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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VictoriaF
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by VictoriaF »

My greatest quality of life improvement came from the purchase of seven 6-shelf HON metal bookcases. For the first time in my life, most of my books stand vertically on shelves instead of lying in horizontal stacks.

Victoria
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larryinnewyork
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by larryinnewyork »

For dusting inside the house, Swiffer Dusters. I HATE DUST !!!
They make dusting quick & easy. Check them out.

A little off topic, but, I also like the way I live as I've gotten older,
1) Cleaned out the house of (good) stuff I don't use any more
I like looking in my closet and saying, "I wear every thing".
2) Better prepared for Emergencies
* Extra Sump Pumps
* Various Fire Extinguishers
* Purchase some nifty auto Tools and Testers

Now that I don't work any more, everything around the house is fixed and painted.
Same with my vehicle.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by TomatoTomahto »

... and some huge new fluffy towels to start (and end?) the day "right".
Please send me your worn-out and rough towels. I can't stand fluffy towels; drying off after a shower is supposed to get the blood flowing. Tastes differ. Ymmv.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by ResearchMed »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
... and some huge new fluffy towels to start (and end?) the day "right".
Please send me your worn-out and rough towels. I can't stand fluffy towels; drying off after a shower is supposed to get the blood flowing. Tastes differ. Ymmv.
Use some starch. :shock:

And a nice gritty body exfoliant!

RM
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scone
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by scone »

A can opener from OXO that folds over the edges of the can and lid, so they aren't sharp. No more sliced fingers!

A waiter's combination bottle opener and corkscrew from Sur La Table. It has a little knife blade for removing the foil covering the cork. They don't seem to carry it anymore.

A green Depression glass juicer that works better than anything else I've tried.

Butcher block counters, and commercial vinyl kitchen floor. Easy to clean, relatively warm, and not loud.
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knowsnothing
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by knowsnothing »

Crockpot / slow-cooker

Can make some really great (and large - plenty of leftovers) meals in one for when you don't feel like using the oven.
theunknowntech
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by theunknowntech »

A sawzall.

Also a pair of Felco F2 pruners (for the roses and other things of whirling beauty.)
crit
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by crit »

A range hood that vents externally. I really hate smelling a meal prep that hangs around for days.
Revos
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Revos »

lightheir wrote:"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie kondo
Honestly just got this on audible because of your post and I was bored. I keep laughing at myself because I would never get anything like this on my own, let alone read something like this.... But its really good! Thanks for sharing!
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VictoriaF
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by VictoriaF »

Revos wrote:
lightheir wrote:"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie kondo
Honestly just got this on audible because of your post and I was bored. I keep laughing at myself because I would never get anything like this on my own, let alone read something like this.... But its really good! Thanks for sharing!
Were you bored or was it really good?

Victoria
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Dimitri
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Dimitri »

VictoriaF wrote:
Revos wrote:
lightheir wrote:"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie kondo
Honestly just got this on audible because of your post and I was bored. I keep laughing at myself because I would never get anything like this on my own, let alone read something like this.... But its really good! Thanks for sharing!
Were you bored or was it really good?

Victoria
In my opinion it is really that good. The English language book is an excellent translation of the original Japanese (according to my wife).

Here is what the New York Times had to say about Marie Kando's best-seller - http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/garde ... kondo.html

And an article from the Wall Street Journal - http://www.wsj.com/articles/marie-kondo ... 1424970535
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jimmyq
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by jimmyq »

A pizza stone. Love the way the pizza crust comes out when cooked on one.
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TxAg
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by TxAg »

Plants around the porch (front and back) as well as indoor plants. Fun, look good, educational, and improves air quality (indoors).


We are in a similar situation ...a few large purchases we have made to help us enjoy our home and stay comfortable for a long time. One was a new fence, and number two is a sprinkler system.
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vitaflo
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by vitaflo »

SmartThings home automation. I don't know how many times I've forgotten to close the garage door when I leave, now I can be alerted and close it remotely.

ScanSnap document scanner. So easy to scan and get rid of all this paper!

