I have 2 small machines in my kitchen that enable me to make the most of both my time and my food. They are the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and the Kitchen Aid Food Processor.
Things I probably would not make homemade as often if it were not for the Stand Mixer:
Things I probably would not make homemade as often if it were not for the Food Processor:
Now, I am not saying that everyone should go out and spend $500 buying both machines, but when you get the opportunity, check them out and see if they would be helpful to you and your lifestyle and goals. If so, maybe consider it as a gift option.