Monday, August 15, 2011

Consumer Reports says...Repair or Replace?

With the economy kicking us all when we're down, we really don't want to repair or replace anything. We want everything to keep working. How many of you had to deal with the air conditioner giving out this sweltering summer? Ours gave us the signal just before, so we didn't have to wait for service, but we still had to pay for it. It's hard to judge if something is worth repairing or replacing.

Well, Consumer Reports did some testing and they recommend that if something goes wrong, most major appliances should be repaired within their first five years and at least looked at after that. A fridge should last 8 years on repairs. But a microwave that breaks down in even 2-3 years should be replaced.

Electronics (including digital cameras, camcorders and TVs) should also do with being repaired within 5 years. But a PC, repair within 2-3 and after that replace. The technology only lasts that long anyway, these days!

A lawn mower should probably be replaced after 4-5 years if it breaks. But riding mowers, snowblowers and treadmills should be repaired.


Summer was way too busy. I thought things would slow down, but now school's back in! With our busy schedules it's hard to get everyone to sit down for a meal. We sometimes resort to fast food, but I try to limit it to once a week or less. Consumer Reports took some data from subscribers about Fast-Food Chains. Here's the top 3-5 from each category, based on food quality, value, service, and speed (notice that those pictured did not make the list!)
  • Burgers - In-N-Out Burger, Burgerville, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Culver's, Back Yard Burgers
  • Chicken - Chick-Fil-A, El Pollo Loco, Boston Market, Zaxby's
  • Sandwiches & Subs - Jason's Deli, Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike's, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Jimmy John's
  • Mexican - Chipotle Mexican Grill, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Pizza - Papa Murphy's, Round Table Pizza, Little Caesars, Papa John's
Any of your favorites in there? I love Firehouse Subs! & Chick-Fil-A!

And finally, I had to include some tips from readers and staffers at Consumer Reports:
  • "Before you buy it, you're the boss. After you buy it, they're the boss."
  • "Don't buy the extended warranty."
  • "Press zero to get to a real person."
  • "Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry."
  • "If you don't need it, don't buy it."
  • "Never buy the first version of anything."
  • "If you want something, ask."
My advice is "Keep your receipt!" Do you have any shopping tips?

Info from CONSUMER REPORTS, August 2011

10 comments:

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes said...

Really interesting and useful. As for the fast food, none of those restaurants are in New Zealand (we do have McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC and Wendys.

kmckendry said...

We have pretty much cut out all fast food. My son has only been to a McDonalds once! But we eat all the time on the run, so I bought a mini cooler bag and we put yogurts, grapes, granola and other filling but healthier/cheaper choices in it.

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FirstTimeMom said...

I'm surprised to see 5 guys on the list. Love that place!!! :D

We always research every big purchase before we buy and try to find the best price possible.

Great entry Tara :)

julie fedderson said...

I honestly think that some manufacturers of electronic equipment put a little "self destruct" switch in their devices so that they will die exactly when the warranty expires. And I love Chick-Fil-A, but the only one in Omaha is in a corporate building downtown and is limited access!

Ellie Garratt said...

We have a 20-year old boiler in our house, and we've been advised not to replace it. Modern boilers are not made to last, they say.

My advice is 'Buy an ex-display model'. I've saved up to 30% doing this, and never had a problem yet.

Anonymous said...

I like what one of your commenter's said about the self distruct button and the warranty. Yes, we had to have our air conditioner looked at this summer, nothing major, whew!
I scored a big O on the fast foods list, but hey, I love the food I buy and the prices. And I'm still alive, ha-ha.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I so wish pusing "0" really took me to the operator every time. It seems like that should be a nobrainer in the user friendly category, but there're a lot of companies that don't do it that way.

Abby said...

Great post. I love IN N OUT burger. It's a good thing I don't live closer to it, and I love Chik-fil-a. Our AC went out last month and we had to pay almost $600 for a new motor and the rest of the repair work! It's killing me! I like your helpful tips at the bottom. :) Thanks for sharing.

Jenny said...

Mmmmmm. Chick-fil-a.... Did you watch the song about it that I posted on my blog last month? :) Dang it, now I have to go there in the morning for a chicken biscuit! lol

Tara Tyler said...

Rhonda, you probably have some good NZ fast food joints. I'd love to hear about em!

Kathy, you sweetie! and I wish I had your will power and determination. Good for you!

Carla, I was too. But they are very friendly and the food is fresh and good...just not good for you =)

Julie, exactly! and just had chick-fil-a today =)

Ellie, that is the truth "they don't make em like they used to!" and we have several floor models - great deals!

Mom, fast food once in a while is ok. You eat enough good stuff to balance it out!

Donna, I think they figured it out and purposely make us wait!

Abby, I've never been to in-and-out, I will next time I see one. And lots of my friends had AC trouble this year - figures!

Jenny, love those breakfast chicken biscuits!!! the rest try to duplicate, but they can't come close!