New, Innovative Kitchen Gadgets That Won't Break the Bank

The simple plug-extender allows you to plug tow cords into a wall outlet with the cords going parallel to the wall instead of perpendicular out from the outlet. The main benefit here is that it allows you to push furniture up against the wall without bending or stressing the cords. Over time that kind of wear can create cord breakage, which can cause sparks to emit from the cords. Imagine a bed pushed up against a sparking electrical cord and you can see the fire-risk of sparks on a mattress.

Farberware Bag Funnels
Price: $3.99 for one of each size

Ever try to fill a plastic storage bag with your favorite pasta sauce by yourself? It's not easy, you definitely need a helper to hold the baggie open. Well, these plastic sheets help you quickly, cleanly and efficiently fill plastic storage bags with sauces, soups, cereal, etc. It makes kids' lunches in the morning a breeze. The kitchen helper lies flat for storage and is dishwasher safe. Available in two sizes to fit both gallon and quart storage bags.

Some New but More Expensive Items

Zojirushi Introduction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer
Price: $550, available now

The outrageously expensive rice cooker is the top of the line in rice technology. It uses induction heating for even cooking and the pressure adjusts for the kind of rice you want to cook. So sushi rice is cooked at sea-level pressure, brown rice and other varieties are cooked at varying pressures for optimal texture.

One added feature is the cooker's ability to chemically alter brown rice to improve its health benefits. Whether this is certifiable is unclear, but it pre-soaks the rice for 2.5 hours and then cooks it at a low temperature to release amino acids that create what's referred to as GABA brown rice. Here's the description: "This is not a new variety of brown rice, but a newly discovered way of cooking brown rice to 'activate' it and increase naturally occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid in brown rice believed to have health-giving properties such as lowering blood pressure, improving kidney function and relieving stress."

Panasonic vacuum
Price: $249 for model number MC-UL915, available at the end of April.

Panasonic has a new bagless vacuum cleaner that has two features that I really liked. First, it uses infrared sensors to tell you if it detects dirt so you know whether to fly over an area or give it more time and attention.

It also has washable parts that would allow you to get rid of the smell that your vacuum cleaner often picks up from pet hair.

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