I have had a Roomba in my house since the first year they were out. It was a major splurge for me, but the Roomba has been a staple in our house for at least 6 years. We really love it! Last year we found a great deal at Target and bought a second one, a little bit of an upgrade, and love it too. Earlier this summer we splurged on a Scooba--and it too has become a favorite in our house!
I'm horrible at cleaning. No really, I am. I think FlyLady rocks and have learned a lot from her, but in general, I did not get the "clean gene" most women seem to have. I grew up in a messy house and never learned how to clean. I love my Roombas and Scoobas because instead of focusing on vacuuming and mopping, we can work on other things instead. Which in the end, leaves us more time for the things we really value--spending time as a family.
I tell you all of this because Amazon has a great deal on a Roomba right now. Its entry level, the most basic model, but finally the robot vaccuum is within reach of most households. Its priced at $69.99 with free Super Saver shipping--and includes a bonus free subscriptionto Bon Appetit for a year.
Roomba isn't perfect--it doesn't get corners or stairs. But it will pick up more pet hair than your standard vacuum (I had a Hoover Windtunnel and a Eureka somethingorother and would vacuum, then run Roomba--you wouldn't believe the pet hair and dust that would come up with the Roomba!), it runs on its own, goes from carpet to vinyl/hardwood/tile without skipping a beat, and will do our entire first floor on a single charge. We run it once or twice a week and are really happy with the results! (Our older, second Roomba is assigned to the bedrooms, we run it in one room every week.) Our first Roomba cost us nearly $150 six or seven years ago. Our second one was $99 at Target last year.
Scooba is my little darling. A little more expensive at around $230, its been well worth it for us. Our floors are older, white and show every little footprint and crumb. Since we have two young kids, our floors are NEVER clean. We used a steam mop and loved it, but it was a lot of time and work to get it out several times a week. Our floors never seemed like they stayed clean. Like Roomba, Scooba doesn't get corners and its not a heavy-duty scrubbing mop, but it definitely gets the daily crumbs and the footprints up! Now we get out the steam mop every 2-3 weeks and do touch ups. Well worth it for us! Instead of cleaning chemicals, we use hot water and white vinegar in our Scooba and see good results. What I love is that it vacuums, mops and then squeegees the floor dry in one step!