Smaller Versus Cheaper

by Nicole · 6 comments

in A Frugal Home

Friends who know me from reading my Breaking Even blog know that for about a year, I lived in a 220 square foot apartment. With my dog. Yes, it was quite cozy.

When you live in this kind of situation, you sort of pick your battles as to what you can live without.  To solve the problem of one closet, for example, I lived without a vacuum. Every month, I would drive to my very kind friend Dorrie’s house, pick up her vacuum, use it, then drive it back.

I moved to a larger (though still small) place this past November, which felt absolutely luxurious. I had gotten tired of the things I gave up… and doing things like driving to borrow a vacuum, even if it was a Dyson. It was time to get my own and so the search began.

I did a bunch of research and came across the Roomba, one of those robot vacuums. It is small enough that I can put on a shelf and has the added benefit of vacuuming for me. They are a bit pricey but the Roomba is probably the smallest vacuum I’m going to find.

To compare, I went and looked at vacuums at a discount store. They were all large but seemed to work well and were relatively cheap. Hmmm. My friend Jen purchased a new vacuum the day we went to look and gave me her old one. It sits on the corner of my office most of the time, reminding me that I probably should be cleaning. It is too big to fit in the closet and be able to close the door. Sure my house is bigger, but apparently not much bigger in the way of storage.

I decided to take the plunge and this morning on, I bought the Roomba. I paid more for something smaller because not having to see the vacuum sitting in the corner of my office all the time was worth the extra $100 to me.

It seems like a few other times, living in small spaces has got me to purchase things at a higher price. More rugged materials, a better design… I’m not sure why smaller things are usually more expensive. But having something that fits into my life and works well is worth a little more money to me.

What about you: Would you pay more for something that takes up less space?


1 JanB May 20, 2010

I would get rid of my dodge grand scare-avan and buy an electric vehicle if I could afford it.
.-= JanB´s last blog ..Big Time Murphy =-.

2 rosa rugosa May 21, 2010

Yes, all the time, and it's often difficult to find that perfect smaller thing. We paid a bit more for a smaller tub for our 5' x 5' bathroom, so we could grab a bit of space for storage at the foot of the tub. Sometimes the additional cost is the time spent to find something that will fit in a small quirky space. We've had great luck with unfinished furniture makers who will do custom sized bookcases, coat storage lockers, etc.

3 Kristi @ Creative Kr May 21, 2010

I have an original series Roomba (about 8 years ago!) and while it needs a new battery (that I'm saving up for) I LOVED it before I had kids & a dog lol I still need the canister vac for the couches, car, etc. but I would pay for the Roomba over & over & over again because it saves me TIME. I'm all about time! I can turn it on when I go to bed & wake up to a clean downstairs then set it upstairs & that's clean too! LOVE it!
.-= Kristi @ Creative Kristi´s last blog ..Easy Pretty Burp Cloths =-.

4 Miguel de Luis May 21, 2010

We all do. That's the basis of the success of small radios, laptops and smart phones, to name a few. Often something smaller but with the same performance is much more convenient to use than its larger cousin.
.-= Miguel de Luis´s last blog ..A minimalist business =-.

5 Kelly May 21, 2010

Having recently moved my family of five from a 600 square foot house to an 1100 square foot apartment, I'm still very much in the small is better camp… although I'm also loving the extra space!

I would have gone with the roomba as well, however, more for the time saver than anything else! In fact it is on a list of things I would like- someday- for that very reason!

6 May 30, 2010

I have to 2nd the comment about the electric vehicle. I would love to have one and cannot wait until they become mainstream and come down in price so that we may ALL benefit from them. For now, i park my SUV when the weather is nice and ride around town on my moped. (which of course i bought USED a few years ago)…

Previous post:

Next post: