Is a quality gas grill really worth paying more for?
We purchased a new gas grill over the weekend. I’ve been shopping and reading about them for a few months as we slowly saved our money for one. After all of my research, I decided to buy a Weber E-310, which consistently received excellent reviews from every source I found. The Weber is very expensive though and right at $700.00. The question of “is quality really worth paying more for” kept looming in the back of my mind.
Since moving into our new home in October of 2008, we’ve been grilling on a cheap Weber “go-anywhere” portable grill. While it does an decent job, we needed something larger and nicer as we grill out very frequently. In the past we had owned other grills, but never a Weber. Within 1 year, we always had to replace the burners and other miscellaneous parts of those grills. I wanted something nicer, something that that would last.
This week, due to some flexible spending account reimbursements, we finally had enough money in the “grill savings account” to go buy a new grill. We headed to Wal-Mart to get the Weber, as Wal-Mart had the lowest price by $50.00 Fortunately, they were out (yes, I said fortunately…keep reading). They had other grills there that I looked at, but nothing that even came close to the Weber. Next we went to Lowe’s. The Weber at Lowe’s was a little more, but I intended to have them match the Wal-Mart price.
Before picking up the grill and heading to the check-out line, I decided to shop around one more time. In addition to Weber, Lowe’s carries Char-broil as well as other various brands. Char-broil makes a good grill, and we’ve owned them in the past. Our only issue with them was surface rusting and the short lifespan of their burners. But I looked anyway, always wanting to be a smart shopper.
Lowe’s had a Char-broil “commercial series” model 403 grill that they sell exclusively at Lowe’s. The 403 is a stainless steel, 4 burner grill with plenty of room for even the largest of outdoor family events. The 403 looks very similar to this one. The cost? 299.00. That’s $400 less expensive than the Weber. The question reared it’s head again: Is quality really worth paying more for? More specifically is the Weber really $400 better than the Char-broil?
Long story short, I bought the Char-broil. Why? Well, to be perfectly honest the main reason was that had I bought the Weber for $400.00 more, I would have been kicking myself. I wanted a great grill, but just wasn’t willing to dish out the extra $400.00, at least not in the current stage of my financial journey. I can think of a large number of things we could use that $400.00 on. Is the Weber worth the extra money? Maybe. But honestly Lowe’s has tons of replacement parts for the Char-broil grills and they’re cheap. I could continue to replace the burners and other parts on the Char-broil for a few years before even getting close to the cost of the initial cost of the Weber.
In the end, we purchased the Char-broil for $300, bought a nice grill cover, a new gas tank, a rotisserie attachment and some cleaning brushes. All for less than $400.00, still $300.00 less than the Weber. With all of these “extras”, the Weber would have run us close to $800.00. The additional $300.00 went into my “laptop savings account” for the Apple Macbook Pro I am saving to buy, but that’s the topic for another article.
How about you? Is quality really worth paying more for? Should I have bought the Weber? How do you go about making similar decisions? Add a comment, I’d appreciate it.
Photo by: dougww