A convenience product is something designed to make a person’s life easier. Sometimes, though, these products are more trouble than they’re worth by complicating things when they are supposed to simplify!
#1: Self-Cleaning Litterboxes
Self-cleaning litterboxes seem awfully convenient. I mean, who wouldn’t want something to deal with your pet’s waste so you don’t have to? But behind the facade of simplicity, these things are complete nightmares. First of all, the cost to maintain these things are truly unreasonable – over $100 just for the litter box, and from then on you must continuously pay for “refills” of the trays and bags, special litters, and who knows what else? Second, these boxes require EXTRA cat litter (read: extra cost) because the cat urine needs to be able to form a hard ball without touching the bottom of the box. If the clump sticks to the bottom of the litter box, you have to scrape it off by hand. The rake that moves the waste into the collection tray often gets caked and must be carefully removed and manually cleaned as well. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take my $1 scooper for hands-off contact over this mess any day!
#2: Disposable Hand Towels
A few major companies have now started producing “disposable hand towels” to replace your normal bathroom hand towels at home. It’s extremely wasteful to throw away a towel every time you wash your hands. It is also offensive. It is implying that your home-washed hand towels are ‘dirty’ and that the methods we’ve all used for years are ineffecient or outdated. And finally, it’s expensive! You pay for a hand towel in your bathroom once, you pay for these towels every time you use them. One box of these run between $3-5, and presuming you need to dry your hands several times a day, you will have to replace it once or twice a week. Honestly, I’d rather just have spend the money on higher quality old-fashioned terry cloth towels.
#3: “Convenience” Food
Studies have shown that convenience food doesn’t really cut food prep time by much at all. Convenience food is actually more geared toward people who lack cooking skills. All these foods do is turn a simple meal into a science experiment with powdered cheeses and tons of measuring. The companies who make these foods are relying on the fact that you need their ‘cream of whatever’ to get dinner on the table, and that you’d be lost without it. Fresh food doesn’t take much longer to prepare at all, and by the way – it’s cheaper and healthier.
#4: Food Processors
Food processors can be effective in the kitchen, but often, they are not worth it. With the amount of time and effort it takes to disassemble, clean, dry, reassemble, and put away, you could have pulverized, chopped, or otherwise blended the food together yourself – and probably in less time. The only time these things are convenient are when you simply can’t do it yourself. (Or, on television, where the chefs have people who clean up after them.)
Since when did TV’s require a degree in rocket science to operate? Television was originally invented for the convenience and entertainment of being able to view entertainment and news from one’s own home. Nowadays, good luck trying to figure out the complicated remotes, numerous “auxiliary” settings (one for every kind of other device you could want to hook up), and complications programming in new channels. I have purposely kept an “old” television because of its simplicity: plug it in, turn it on.