One of my pet peeves is spending money on something only to have it crap out a short time later. My philosophy is spend the money up front and buy it once. Based on our research prior to buying and our experience, these goods pass the Jen test (typically severe abuse and possibly periods of neglect), along with some degree of style and attractiveness in their function.
- KitchenAid Mixer 6.0 Quart This is a workhorse in our kitchen. I use it for creating double and triple batches of bread, cookies etc. My mother-in-law has also been buying several attachments which are fun to use for processing. They aren’t necessarily designed for large volume cooking but they do work well. By the way, my parent’s mixer is still going strong 30 years later and I have had mine for almost five years now with nary a problem.
- All Clad Cookware : I purchased mine (tri-ply line) because of the quality and the fact that it was manufactured in the U.S.A. This is mostly true, but they have switched some of their manufacturing to China, so I can’t comment on the quality of those pieces but they certainly strike a nice balance between heft, built and ease of use. They are great for high heat gas cooking.
- Clothing : I have yet to really find anything that I find stylish and durable (for women, really I’m not that stylish, just something with a waist below my rib cage that doesn’t look like something my husband or my grandmother would wear). I burn through jeans and shoes at an exponential rate.
- Carhartts can be decent quality especially if you are doing a great deal of work outside.
- Shoes/Boots: My husband is also guilty of being a shoe killer (murdering 200.o0 pairs in 9 months, no I’m not exaggerating)
- We bought him a pair from Nick’s This is a company geared towards laboring professionals (firefighting, loggers, ranchers). This as a no brainer, these have been worth every penny for him being on his feet all day at work in all conditions and also for the construction and outdoor work around the house.
Whenever I buy my next pair of boots, it will be from here.
This is a great source for inspiration, projects and more information about anything you could possibly want to know in regards to sustainability and homesteading.