After yesterday’s budgeting post, “Give Every Dollar a Job,” I thought it would be fitting for this Tasty Tuesday to recall the first time I got down and dirty in saving for a quality kitchen tool – you know, a “kitchen want.”
Anyone who knows me understands how difficult it is for me to spend money. I even have a bunch of swagbucks saved up, and I still can’t bite the bullet and spend them. I keep thinking I’ll find a used Vitamix, but that’s not happening either (Craig’s List knows me well). I ponder and debate purchases that aren’t from the yard sale department, but when I do decide to invest my hard earned dollars in something, it’s quality, and I don’t want one bit of buyer’s remorse. I want to know that by giving those saved dollars a smart job, it will be worth every penny.
We have all watched those “As Seen on TV” infomercials which show the newest kitchen gadget, guaranteed to save hours in the meal making process. We get them home, use them once, and realize they just take up room. (That’s when you sell them in your yard sale and I buy it for $2. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much to determine it’s a space waster when it was bought for a few dollars.;)). I believe in saving for and investing in quality kitchen tools that I will really use, and my biggest kitchen tool investment to date has been my Magic Mill DLX Mixer – The Electrolux Assistent Bread Mixer.. Besides my Kitchen Aid Mixer, which is still going strong after nearly 18 years, my DLX wins by reaching it’s 14 anniversary. I have never regretted that kitchen investment.
Having just moved to NC with a newborn and a 19 month old, I was incredible home sick. We left the church with which I had been on staff, and I was mourning the difficult transition. I had immersed myself in a very healthy cooking and eating plan, and knew that I wanted to purchase a grain grinder and heavy duty bread mixer (larger than a Kitchen Aid). I spent months researching which would be the best purchase, but soon realized that this wasn’t a place to cut corners. The problem? We were a young couple, starting our own business, and this mixer alone was $500. (Yes, pick your jaw off the ground…now, it’s over $600.) I didn’t have a blog that might allow me to review it for free, and considering I could not remember the last time I spent $500 on anything, I had to create a savings plan. Long distance calls were my downfall then (remember, I was home sick). The age of free minutes had not arrived, so I made a commitment that for every dollar I saved in long distance phone calls, I would put that money towards my mixer.
Well, I’m sure friends and family back home wondered what happened to me. (I do think I told them…again, no one had thought of Facebook.) It was a great solution. Not only was I curing my homesickness, but I had given those dollars a job…to save for my Magic Mill DLX Mixer – The Electrolux Assistent Bread Mixer. and grain grinder. It took many months of diligence, I found other creative means to save as well, that when the time came to finally order, I had no regrets, paid cash, and was on my way to one of the best investments to date.
Mixing up to fifteen pounds of 100% whole wheat dough at one time (around 8 – 10 loaves), that investment has proven itself worthy year after year with freshly kneaded doughs and thousands of loaves of homemade bread. (FYI – it does not shape and bake the loaves. I still have to do that. Just thought I would answer that question in advance. :))
I choose to skimp lavishly on some things, so I can save, pay cash and invest generously in others. That’s what frugal, yet smart, financial living is all about – freedom.
By the way, if I did see something on TV that would save me hours and hours in the kitchen, I would buy it in a heart beat. For me, tools to make my time in the kitchen easier are worth their weight in gold, but only if you use them.
So what about you? Have you ever skimped in one area, so you could spend in another?
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