food all in one pot without the extra dirty dishes? Oh, I’m in! 🙋♀️
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp 8 qt. does everything their traditional pressure cookers does and then more. After pressure cooking your meal, you swap out the lid and now your Pressure Cooker offers you 5 new dry cooking functions to quickly: Air fry, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate. All parts included are dishwasher safe (the inner pot, steam rack, frying/roasting basket + base, and broil pan) making clean up a breeze.
I love making chicken wings in my traditional Instant pot pressure cooker because I throw them in frozen and in only 15 minutes they are cooked. What I didn’t like, is how I would then have to transfer everything over to a baking sheet to broil them in my oven and dirty it with all their fat splatter. With the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, there is no more transferring your food around. Just switch your lid when needed and your food will be perfectly cooked and crispy! Again, Genius!🙌
**Note: You will need room in your kitchen cabinets to store the extra Crisper Lid. **Some might find important to know, the frying basket included is not stainless steel but it is made of PTFE material which is free of any PFOAs. Also, the heating element of the IP Duo Crisp contains 415 milligrams of lead x kilogram which is below the 1000 milligrams required by law. Keep in mind, the heating element doesn’t come into contact with your food. (This info was given to me directly from IP customer Service).
or ←with non-stick inner pot lining and the crisper lid stays attached (easier to use).
4. Ninja Food Chopper Express or 5. Curved Knife & Chopping Board Set.
When Prepping our Instant Pot meals the prep time I mainly run into is chopping. I’m not one of those cooks who you see on tv chopping their veggies like a pro in 2 seconds. Nope, definitely not me!😏 When the recipe calls for a decent amount of onion, garlic, peppers, etc, to be chopped I use our oldie but goodie Ninja Food Chopper Express. I did try the Bullet brand but to me, it worked more like a blender than a chopper and the recipes call to sauté chopped veggies, not soup.🤨 I also own bigger size food choppers but I don’t like to use them. Their containers are too big and while chopping my ingredients they get lost in there, waisted, and not evenly chopped.
I’ve owned our Ninja Food Chopper Express for a decade now and it never seems to disappoint. If you want to mince, dice, or chop your fresh or frozen ingredients, you’ll do so by pressing the top button and creating very short pulses. When blending or pureeing, you’ll just hold the top button down until your ingredients have reached the consistency you need. Clean up is a super breeze with the Ninja Food Chopper Express, all parts are removable and dishwasher safe, voilá!
When my cooking only requires a very small amount of let’s say garlic, onion, or herbs and etc, then I use my Curved Board and Mezzaluna Knife instead. Why? If I’m only chopping a couple of garlic cloves and a few leaves of herbs lets say, they’ll just get spread around the Ninja Chopper and be waisted. I highly recommend for you to get a Curved Chopping Board and Mezzaluna Knife for this purpose. The slightly curved shape keeps everything contained while chopping. Your ingredients won’t be slipping and sliding like they would if you were chopping them on a flat chopping board instead. The Mezzaluna knife also makes hand-chopping much faster and more uniform than using a regular knife.
6. Aura Pro Multi-cooker 8 qt.**
Functions: Sear/Sauté, Bake, Slow Cook, Steam, Stew, Sous Vide, Roast, Yogurt, Rice, Multigrain and Keep Warm.
First of all, this is NOT an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Since it’s made by Instant Pot many confuse this awesome cooker with it being a pressure cooker but that is not the case. Many people who bought it gave it a bad rating because they were disappointed to find out it wasn’t a Pressure Cooker. For this reason, you can’t go by its ratings because customers didn’t rate the cooker itself but the fact they can’t read descriptions. 🤷♀️
The Aura Pro multi-cooker 8 qt. is phenomenal. This multi-cooker covers all of our slow-cooking needs cooking evenly, well and at the proper temperature at all times. Part of what makes this multi-cooker special is that it has an 8 Qt capacity with a stainless steel, non-stick, REMOVABLE cooking pot! Yes, the inner pot does NOT have a non-stick coating so you don’t have to worry about scratching it while cooking, cleaning or your family’s health. Cleaning is an absolute breeze because once you are done you can simply REMOVE the inner pot and transfer it into your dishwasher, tada!
