I came across this little gem in a description on Drugstore.com:
“Hepa media filter captures over 100-percent of dust mites, pollens, and ragweed.”
It just creates all sorts of interesting mental images doesn’t it? Tim and I had many theories about just how you’d go about getting over 100 percent of anything.
He maintained that it created more allergens just to capture them. My theory was that, just as there’s matter/anti-matter, so are there allergens/anti-allergens. And so this vacuum picks up both. Which really makes it quite a steal at about $100.
This was a quick bit of glee in an otherwise glum, muttering-under-my-breath shopping experience. Our old vacuum lost suction (ironic how that makes it suck that much more overall) and we had tossed it after many expletive-filled attempts at basic troubleshooting.
I absolutely hate appliance shopping — not least because it’s difficult to be frugal in such cases. Well, what I consider frugal. I more or less assume that, once you’re talking about something over $50, the idea of frugality is rapidly becoming moot.
Also, of course, you’re faced with a rather large issue of quality vs price. The stakes are a lot higher when it comes to appliances versus, say, small electronics or clothes or whatnot.
If you get a cheap shirt and it falls apart after three wears, it’s annoying but not that big a deal. But if you go cheap on an appliance and it backfires on you (literally or figuratively) you’re out a decent chunk of money. And, yes, you can write the company and complain and hope it fixes the item for free. In the meanwhile, though, you’re without an important appliance.
Granted, if you looked at our apartment right now, you’d come to the conclusion that the vacuum is not, by our estimation, an important appliance. The whole time Tim’s mom was here, we didn’t vacuum. And she was here for 7 weeks! But Tim and I were busy more or less the whole time. He was running around helping us with errands. I was working or coming along on errands she wanted to run or, very occasionally, resting.
So, by the time I was able to psych myself up to vacuum, it was pretty dire. Mainly because Patches still has the damn cone on, which means she can’t use a covered litter box, so cat litter gets everywhere, then gets tracked around even further.
At this point, there’s something of a fine silt of it throughout the common areas. And I wander around barefoot thanks to growing up in Anchorage, where shoes come off when you come in a house. Essentially, then, I’m constantly treading on grit in the carpet. Blech.
What really sticks in my craw is that I did research to get a good vacuum cleaner. I even trekked over to the library for a free glimpse at Consumer Reports’ suggestions. And the damn thing died after less than four years!
In short, something has got to change stat, but I deeply resent the whole scenario. All those elements — the time crunch, my annoyance, and the general disgusting state of our place — do not add up to an ideal scenario for being frugal.
I was able to find something of a middle ground, though.
Ideally, we’d buy from an online retailer, thereby avoiding sales tax. Together with cash back, we’d save $15-20 over what we’d pay in stores.
But, as I mentioned, ideal has pretty much left the building. Instead, I cruised around the Internet trying to find the best in-store deal I could. And I chanced upon Sears, which is throwing some big sale for reasons I already forget. Allegedly, though, practically the whole store is on sale. (I do take with a grain of salt, though. The last two or three weeks, I seem to get email after email proclaming, “Entire Store On Sale!” Then, when I click through, I see the million or so exclusions, such as about half the brand names in the store and, of course, all clearance.)
If I’m lucky, Sears will put the vacuum — already on the low-end of the price spectrum — on sale. But even if the appliance stays the same price, I can at least buy online then pick up in the store. This allows me to still get a little cash back on my purchase.
So, with any luck, I’ll have a clean floor by tomorrow afternoon/evening. It’d be nice to wander the house without shuddering.