Thursday, 12 May 2011

Investing in Good Equipment

This is a bit of conundrum for those of us trying to live frugally. We have seen time and time again, how buying a cheap piece of equipment can and does cost so much more in the long run.  Replacing or having to repair an item far before we should have to is a total waste of money and time.  When you factor in these additional costs it really isn't cheaper to buy the least expensive product.

Comparison shopping for a bigger ticket item is a lot of work but once again, it's part of my job as Homekeeper.  I do most of the leg work; researching consumer ratings, checking forums for feedback and user reviews, comparing features and also looking at where the various products are manufactured and with what materials.  Warranty and after sale service is also important.  When you need service or a part, you want to be dealing with a company that a) still exists and b) has a good service reputation.   All of these issues, coupled with price and value for money factor into our purchase decision.  As you can see, the choice is usually not easy!   The time we spend researching a purchase is directly related to the amount of money invested.   Investing hours of my time on a $50 purchase makes little sense, but a $1000 purchase demands considerably more research.

When it was time to replace our trampoline, we did a week's worth of research, and settled on a trampoline that was more than double the cost of our first one.  This has proven to be a wise investment, as it's now 3 years old and we haven't had to replace a single part on it!  It's as good as new.  Our old trampoline cost us MORE than the new one when we added in all the replacement parts we bought for it over it's 6 year lifetime.  Not to mention the value of our time, having the tramp down, sourcing parts and paying for exorbitant shipping rates.  Lesson learned - get a quality product from the get go.

Yesterday, our trusty coffee/espresso maker of 14 years stopped working. Kelly is incredibly handy and can usually fix anything - but this time - no go.  Time to replace it.  Enter - total disappointment and confusion!  There are a lot of coffeemakers on the market and I'm overwhelmed.  Have any of you bought a coffee/espresso maker recently that you are really happy with?  We prefer a machine that brews at a hotter temperature (closer to 200 degrees) and we also really like the espresso/frother for our weekend cappuccinos and lattes.   I'm wrestling with my desires, our budget and available features.  Help!

I'm all ears!  Share your suggestions!  :)

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