Just call me the Spendy Mom$ter!
Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap, it means you focus your spending on areas that are most important to you and leave aside other areas that aren’t so important. For me, over time, frugality has meant focusing on quality and lasting items vs. sales and clearance.
I know from experience! I used to be cheap and all about the lowest price or the sale and clearance prices. The more I became frugal, the more I looked into my purchases, did my research and found the best item for our budget and took a closer look at the quality of the items I buy.
For example, since Chris and I bought our first home we’ve gone through about 4 blenders in 10 years. We started out with a Magic Bullet, because I loved my daily smoothies. Then I graduated to the NutriBullet a few years ago and that did a much better job when it came to fruits and veggies.
In addition, we were given a blender that died a few years after our wedding, and bought another basic blender just two years ago. Unfortunately, that one doesn’t appear to want to do more than spin water, so I’ve stuck with using the NutriBullet for basic smoothies, and a free food processor we received when we got engaged (thanks to my old boss!) and have been operating that way ever since.
For the past few years, I’ve envied Vitamix owners. Off and on I’ve researched the Ninja or the Blendtec blenders in place of the Vitamix; focusing on our budget and trying to get a decent quality.
We’ve spent (or have been given) over $300-$400 on blenders in the last decade:
$100 Magic Bullet
$50-$85 Blender (Wedding Gift)
$50-$85 Blender (Oster)
While I originally was looking for a better blender to help with baby food purees this go around, I started to think about quality and what would be the best for our budget and long term plans. This theme always seems to come up since we’ve shifted focus to frugal living.
Since we do primarily all of our cooking at home with few meals out, quality items that last in the kitchen have been higher on the list as we’ve turned away from cheaply made kitchen gadgets.
While our food processor does an amazing job on nut butters, flours, grinding, and the like, it is several pieces that have to be put in the dishwasher every single use. The Nutribullet also is amazing with smoothies, but sometimes they are a bit grainy and hard to get my family to drink. It’s also several years old, so I know in due time it’ll be on it’s way out.
I just happened to look at the Vitamix website last spring to see what they actually cost and they were having a sale on reconditioned blenders, the 2nd level up from the basic model for about $279.
I thought, this is my chance to get a (mostly) brand new blender for half the cost. I researched for a few days about the investment, what the reconditioned program even is, and watched tons of videos on how to use a Vitamix. I even learned the best way to clean it when you’re finished: squirt of soap, water filled to the lower handle line, and blend!
Some of the criteria that went into my decision to get a Vitamix was:
- Easy to clean
- Variety of Options (butters, smoothies, ice cream, soups, etc)
- Refurbished Options
Reading these comments made me realize how many people go through a large amount of blenders before splurging on quality.
Since I’ve bought my Vitamix, I haven’t regretted it. At first, I thought it was an unnecessary splurge. Truthfully, now no other blender compares from what I’ve tried before getting the Vitamix.
I’ve waited to write about this for a few months since purchasing to really get a feel for how useful it is. While I wouldn’t purchase a brand new one, the reconditioned models are amazing. Everything is new except the motor. You may not get to choose the exact model you get, but who cares?! They all work essentially the same.
Smoothies come out amazingly smooth, as I did a comparison with kale, spinach, and apple between the Vitamix and NutriBullet. The NutriBullet, while okay, was not like drinking a simple juice. (Side note: I used to have a juicer and man, it was a HUGE pain to clean).
In addition, I’ve made coconut milk easily, and just recently tried cashew milk. I believe cashew milk is my new homemade favorite, as I don’t even have to strain it with a nut milk bag for how smooth it comes out.
This summer I used it a lot to make vanilla malted milkshakes (my favorite!) and they came out just as good as the local ice cream shop for far less costs.
The Vitamix comes with a great recipe book, with tons more recipe ideas you can find online. This fall I’ve used it to make a simple black bean soup that smells and tasted delicious with many more soups I plan to try.
Lastly, it’s easy to clean and it cleans itself with a squirt of dish soap and a cup or two of water. This simple fact alone makes it worth it, as I tend to use it more often since it’s ready to go right away after each item I make.
I don’t get a dime for you being more interested in the Vitamix, but if you’re a home cook and use blenders often, their product is definitely one to consider if it is within your budget. It has an awesome warranty, great reviews, and I’ve been using it several times a week already with much success.
Let me know if you decide to get one, or own one already, and your thoughts.