Monday, December 13, 2010

They just don't make them like they used to...

It's become very obvious to me as of late how things just aren't made very well anymore.
Not too long ago, companies took pride in their products and made them to last and we appreciated things that lasted. Not anymore, though. Supercenters like Walmart sell cheap, poorly made products mass-produced in China. We've been conditioned to accept that things just don't last. When they break, we go out and buy another piece of junk to replace them and companies continue to profit off of junk they should be ashamed of. Well, I'm tired of it!
For the last eleven years, I've made do with hand mixers that generally cost around $10. They'd last about a year and a half and then we'd have to replace them- usually as I was trying to get something ready for a carry-in!! Well, about three months ago, my little cheapie broke and my sweet husband thought he'd do me a favor and replace it with one that cost about $30. It was manufactured by GE and came in a cute little case. I was surprised at how flimsy the beaters seemed, though. They weren't welded together, the tines of the beaters were just stuck ( and I think glued) into holes at the top. Sure enough, after only a couple of weeks of use, one of the beaters began coming apart on a regular basis. We were disappointed, but I would just stick them back in and keep going. My husband tried to fix it permanently for me, but they continued to give me problems. I finally gave up on using it after struggling through several batches of cookie dough last month.

For the time being, I'm mixing things for my family with my (clean!) hands, but it's really putting a kink in my usual Christmas baking for neighbors. I've decided no more junk! I'm going to skim ten dollars a week off our grocery budget until I have enough for a decent mixer.
Another kitchen tool that's really let me down lately was my can opener. Now, the one we had lasted me a good five years. I can't remember where I bought it or what it cost me, but it was a faithful little can opener. Fast forward to last week. It finally broke. I finished opening cans with a knife ( and miraculously avoided ending up in the ER with a finger on ice in a baggie) and called my husband at work to ask him to pick up another one on his way home. He did. A few days later, I went to open a couple of cans of tomatoes and it broke on the first one. The culprit? plastic gears in a metal can opener- what kind of sense does that make?! I bought another, slightly pricier one to replace THAT one. It skips, leaving little bridges of attached metal all around the can. I mean- really?!
I know the difference well-made products can make. About two years ago, my husband's former boss gave me some professional-grade chef's knives he'd bought himself and no longer used. It really opened my eyes. The knives I'd been using- that I thought were okay suddenly cut like butter knives to me. I have now made a personal vow to only give our business to companies that still take pride in their products and stand behind them.
We've always chosen carefully when buying large appliances. My husband pores over Consumer Reports, compares and reads reviews for hours and hours. It takes days and sometimes weeks to make a decision. The small appliances in our house need to work just as hard, so it only makes sense to choose them with just as much care. No more cheap junk! Viva la revolucion!!

1 comment:

  1. Look for a reconditioned Kitchen aid. They are really good.