The oval design of The Aura Pro multi-cooker 8 qt. makes it easier to cook dishes that don’t fit into my pressure cooker pot, while its 11 different programs make it super versatile (did I mention you can also bake in it??🤩). Although one of The Aura Pro multi-cooker 8 qt. functions is slow-cook, it cooks fast enough! I absolutely love the searing/browning function on this cooker. I’m able to sear, roast, and simmer our veggies, roast, etc, all in the same pan, cutting down prep time and dirty dishes. With its Low and Hi slow cooking functions, I also have control over how slow or fast I’d like our one-pot meals to be ready. I can cook overnight or have an awesome (slow-cooked) dinner ready in under 2 hours. It’s just awesome!
The Aura Pro multi-cooker 8 qt. also offers a Sous Vide function which I hear neither the All-Clad nor the Cuisinart has. I’ve never used it or either know why people cook inside plastic bags🤷♀️ but apparently people really love this function and say it works wonderfully.
**Note: the 6 Qt size doesn’t have a stainless steel inner pot but instead has a non-stick inner pot. For this reason, I highly recommend buying the 8 Qt instead.
7. Copper Chef 12″ Electric Removable Skillet (Use as a skillet, Buffet Server or in The Oven).
😍 This emoji sums up how I feel about this Electic skillet!
Last summer while on our 4 month RV adventure, our small gas cooking stove was taking forever to cook anything. A fellow camping mom (I miss you Melissa🤗) told me about the wonders of having an electric skillet. I was never a big fan of those because clean up is just too complicated and messy since you can’t get the attached electric unit wet. That is until I found my Copper Chef 12″ Electric Removable Skillet. Yup, just as stated the Copper skillet is removable making cleaning a breeze! But that’s not all…
This copper skillet heats up everything very quickly and for the most part evenly, making it super easy to accomplish perfect results in very little time. You can fry, sear or steam in this beautiful skillet in 1/3 of the time compared if you were using a traditional stainless steel one. Also, cooking results in the Copper Chef 12″ Electric Removable Skillet are pretty much guaranteed to be amazing. Why consider this electric skillet if you have already an electric stove? For starters, it heats up much quicker than the electric stovetop. The pot looks so beautiful you really don’t even need to transfer the food in a serving dish. Use it as a buffet server or put it on your table as it is, it’s a winner either way!
I fried Breaded Chicken Cutlets which turned out to be beautifully crispy, juicy and perfectly cooked through in very little time and using very little oil compared to my traditional frying pan. In this skillet, I also steam my Trader Joes Organic Frozen Brown Rice →(here is my quick and delicious Rice and Broccoli recipe). With only a few TBSP of water and its beautifully made glass lid (it has a steam vent on it), I have perfectly steamed rice in 12 minutes and no harmful/drying microwave cooking. Long story short, once we got home I took the Copper Chef 12″ Electric Removable Skillet out of the RV and continued using at home too.
Versatile: The skillet is removable and can also be used on the stovetop. 🤩 You can also buy different size pots to use with the same heating element.
Fast: The copper-infused skillet makes for quick and even heating of the skillet and food. The electric heating unit also heats up at record-breaking speed with an adjustable temperature knob. (Great for food reheating without using the microwave).
Easy: The removable skillet makes it easy to be washed. The Copper Skillet also barely makes any food stick to it requiring little to no oil or butter use.
Inexpensive: Less than $40.
8. Vitamix 5200 Blender Professional-Grade.**
Beets anyone? How about Raw Beets? Kale, spinach or ginger? Well, Let’s talk Vitamix! 😊
Do you struggle to feed your youngsters fruits and veggies? I do! Not so much fruit but definitely getting my children to eat a nice variety of veggies is nearly impossible. It’s also a struggle to meet my own daily veggie and fruit intake since I’m constantly being pulled in a million directions…until the Vitamix Blender entered our lives.🙌
Many years ago when my eldest 2 kids were still very little, we were at my brother-in-law’s house and he made the kids this amazing tasting and perfect texture protein powder/fruit smoothy. I remember at the time I was amazed how this blender crushed the ice in no time and blended all ingredients to perfection. No chunks, no pulp, no fuss, and my kids gulped down every single sip of it. That alone was a miracle in itself!
