One hit wonders

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

Buyer’s remorse is usually associated with expensive purchases. When you pledge a substantial portion of your salary to a bank so that you can afford a home, it’s not uncommon to feel concern. But there are plenty of other purchases that lead to thoughts of, “Why did I let that infomercial convince me to part with my cash?”

The smoothie maker – not so smooth after all

Overheard: “I can’t believe how much they charge for smoothies at the gym. I’m going to save so much money with this smoothie maker.”

The reality: The smoothie maker is the best kitchen gadget around. For about a month. After that, cleaning the machine becomes a chore, you’ll get tired of having the same type of smoothies every second day and you’ll want to take an axe to it when you forget to tighten a seal or close the lid, which generally results in pieces of fruit on the kitchen ceiling.

Microwave cookbook – recipe for disaster

Overheard: “With this book, I’ll be the Gordon #@!*ing Ramsay of microwave cooking!”

The reality: Have you ever noticed how top Michelin star-rated chefs and boutique eateries use microwave ovens to prepare steak? You haven’t? That’s because it doesn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, microwaves have their place and if you bother to do a bit of reading you can do more than heat TV dinners for one. I’ve tried milk tart made using a microwave recipe and was really impressed. I’ve got plenty of use out of my microwave cookbook – it makes a brilliant doorstop.

Foot Spa – not so relaxing after all

Overheard: “I can’t wait to get home and dunk my feet in. And it will work out so much cheaper than a day spa.”

The reality: It might be relaxing to dip your feet in, but it’s way more unsettling to have to clean out foot gunk every day. And like the smoothie maker, it’s one of those purchases that you’ll adore for a week before it ends up collecting dust. In a twist of irony, you’ll feel nothing but angst when you finally decide to clean out the cupboard and realise that no one wants a used foot spa.

Car cleaning kit – wax on, wax off

Overheard: “I’ve seen this stuff on TV – it must be good. If you can’t trust the actors in infomercials about car care, who can you trust?”

The reality: We’ve all seen the advertisement where a certain product’s ability to protect car paintwork is demonstrated by lighting a fire on the car. But no one ever reads the disclaimer which tells you “not to try this at home” and that the experiment takes place under controlled conditions. Or asks why starting a fire on a car’s bonnet has any relevance for a shampoo. I’ve bought all manner of waxes, polishes and even a giant broom that attaches to a hosepipe. The cleanest I’ve ever managed to get my car? Taking it to a car wash where they use plain old soap and water.

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