I recently purchased a Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender.
This is an immersion blender that was only $40.00. I used to make soups and stews and have to blend half of the mixture in my Vita-Mix which I also love. But now, I can just use this handy blender right in the pan to blend. So much easier! It also came with an attachment that chops, veggies, fruits, and nuts very well. What a deal!