5 Household Items Worth the Splurge

By , Posted on Feb 07, 2013
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YAHOO News“You get what you pay for” as the saying goes.  For items that are required to put up with daily wear, tear and abuse, it makes sense to pay a little more for a quality product.

coffeeTypically, the word “splurge” has negative connotations; it suggests wasteful spending, after all. But what if all that spending amounted to real savings in the long run? I know our goal is to save money wherever possible and be financially responsible but I don’t look at spending a little more for something that is going to last.

Now if there is an item that you are only going to use once or twice or just on special occasions, it is a good idea to buy something inexpensive.  For instance let’s say you need a hammer to hang that picture your Aunt Dorothy gave you.  Well, you could probably run down to the dollar store and pick something up that will work.  However, if you are going to go to work as a carpenter, you might want to get the best hammer you can afford.

There are some household items that either take a beating, get used very often or just must perform when needed, these items are worth spending a bit more now to get a quality product than to buy on the cheap and have to replace it in a short time.

Here are some home appliances that may cost a chunk of money upfront, but will certainly recoup your investment over time:

New Refrigerator — Refrigerators eat up the electricity–they use at least 5% to 8% of all energy in your house, more than any other appliance. Not to mention they are as a rule very inefficient.  A government-sponsored Energy Star model operates at 20% more efficiency than the standard type model. If you’re still using a fridge from the 1980s, you can save over $100 on utility bills; if you have one from at least 1993, you can save $200 over the lifetime of your fridge.

Programmable Thermostat — A programmable thermostat might sound like a luxury, but it’s another crucial addition to your long-term money-saving strategy. If you can program your heating and cooling at the times of your choosing, you can avoid paying to keep an empty house cool or warm. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save around 10% on energy costs a year by setting your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours out of the day. Digital thermostats offer the most features for your buck, and run from $30-$130; the nicer, more expensive ones are usually easier to program, though.

Water Filter — If you don’t like how your tap water tastes but you’re tired of spending a ton of money on bottled water, you might want to consider installing a water filtration system. A good, quality water filter under the sink can cut the costs of your water-drinking immensely. Assuming that you have a family of four, buy $6 cases of water on a regular basis, and your family drinks 2 gallons a day combined, you can ideally save $2,878.57 a year by switching to a filter, that’s almost $240 a month! A basic Brita water filter costs around $20, but you must refill when it runs out. A full under-the-sink filter costs anywhere from $50 to $200. And is definitely a great long-term savings deal.  That $240 a month could go towards reducing you debt.

Coffee Maker — If you are like my family, the coffee maker is running nearly 24/7.  If you stop every morning to get that $5 cup of venti, mocha, Carmel Latte with a double shot whatever it is, STOP!  You can save a ton of money by making your coffee at home and taking with.  If you have to have the fancy stuff, you can buy home machines that can make the same or better tasting brew for far less than you will pay at that fancy coffee shop.

We have a commercial Bunn machine at our house; it will make a steaming hot pot of coffee in 3 minutes.  …we don’t like to wait for our coffee.

Buy the best you can afford. Do your homework, just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s good.  If you are going to make a major purchase it might do you well to join Consumer Reports and do some research.

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