Rain Gauge. I know my plants/lawn need about 1" of water per week. This lets me know how much is coming from the sky so I don't overwater like my neighbors do. Saves a lot on water bills, plus it's cool to see after every rain.
Atilla
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Atilla »

Bose Soundlink Mini 2. The thing is awesome - it's cranking out music from the hallway between our two offices - bluetooth connected to my cell phone streaming music from a west coast radio station. :sharebeer
leonard
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by leonard »

livesoft wrote:
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.
Really just more highlighting that I think pets are more expensive than people realize before they have them.

On one of our last kitties, we hit the jackpot - so to speak. Or, actually, our vet hit the jackpot.
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Spin
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Spin »

Wow, what a bunch of interesting items. This is giving me some great ideas on how to boost our quality of life without really breaking the bank.

I think a ceiling fan, new Bose speakers or an Echo, and a bunch of new kitchen items are in the que for us to buy. Hopefully we can give ourselves a small makeover for a few hundred bucks. It's the little things in life :D
bloom2708
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by bloom2708 »

An Ecobee3 smart thermostat. A B&D toaster oven. A free library card.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BahamaMan
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by BahamaMan »

Honeywell Wireless Thermostats. Hooks to your home network and lets you monitor your heat when you're away for the winter. Sends an e-mail if your house temp drops to low. And you don't even have to get up from your couch to adjust the Temp!
ShortInSeattle
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by ShortInSeattle »

Hue programmable lights. (wake up lights, movie lights, reading lights, choose your colors!)
Toto Washlet Bidet (heated seat, auto-lift lid "salutes" you upon approach, a squeaky clean backside.)

I thought the Hue lights were overkill, but we use them all the time.

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HoopDiddyDiddy
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by HoopDiddyDiddy »

Just came back to note my add-on bidet/fancy toilet seat. I love and rely on this thing so much that I have a spare in the closet just in case it goes kablooey.
It will change your life!!
LOVE.
Jd1006
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Jd1006 »

Sonos wifi hifi sound system. I have 4 speakers in our house, we use it daily, and it was easy to setup, works as advertised and sounds great.

Vitamix blender...use it everyday...easy to clean, versatile and powerful
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gatorman
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by gatorman »

jebmke wrote:Corkscrew
Yes, but not just any corkscrew, this corkscrew:

http://www.amazon.com/Waiters-Friend-Wi ... =corkscrew

I've owned a ton of corkscrews, this type is the easiest to use and extracts the cork the most reliably of all those I've tried.

gatorman
reneeh63
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by reneeh63 »

HoopDiddyDiddy wrote:Just came back to note my add-on bidet/fancy toilet seat. I love and rely on this thing so much that I have a spare in the closet just in case it goes kablooey.
It will change your life!!
LOVE.

...I hear a lot of good things but how do you try one out when even the cheapest are more than $200?! :confused ...and you CAN spend thousands! Just doesn't seem there's any way for that to be cost effective, or enjoyable at that price.
livesoft
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by livesoft »

reneeh63 wrote:
HoopDiddyDiddy wrote:Just came back to note my add-on bidet/fancy toilet seat. I love and rely on this thing so much that I have a spare in the closet just in case it goes kablooey.
It will change your life!!
LOVE.

...I hear a lot of good things but how do you try one out when even the cheapest are more than $200?! :confused ...and you CAN spend thousands! Just doesn't seem there's any way for that to be cost effective, or enjoyable at that price.
Practically every decent hotel in Japan has these things with remote control, too. So a nice vacation to Japan can let you try one out.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by ResearchMed »

livesoft wrote:
reneeh63 wrote:
HoopDiddyDiddy wrote:Just came back to note my add-on bidet/fancy toilet seat. I love and rely on this thing so much that I have a spare in the closet just in case it goes kablooey.
It will change your life!!
LOVE.

...I hear a lot of good things but how do you try one out when even the cheapest are more than $200?! :confused ...and you CAN spend thousands! Just doesn't seem there's any way for that to be cost effective, or enjoyable at that price.
Practically every decent hotel in Japan has these things with remote control, too. So a nice vacation to Japan can let you try one out.
There are some bathroom fixture showrooms near us that have bathrooms with these installed for trials.
Personally (and it sure is personal!), I can't see "sharing" one of these devices with strangers, not even in a hotel.

