Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Think Before You Buy

Yesterday I wrote about one of my garage sale finds and how garage sale-ing is our traditional Saturday activity during the summer.  Since garage sales are no longer 'in season' right now, we spend our Saturday mornings together inside rather than on the road.  What do we do?  Well, we watch This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS.

I love getting ideas of how to fix up and decorate our home as well as DIY home repair lessons.  We've been watching these shows for years and the kids love them too.  Last Saturday as part of the "What Is It?" section of Ask This Old House, the guys were guessing what this item could be:

In case you can't tell (or never heard of one before like me) it is an electronic dustpan.   According to amazon.com, "To use, simply sweep dirt, dust, and hair up to the base of the unit; infrared sensors will detect the debris and activate the vacuum, causing it to completely suck up the pile before shutting off automatically." You can find out more about it here.  At first I thought this was great and wanted one for the kitchen. Seriously, I could vacuum at least once a day with all the crumbs the kids drop.  But then the more I thought about this, the less I liked it.  First off, to make it useful, it would have to sit out so I could use it with ease and convenience.   That leads to the question of where would I put it?  It doesn't exactly fit in with our kitchen decor and I wouldn't leave a vacuum or broom standing in the open so why would I leave this out?  Then there is the cost, it is almost $100.  That's not cheap.  In the end, I figured it would just be easier to keep doing what I've been doing - sweeping up with a broom and using a hand held vacuum to suck up the crumbs. Same concept but no eyesore in the kitchen and free, since I have the equipment all ready.

So next time I see some ingenious new product on TV, I've got to ask myself, will it really make my life easier?  Is it really worth it?  Anyone buy anything because you fell for the advertising hype?  Did it make your life easier?  Was it worth it?  The Spencinator wants the Gyro Bowl, anyone have that?  Does it really work?