Exercises in Frugality

R2D2, aka DAK

R2D2, aka DAK

Frugality, one of my favorite topics, continues to increase in popularity as the economy negatively affects more and more families.

Some people apparently take frugal tips pretty seriously; note a couple of cranky commenters at this post. Two thought the blogger’s tips were too common, and one misguided soul suggested the blogger stop homeschooling, put her kids in school and start an in-home daycare.

Instead of complaining that someone’s frugal tips are too basic, most commenters helped by sharing their own tips. I think I’ll do the same for the next few posts.

Bread machines

My beloved Oster bread machine died several months ago after about ten years of use. The unit still worked but the pan began leaking oil (or something similar) into the bread because the seal was shot. A perusal of eBay introduced me to a few people* who would love to sell me a replacement pan for $20 plus $10 shipping.

Not interested. Instead, I hit the local Goodwill and bought a replacement, a Regal for $9. It made so-so dough and baked bread that resembled a doorstop in shape and heft.

I waited patiently while watching Goodwill for a new bread machine but kept seeing the same type as the Regal. A blogging friend suggested I buy a Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine as she’d had great luck with it. I checked it out on Amazon: $200+, and some (though definitely not most) people had trouble with it.

I know how ticked I’d be if I spent $200 on anything and it didn’t work right. So I decided to keep being patient and checking Goodwill. But then I saw a Sunbeam breadmaker at Walmart for $50. It had pretty decent online reviews, so I decided to use my birthday gift money to buy one, but when I went back, they’d cleared out that model and replaced it with another, whose model number came up empty on a Google search. Not a good sign!

Not long after this, I stopped by Goodwill and found four bread machines. Three were Regals or looked like them. The fourth was so funny looking that I didn’t realize it was a bread machine at first. But it came with recipes, and at $5 it seemed worth the gamble.

Turns out it’s old (1990) and works great! It has quite a fan club, and I can see why. I thought I was being so clever calling it R2D2 until I found out that many people call it that.

Anyway, it makes great bread and dough, it was $50 cheaper than the bread machine I saw at Walmart, and $200 cheaper than the Zojirushi. Definitely worth waiting for!

* Sounds like a profitable racket, so I gave my old Oster and the Regal to my eBay seller daughter, hoping she can make some money off the parts, paddles and manuals πŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “Exercises in Frugality

  1. What a find! I’ve been making my own bread for 15 years now and boy does it save money when you have a family. I think that bread of our childhood is now about $3.00 a loaf. I can make hearty, healthy bread for pennies!

  2. I had a DAK and loved it! It hit the floor somehow, and couldn’t sustain, but you brought back good DAK memories. I think I’ll look around for that again. I have an Oster, which is ok, but not as good as R2D2.

  3. Hi Barbara,
    I just have to share my Bosch story. My daughter wanted to try selling bread to make some money. But, at the time, the idea of doing everything by hand did not sound cost effective. We’d talked about it for some time and then my husband finally asked, “Have you prayed for a Bosch?” Well, I have trouble praying for material possessions, as I realize that there are people that don’t know where their next meal is coming from and here I am pryaing for a mixer? I don’t think so. But my husband prayed.
    The very next day, we were in the thrift store looking for clothes for my daughter to take to camp. While I was waiting outside the dressing room, I discovered a Bosch mixer in a box for $8! I got too excited to speak. I found my husband, who asked if he could plug it in and listen to it run, etc. Then, because he was out of work at the time, he asked the manager, “I know to most people $8 is not a lot of money, but if we have trouble with this could we bring it back for store credit?”
    She replies, “I’ll tell you what, you take it for $1 and if it doesn’t work, you’re only out $1.”
    I was so dazed, I had to ask her to clarify. I could not believe I was getting a Bosch for $1. My husband told her we had just prayed the day before and she really got excited and asked permission to give us all a hug. “I believe in prayer,” she said.
    Several years later, it’s still kneading our bread.
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
    Carol

  4. Hi Barbara,

    I have a D2R2 sitting in my basement waiting to stay or to go! I have a Breadman bread machine upstairs. The R2D2 was my husband’s pre-marriage bread machine. I’ve used it a couple of times, but always thought it was broken! It took so long to make a loaf of bread and while I had the instruction manual – it wasn’t much help! Since reading your blog and using your links I realized this type of breadmaker just takes more time than my other one. I really only use them for the dough settings as we prefer to bake our bread in the oven. You may have convinced me to give R2D2 another chance now that I know it isn’t broken! Thank you!

  5. Amy, I don’t know how much that “bread of our childhood” is these days because I’ve never bought it. I wonder if it contains HFCS? That’s one of the best reasons for homemade bread, besides the fact that it makes the house smell SO good and tastes so much better.

    Susan, you had a DAK? That’s so cool. I researched mine online after I got it and saw comments about it leaping from the counter, so we keep a tall chair in front of ours when it’s running and yes, it does go right up to the chair rail. It’s noisy and jumpy but so far it works great!

    Carol, that is an awesome story! It gave me chills……isn’t it interesting that it takes us being in real need to ask God for something, and that’s when we get a response that we can then use to witness, as you just did? Thank you for sharing that πŸ™‚

    Cindy, you’re welcome…..and hang on to that DAK! At Amazon, so many people complain that their breadmakers are made cheaply, pans are thin, etc. These old machines are so sturdy. Yes, the DAK is slow. But it makes great dough (like you, I prefer to shape the dough and bake it; I also make rolls a lot) and if your Breadman ever breaks down, you’ll be glad to have a backup. Oh, and put a chair in front of it πŸ˜‰
    (see comment from Susan)

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