Everyday, people have to make decisions about the purchase of new household items. Things wear out, break down, and become obsolete, but the question is cost versus quality. We all love a bargain and human nature makes us want good products for low cost, however sometimes you've got to spend a bit more to get quality and longevity.

I've always been a big Consumer Reports and Consumer Digest reader, they can be very helpful in picking out good products at reasonable prices. The really good news is that usually the best buy prices they list are lower for us here, because their price base reflects major city prices.

Another go-to information place for me is Wall Street Cheat Sheet and they have some real common sense advice about numerous household items. Here is just a bit of their wisdom:

  • Vacuums- -Less expensive models can cost you in terms of air quality and the level of cleanliness in your home. They recommend doing your research and then deciding. That is exactly what I did when I moved to Sioux Falls in 1981 and purchased a vacuum that is still running to this day!
  • Mattresses- -This is something you don't want to cut corners on. More and more studies have been published on the importance of getting a good night's sleep and having a good mattress is imperative.
  • Kitchen items- -If you love cooking, (which I do), have a real chef's kitchen, (which I don't) and spend a good deal of time with your pots, pans, kitchen utensils and knives--you should splurge. Some of these items come with lifetime warranties which will save you money in the long-run, even though they initially can be costly. (Okay that is Cheat Sheet's advice. I will be sticking with my old pots & pans and the knife sharpener I bought about 8 years ago prevents my cheapo knives from killing me. Until I have a kitchen space that warrants the splurge, I won't. But that's just me.)

To get their complete list of save and splurge advice, click here.