Do Thermomix's save money?

My friends have been nagging me to get a Thermomix for years. They say things like, "It will save you money.", "It is worth the investment." and "You will love it." Even though these are my good friends, and I trust their advice and purchasing decisions for so many other items, I'm cynical when it comes to the Thermomix.

My resistance has been mostly to do with 'commitment bias'. You see, the more money, time and energy you invest in something, the more likely you are to think positively of your choices. Basically, a Thermomix is a huge investment and no one wants to admit they made a $2,000 error, so they would tend to shout its praises even if it sucked. The other reason I don't trust Thermomix praise is their business structure rewards people for saying nice things about them.

The upshot of this was that every time someone said anything nice about a Thermomix, I treated the information as untrustworthy. Or, as one of my other friends said: "Stop telling me about your bloody Thermomix!".

When my friends bugged me to get one, I would explain that I have a good blender, stand mixer, stick mixer, stove top, and plenty of helpers, I don't need or want a Thermomix.

Well, in the last six months my blender broke, my stick mixer broke and my stand mixer has been making frightening sounds. I decided it's time to try one of these blasted Thermomix things! I'll test it out for a month, I figured, and if it doesn't make a solid contribution in my kitchen, I'll sell it on. No real risk. If it is brilliant I'll keep it. If it's poor to average, I'll sell it.

Of course, there was no way I was going to pay full price! Are you kidding me?!

After a bit of shopping and quite a bit of research I concluded that a Thermomix is a very complicated machine, and fixing a broken one is not worth attempting. I found you can sometimes buy them unopened, with warranty, on Gumtree. A new one costs $2,089 from Thermomix. Unopened Thermomixes on Gumtree range from $1,650 to $1,900.

Four weeks ago I bought an unopened Thermomix for $1,700 with 17 months warranty.

You may not know this but I haven't eaten gluten or lactose for 20 years. Neither does my constantly hungry 16 year old son, Sam. This means I have endured awful or ridiculously expensive bread. I have tried every gluten free bread mix on the market. I paid $7.69 per kilo for brown rice flour and $25.26 per kilo for almond meal. If I'm feeling really kind I buy Sam's favourite Zehnder White Gluten Free Potato Bread for $12.12 per kilo.

Since getting the Thermomix that has all changed.

I now buy brown rice for $2.20 per kilo and make my own Brown Rice Flour. Saving $5.49 per kilo.

Brown Rice flour comparison

(We would have to eat 310 kilos of brown rice flour to recoup the cost of my second hand Thermomix.)

The other reason I'm so impressed with the brown rice flour is while brown rice is really easy to get, brown rice flour is one of those ‘difficult to buy’, ‘special trip’, ‘up to $17 per kilo’ ingredients only sold at health food shops. Being able to mill my own instead of making a special trip to the shop is a big time saving.

With the Thermomix I am now making gluten free bread which is tastier than Sam’s favourite $12.12 per kilo bread, for $2.40 per kilo. Saving $9.72 per kilo. (I'll tell you more about that in another newsletter.)

I'm saving $12.34 per kilo on almond meal by buying almonds (skin still on = more fibre) for $12.92 per kilo and milling them instead of buying blanched (skinless) almond meal for $25.26 per kilo. If you doubt the importance of almond meal, then you need to try my favourite chocolate cake recipe, in the next section. :-)

Almond Meal

So the Thermomix can mill stuff. It does many other things too. For example, we have weaning puppies here at the moment, and making puppy food in the Thermomix is a heck of a lot faster than what I was doing before. The Thermomix is saving me money and time.

My friends were right and it is time for me to eat humble pie (made in the Thermomix, I guess). Our diet means I should have bought a Thermomix years ago when they suggested it. Not having one has been costing me money and time.

I'm keeping the Thermomix. It passed the test.

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