While most of the country is busy shopping for family and friends, we’ve been (mostly) shopping for ourselves. We’re not particularly self-indulgent, we just need to replace what we lost in the flood, and we’ve got $25K of insurance money to spend.
In particular, we’re looking for a refrigerator and a vacuum cleaner and a television and, eventually, a washer and a dryer and a DVD player and some bicycles and power tools and probably a bunch of other stuff I’m not thinking of right now.
And it’s all so confusing. Have you seen what they offer in televisions these days? Being the kind of guy I am, I’ve been doing research online, when I can get internet access, putting my subscription to consumerreports.org to good use. I’ve also been making the rounds to local retail outlets.
I don’t want to buy the shiniest appliance on the shelf. I want stuff that is energy efficient and high quality and well designed and a good value.
I already bought a printer in a hurry, and I wonder if I really got the right one. It’s an Epson Stylus Photo R340. Actually I bought a different model and returned it the next day for the R340. It seems pretty good so far, but in retrospect I’m thinking I should have gotten an HP or a Canon. In the same rushed moment, I also bought an uninterruptible power supply, a Geek Squad GS-1285U. No buyer’s remorse there, at least not yet.
I’m taking my time, shopping around and hoping to become better educated before I spend our money.
If anyone out there has any personal recommendations, by all means let me know.
During our middle evacuation (we did 3) – I ordered a Dahon Jack and took delivery in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s a great bike for New Orleans. I bought it with New Orleans streets in mind (even though it doesn’t have any suspension.) It’s a folder and you can order them online. I’ve been doing a bunch of rides from Fontainebleau up Broad and then down Poydras past the dome or up Jeff Davis and to City Park and it handles well.
I understand wanting to get only god quality stuff, but unless you are into home theatre – for DVD – just get the cheapo Cyberhome $30 model – although now you can get DVD recorders for around $150. (I don’t watch enough TV to justify bothering with those.)
As far as printers, I just use the free ones which come with computers and then when the ink runs out, just donate them to the thrift shop. Ink is too expensive. (same thing with computers – it’s not worth over-buying – just get the $499 machine every year instead of the $3000 machine every 3 years.
Don’t be suckered by the Maytag Repairman ads. Their products are no longer quality. I’ve been very disappointed in my Maytag washer and dryer and now the fairly new dishwasher has conked out. I’m going back to Kenmore.