Here is something that I have noticed more and more of recently: individuals and couples going out to the mall and getting themselves Rival Crock-Pot or other brands of slowcookers. Many times that I am in a shopping mall on the weekend, wandering through a department store downtown, or even just riding the bus, I notice people carrying their newly purchased Crock Pots. What I have witnessed has really got me to thinking about whether this increased interest in home slow-cookers is really influenced by or a result of the current tough economic times, or more just a mental byproduct of my own increased awareness of the slow cooker as a legitimate meal preparation option.
I personally have doubts that it is the latter, but nevertheless, this widespread popularity of the slowcooker generally has me wondering about how the proponents of the slowcooker will cope with the preservation of their trusty appliances now that we have entered a time of uncertainty for the economy; that we are now at a point when so many are rather uncertain of where their own personal economic futures lay - whether they will have a job a few months from now, that I wonder how they will handle the important decision, whenever it should arrive, of what to do when the slow cooker stops cooking? In other words, will home cooks simply contuinue to buy a new appliance when the current one shows serious signs of its age, or will more and more devoted Crock-Pot users begin to search for more budget-minded alternatives such as shopping/hunting around for fairly priced Crock Pot replacement parts, or maybe try harder to find used slowcookers available in good shape at sensible prices? Many shrewd shoppers already know that the second hand or used goods market can often serve as a potentially great money-saving alternative to shelling out for a brand new home appliance, an appliance which, when brand new, could conceivably end up costing you much more of your hard earned dollars. Nonetheless nowhere near as many people seem to be aware that many of the likely problem areas of the crock pot can potentialy be addressed by the timely use of replacement parts. Whether it is a lid handle or a stoneware crock liner or something else, your typical crock-pot can be maintained almost indefinitely by the purchase of the relevant replacement parts when or if needed. It just seems that people have only recently started to become more aware of this reality, but - as the saying goes,'better late than never.' And really, if you have the choice, you stand to save quite a bit of money by choosing to purchase a replacement part such as a replacement crock pot liner for say $20 to $30, instead of shelling out $50 or more for a completely new crock pot.
Clearly, the current state of the economy can only help to encourage both the practises of buying second-hand and buying replacement parts whenever applicable. Even if the economy should turn itself around sooner rather than later, these two trends are ones that I do not see abating anytime soon.
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