Homestead Hints ~ Why Certain Purchases Are Worth It Part 1

by Merissa on July 1, 2011

in Homestead Hints

Out here in the country, life revolves a little differently than it does in the city. We put hard, long hours into making our homestead a self sufficient haven for our families. Homestead Hints will be a series following things that we’ve learned over the last several years on how to make our homestead living a little better. Welcome to the Little Homestead on the Prairie…

The hubby walks in the door after a hard day at work. The little house smells like warm cookies. "What did you do today?" he asks me knowing what I did and really wondering where the cookies are at. "Oh just a little baking," I reply with a big smile on my face. "What did you bake?" he asks, looking around the kitchen. "You know, just a few dozen cookies, 4 loaves of bread, bagels, and a couple batches of tortillas for the freezer."

Yep, that's a typical baking day around here. And I couldn't do it without my one trusty kitchen tool. Well, I could, but boy, my arms would be hurting at the end of that day! Yes, I'm talking about my Bosch Mixer. I absolutely love that thing. I wanted one for a long time after my mom got hers but I talked myself out of it for a long time. I thought, well I could try a Kitchen Aid, those are cheaper and would pretty much do the same thing. Then I thought, well I won't really use it as much as I think I might.

So I bought a Kitchen Aid, kept it for a whole 3 days, and hated it. I tried to use the dough hooks to make a loaf of bread and it got to hot half way through and shut off, for hours. I was not impressed and I sent it back. A few days later I gave in and bought myself the Bosch Mixer. It did not come cheap, I believe I paid around $350. I started using it the first day it arrived and I've been in love ever since. That thing can whip triple batches of bread dough around like it's nothing! I use it almost every day.

I could have kept the cheaper Kitchen Aid, but I don't think I would have been happy. In this case it was well worth it to spend the extra to get what I really knew that I wanted and it's helped me so much in the kitchen! I don't have to break my back kneading loaf after loaf of bread. The bread turns out super light and fluffy from having a proper kneading and I can make BIG batches at once and freeze them for later, saving me alot of time. It doesn't just knead bread though, I also have food processing attachments and my mom has a blender for hers which she loves. Those machines are crazy powerful! I can't say enough good things about them.

When we got married I found a decent priced blender. Not a great brand but it was moderately priced and I thought it would do the job I needed to do. What a mess. It cracked in several places, smelled really awful when it got hot, and broke on the bottom so it didn't stay attached to the base. When looking for a replacement I found a very nice Cuisnart blender. It was on sale, so not priced too high, but higher than some other brands or models. We took the chance and purchased it and I haven't looked back. What a nice piece of kitchen equipment! I've had it about a year now and not have any cracks in the plastic, or any issues at all.

After our wedding I purchased a pizza stone. I knew I loved cooking with stoneware and I'd got many other stones from my Pampered Chef bridal party. Since I only had 1 stone cookie sheet (until this last weekend and I got a second for my birthday!) I used to use the pizza stone as a second cookie sheet. The cookies never cooked the same as the Pampered Chef stone. The pizza stone was something I purchased from Target and spent a whole $10 on. It wasn't worth it, the other stone did such a superior job baking.

You may wonder why I have a post such as this on a frugal living website. Maybe you are thinking, "Why on earth is she telling me to spend more money?!" Well, I've discovered, as I'm sure many of your have, that some things just aren't worth it! Take that blender I had for example. The first one we had cost about $20. It worked. It blended things up for the most part. It was ok. The second blender we got cost around $40. It's going to last me way longer than the first ever would have. So really, even though the initial expense was higher, I will save more in the long run from buying quality kitchen appliances.

Part 1 was all about kitchen goodies, part 2 will be all about outside the home things, written by my hubby and coming next week!

What about you, do you buy more expensive appliances? How do you budget for a bigger purchase? If you already buy the more expensive appliances, have you found that it's worth it?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lana July 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I wonder if you just got a ‘lemon’ when you tried the Kitchen Aid. I’ve had mine for 11 years and have never had any trouble with it—hmmm…I do have a professional model and maybe that is the diffference (?)

I received my Applegate Farms coupons today–thanks!

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2 Merissa July 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I did buy the Professional model but I’ve heard from many people that the newer models aren’t as good as the ones that have been around for a while so they must have changed something on the design?

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3 Emily August 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

I also have a Kitchen Aid professional mixer and I LOVE IT! It was a wedding present, I have had it for 14 years. I have never overheated it (even making multiple batches of bread in a row). Sometimes I make my husband crazy with it’s output, but I love it and use it all the time. I don’t know if the new models are the same, I have a friend who bought one and didn’t like it, but I don’t really know what she was mixing with it (I think mainly cookies and cakes, not bread).

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4 Erica July 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I have a Bosch too and LOVE it!

I enjoy your blog : )

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5 Lisa July 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I tried the Bosch right when model came out a couple years ago. It was horrible. I wanted to return it and get a refund, the retailer refused and had me in touch with the place that replaces them. I don’t see how legally they could refuse since it was mail order and within 30 days. They knew of the problems!!! They replaced it and the second one had problems also – the motor does not run correctly. Then they wanted me to pay to ship it back to them. I’ve heard such wonderful things about the company and people that had thier Bosch for 20+ years so I really don’t understand! Also the blender is horrible it broke the first time I used it. They said it was changed to plastic instead of metal at the bottom.
It was a total waste of $$$ for me.

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6 Merissa July 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Wow, that’s really too bad! I’ve never heard of a bad experience with a Bosch yet. What company did you buy it through if you don’t mind me asking? I purchased mine through Pleasant Hill Grain and was very impressed with them, I got it within a few days.

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7 Charity July 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I agree – there are just some brands worth it. For example my husband got a walk-behind brush cutter. There are tons of models out there, but we went with DR. The thing is amazing. Cuts 4-8″ trees and saves loads of times. He repairs things himself and sharpens blades on the little farm equipment we have – the brush cutter, chainsaw, mower, etc. and DR brand is something we always go back to and they aren’t cheap. Thanks for the great post!

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8 Jenny July 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I am very happy with my bamix brand immersion blender. They are expensive, but so much better than the cheaper ones. As a bonus though, mine was cheaper than any of them because my mom found it for me at a thrift store.

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9 Chellie October 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

The only thing I can add is that my Kitchenaid Professional 600 manual says never to use the dough hook on any setting except speed 2. Only once did mine “cut off” when making a double batch of refrigerator bread dough, a full five pounds of flour, but everything has worked perfectly since then. If I make a double batch of dough, I just mix it and halve it, and then knead it in two batches.

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10 Cristina R. December 2, 2013 at 9:50 am

I really love your advice on buying quality in order to save time and money in the long run. I have been having trouble finding good quality cookware and knives, I went to a few restaurant supply stores after years of wasting money on target and walmart cookware and knives that are simply awful, only to find that those store also have poorly made cookware that simply will not work for me. Any advice on which cookware and knives I should try??

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11 Merissa December 2, 2013 at 10:15 am

We love Rada knives. They are inexpensive and made in the USA, although they can be hard to find. Cookware is one I haven’t figured out yet either. I have a Wolfgang Puck set and don’t really care for it.

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