Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Spin
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Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Spin »

What has been your favorite or most rewarding small purchase for around-the-house use? My spouse and I have decided to stay in our smaller home for a while longer and invest a larger percentage of our income. Since we will not be moving, we are looking at little ways to improve our quality of life...creature comforts with a high bang for the buck factor.

We love to make large family breakfasts, so we've already purchased an oversized electric griddle (we have three younguns who can eat).

I'm curious what others on here have found rewarding...
livesoft
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by livesoft »

A dog.
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steadyeddy
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by steadyeddy »

In the same vein as a griddle, our spice organizer makes me smile every time I open the cupboard and see it.
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rbrown599
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by rbrown599 »

A vacuum specifically to clean the carpet on my stairs. I cannot believe I ever did without.
GoldenFinch
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by GoldenFinch »

I keep promising myself I will buy one of those steamer things for getting the wrinkles out of clothes. I hate ironing and I think I could easily use the steamer on a lot of shirts and dresses in minimal time. I just keep forgetting to buy it. Hopefully it is not a waste of money. If I ever get one, I will update with a review.
lightheir
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by lightheir »

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie kondo
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packet
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by packet »

We live on a farm... I enjoy time on the porch with a cold brew... the best twenty bucks I've ever spent was on an electric fly swatter.

Cherish the small pleasures... :twisted:

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denovo
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by denovo »

packet wrote:We live on a farm... I enjoy time on the porch with a cold brew... the best twenty bucks I've ever spent was on an electric fly swatter.

Cherish the small pleasures... :twisted:

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packet
The cat on your avatar looks like the best small purchase you made!
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Two things that have delighted me with their purchase:

1. Echo. I have really been surprised at how good the music sounds from the one-piece unit. I like the Amazon Prime Music that I can play simply by saying, "Alexa, play some xxxxxxxx." More times than not my requested music will start playing. There are a lot of artists in the Amazon Prime Music library. Special offer $99. I like it a lot.

2. My Bissell floor sweeper. Just like the ones you see in eateries wielded by servers sweeping up the crumbs from the crackers given to little ones to keep them quiet. I seem to make a mess with my popcorn, and I hate to cause my CNA more work. $23.53. Works fine for me.

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packet
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by packet »

denovo wrote:The cat on your avatar looks like the best small purchase you made!
Thank you... however... that handsome fella was not a purchase, but a rescue... thus not considered in answering this posted query... :)

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SmileyFace
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by SmileyFace »

Kurig (single cup brew) coffee machine. A fresh cup of coffee anytime I want one with various types to choose from each time.
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Bengineer
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Bengineer »

Possibly a little more than "small", but little interior things that make life easier:
  • Pull out shelves for the kitchen lower & pantry cabinets.
  • A platform for the W/D that 3 laundry baskets slide under. Clothes sorted by H/W/C on the way in.
  • Clips & hooks for the mops, brooms, duster, flash light and fire extinguisher in the laundry closet.
  • A second row of shelves in the closets.
  • A nice aluminum step-stool/ladder that fits behind a door. Light, flicks open with one hand.
  • Simple shelves in the bath to hold the towel sets.
Leemiller
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Leemiller »

GoldenFinch wrote:I keep promising myself I will buy one of those steamer things for getting the wrinkles out of clothes. I hate ironing and I think I could easily use the steamer on a lot of shirts and dresses in minimal time. I just keep forgetting to buy it. Hopefully it is not a waste of money. If I ever get one, I will update with a review.
It is fantastic. I have one and I too hate ironing. I can't remember the last time I ironed at this point!
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by 123 »

Flannel sheets, useful pretty much anywhere at some time of the year, except maybe Hawaii.
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Leemiller
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Leemiller »

I can't believe I hadn't heard of the Echo!!

I love my insta hot water faucet. No more waiting for hot water when I want to wash something. Also, a good meat thermometer. Vacuum sealer for wine - makes the wine last longer. Garlic press.

I like nice bed linens. Quality sheets & good pillows. I just got an amazing velvet coverlet.

Dimmers on my lights.

Rug pads. I get the most expensive one from rug pad USA. Huge difference to me at least (especially with my cheap kitchen rugs).

