Thursday, May 9, 2013

6 Household Items Worth the Splurge

When it comes to household appliances, I am a firm believer in the saying you get what you pay for. Appliances get a lot of wear and tear. I am willing to pay more up front for quality and durability where as my husband is not.  Thus we are on washer/dryer #2 due to his frugality within 7 years.  But this second time.... Mrs FinessedLife got what she wanted.  Here are six household items worth the splurge.

Knife Set
Well-crafted cutlery can last a lifetime, so you’ll never need to replace them if chosen wisely. With that said, the most expensive sets aren’t necessary unless you’re a professional, but spending $200 to $400 on a knife block will buy you durable steel blades that resist corrosion and stains. Also invest in a sharpener, available for as little as $20 if it doesn’t come with the set, will keep your knives slicing, dicing and carving for years to come.  


Cookware

Quality pots, pans and casserole dishes can last for decades. Low-end pieces can become warped from heat and cheap non-stick surfaces can chip away, finding their way into your food. Instead, invest in solid pieces made of stainless steel, aluminum or cast iron. Look for non-stick cookware free of PFOA, a carcinogen that has been widely used in non-stick coatings.  (Read more about PFOA here). Invest in reputable brands.  Your body will thank you.

Coffee Maker
Depend on your morning coffee fix? A top-notch machine will not only save you from spending $4 on a store-bought latte, it can also produce better-tasting coffee compared to cheaper brands.  Higher end brewers have better water filtration systems and higher boiling points. Since coffee tastes best when it’s super hot, you want a machine that steeps between 195 and 205 degrees for that perfect cup. If you only want enough coffee to fill your travel mug before dashing out the door, consider a single-serve machine to reduce wasted leftovers. A $150 coffee maker will pay for itself in 3months. 

Steam Iron
By far my least favorite chore, ironing. This task would make me even more miserable with a cheap iron.  A low quality iron can damage your clothes, leak water, stain items, and fail to reach the proper temperature. Quality irons start at around $75 and have the following key features: fast heating and an anti-drip seal. Also look for stainless steel or ceramic-sole plates, which glide best over a variety of fabrics. It doesn’t have to have a lot of steam holes to be effective. 

Washer/Dryer
Speaking from experience, consider your needs. Do you have unique cleaning challenges that require special features?  Go for efficiency. Do you put loads in before bed? Perhaps you need quiet features. Also consider capacity. Also determine if you need a gas or electric dryer.   Also always buy a matching set.  They are most efficient that way.


Vacuum Cleaner
One chore I actually enjoy doing.  It's  mini workout in my head.  The fresh vacuumed lines in a  rug or upholstered item do something for me 0_o.  A smart budget here is between $200 and $400. Consumer Reports says a full-size canister vacuum, while more expensive than an upright, does tend to last an average of two years longer.  While you’re shopping, look for a model with a suction control switch, which will allow you to clean different types of floor surfaces. An edge cleaner picks up dirt and debris under the entire area of the cleaning head so you can vacuum right up to the wall. And for deep cleaning, pick a vacuum with manual carpet height adjustment. A top-notch vacuum should last about seven years. If you spend $300 and clean once a week, that breaks down to just 82 cents per use.

What items have you splurged on for your home?
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