My guide to buying things

How to buy only things you'll actually use

Posted on December 12, 2018

When I moved from my parent house and the residential school. I started cooking for myself. And from that time, I’m cooking at least 3 days per week (sometimes you just want to eat outside, you know…)

To start cooking from zero, I needed a lot of kitchenware. The decision was easy for some: spoons, knifes, etc. But for others, it wasn’t that easy: blender, rice cooker, and other crazy stuff.

I don’t consider myself a minimalist. But I don’t want to buy things I will rarely use. Or things that have only one usage! For me to buy something, I need to be sure I’ll be using it frequently and is used for more than one thing. Being completely new in this cooking thing. I asked around for advice. And a lot suggested I should buy an immersion blender. “You can use it for juices, soups and lot of things”, they said. So I decided I to give it a try.

I couldn’t afford buying something expensive to find out I rarely use it. So I used a process:

1. Buy a cheap Chinese version of what you want

This helped me validate my need without spending a lot. Generally speaking, a Chinese version is at least 4 or 5 times cheaper. For instance, that immersion blender costs +80$ in Morocco. A Chinese version costs 20-30$.

When trying something new, chances are you’ll be using it everyday. So give it some time and don’t rush to a decision. If you don’t use it at least one time a day/week/month (depends on the item), then it’s probably not a good idea to have it in the first place.

For my immersion blender, I found myself using it a lot in the first week, mainly for juices. But after that, nothing! I barely used it once in a month. I find it hard to keep smashing fruits to make juices. There was too much effort to put in it, at least for me. Comparing it to a blender, where you can throw everything and turn it on. That was a quick decision: I don’t need it.

2. Buy the best your money can get

If you’re using it constantly. You know this product is useful for you. So the next step is to buy the best quality your money can get. And throw that Chinese version away or give it to a friend so they can test their need too.

I like to think of it as an investment. What I’m buying needs to be used for years. And I generally do not fall into the hole of changing things just because a new version is out. Kitchenware will serve you at least for 3/5 years. Others can go beyond that but not less. Some usually have a warranty and you can replace them in the first 2 to 5 years if something bad happened.

One advice, buy only what your money can get and don’t go really all in. Some models, at least for kitchenware, are expensive and usually for professionals. Odds are you don’t need those extra functionalities.

3. Treat it with love <3

Learn to love your things. Treat them with love. And keep them clean. They are there to make your life easier. The more you invest in keeping them functional and clean the better they’ll help you.

I’ve used this process for everything. From electronics to kitchenware. The only thing I still don’t know how to use this process in it is clothes. I believe this process, as it is, isn’t applicable to them. But maybe a variation of it will be.

I also applied this method when I wanted to buy an action camera. The GoPro costs at least 600$ here. So I ended up buying a Chinese version called Yi Action Camera with less than 100$. In a year, I used it 2 times I think. And for me, that don’t justify me buying a GoPro. Especially with that price tag. So it was a no too.

After trying that immersion blender. I tried a proper blender just after it. And I was using it a lot. One day, I found a deal by accident for a blender and a food processor from Bosch. A german brand known for quality. So I ended up buying both. And I’m using them constantly :)

* Header photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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