Since the Vitamix Blender is pretty pricey, I’d tried for years all sorts of different blenders. However, by trying to avoid the high cost of the Vitamix I ended up spending more money buying all these “wanna be Vitamix” blenders.😣 Big mistake. All of our smoothies would end up in the garbage because nothing (and I mean nothing), could blend the veggies, fruit and ice to a smooth consistency as the Vitamix does. We then started going to Wholefoods and paying $7 a cup for their smoothies and quickly realized how at that price the Vitamix Blender would pay for itself in no time! Yes, the Vitamix Blender can be pricey, but I wish I realized sooner I could have easily scored a renewed model for around $250. It would have saved me so much money, time and aggravation.
We use our Vitamix Blender mainly to make our daily frozen green smoothy but there is so much more you can make with it and it honestly never disappoints. Our frozen green smoothies are a hit and a daily staple in our house. Do you know how good it feels that in only 2 minutes I whip up my family’s veggie intake? In 2 minutes the Vitamix blends a whole tall pitcher (64 oz.) of our frozen kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, pineapple, coconut water, smoothy. Everything we put inside the pitcher is frozen, and the blades breeze through it all (with a little help from the tamper).
The Vitamix Blender‘s motor is made to last a lifetime and will almost never burn out. When given more than it can chew (or blend 😉), it will shut off automatically to give time to the motor to cool down. It’s almost unbreakable! I’ve even forgotten a stainless steel spoon in there while blending on high speed and not even that broke it.💪 My husband’s family has owned theirs for over a decade and I’m using a hammy down myself (the 5000 model) which is probably almost 20 years old. No cooking, no prepping, just throw everything in the container and with the press of a button, Voilá it’s done! (Perfect for any homeschool/working family).
Our family mainly uses the Vitamix Blender to make Green Frozen Smoothies and for this alone, I can see how it’s worth every single penny it costs. You can’t put a price on knowing you are feeding your children (and yourself) fresh greens that otherwise they would never eat. I’ve also made, Hummus, Peanut Butter, and Almond Milk, all with wonderful results. I was also told how in 6 minutes you can make steaming soups, again just with the press of a button! According to their website, “The blades in the Vitamix container reach speeds fast enough to create friction heat, bringing cold ingredients to steaming hot in about six minutes”.Click here for → Vitamix recipes.
There are many models and sizes of the Vitamix Blenders today days. As I mentioned I have an oldie hammy down (which is still kicking 🤩) and the equivalent to our model is the model I’ve provided the link for. If you don’t have a big family Vitamix offers a “Space Saving Blender” that comes with a single-serve cup size + a 40 oz container instead of the 64 oz. If under the counter space is an issue, there is also a Low Profile Model. This model offers a shorter but wider size container this way it’s still able to offer the 64 oz size.
**Note/Tip: The link provided below is for a new Vitamix, however, you can easily score a renewed Vitamix on Amazon for much cheaper ($250 approx). Because these go fast I couldn’t provide a viable link for it to last. After clicking on the link below, you can then browse on Amazon to see all renewable models available at the time. Vitamix is the BEST!!!
9. Instant Vortex Plus 10 Quart 7-in-1*
Functions: Air Fryer, Rotisserie, Roast, Broil, Bake, Reheat & Dehydrate.
Accessories: Drip Pan, 2 Cooking Trays, 1 Rotating Basket, Rotisserie Accessories (all included).
