Labor Saving Devices: What’s your favorite?

I just had a thought about labor saving devices of all sorts. My mind wandered over the years to the many that I have had and still have even though I don't use them as much as I did when I cooked for large groups quite often. If you wander back in time, what would be your favorite labor-saving device?

Believe it or not, but as a young wife and mother, I wanted to do everything in an elegant and proper way. I wanted to make radishes that looked like roses; you may have seen some of those in past years. I prowled the Sears kitchen wares section and found a radish rose maker. a little plastic device that you just pressed down on a round red radish and presto, out came a radish rose. That was my favorite but I also found a pastry blender that replaced two knives for cutting butter to make pastry dough. I guess my all time favorite would be an egg slicer, just lay an egg in and pull down a part with wires and magically there were perfectly sliced eggs.

I realized that I had lost my sense of play and fun in the kitchen after thinking back. I want to get it back to that. The kitchen is the heart of a home and I will refuse to allow the TV screen to take over my home and life. My kitchen is well stocked with a long list of gadgets and appliances that would have boggled the mind of my mother, yet my mother cooked more food with almost no devices except a couple of knives and forks and spoons. It can be done, but I do love my labor savers. I just want to get back to my love for using all of them.

A few labor savers are in the garage or the rest of the home but most of mine were in the kitchen, but an automatic washer and dryer is a gift from the divine when I come to think of it and is standard equipment in most all homes in America.

With all this labor saving what do we do with the time and energy we save???? Well, a conundrum has appeared. We now need to seek out appropriate exercise. Upper arms are flabby because we have an electric mixer and we have lightweight cookware and cook in small pots. Well, I did use my time wisely and kept a home, cooked and cleaned, cared for a family, got educated, well read, and had a career.  That part was wonderful but I now need to find appropriate work. Yikes!!!

I am so THANKFUL and eternally grateful for all my labor saving devices of all kinds. I just need to use more of them more often and I might still need to work on the flabby upper arms and the toning and stretching depending on how much labor I still need to use. LOL.

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Published in Home & Family


  1. starlette

    Hello Rose, my cupboards are full of labour saving gadgets, choppers that take ages to put together and even longer to clean, a smoothie maker sits redundant, tried all different health filled smoothies, they taste good but the consistency I dislike…….Juicers been and gone, to much trouble to clean…….multi ovens that serve 5 purposes, but don’t really do the job they say…….always used Halogen ovens over the years but they don’t last long. I use my soup maker on a regular basis……my air oven and electric multi grill…the full cooker is redundant except for occasions……..sometimes the electric mixer sees the light of day if its a horrible out and I fancy making bead ……I don’t bake much anymore because if I did I would eat it, too much of it…… I would say the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner are godsends…….dishwasher I use now and again….omelette maker, sandwich maker all taking up cupboard space………….you didn’t need to visit any gyms in times gone by………shaking heavy pegged rugs, sweeping carpets and hand washing clothes, then turning the wringers to squeeze out the excess water was exercise enough….that’s what I remember from my childhood……….gardening, walking to the shops and carrying heavy bags of shopping……Wow !!….muscles like Popeye…..

    1. roseinbloom Post author

      vonMichael, True, Some of them do save time, but for a woman, they save labor . I did not cook for a much for about 3 years and I was amazed how much strength I had lost.

  2. waylander

    I was once the sad owner of a Citroen Zantia motor car. the brilliant French had designed this with a spare wheel in a tub under the boot which had to be screwed down, but you would always end up with the tub coming away from the screw thread. You could either (a) lay on your back (rain, shine, mud or oil) and struggle to reconnect the damned thing, a job that really needed three hands not two or (b) pay Citroen £14.50 and they would give you a wonderful little tool that fed a wire with a hook on it down through the centre of the screw in the boot and pulled the tub up so it could easily be screwed back into place. Best piece of kit ever!

    1. roseinbloom Post author

      Starlette, you are a progressive lady and you certainly seem to love labor saving devices. Some of them may need to go and others you may want to remember them, love them, and use them. Thank you for your comment.

  3. vonMichael

    Sorry Rose, I’m very sorry but my answer to your question will aim in
    a different direction.

    I hope you can agree on this point with me; housekeeping was a donkey
    work for every women in the past and still is for a certain clientele.
    Example to this: getting fresh water in Africa women in some tribes have
    to go for miles to get it and walk the same way back carrying a jug filled up
    with water on their head.

    What a work simplification a fresh water conduit would mean to them!!

    So I would put the time-saving factor as second aspect. I would say power
    saving should be the main argument and should keep the first place in the
    ranking. Kind regards, Michael

  4. Rockflower

    In my home, it is my husband that is the sucker for gadgets, how often do I do some thing then think……I’ve got a thing to do that ….somewhere LOL!
    I do like my food processor and use it most days. I use the big mixer to make bread2-3 times a month. In the winter I use my slow cooker a lot, it cooks casserole type foods so well and uses oven less power than putting the oven on. It is great for all kinds of soups too. I have a 50yr, old garlic press that looks disreputable but it does press a clove garlic, I was persuaded to buy a super shiny new one, it looks lovely but does not do the job it is supposed to, so I use my old shabby and true. I have a few electrical things that have been gifts in the past but now live in the back of the cupboard, Bread machine……never use because the bread is more steamed than baked. There is an electric pasta maker but the old fashioned hand cranked one does the job better. . Love my vacuum cleaner, the washer and dryer. Like my electric drill and orbital sander. For my personal comfort, I live in cold place so getting in to a pre warmed bed is a welcome pleasure all winter, as are the heated seats in my car. Love my Dyson hairdryer which dries hair in a flash. All these things are wonderful until there is a power cut LOL! then we are lost.