I've been thinking about a food sealer machine that sucks the air out of sandwich bags.
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lthenderson
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by lthenderson »

I made a 24" x 36" cutting board out of catulpa wood for my kitchen counter. I love having lots of room for slicing and dicing during food prep and not trying to contain everything on a small plastic cutting board. I rub it down occasionally with a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax so it looks beautiful enough to just stay out all the time.
dad2000
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by dad2000 »

Amazon Fire Stick. I think they were 2 for $35.

Netflix, after cancelling all premium cable TV.

A good blender. Aging fruit gets turned into yummy smoothies.
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chickadee
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by chickadee »

My Roomba and Scooba.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Roku 3
Additions to my toolbox
Wireless keyboard and wireless trackball for my PC
Roomba
Electric mattress pad
Coffee grinder

Not so small but could not do without:
Quality A/V equipment (emphasis on audio--one component at a time if necessary)
leonard
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by leonard »

livesoft wrote:A dog.
Small purchase? Physically small maybe, but financially the vet makes it quite a big purchase.
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Alex Frakt »

Roku. Decent kids programming via Netflix and Amazon Prime (which we had anyway). Better yet, once we had it I was able to convince my wife to let me cancel Showtime and HBO, so it has paid for itself several times over.

Wall-mount magnetic knife rack, mine's from Ikea. And a couple of decent knives and a sharpening steel to hang on it :-)
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Jazztonight »

lightheir wrote:"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie kondo
+1
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snowshoes
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by snowshoes »

What % of your home time is sleeping, run the numbers. I'd suggest considering enhancing that mind & body recuperative down time.
mhalley
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by mhalley »

Some type of blender to make smoothies. I really enjoy my protein shake after coming home from the gym.
An electric lotion warmer. I put some shaving cream in it and turn it on, and when i get out of the shower it i nice and warm on my face.
Portable blutooth speaker for listening to i heart radio.
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Dimitri »

snowshoes wrote:What % of your home time is sleeping, run the numbers. I'd suggest considering enhancing that mind & body recuperative down time.
+1 I vote for Tempur-Pedic. Costco has them on sale right now if you are a member. I've had my pillow since 1994 and my mattress since 2002. Among the best purchases I've ever made. Considering that you spend one-third of your life in bed you should sleep as well as you possibly can.
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whatusername?
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by whatusername? »

Electric mattress pad. Nothing cozier than getting into warm sheets when it's cold out. It sounds like a little thing but it's actually hugely awesome.
walnut
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by walnut »

In the breakfast category; a Krupp Egg Cooker and a French Press coffee maker.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by TomatoTomahto »

A good rice cooker (Zojirushi). I make oatmeal in it probably 4 times a week.
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livesoft
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by livesoft »

leonard wrote:
livesoft wrote:A dog.
Small purchase? Physically small maybe, but financially the vet makes it quite a big purchase.
Our annual vet costs seem to be lower than some of the other annual costs in this thread, but maybe we are in a low-cost-of-vet-area.

But if a dog is perceived as too expensive, a pair of budgies is even less expensive. No vet costs (at least for us over decades) and bird seed is cheap.
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goodlifer
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by goodlifer »

I ripped out all of the wire shelving in the house we bought and replaced with wood. No more tipping cans or bottles. And my best Joan Crawford impersonation was wasted on a California Closets employee when I picked up a length of shelving and exclaimed, "No more wire shelving... EVER!!!" and she had no clue what I was yelling about. I still think it was a good purchase, and a good impression. I think she was afraid of me, though.

I bought 1,000 thread count sheet sets from overstock.com back when nobody ever heard of overstock.com or 1,000 thread ct sets. And my husband thought I was nuts for spending $150 on sheets that did not include a comforter. Until he slept on them. Now when I tell him I'm buying sheets, he tells me to make sure to get the good ones.
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by goodlifer »

livesoft wrote:A dog.

I have said that things make it a house, pets make it a home. And my husband laughed derisively because he is the one that cleans up the poop.
barnaclebob
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by barnaclebob »

My cabelas branded weston vacuum sealer. So nice being able to buy primal cuts of meat and break them down into steaks. The same with whole pasture raised chickens.
southbay
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by southbay »

Spin wrote:What has been your favorite or most rewarding small purchase for around-the-house use? My spouse and I have decided to stay in our smaller home for a while longer and invest a larger percentage of our income. Since we will not be moving, we are looking at little ways to improve our quality of life...creature comforts with a high bang for the buck factor.

We love to make large family breakfasts, so we've already purchased an oversized electric griddle (we have three younguns who can eat).

