Author Topic: Expensive Purchases that Save Money  (Read 15337 times)

nylorac087

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Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« on: November 30, 2013, 01:57:48 PM »
My husband's parents and grandparents want to give us expensive ($300-400) presents for Christmas. We don't need anything, and we can't think of anything that we really want. I feel rude just asking for cash. Does anybody have any suggestions for appliances or items in that price range that would, in the long run, save us money? We already have a breadmaker, a steamer (to cut down on drycleaning), a set of weights and a bench press/squat bar, and laundry drying racks so we don't run the dryer.

*Update: We rent an apartment in the city, so we don't have a car or our own appliances. We're buying a house next fall, but we have no way of storing big appliances until then.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 02:04:15 PM by nylorac087 »

Bakari

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 02:02:41 PM »
How old/big is the washer and fridge?  Newer and smaller models use less energy and water.
An electric kettle if either of you drink tea?  LED light bulbs for every room in the house?  ScanGuage or MPGuino for tracking mileage in your car (you can maximize it better with instant feedback).  Weatherization service (or supplies, if you are DIYers). 

arebelspy

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 02:16:00 PM »
Be honest with them, rather than get things you don't need.

Ask them for a donation to your favorite charity.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 03:59:39 PM by arebelspy »
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NinetyFour

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 03:10:42 PM »
If you are into biking, how about a bike trailer?  Or other bike accessories--would they go for a gift card for your local bike shop?

the fixer

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 03:22:52 PM »
Savings bonds?

Beer-making equipment?

Are there expensive hobbies you currently pursue that could be replaced by cheaper ones, given the upfront expense of purchasing some equipment for them?

Snow White

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 03:39:25 PM »
There are a lot of organizations who could use the money.  Could you send the family information about a cause that you feel passionate about and ask them to make a donation in your name? It could be your local pet shelter, food kitchen, services for the elderly, wilderness habitat protection; anything that you have an interest in helping is a possibility.

sheepstache

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 04:37:25 PM »
This is a tough thread to answer because you can suggest xyz and a second later a dozen people are screaming xyz doesn't have to be expensive, but I will go out on a limb:

Camping supplies.  You can camp cheaply, but most people who are not hardcore will want some kind of starter store-bought tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, packs, stove, etc., and that can add up.  Then, over time, camping vacations save you money.

Maybe asking for cash is out but if there is a particular stock you are really interested in, you could sell that?  They might be amused if you explain to them how interested you are in the company and its financials.  If they want some crap something tangible, they could buy one of the shares through www.oneshare.com/ which will get them a nice framed certificate they can gift wrap and then the balance through your brokerage.

You could also ask for a rain check, letting them know you want to put off big purchases for now in the interests of furnishing your home when you get it.  But I imagine you have already thought of that.

impaire

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 04:52:11 PM »
Since you're buying a house soon, would you feel as tacky asking for a contribution to the house fund? Or for a voucher for... [something to put in your future house, that will remind you of their generosity every time you see it]?

Bigote

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 05:27:06 PM »
Sodastream is a big money saver if you like seltzer. 

yogagirl95

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 06:20:06 PM »
I asked for a yogurt maker as I buy a lot of yogurt. I know you can make yourself, but I wanted the lids and jars too.
One thing I got several yrs ago was a gift certificate for laser hair removal. You can laugh, but I save a lot of money on razers and the simplicity has helped me a lot.

Bakari

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2013, 09:01:47 PM »
One thing I got several yrs ago was a gift certificate for laser hair removal. You can laugh, but I save a lot of money on razers and the simplicity has helped me a lot.

oh, good  one!  I don't even think about it anymore, but the lack of razor bumps has actually been a pretty big quality of life issue for me.
And yeah, it was freggin expensive!

Zamboni

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2013, 09:20:24 PM »
I'll second the charity donation requests, although my family members haven't taken that idea as well as I would have thought.

Do you need tools (hammer, wrenches, screwdriver, drill, saw, etc?)

