Here’s more from the great thinkers at halfbakery.com. I really enjoy these ideas.
Keep track of instances/hours of kitchen appliance use:
I’m using my CostCo rice cooker bought a few months ago for the 3d time right now; it cost $30, so at the moment, I’m right at a $10 surcharge for each 4-cup rice serving, which is pretty expensive. However, in the medium term, I think it will end up saving me money on food, by helping me meet my resolution to spend less money on restaurant meals, and I’d therefore like to keep track of how often I use the cooker. However, I only know how often I’ve used it because that number is so low; I don’t have regular “rice days” either, so I can’t just multiply Mondays to arrive at a usage figure. So: I propose an electronic odometer which clicks forward a notch for every complete cycle (for a rice cooker or other 1-task appliances) or which simply keeps track of “active cycle” times for other items which are used more as-needed (blenders, washing machines, microwaves). Knowing how often particular things are used would be good in increasing household efficiency, and would be more aesthetically pleasing (though less visceral) than carving notches each time …
I have an air popcorn popper that would be a good candidate for this gadget. I also think it would be fun to see how often the power tools that are so important really get used.
What do you think?