A backyard grill
Buy this: Weber Genesis E-310 gas grill ($700)
Ax this: Eating out once per week
Start saving in: One summer
Bonus: Since you control the food you buy, grilling can be a healthier option than dining out
It may seem far-fetched that buying something as decadent as a giant barbecue could be a money-saver. But behavioral economist Ariely actually experienced first-hand how a seemingly hedonistic object can be a value. "It was just a pleasure to watch in action," he says. So he and his family used it, a lot, and it became a substitute for going out to eat.
The key is to splurge only on those features you're actually going to use, says Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor of Consumer Reports. "Rotisseries are one of the features people think they're really going to use, but don't," she says. Also, don't be seduced by the BTU figure. "In our testing, grills with higher BTUs didn't heat up faster or sear better," she says.