I love these kinds of lists! As someone who doesn’t buy things often, I’m really interested in knowing what purchases people think are “worth it.” This isn’t to make you want to rush out and buy these exact things – just to give you an idea of the items that have made an impact in my life. The items that pay me back a little every time I use them. Of course our lifestyles might be different, and we won’t all get the same amount of use out of all of these things. Still, I think it’s a great discussion to have. I’d love to know what items are on your lists too! Here’s part one if you missed it!
Cart for walking to grocery store.
This cart was $17 on Amazon (it appears to have gone up in price though.) We bought it about a month ago when I realized that it wasn’t the walk to the store that was the problem – it was getting the groceries home afterward. When Josh bought the groceries for our family, he didn’t mind walking to the store more often and carrying it home. I, on the other hand, am more of a buy-for-the-whole-week-if-possible kind of person. So when I started doing more of the grocery shopping, I hated that I drove less than a mile to do it, but I thought it was my only feasible option. I’m excited to tell you that now I’m a convert and walking to grocery store a lot more! There are two grocery stores and several other stores within walking distance of my house. I’m excited for the opportunities that this little cart has, and will open up! Bottom line is, if there’s something you want to do and find that you aren’t doing it often – find out if there’s a reason. Maybe there’s a simple hack to make it easier that you never even thought about!
A good water bottle.
The style of water bottle doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love it and it helps remind you to drink more water. Some people really like ice, so an insulated one is best. Other people really like a straw, and think it helps them drink more water. Still other people really want one that fits in their car cup holder. Whatever your perfect water bottle is, I encourage you to find it – unless you already own it, then great! Mine is durable so I take it with me everywhere, and I never have to BUY water or use a PLASTIC water bottle. Win / win! I struggle with dehydration due to participating in sports and sweating – like, a lot. So this is extra important if you’re an active person. One good water bottle will pay for itself quite quickly in overpriced plastic water bottles. I hate the parched feeling of being thirsty, so I bring mine everywhere – and I’m always prepared if my kids are thirsty too!
We bought a Toyota Pruis a while back, and I don’t think we’d ever go back to a non-hybrid car (or perhaps electric) now. I don’t think of cars as a status symbol. I think of cars as a tool. They get me from here to there when it’s too far to walk or bike…or, let’s be honest, when I have the kids with me! In addition to the savings on gas, we are loving that this car makes less of an environmental imprint. I’m glad that hybrid and electric cars are gaining popularity and becoming more affordable! I’m not about status symbols, but if Teslas are cool then that’s at least one luxury status symbol I can get behind.
Plants are the ultimate win / win purchase in my own, humble opinion. Plants look great as decor, they clean the air, they uplift our moods. Plants are kind of in style right now, but to me, they will never go out of fashion. Bringing nature indoors is one the ways I combat my seasonal depressive disorder that pops up every winter. I can’t describe why they make me so happy, they just do. Plus it’s fun to have something to nurture and care for that doesn’t whine. Just saying. While they aren’t completely maintenance-free, they are a lot easier to care for than a pet if you go out of town. The only downside is that every now and then I get a plant doesn’t like me. Some varieties are easier to care for than others – and different people often find they have a knack for different types of plants. Some people rock at keepings succulents. Others do better with tropical plants. It took a little trial and error, but I now know the plants that work best for me, in my home. I’d encourage you not to give up if you killed a plant once. Try a different variety. Try a different window. See how it goes! It can be very quite rewarding to see your little baby plant flourish.
I buy a lot of things second-hand. I used to score used shoes all the time at the thrift store, but that was when I was younger. After actually getting sized when I bought my first pair of real running shoes, I found out I’d been wearing shoes a whole size too small my whole life! This changed everything. My feet are big, and I’m an active person who is on my feet a lot. It is really, really hard for me to find used shoes that give me what I need. But it’s actually one thing I don’t need to be super frugal about. Wearing good shoes now will hopefully pay me back in dividends as I get older. Preventing injury and stress on my body is a priority. Because of this, I no longer get everyday shoes for myself at the thrift store. (Occasion-wear, that’s a different story!) I figure my comfort and my overall health are worth investing in.
My Dyson vacuum cleaner.
I got this for my birthday when I turned 22, I think. Quite the adult-ing gift! It was all I wanted that year! It’s still going strong after all these years. The HEPA filter really gets things clean – a lot of the dust you can’t even see until you’re emptying the canister. So good to know that all that gunk isn’t in my house anymore! I have had to replace the same part twice over the years just because I use it a lot – and long hair is especially hard on vacuums. But other than an $8 replacement latch for the roller, it’s still going strong and doing it’s job!
My home gym setup.
Before you think I’m all bougie for having a home gym, let me tell you – more than half of it was used or given to us. What we did buy was the weight bench, and that was after we tried two used ones and decided we needed something larger and sturdier. A few other items were a steal on Facebook Marketplace. So it definitely doesn’t have to ALL be used, but trying used first helps you determine what you really want and need. Stay tuned, as I will write more about weightlifting in the near future. The main thing I’ve discovered financially is that things like workout equipment and gym memberships are definitely worth it – if you use them! I started my journey with just dumbbells and a normal bench for sitting that I already owned. Once I had stuck with it several months, and gained strength from the dumbbells, then Josh and I looked to expand our setup. I’m really happy to report that our setup is working well. I’ll go into more detail in another post. There’s nothing like going into my basement to workout, and having everything I need where I need it, when I need it – and I can still hear my kids upstairs if they need anything. It’s pretty sweet.
Now I’ve shared my list. I’m curious about yours? What things in your life were worth it? What pays you back every time you use it? What puts a smile on your face every time you see it? I’d love to know!
My job recently changed to one that warrants more casual, durable clothing. So I purchased two pairs of pants from Duluth Trading Co. I love these pants and wear them at least four times a week. Very durable.
My SOM’s sneakers. I have had plantar fasciitis & bunions for several years & couldn’t find comfortable shoes. I went the minimal shoe route & still wear those for dress, but I needed something more supportive being on my feet most of the day. Hence, my SOM’s. They are wonderful and I wear them seven days a week, except when wearing dressier clothing. (And the minimal shoes did heal my plantar fasciitis!)
My last love are copper mats for the gas grill. We grill our meat on them & they are so easy to wash up afterwards. My husband doesn’t need to scrub and scrub the grill after every use anymore.
Great list! Practical shoes and clothing are the best! 😊
I love my instant pot i got it super cheap on Black Friday last year. (I always forget to soak my beans)
I am also grateful for my French press, electric kettle and sewing machine. I can usually find most things I need at goodwill. Shoes I buy new. Blessings
Oh yes, I’m with you on the French press and electric kettle! Those get used daily – at least! I don’t have an instant pot but everyone I know who has one loves it!!