It's a good idea to talk through big purchases (with your spouse, or with a knowledgeable friend) carefully before buying. The bigger the purchase, the more discussion there should be. You can save money and avoid costly mistakes with discussion.
I learned a lesson recently about not doing this with a smaller purchase. It cost me a couple of hours and $30. Here's what happened.
Frozen chickens don't lay eggs
My wife has gotten a reputation in our local circles as being “the crazy chicken lady.” We now have not one, but two coops for our eleven chickens. She built the second one because the first was made out of plastic parts, and was difficult to keep at a reasonable temperature going into the winter. (Egg production goes way down if the temperature swings get too big, as I understand it. It stresses out the chickens.)
Overall, the chicken enterprise is stabilizing with regard to building things and with the process of maintaining the chickens. Now we're looking to find ways to make the maintenance easier. As an example, we have a temperature monitor for the coop, but where it's positioned requires someone to go outside to read it.
Last week I tried to make this part a bit easier by getting a temperature monitor that we could read without going outside. It took me a couple of hours hunting around on the web to get something together. What I ended up with was a combination of a small LED temperature gauge with a three-meter DS18B20 probe, a 12-volt, 2-amp AC/DC converter, and a CCTV female 2.1-millimeter terminal to connect them.
I put them in my Amazon shopping cart. $30 shipped, should arrive Monday. Boom and done.
My boom gets lowered
The next day, I showed all of this to my wife. (She hadn't been part of the process. I worked on this to try to save some of her time.)
At this point, she tells me about a wireless temperature sensor from Walmart that works out of the box. (Mine was wired, and required some putting together. It does actually work, though.)
What made me go “ouch” was the price of this wireless sensor: $10.
Oops. Heck, I'd probably looked at that sensor at Walmart and had forgotten about it! And for the life of me I can't figure out why I didn't catch these things in my search.
Oh well. We have two temperature sensors that will work for each of the two coops, and my wife knows I have an interest in helping with the chickens besides just eating the eggs. 🙂
But I'll run purchases like this past her first. Even the little ones. Because she may have seen something cheaper, easier, and better that I wasn't aware of. Something that will save money.