This innovative over the counter 7-in-1 oven can accomplish many tasks and in my opinion, it’s a master of all of them. The Instant Vortex Plus has a 10-quart capacity and you could essentially replace your toaster oven, dehydrator, and air fryer with just this 1️⃣ appliance. 🥰
Using the Air-Frying function you can cook some delicious juicy Chicken Tenders, Roasted Veggies, Crispy Fish Fillets and of course Fries. The Baking function will allow you to bake some excellent moist Cakes (you’ll have to lower your baking temp), Loaded Potatoes and much more. Since my family is not a big Rotisserie Chicken fan, the rotisserie function and accessories weren’t a big selling point for me, but boy was I wrong. I found a recipe to make a juicy and tasty Roast Beef using the rotisserie accessories and it turned out absolutely amazing!🙌 There are many recipes you can find on the web to use with the Instant Vortex Plus. I personally love and have had great success following the recipes on the Instant Pot Cooking website.
The Instant Vortex Plus is also promoted as an appliance to use in place of your microwave by using its Re-Heat function instead. Sure the whole purpose of using a microwave is to save time but keep in mind, the Instant Vortex Plus is all about quicker cooking times with Better and Healthier results! Re-Heating, Frying, Roasting, Baking, Dehydrating is done in less time compared to a traditional convection oven and most definitely juicier than using a microwave. I am a fan of anything that can help me use my microwave as little as possible. I find the microwave to dry out my foods (especially pastas & meats) while radiating it too. That’s just how I feel. 🤷♀️
*Note: If you are in the market for a larger size toaster/convection oven the Instant Vortex Plus might not be for you. Its square shape (a little bit over a foot on each side), fits better on the kitchen counter compared to those weird bulky oval-shaped air fryers. Also, The Instant Vortex Plus can fit much more food than a traditional oval-shaped air fryer as well. However, although the Instant Vortex Plus can fit quite a bit in its trays, it still doesn’t compare to the capacity of a larger size over the counter convection oven. On the other hand, this appliance will Cook and Reheat anything in a fraction of the time of using a convection oven. If you have a larger family you might want to keep this in mind when making your purchase decision.
10. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless
If you are looking for an economic Cordless Hand-Held Vacuum that really works, look no further you have found it here!
This Black+Decker Dustbuster is not your typical cheap/waist of money Cordless Handheld Vacuum that doesn’t hold the battery charge and lacks the power to pick debris. This little Vacuum is a monster (in a good way) and it doesn’t break the bank!! With 2 power speeds (low and power boost), this Black+Decker Dustbuster cleans beautifully leaving nothing behind. The Lithium Battery also holds the charge making it possible to get through many long and messy jobs without running out of power in the midst of it. The Pull-out crevice tool makes the cleaning easy on your back so you don’t have to bend too much while using it.
I use this little miracle maker in between my weekly use of my Bissell CrossWave vacuum/mopping days. I go around all the edges of my floors where all the dog hair likes to gather. I pick up the crumbs underneath our very long 107 inc table. I then with the pull-out the crevice tool, get the dog hair and dust that gathered underneath the piano and furniture. All this is done on 1️⃣ battery charge. Trust me this Black+Decker Dustbuster is Phenomenal!
I’ve owned the cheaper versions of this Black+Decker Dustbuster and they are pretty useless. The models that cost less do a pretty lousy job on cleaning anything with the battery lasting a whole 5 minutes of continues use. 👎 Don’t waste your money as I did in the past, spend the extra $20 and get yourself this Black+Decker Dustbuster and I assure you will thank me later. 😊
And after all the work, it’s time to play…
11. Sing Station All-in-One Karaoke System.
If you or anyone in your family loves to sing and have some fun, then I highly recommend the Sing Station All-in-One Karaoke System. No special apps or CDs are needed, just hook up your phone or tablets through the Bluetooth function and start singing along! You can basically sing any song available online and the microphone and speakers do a great job making you feel the next American Idol.😀 This Sing Station All-in-One Karaoke System offers 10 different voice effects and 8 sound effects (I love the air horn and cheers), and 16 different light shows. All these functions can be used while singing using the included Remote Control.
Have fun yourself or buy it for your kids, no matter what this Sing-Station All-in-One-Karaoke System will be a hit…Guaranteed!🎤🎶 (Check us out in the short video below 😊🤩).
If all or even just one of these items will make your life easier while trying to balance your everyday life while Homesch🤓ling Along®… Then I’ve fulfilled my purpose of helping my fellow homeschooling families.
“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”