  5. sylvestercat

    Hi Rose,I`m still looking for labour saving devices for a washing machine to recognise not turning shirts inside out,saving socks and an apparatus to stop sausages from curling around in a fry pan or a fry pan that wont allow sausages to curl plus a device that would let me change a donna cover in less than 20 minutes,life would be so much easier Ha

  6. vonMichael

    Hello Rose,

    my answer to your question goes to a misunderstanding from my side of the
    word gadget which is been used for freebies here in Germany.
    So you are very right Rose and sorry says Michael

  7. rose1943

    Had a food processor stored in my cabinet for 2 years; a gift. Never used it. Gave it to charity shop. Takes too much time to haul it out, put it together, then the cleaning after. ( truthfully hated all the sharp parts). I agree that the automatic washer and dryer have changed out lives. Very fond of my steam iron too. Electric sewing machines without pumping with your foot and spinning the wheel simultaneously is easier, but it probably helped our coordination. I chose to be a little Polish cleaning lady when all my children were in school, allowing me to be home for them when school was out. I was praised highly for the job I did. I owe it to not so much the upright vacuum cleaner but to the attachments I used with my canister vacuum allowing me to get into all the nooks, crannies and corners. I only use my Mixmaster for mixing the cookies for the holidays. Great timesaver for sure. I use my hand mixer very frequently. I cook just about everyday so I love my dishwasher. Can’t say enough about my self cleaning oven after so many years of that awful job. I don’t have beautiful fingernails, chopping and dicing vegetables, working vehemently in the garden….THEY ARE AWFUL but I don’t care that much about it. I love watching Jacqus Pepin cook on TV. Rose, he can make a rose with a knife from just about any fruit or veggie. He’s amazing! I could not live now, happily, without my window air conditioners in the summer and gas space heaters in winter. This list is endless but writing it helps me to remember all we didn’t have growing up…oh, and a hot water heater…and how much these things have changed lives. I so wish my mother would have had them.

  8. roseinbloom Post author

    Twilight. I love my crockpot and smartphone also. It took me a while to fall for the smartphone. The smartphone is a computer first and a phone second, that worried and aggravated me a great deal at first. I would panic when I could not find the phone icon or activate it correctly but I have adjusted and take it for what it is.

  9. len1932

    I for some 47 years have made fishing tackle by hand for many retail stores. My hands as I get older seem to give me some pain. I twist heavy wire into spreaders for salmon fishing by the 100 dozens. We have a dish washing machine but i have found the old way of washing dishes by hand with lots of hot water is so good on the hands, So in this case for me I like the old method.

  10. roseinbloom Post author

    Len, you are talented and so nice to do the dishes. Truly each to his own. I don’t find hot soapy water good for my hands, so I love my dishwasher and would feel very unhappy without it. I love just throwing things in the dishwasher. I have enough to do to clean up the counters and sinks.

  11. misschey

    I would be lost without my Mandoline slicer… so quick and handy and cleanup is a wiz… also my
    Immersible blender … great for cream soups … gravy….sauces….
    My popcorn popper is indispensable …. and no i don’t use it to pop popcorn. I use it to roast coffee beans… I buy green coffee beans on line “Ethiopian Yirgacheffe ..roast them and grind them myself …makes all the difference in the world in a cup of coffee! Oh and my “bullit” to grind my coffee ..and make smoothies.
    And just recently after my daughter gave me a “5 in 1” pot for Christmas …I use it constantly …when i first saw it i thought …. why would i need another slow cooker is so much more … sautes and sears meat much faster and better than on the stove top.. roasts deliciously moist roasts…. also slow cooks …bakes and steams … easy cleanup … love it!
    Although I never buy anything form TV infomercials …after seeing my friend use the Popeil Ronco Rotisserie …I decided to get one … perfect rotisserie chicken every time so juicy and moist as are pork loin roasts….YUM YUM
    Personally i think one of least used appliances I’ve ever gotten and gotten rid of to goodwill was a breadmaker … I didn’t care for the texture of the bread …. it took up a huge amount of space to store it.

  12. roseinbloom Post author

    I Need to talk to you more often. I need a mandoline slicer. I have a big food processor and I don’t drag it out often. I have a small food processor that I love and use. I could use a “5 in L” pot. Especially in the summer when I just don’t like to turn on an Oven. I only need 1 cup of coffee and day but I would love a cup of your coffee. Just smelling it would be a treat. I have some great recipes and as time goes on we can share some.

  13. roseinbloom Post author

    Scorpio, we have a saying in the south, “don’t brag on your pony, other people will want to ride it”. I am too far away. I think you are in the UK. Scorpio, that is what I want. My significant other is not into housework, he will vacuum sometimes. He does yardwork, but he isn’t good at it. The trimming and weeds don’t get done. His son-in-law volunteered to come over and help us all day in the spring. I bought a robot vacuum but it didn’t work well so I returned it. I am wondering what other labor saving devices I could use. I love my dish washer.
    I do go to the gym and work on two machines for upper arms and some other areas. If you were closer, Maybe you could hire your guy out.

    1. Scorpio

      I’m sure a lot of our lady members would love to hire his household skills. In spite of being nearly 70 he’s superfit , handsome and 6′ 5″ tall !

  14. roseinbloom Post author

    Scorpio, I am happy for you. I just need to stay positive and stay in shape like your husband doing housework, but I did check out the labor saving devices. I saw a window washer and a lot of floor cleaners, but I lack faith in them so I will be doing them with a vacuum and a mop.