After many years of learning what to buy, I have put together this list from many lessons that I have learned (most of them the hard way which I have explained). Now it's time to share these lessons.
- Vacuum cleaner: we bought a Dyson pet-hair vacuum cleaner for $700 after my $100 cheapo broke after one year. We've had it for three years with no problems and no bags.
- Espresso maker: if you are into Espresso, don’t get the cheap stuff. We spent $1200 on ours. We bought a cheap one that worked once and then never did again.
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer: We got the professional model with all of the accessories up front. If you love cooking, it should last you 20 years or more.
- Pots: get the copper-lined pots if you can afford it. Cheapo pots burn food easily and even warp under heating. I learned this the hard way when one put was on the burner a little too long.
- Frying pans: we have a cast-iron frying pan that we never put into the dishwasher. It is actually almost 40 years old as my mom got it as a wedding present in 1972. If you never soak it in water and really take care of it, here is proof that it can last you a lifetime (or more). And the cooking quality is beyond compare. Non-stick pans have a coating that scrapes off in the food.
- Shoes: cheap shoes are often very stylish but they usually only last about a year (sometimes less). Spend the money once on a pair of leather shoes with good construction and they will last for years. I still wear shoes that I bought five years ago.
- Fake gold jewelry: This stuff stains my fingers green if I wear it for too long so I always get the real gold (or gold-plated) stuff.
- Computers: This doesn’t mean that you have to get a $2000 computer, but the cheapies that sell for $200 will only last a year or two, at the most. Expect to spend at least $800 on a computer on a reliable brand.
- Wood furniture: If you can possibly help it, buy the real stuff. The wood product furniture that sells for much cheaper is ruined as soon as there is a scratch on it. At least with wood, you can refinish it to hide scratches or even paint it. Wood furniture costs a fortune (especially if you are in the city) but it will last multiple lifetimes.
- Umbrellas: Take a cheap one out when it’s windy and it turns out almost immediately. You need to spend the money on one that is made properly so that you can actually use it.
Blenders: I have found that plastic ones tend to crack in the bottoms and I have bought two already. Our next one will be glass.
Digital Cameras: we had an expensive one that lasted for 10 years. I'm really glad we didn't have a cheap one.
Cat food: I had a cat who had crystals in his bladder and he died of blockage. We found out later that it was a combination of genetics and the food that we fed him. Needless to say, now we spend the money on our new cat's food - $60 for one huge bag in a pet store.