I'm curious what others on here have found rewarding...
I got a Lodge brand cast iron griddle as a gift. The sort that goes over 2 burners on your stove. It is great and will last decades. I like making pancakes on weekends, it is great for breakfast lovers.
SR II
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by SR II »

A ceiling fan in our bedroom. It has been a lifesaver this summer.
tim1999
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by tim1999 »

Bose Wave radio probably 10 years ago.
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by HoopDiddyDiddy »

TomatoTomahto wrote:A good rice cooker (Zojirushi). I make oatmeal in it probably 4 times a week.
I came here to say Zojirushi!

I put groats in every evening for the next mornings breakfast and it has simplified my life beyond measure.
My husband and I are on vastly different schedules and I always had to worry about feeding him a good breakfast long before I was ready to eat. Now he can get up and eat his breakfast while mine stays nice and perfect for hours until I am ready to have some.
Organic groats, yum- you can mix in whatever you like. The current favorite is peanut butter and a banana.

It's also great for rice!!
billydelp4
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by billydelp4 »

A handful of Sonos speakers placed throughout the house. Automatically turns on each morning to play a specific playlist, turns off automatically around the time my wife heads to work. Incredibly convenient and a great sound.
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Toons »

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by jebmke »

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stickman731
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by stickman731 »

Roomba 880 from Bed, Bath and Beyond with a 20% off coupon.
kmb727
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by kmb727 »

Leemiller wrote:
GoldenFinch wrote:I keep promising myself I will buy one of those steamer things for getting the wrinkles out of clothes. I hate ironing and I think I could easily use the steamer on a lot of shirts and dresses in minimal time. I just keep forgetting to buy it. Hopefully it is not a waste of money. If I ever get one, I will update with a review.
It is fantastic. I have one and I too hate ironing. I can't remember the last time I ironed at this point!
Agreed - a steamer is a great purchase. Can't remember the last time I pulled out the ironing board.

Also, a small space heater that lives in the master bathroom. No more cold room when you get out of the shower!
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by kmb727 »

Oh, and also a SpotBot for pet messes (think long haired cat who has many hairballs):

http://www.amazon.com/BISSELL-Spotbot-H ... B003Y3AA2S

Love this thing. Keeps my carpets looking new (since of course the kitty refuses to do his hairball business on the hardwoods).
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by TheTimeLord »

Not necessarily small but we bought a leather sectional when we moved in over a decade ago. Still love it, great purchase. Besides that Dyson vacuum, WeMo light controls and a big TV. New bedding or painting a room can also freshen your home and outlook. Also look at something like a new washer and dryer. Basically anything that makes your home more comfortable and convenient so you enjoy being in the space.
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SpringMan
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by SpringMan »

I am happy with the patio storage seats I purchased. They are weather proof and look good. I have a conventional picnic table and bought one of these for each end. They are very sturdy.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Suncast-22-G ... /203240464

Another vote for Roku. I had no idea how much use we would get out of it.
Last edited by SpringMan on Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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texasred
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by texasred »

Good pots and pans, cooking utensils and dinnerware. Keep the house up to date even if you plan on living in it awhile. Also, closet organizers.
DoTheMath
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by DoTheMath »

+100 on the robot vacuum. We have two dogs and our Neato is a huge life improvement.
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LiveSimple
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by LiveSimple »

Single serve omelet pan. Kids make their own eggs for their sandwiches / snack.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by ResearchMed »

Assuming you are not up for remodeling your bathroom (just the master, if you have more than one bathroom), then...

How about getting a fancy adjustable (multiple settings for flow strength/type) shower head and some huge new fluffy towels to start (and end?) the day "right".

Those would work well with the nice luxury new sheet set others have suggested :happy

And do consider a new mattress.
Is there a hotel where you stayed and said, "Wow... this bed is amazing!"?
Many now sell them.

You spend more time using the bed than probably anything else.

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reisner
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by reisner »

The dogs--Dutch Shepherd, Llewellin English setter. My internet radio.
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by blink32 »

Breville® The Smart Oven™ Convection Toaster Oven

Not the cheapest thing out there for sure but it is absolutely the best Toaster Oven I have ever been able to use. Normally I prefer more manual appliances without fancy electronic controls, just On, Off and manual timers type deals. But after using multiple models like that and then spending months using one of these It was the only way I was going to fly. Especially if you're cooking for a limited number of people or limited sized meals.
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