I Bought a $500 Blender and It Crushes ... Rocks.

I Bought a $500 Blender and It Crushes ... Rocks.

I’m not going to say I can’t live without my avocado toast and La Croix, because that would be the bourgeiest shit ever. But life got a whole lot better after a Vitamix came into my world.

Yes, the frugal Green & Green household owns a $500 blender. I paid for it in cash, using my first paycheck from teaching. It gets worse. I was shopping at Whole Foods and stopped at the free sample station to try chocolate kale ice cream. The saleswoman spotted me from a mile away and knew I was hooked before my first taste of curried carrot soup. Yes, this wizard machine makes hot soup in just 5 minutes!

It’s worth mentioning I receive no benefits for endorsing the Vitamix product. I made the opulent purchase well before I learned of financial independence and before Mr. G&G was around to talk me out of it. Here’s why I justify my consumerism in this instance.

In my grandparents era, things were built to last. It’s why we had a mustard colored refrigerator through the 90’s – much to my mother’s chagrin, the thing just wouldn’t die. It was strange replacing the 1953 model with a sleek silver spaceship that dispensed ice at the touch of a button. The new Home Depot special crapped out in less than a decade.

The booming post WWII American dream offered an opportunity to cash in, and companies jumped aboard. Once built to last, stuff - everything from electronics to clothing - was redesigned for shorter lifespans. This planned obsolescence is evident today. How long does your iPhone last? My Motorola flip phone survived 12 years of being dropped, drowned, and even run over by my bike tire. Mr G&G’s iPhone 6 lasted less than a year before getting terminally buggy.

Marketing in the Mad Men years drastically shifted the psyche of American consumerism, convincing everyone of a new dawn - the days of frugality carried from the Great Depression and war sacrifices had ended. Even if stuff wasn’t broken, why not replace it to show you have achieved the American Dream?!  Perceived obsolescence is really where American consumerism took off.


Ok, back to the blender. Sometimes I mix drinks or salad dressings, but mostly I throw together whatever fruits and vegetables, nuts, and yogurt are around and voilé - breakfast! Nutritious, delicious, and ready in 10 seconds. Brown bananas and blemished peaches get pulverized anyway, so no more food waste! My rationale for making the significant, albeit impulsive, purchase has to do with all of the other blender purchases I had made up to that point.

Per my usual default, I always bought small appliances from a thrift store, but with heavy use, I soon realized I was putting more crap in the landfill and my smoothies generally sucked. I estimate I was spending $60 each year, replacing one crappy blender with another after the motor burned out or the pitcher cracked. Over my lifetime, this could add up to $3,500 in blender costs, and I would be subjected to a lifetime of drinking chunky, seedy ice. To calculate the cost per smoothie unit, I estimate I will drink 15,000 smoothies in my lifetime, and probably even more liquefied food concentrated toward the later years. 

$60/yr shitty blenders x 60 years = $3,500

cost per unit: 23¢


Lifetime purchase of $500 for the best smoothie-making machine (and potential gold prospecting tool) on the market. 

Cost per 3¢

Vitamix is one of those few companies who stand by their product. They are the L.L. Bean of the liquefied food world. With a lifetime warranty and rugged construction, my blender will be around for a very, very long time. The 2-horsepower motor offers unmatched ice crushing power, and the turbo mode creates enough heat from friction to heat vegetables into soup. The versatility alone means we don’t need a food processor – I make fresh pesto and hummus on the low setting. You can also make baby food, nut butters, batters, almond milk, dips, desserts, flours and doughs, and frozen mixed drinks. Recipes here. Did I mention it's self-cleaning?!

Yes, that's a quartzite rock he is holding. And crushing. To pan for gold.

Yes, that's a quartzite rock he is holding. And crushing. To pan for gold.

If you are still skeptical about dropping 5 hundos (or $300 on a refurbished model), as Mr. G&G was up until now, here is why the Vitamix is the best blender available.

As you know by now, Mr. G&G enjoys learning too by watching YouTube videos of all things mechanical. There's the Hydraulic Press Channel where an eccentric Finn crushes objects, or the slightly crasser BOLTR channel, where a foul-mouthed Canuck disassembles appliances and tools to less-than-delicately review their materials and inner construction. If it moves, especially in complex, yet efficient fashion, my other half is hooked. Fast forward to minute 13 if you want to see the rock-crusher in action. I'm considering exploring near local mines and panning for gold using my Vitamix. That'll be a good way to get rich!

Ok, but really, this blog is all about saving money and saving the environment. The lifespan of my Vitamix far outweighs the cost-per-smoothie of lower quality brands, as I found when I went through used 1-2 used or budget blenders each year. These cheap pieces of crap are imported from China and are destined for the landfill after their short lifespan. Vitamix is made in the good ole' U.S. of A. This is a really long way of justifying the most outrageous purchase of my life, but one I am pleased to say was entirely worth every penny. Here's to many more years of Vitamix versatility and vitality - Cheers!

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