Really high quality shoes and can be money saver.  Same for outerwear (gortex jackets and really nice coats are expensive.)  It's tough to buy these for other people, but if you get them to go with the store you like, then you can always adjust the gift to something that is exactly the right style and size.

brewer12345

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 09:24:38 PM »
Since we had a $35/month high end coffee habit (beans, not going to a coffee place), the purchase of a coffee roaster ($300) has made a serious dent in the monthly bill.  We might go through $15/month of green coffee, and roasting it is fun.

ASquared

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2013, 09:42:22 PM »
Kitchenaid mixer?  Love mine! So nice to make everything from scratch at home and they last forever.

nikki

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 11:03:30 PM »
Since you're buying a house soon, would you feel as tacky asking for a contribution to the house fund? Or for a voucher for... [something to put in your future house, that will remind you of their generosity every time you see it]?

I second this suggestion. You already know you'll need things for the new house, and there's no point in acquiring more material items you don't feel a pressing need for NOW.

I don't think this is tacky, but maybe others would.

chasesfish

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2013, 05:18:02 AM »
The only two things that come to mind for me are dress shoes (which doesn't matter if you can avoid wearing a suit to work) and high quality tools, both hand tools and power tools.

Yonco

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2013, 06:30:58 AM »
Do you plant your own garden? Could a rototiller or some other tool make this easier? -Jon

KingCoin

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2013, 12:01:30 PM »
A lot of people swear by Vitamix:
https://secure.vitamix.com/Certified-Reconditioned-Products.aspx
If you don't end up using it, or don't think it's significantly more useful than a $30 blender, they're very easy to sell on craigslist or ebay.

High quality knives if you don't have them.

One step removed from asking for cash is asking for a gift card to places you know you'll spend the cash sooner or later. Perhaps somewhere like your preferred grocery store, drug store, or Amazon.

I'm sure you'll think of a bunch of things a week after Christmas :)

Aloysius_Poutine

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2013, 12:27:41 PM »
Another vote for a good blender. Blendtec or Vitamix are both great. We use ours at least once daily. We freeze all fruit and veg that are on the verge of going bad and throw it all in the blender. It has saved us from tossing a lot of good food over the years.

A slow cooker is also an excellent appliance to own, but you don't need one that costs any more than about $40 max.

MoneyCat

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2013, 06:32:11 PM »
We got an ice cream maker as a wedding present and it's been great for making our own ice cream for cheap instead of buying it in a grocery store.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2013, 07:28:57 PM »
If they really insist on giving you something, you can aim for something in the entertainment category, as long as it's a one time purchase that requires little if any further purchases.

For example, a musical instrument, if you are enclined to teach yourself, basically ensures that you will be spending hundreds of hours with it and not spending money on other hobbies.

NinetyFour

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2013, 07:38:20 PM »
Lots of interesting ideas here.

But have we lost the OP?

CommonCents

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2013, 10:06:26 PM »
Canning supplies?

Elaine

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2013, 07:39:37 AM »
Food processor or a good blender?

Winter's Tale

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2013, 08:17:43 AM »
-Membership to museums, theater, fitness center/yoga studio, etc.
-Art classes or other type of lessons
-Wine/beer/cheese/etc. of the month club
-Le creuset dutch oven or Kitchenaid mixer if you like to cook
-New fancy sheets or bedding

Dezrah

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2013, 11:18:23 AM »
This is not an expensive item, but it's one I love.  Ask for an extendable shower head, the kind on the cord.  They make cleaning the shower breeze and use less water in the process.  Plus I've found that if you hold it right against you in the shower you can use less heat to get the same level of warmth and clean.

Annamal

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2013, 06:28:06 PM »
One thing that makes both me and my parents happy as gifts...practical emergency supplies.

We live in an earthquake prone area so mini gas cookers, bug-out bags and first aid kits are really good things to have around.


the fixer

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2013, 06:38:17 PM »
I don't know why I didn't think of it before: at least some of that could be board games. There are all kinds of fun modern games out there that tend to be easy to learn, quick to play, and challenging to master. If someone wanted to spend $100 on me that would be an easy, socially acceptable choice.