This conversation has triggered an online search here at home and we are both online doing our due diligence.
Although these products are generally not returnable once used, there is at least one company that has 5 models that they will accept back within 30 days ("We're so confident you'll love these bidet seats - if you're not completely satisfied with the performance of the product, send it back and we'll give you a refund. It doesn't get any better than this!")
This is bidetsPLUS (and we are NOT recommending anything at all, just passing along the information).

That happens to include one of interest.
But this company doesn't deal with Kohler, so there's no full comparison chart with features - or haven't found one yet... still looking...

RM
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Ninegrams
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Ninegrams »

Lodge cast iron pizza pan:

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Pro-Logic-P ... B0000E2V3X


Makes fantastic pizza and you can use it on the stove top for pancakes and such.
livesoft
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by livesoft »

Mmmm, these recent posts made me hungry, so it's pancakes for brunch today (made in my trash dumpster Sunbeam well-seasoned electric skillet vintage 1950's).
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BL
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by BL »

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:

:beerCheers,
packet
Brand, please? I see so many on Amazon.
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packet
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by packet »

BL wrote:
packet wrote:... electric fly swatter....
Brand, please? I see so many on Amazon.
One thing to look out for are the ones with a safety mesh or screen... they don't work nearly as well.
The Executioner
This shows for $29... either I caught a deal a couple months ago... or I'm so happy with it that I've reduced the price in my head... :)

Happy hunting!

:beerCheers,
packet
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MN-Investor
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by MN-Investor »

1) First Alert Water Alarms - When we get a lot of rain, we may get water in a couple of spots in our basement. It we catch it early, it's usually very manageable. These very loud, inexpensive alarms allow us to sleep at night, knowing that they'll keep an eye on the basement for us.

2) Inexpensive bath towels or beach towels on sale at the end of the season - to keep in the car. You can wipe off sweat, wipe up spills, wipe off windows, cover up items, keep legs warms, drape over the seats to keep the summer sun off them when parked, etc.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.
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BL
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by BL »

packet wrote:
BL wrote:
packet wrote:... electric fly swatter....
Brand, please? I see so many on Amazon.
One thing to look out for are the ones with a safety mesh or screen... they don't work nearly as well.
The Executioner
This shows for $29... either I caught a deal a couple months ago... or I'm so happy with it that I've reduced the price in my head... :)

Happy hunting!

:beerCheers,
packet
Thanks. I will check it out.
poker27
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by poker27 »

Steamer, mine just broke after 4 years and have a new one in the box
Spotify subscription
Anything quality. I'm done with throwing away couches or desks after a year

I need to checkout the roomba. I have a small/medium dog that sheds like crazy. Just concerned that he will attack the dang thing
daveatca
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sharpness

Post by daveatca »

Image
For your high quality knives
HIinvestor
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by HIinvestor »

1. Roomba programmable electronic vacuum cleaner
Seriously, our kids like them so much, they bought their own when they moved into their own places--college and beyond. It makes vacuuming mindless and automatic. It's really great for allergy sufferers as it reduces dust, dust mites, pollen and other allergens.

2. Electric rice pot--pretty much an essential small electronic in HI households. Some have settings that cook oatmeal, brown rice, white rice, mixed, and sweet rice. You can make other things in this as well.

3. Screen front door so we can have cross ventilation. When we want to, we can still close and lock the front door.

4. Kitchen and appliances we enjoy--when you are going to replace anyway, do some research and buy what meets your needs and wants. Sometimes it's just buying a fridge that has shelves on the door the way you want them with actual bins on them instead of a flimsy piece of plastic that allows things to slide under them and make the door nonfunctional for storing items. This made a huge difference in our household happiness!
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dratkinson
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by dratkinson »

Kuhn Rikon Safety Deluxe Lid Lifter (America's Test Kitchen favorite: red head, chrome handle). A can opener that allows the lid to be use as a top to store leftovers in same can.

Automatic garage lights. Homemade relay that allows garage door opener lamp socket to control all garage lights. Now when I come home late, all the garage light come on when the door opens---most cheery. And since multiple lights (4 double florescent tube fixtures) are on, there is not the single-point failure issue with the single garage door opener light. Relay and socket from Radio Shack. Electrical box and miscellaneous parts from Home Depot. Wiring diagram from prior experience.

