Sunday, March 29, 2009

Top 5 Big Purchases (that are worth the money)

Mark and I are very methodical about large purchases. We plan ahead, research the latest reviews, and patiently wait for things to go on sale. Here are some of the things we have found to be the BEST buys for the money (i.e. big purchases that are really worth it):

1. Digital Camera -- We use the Nikon D40, and purchased an open box model from Amazon's Warehousedeals.com. I use it every day, and with small kids, I love how it takes photos instantly. It is an entry-level SLR camera, which makes it very easy to use. Since it was over $25, we got free shipping!
2. Vacuum -- Our household has two cats. These two cats shed. A lot. When we finally saw a Dyson D14 listed on woot.com, we scooped it up. This had been on our wish list for a long time, and our only regret is that we did not get one sooner. It is an engineering marvel. On woot.com, every purchase has just $5 shipping!
3. Bread Machine -- This was one of those things I thought I would never use, but the cost of bread kept going up and up and I noticed that many of the store-bought breads contained high fructose corn syrup. I had a few gift cards for Macy's and ended up putting them together toward the Cuisinart model. Now we use it all the time for pizza dough, breads, and even soft pretzels. Yum! I just load in the ingredients, select the cycle, and push "start". It does all the work! Plus, I love how the house smells when I am baking bread.
4. High Speed Internet -- This allows Mark to occasionally work from home. When he works from home, we save money on gas and car maintenance. We also get to enjoy lunch together as a family. Priceless.
5. Apple Computer -- I know these seem terribly expensive, but Apple computers are amazingly well-designed. They think of everything. They are easy to use, and virtually virus free. The iLife suite makes it simple to create fabulous videos, photo albums, web pages, music, and so much more.  

What big purchases were you most happy with? I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment and share your stories with us!

8 comments:

Denise said...

I don't know how I ever lived without my Kitchenaid standing mixer! After burning out the motor of a couple of hand mixers I knew I needed something better. Now I can make 100% whole wheat bread because the mixer does all the kneading!

tp1982 said...

Funny post. Just a few weeks ago my hubbie and I drafted up a list of big purchases that were "totally worth it." I love love LOOOOVE our Vitamix. It has far more power when it comes to grinding things and mixing things. We make homemade juices, grain whole grains to make our own bread, make smoothies, and in about a year we'll be making our own baby food too. It is always used in our house!

Infant Bibliophile said...

We stressed and worried and wondered about whether to purchase an iPhone. We canceled our home landline, so the cost of the monthly service for the phone was negated almost entirely. I never could have guessed all of the ways in which I would end up using it (looking up bus schedules en route in a new city to find playgroups, restaurant allergen info online from the parking lot for my allergenic toddler, etc.) I also agree on the laptop and camera! Oh, and our expensive stroller (Uppababy brand) and ergo brand baby carrier. I don't have a car, and I use them both daily. Great post idea. :)

Kathy said...

We LOVE our apple computer. So easy to use! Thanks for the info about the vacuum. I always wondered about that brand, if it was worth it. (We have a cat, too)

Valerie said...

@ Denise -- Mark does almost all of the baking in our household, and he swears by the Kitchenaid mixer. It is the very best!

@ tp1982 -- I've never even heard of a Vitamix, and now I am going to have to check it out. Sounds amazing, and I would like something like that to make baby food!

@ Infant Bibliophile -- The iPhone sounds like a great purchase you did not regret! An expensive stroller/baby carrier can be a good investment too... especially if you use it every day. Better to buy a well designed one that lasts longer than a cheaper one that will need replaced after a short while.

@ Kathy -- The first time we used our Dyson, we vacuumed the floors with our old vacuum first, then immediately used the Dyson and it picked up soooooooo much crud! It was practically life-changing! I am not exaggerating when I say it drastically improved the air-quality of our home. We have friends who are allergic to cats, and would always have reactions before. Now they can't even tell we own cats!

Alicia said...

Hi! Just found your blog via "Ramblings..." and I'm very excited to read through older posts. We'll be taking my son camping in about a month and would love to hear more about your daughter's nature pack! Thanks for all of the great ideas!

Valerie said...

Alicia, You are very welcome, and I am planning to post about her nature pack in the next couple of days. Of course, I am putting one together for myself too! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Amy said...

Agreed on all points!

I have the same camera and vacuum, have high speed, and our next computer will be a Mac.

However with bread, I've been using this recipe:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx

Seriously, check it out. So easy. No kneading.

Also, I'd sell a few fingers for a vitamix or Kitchenaid mixer.

(sigh)

I agree that some things are worth the money. As long as they're not simply impulse buys and you KNOW you're going to use them.

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