Cooperd0g

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2013, 08:01:11 PM »
I would go with the Kitchen Aid Mixer and Slow Cooker - the slow cooker really is great at making large quantities of tasty food that you can pack for lunch all week. Another one I really like is my vacuum sealer. We frequently will make extra large meals and freeze/vacuum seal portions. That way on weeks where we are crunched for time we still have food available in the freezer and don't get take out or eat out. The vacuum sealing will keep food fresh for a LONG time.

Todge

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2013, 12:55:42 AM »
I second the camping equipment idea.
Also a really good set of knives will last forever if you look after them.

CommonCents

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2013, 08:31:25 AM »
Also, new windows if you have leaky ones :)

Bueller?  Bueller?  OP?  Are you still here?

Lentils5eva

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2013, 08:36:52 AM »
Kitchenaid mixer?  Love mine! So nice to make everything from scratch at home and they last forever.

oh my god yes.  the Kitchenaid Mixer is ridiculously expensive, but my fiancee and I use ours constantly and it has been a total boon to our mustaches.  The dough hook actually works, and it has helped us DIY pizza, bread, and anything needing kneading.  I second anything that will make cooking at home more pleasurable and likely to happen. 

AlanStache

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2013, 11:32:19 AM »
I might go for a Lordship from the nation of Sealand.  <end sarcasm>

clutchy

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2013, 11:48:15 AM »
wusthof Ikon classic knives.

wannabfrugal

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2013, 07:43:21 AM »
I like this thread.  I'm often in a similar situation of looking for gift ideas that are useful and add value rather than being "stuff" i have to store.

A couple things I've used in the past...

gym membership
deep freezer
cooking lessons
LED lightbulbs (those suckers are expensive)

ArcticaMT6

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2013, 09:42:37 AM »
I recently switched to a double edge safety razor. About $80 between the razor, a variety pack of 100 blades, a badger hair brush, and soap. Given that I only shave 2 (maybe 3 times at most) times a week, and each blade is lasting me about 6 shaves (could even be stretched longer), that's $80 for a long long time of shaving.

nikki

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2013, 06:23:56 PM »
I recently switched to a double edge safety razor. About $80 between the razor, a variety pack of 100 blades, a badger hair brush, and soap. Given that I only shave 2 (maybe 3 times at most) times a week, and each blade is lasting me about 6 shaves (could even be stretched longer), that's $80 for a long long time of shaving.

Pfft... I just don't shave anymore ;-)

I'm wondering what the OP decided? Haven't heard back.

clutchy

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2013, 11:12:28 AM »
I recently switched to a double edge safety razor. About $80 between the razor, a variety pack of 100 blades, a badger hair brush, and soap. Given that I only shave 2 (maybe 3 times at most) times a week, and each blade is lasting me about 6 shaves (could even be stretched longer), that's $80 for a long long time of shaving.

As I was reading this I felt my face and smiled.

DE shaving is badass and the shave is amazing.

jr1029

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2013, 11:15:03 AM »
A big set of really nice Glass-lock tupperware, encourages cooking and home and bringing lunches to work. So much nicer than the flimsy plastic stuff!

Dee18

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2013, 04:59:32 PM »
Sewing machine. Electric lawnmower. Espresso machine.

Woodshark

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2013, 06:06:47 PM »
If you tend to like Starbucks etc., I would vote for an espresso maker and a good burr grinder.

Bullseye

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2013, 05:24:35 AM »
Great thread for ideas, even if the OP forgot about it.

What about a solar panel for a 12V system?

No one has suggested a bike? 

annod

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Re: Expensive Purchases that Save Money
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2013, 11:42:52 AM »
If you have a balcony that has good sunlight, Earthboxes are great containers for container garden, they can grow great tomatoes & pepper. Get a few boxes + fertilizer +potting mix kit, you just need to buy seedlings and add water.