If you know me, you know I'm all about budgeting. But this is the one case where I go overboard - like really overboard. So here's my confession: I have a certified reconditioned Standard Vitamix and it cost me $249 and I have no regrets.
A Vitamix is the gold standard of blenders, known for its impressive power and high quality design. And it is so, so worth the price. I've had mine for about 4 months now and have been continually impressed by its strength and power. I use it for EVERYTHING. I make smoothies every day and the texture is perfectly smooth in seconds. This all being said, a brand new Vitamix is uber expensive, so the secret here is Vitamix's certified refurbished program. What does that mean? It's basically blenders that have been returned or were demo models in the store, meaning they were mostly likely never used - or barely used. Mine came wrapped up in plastic like new! Every blender has to pass a 17-point checklist ensured by Vitamix itself. You're getting what is essentially a new, expensive blender for less.
Before I invested a good chunk of change on this machine, I wanted to do more research. What really got me was every certified reconditioned Vitamix comes with a 5 year full warranty. FIVE YEARS. You can even make it an 8 year warranty for an additional $75. Part of the reason I went with Vitamix was the phenomenal customer service they have. Reviews raved about how they stand behind their products and that the warranty process is a breeze. I don't expect my wonderful machine to break anytime soon, but it's comforting knowing that my rather expensive investment is well supported. Plus, this thing is POWERFUL. Horsepower means nothing to me, but know that this machine can literally take a blender full of cold ingredients and turn them into a hot, steaming soup in 6 minutes. Wow.
If you're looking for a quality blender without splurging for the Vitamix, check out some write-ups to decide what model is best for you. Be warned, though. You do get what you pay for. I've owned various models, from $15 blenders to $40 blenders to $100 blenders, and the money I invested in my Vitamix proves the difference in quality a thousand times over. Look at it this way: if you're using a blender frequently, like I do, it can wear out in about a year (or even shorter). My Vitamix is guaranteed to last 5 years under the warranty or they'll give me a new one - that means it's only costing me $50 a year to own (or $41 per year if you extend to the 8 year warranty). If you're replacing a $50 or $40 or $30 blender each year, you might as well invest in the Vitamix for the long term and get a much more superior product that will actually do what you want without having to stick a spoon in there and move things around because the blade keeps getting stuck and hey - does it smell like burning plastic to you? No such worries with the Vitamix.
Wait, back up. Why do I need a blender?
In addition to making actual blended things, like smoothies, milkshakes, margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, piña coladas (see where I'm going here?) and more, a good blender doubles as a versatile kitchen appliance. A blender can do a lot of your food processing work for you if you're not a frequent or fancy chef. I use my blender to blend soups like red lentil soup, to make sauces smooth, for pesto, salsa, whipped cream, muffin mix, pancake mix, homemade hummus, and so much more. Vitamix's are especially impressive at getting tough jobs done - like making homemade nut butters, non-dairy milks like almond milk, and juicing - and these 52 other things. Blenders facilitate eating healthfully and cooking quickly, all on one convenient appliance. And if it's go big or go home, a (certified reconditioned) Vitamix is the answer.
Note: I am not being paid to say this. But hey, @Vitamix, I wouldn't be opposed!