Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wants Versus Needs

Whenever I walk through Target, the distinction between need and want starts to blur.

Even when I strut in and attempt to speed-walk straight to the aisle I need, I get sucked in by the end-of-aisle promotions.

Just the other day--for example--I spotted a crock pot on my way to the Christmas section (for our Halloween party lights).

"Yes!" I thought to myself, "I need one of those! The weather is getting cooler. They are so easy to use. I bet I can find lots of recipes to try out."

And it was only $17. And you could stick most of it into the dishwasher. Ah!

But--in a moment of consumer self-restraint--I decided to keep walking. No need to impulse buy. If I really, really want it, I'll come back in a few days.

So now, a few days later, I'm still craving a crock pot. Now that I'm not surrounded by the shiny sirens of new products, I have a more practical perspective: I'm going to look for a crock pot at a second-hand store. I'm sure lots of people have been sucked in by the end-of-aisle promotions and have since realized that a crock pot isn't all that practical for them. I bet it will be easy to find one used.

Not only will I save money, I'll also sleep more soundly, knowing that I did my part to reduce the energy and raw materials that go into producing and transporting new products.

By the way, thanks for being an audience. Knowing that I have to write about my choices nudges me to make better ones.

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V. Wetlaufer said...

Our slow cooker is our best friend! We're both so busy that we make most of our meals in it, and it is worth every penny we spent because of how often we use it! We looked for a used one, but in our small town, there's only one second-hand shop, but I'm sure where you live you can find one!

Happy cooking.


Anonymous said...

there are so MANY appliances - good ones! - at salvation army and goodwill it's not even funny! most of them are new-ish and if not new, then at least perfectly clean-able.

i've gotten a $3 george foreman, a coffee pot, a brand new bodum... and definitely seen scores of crock pots :)

Anonymous said...

My friend's mom has been writing a column in the Advocate for years called "What a Crock." Check out the latest here:

Katy said...

Goodwill gets all the clearance merchandise from Target. I've gotten a lot of stuff from there that was brand new. So you might be able to find a brand new one!

I have also seen a lot of crock pots that seem to be in great condition. Just make sure to save your receipt so you can return it if it doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Hi! This is the first time I have been on your blog. I HAVE to tell you that the particular crock pot that you are showing in that photo is a piece of crap. I have it and loathe it. It overcooks everything- and the low setting sets everything to a boil. I recommend that you save your money for the more expensive and fancier model.

Anonymous said...

you HAVE to have a slow cooker. we use ours several times a week and it's SO EASY. i love that i can dump a bunch of stuff in it in the morning, and dinner's ready in the evening!

that being said, i also don't think you need an expensive one, just the RIGHT one. we have a hamilton beach one that is a good size, for only $15 at target.

just look around online and read reviews.

kathy said...

I can't survive without my crock pot. Seriously- I tried making beans in a regular pot and burned them! The crock pot is the way to go with dried beans. A model with an insert that can go in the dishwasher is nice but it's not that bad without it. Happy hunting!

Anonymous said...

Crock pots are really not as great as everyone says! I was suckered by the "dump it in and go" advertising. Two weeks and two diseasterous meals later I have no idea what the hype is, except for chili. I heart chili but it's just the same on the stove, in a large pot, all day, on low or from Wendy's drive thru.

Becca said...

I have a list of kitchen items I'm saving up for (if I don't get them myself or for Hannukah, they'll go on the registry, I suppose... but that's a while off still.) Anyhow, I have decided that a crock pot, breadmaker and rice cooker are indeed on my "save money, time and eat healthy" list. Also, I've explored this crock pot cooking site and can't wait to actually use it. She recommends various crock pots too!


christina said...

i love this post...have you tried freecycle? do you have that where you live? i actually gave away an "extra" crock pot on freecycle once (how one ends up with an extra crock pot, i have no idea!).

Confessions of a Northern Belle said...

I want a crock pot SO bad but for the same reasons - i.e. not wanting to spend the money - I registered for one for my wedding next Oct! And the best part is that not only did I register for a big beautiful crockpot, I also registered for a mini crockpot. My future mother in law uses hers ALL the time and I totally want one.

My theory is, go out and buy it. You can use a crockpot for so many different things. I am a huge fan of potato soup and it just doesn't taste the same cooked in a pot on the stove.

michelle said...


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