Wednesday 24 February 2016

Just Once!

In the current economic climate, the mantra 'reduce, re-use, recycle' is everywhere. And that is a good thing. But I have noticed another one recently becoming more popular

Buy It Once. Great minds clearly think alike - Morgan has just posted about this too!
The reasoning behind it is this - if you do have to buy something new, then think very carefully about how you are going to spend your money. There are some items which it is worth spending a little extra on, because that way you will only ever buy them once and they should last you a lifetime.

Many products even come with a 'lifetime warranty' - although it is now always clear whose lifetime that refers to. And there are loads of websites now that offer these products, or review the ones they consider worth purchasing.
[here, here, here...] I have been looking at these lists, and checking out to see if any of these items have found their way into this household.  
Yes - we do have Le Creuset Casseroles and frying pans dating back to 1979, still in regular use. They were wedding gifts - we could never afford to replace them now!
Pyrex- yes, those dishes are the best for freezer to fridge to oven [or microwave] to table to dishwasher. Some of my stuff is vintage - but there have been some smashing moments down the years.
I have a Mason Pearson hairbrush from the 1990s, I think both my daughters still have theirs too. 
And my Tilley Hat, purchased in a downpour of Biblical proportions on a holiday in Oban in the last millennium, is still in constant use. In terms of cost-per-wear, it passed the 1p rate ages ago. I love my Sabatier kitchen knife and my Swiss Army Penknife. Bob's original Black&Decker Workmate [1981] remains an excellent tool. My Kenwood Chef [1994] has never had any problems. 

Some things inevitably do wear out - and technology becomes obsolete very quickly [betamax video tapes, CRT Tvs] but I think buying to last is a good idea, if you can do it. 
My general principle is to ask questions about each purchase - 

  • is it worth it?  
  • do I really need it? 
  • how and when will it be used? 
  • if it fails, can it be repaired? 
  • are spare parts available?

Are there items you feel have been worth purchasing because of their usefulness and longevity, and are there others where you have regretted spending 'all that money'?


  1. I forgot about my Kenwood Chef - it was my aunt's and is older than me!

    1. The older ones are like Land Rovers, they go on for ever! glad that K chefs are still in production

  2. Like you, I still use my Le Creuset casserole which I bought at a very grand house sale over 40 years ago! things were made to last in those days.

  3. My set of three saucepans cost an amount of money that horrified my mother when she came with shopping with me. I was buying my first house, setting up home all by myself and the nice man in the little hardware shop said they'd last me a lifetime. Eighteen years later and they are as good as new. Wash incredibly well, despite my many, many culinary disasters, and I don't imagine ever being without them. In the same time there have been three, possibly four frying pans, and I do find myself wondering if there is such a thing as a lifetime frying pan? I think I would invest in one, for no other reason than a question over where all the old frying pans go?

  4. In September 1979, DH and I went to Amsterdam for a day trip, this was possible as I worked for British Airways at the time. Schipol duty free shops were selling Burberry raincoat, I returned the following week, I suspect with the money in local currency, bought raincoat, Richmond model in traditional style, a button in lining and hat all for £150.00.

    I still wear the coat, it has proved so useful when travelling, not quite so showerproof maybe, it still fits and I suspect it will outlast me. Daughter has her eye on it, she has been given my Barbour purchased about 1986, I don't go out nowadays if the weather is that bad.

    I have my Mother's 70 year old Singer sewing machine, her balance scales, also about the same age, used when I cook and parents' sideboard, probably same age again, all used.

    Does a nearly 20year old Corsa count too?

  5. I love the "buy this once" trend -- I have a lot of pyrex that I have had since I got married in 1972 and have even gotten more of the matching pattern off Ebay. Our big, local antique mall has tons of it and I have bought some of it as well knowing that, with care, it will last forever. I guess the thing that I have that has lasted the longest without replacement is something I didn't by but fell heir to -- a cast iron skillet that belonged to my GREAT-grandmother. I use it all the time and it doesn't look like it is going anywhere!


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