Lava hand soap (bar). Only thing I've found that will scrub grease out of skin creases.

Was on an emergency lighting kick for a while and settled on these.

--Lite Saver from cs-power.com. They are 3-way lights: night light, flashlight, power failure light. Four easily plug into a double duplex outlet box and each lasts 12 hours, so a compact long-lasting portable emergency home lighting solution. Li-ion battery technology.

--Leviton LEDFL-WHT 3-way lights: night light, flashlight, power failure light, from ACE Hardware. 8 hour run time. Flashlight is worthless, but night light/power failure light is amber and makes an unobtrusive bathroom night light. Ni-MH battery technology.



You all have got me thinking again about adopting a pet. Choice is between Roomba and Neato. If I get one, will name him Elmer (Elmer Fudd), because his job will be to chase the wasically dust-bunny wabbits.
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LiveSimple
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by LiveSimple »

Do need to add my Fish Aquarium here :D
mcblum
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by mcblum »

SR II wrote earlier about ceiling fans. Put two in upstairs bedrooms 25 years ago. Best small purchase ever.Marty
leftcoaster
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by leftcoaster »

kmb727 wrote:
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!
Which steamer?
canderson
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by canderson »

Automatic timers for lights.

No more turning off/on lamps, worrying if they're on, etc.
kmb727
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by kmb727 »

leftcoaster wrote:
Which steamer?
I have an older model of this one: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/home ... ?ID=478773

There are certainly fancier ones out there I'm sure, but it has done me well for 6+ years.
jay22
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by jay22 »

canderson wrote:Automatic timers for lights.

No more turning off/on lamps, worrying if they're on, etc.
Recommendations for a particular one? I am also looking to install those around the house.
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black jack
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by black jack »

TiVo.

Sony shower radio.

Kindle: if I'd had one forty years ago, I'd have a lot more open wall space in my home now.

Hammock: not one with a spreader bar, one of the ripstop nylon ones. To understand why, see http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/s ... ock-guide/. We bought one at my teen daughter's urging, but I've been its major user, taking a nap in it every weekend I've been home this summer.
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canderson
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by canderson »

jay22 wrote:
canderson wrote:Automatic timers for lights.

No more turning off/on lamps, worrying if they're on, etc.
Recommendations for a particular one? I am also looking to install those around the house.
We picked up the cheapest ones we could find at Lowes. IIRC they were around $7/each. Lamp plug goes into unt, unit plugs into wall.

I wish I could find as easy and cheap a solution for overhead lights, I'd love the light above our sink to be on a timer too.
WL2034
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by WL2034 »

Jd1006 wrote: Vitamix blender...use it everyday...easy to clean, versatile and powerful

Same here, great value even at the higher price point compared to other blenders.
beachlover
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by beachlover »

Outdoor TV antenna - free over-the-air digital broadcast is great for hi-def ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and FOX (plus a few local also rans). We augment with Netflix and streaming programming from the web using Chromecast.
HoopDiddyDiddy
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by HoopDiddyDiddy »

reneeh63 wrote:
...I hear a lot of good things but how do you try one out when even the cheapest are more than $200?! :confused ...and you CAN spend thousands! Just doesn't seem there's any way for that to be cost effective, or enjoyable at that price.
Amazon Joy Bidet $25.
I have one of these and a fancier one I inherited and the $25 one is just as good.
Don't let the "cold" water scare you- it is refreshing.
And the water has been sitting in pipes indoors, so not that cold at all.
TheGreyingDuke
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TheGreyingDuke

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

This wood pellet fired pizza stove:

http://uuni.net/

Gets to 850 Fahrenheit and has taken my pizza making to a whole new level.

Second would be an electric water boiler, fast and efficient.
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pezblanco
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by pezblanco »

jebmke wrote:Corkscrew
+1. So much easier than digging it out with a screwdriver! :D
Woodshark
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Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Post by Woodshark »

I love my wonder winder. It is a wall mounted extension cord storage and winding device. They run around $20 and make life so much easier for those of us who are deploying a power cord to run this tool or that trimmer.
Been using this in my garage for 3 years now, works as advertised. Wraps up my 100 foot extension cord like a charm.
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