The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: bsmith on September 09, 2015, 10:42:00 AM

Title: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: bsmith on September 09, 2015, 10:42:00 AM
What's your favorite cheap thing you bought that's functional (works well), not decorative. Mine are some blue plastic cups I got years ago at the dollar store. They're big enough to hold a lot of water, but they're wide at the base, so they're not likely to get knocked over when bumped.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: neo von retorch on September 09, 2015, 10:56:46 AM
One of my favorites is a Mr. Coffee mug warmer I got back in college (i.e. maybe 17-18 years ago.) I don't remember if it was a gift or I bought it for ~$10 but I still have it and I use it every day at work to keep my coffee a good temperature.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: pbkmaine on September 09, 2015, 10:58:11 AM
Our Goodwill has hundreds of cute, well-made Ts for $2.17 each. I use these for exercise class and to work around the house.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: MissStache on September 09, 2015, 11:10:40 AM
I got an amazing chef's knife at a restaurant supply store for like $12.  It is my favorite kitchen tool and has been going strong for years now with frequent use.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: humbleMouse on September 09, 2015, 12:37:10 PM
Probably my reynolds 531 bike frame.  Got it for $200 and have been riding it for 4 years now, probably thousands of miles on that thing.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: tvan on September 09, 2015, 12:39:06 PM
Blender.  Use it every morning. 

$20 model

Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: ketchup on September 09, 2015, 12:47:39 PM
Two $1 cinder blocks.  They do an amazing job at blocking off the corner of our yard where fence meets fence so the dogs can't get through.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 09, 2015, 12:51:15 PM
We got our coffee pot for $13 (on sale- normally like $25, so still pretty cheap). Been going for like 5 years now and it still works great.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Gone Fishing on September 09, 2015, 01:01:41 PM
Bought a utility trailer for $350. Less than one payment on the typical pickup truck. Better for my purposes in almost every respect.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Kroaler on September 09, 2015, 01:05:39 PM
My 20$ OBD II reader.   ELM 327.  Just connect that bad boy via bluetooth to a smart phone, makes short work of vehicle troubleshooting.  Im sure I have another favorite item but that one comes to mind.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Fodder on September 09, 2015, 01:08:42 PM
My ikea cheese graters and garlic press.  Both inexpensive, both going strong for almost 10 years.  Hands-down, the best cheese grater out there, and I HATE grating cheese.  Garlic press is starting to show signs of wear, but unlike other stupid ones that have fallen apart, this one is still going strong.

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50153180/
http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/00089163/

Being a bit of a kitchen fiend, I have a number of very expensive items in my kitchen, but these are two cheap ones that just keep on trucking and are great to use.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 09, 2015, 01:10:14 PM
20$ hair clippers . . . which three years ago replaced monthly haircuts at about 20$ a pop (after tip).  I'm hoping to avoid ever paying for a haircut for my son now . . .
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 09, 2015, 01:16:39 PM
Bought a utility trailer for $350. Less than one payment on the typical pickup truck. Better for my purposes in almost every respect.

Our trailer is high on my list as well. Funny though - I've had it 20 years and gone through countless light kits, a pile of tires, and had to replace all the wood in it at least twice. Still cheaper than owning a truck.

We have so many things that we've accumulated over the years for cheap its hard to list just one or two, but there is satisfaction in pulling an old friend out of a toolbox or drawer, dusting it off and putting it to good use.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Steve Ainslie on September 09, 2015, 01:18:26 PM
Tire sled for dragging for exercise.  Tire was free, ropes, an eye bolt and 2 carabiners from Lowes were <$20.  I've  used this over 200 days per year for five years.  I had to replace the free tire once.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on September 09, 2015, 01:24:12 PM
$20 hair clippers (8 years old) that have saved me ~$1000+ on haircuts.
$20 French Press, which has likely saved me $1000+ on coffee.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Gone Fishing on September 09, 2015, 02:20:58 PM
Remembered another one, my Mora knife.  $14 for the knife and the plastic belt sheath.  Great for processing game and livestock.  Sheath goes in the dishwasher, and the carbon steel blade takes and excellent edge.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Sailor Sam on September 09, 2015, 02:34:08 PM
My citrus press. It was a present, but I think it cost ~$25. It makes margarita hot & sour soup prep a breeze!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: secondcor521 on September 09, 2015, 02:44:51 PM
My entertainment system was $11 from the local pound.  You can see his picture on the cat thread.  (There are maintenance costs, though.)

Have a set of Wahl clippers from Walmart I think.  Bought for $15 or $20 almost ten years ago - "free" haircuts ever since.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: DEL on September 09, 2015, 02:52:06 PM
Got a nice Gevalia cofee pot for $1 at an estate sale. It makes great coffee and beats the urge of getting some at a coffee shop. My wife also got some China and other plates really cheap, also at an estate sale.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 09, 2015, 03:09:26 PM
Got a nice Gevalia cofee pot for $1 at an estate sale. It makes great coffee and beats the urge of getting some at a coffee shop. My wife also got some China and other plates really cheap, also at an estate sale.

Our fine silverware was from a yard sale.
Our kitchen dishes were from a yard sale.
Our diningroom table was off CL.
Our diningroom linens were mostly hand-me-downs from parents.
Our kitchen cutlery was wedding gifts.

Its hard to think of things in our house that we actually paid good money for. We have 4 pieces of furniture bought new and paid full price for.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Melody on September 09, 2015, 04:50:56 PM
My electric razor. I found it in the last hire car I hired and omg... Best thing ever!!!! Saves money over buying blades and I don't fit myself when I am half asleep in the shower anymore :-)
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Melody on September 09, 2015, 04:51:56 PM
Also my $12 coffee maker, still trucking along with daily use 6 years later.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Zamboni on September 09, 2015, 04:53:57 PM
My $6 WalMart camp chair.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Megma on September 09, 2015, 05:04:04 PM
My ikea cheese graters and garlic press.  Both inexpensive, both going strong for almost 10 years.  Hands-down, the best cheese grater out there, and I HATE grating cheese.  Garlic press is starting to show signs of wear, but unlike other stupid ones that have fallen apart, this one is still going strong.

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50153180/
http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/00089163/

Being a bit of a kitchen fiend, I have a number of very expensive items in my kitchen, but these are two cheap ones that just keep on trucking and are great to use.

+1 for the IKEA cheese grater! I was going to post that when I saw this thread. I sometimes wish we had bought two for cheese choices in the fridge at one time. And we save a fortune buying. Lock cheese over shredded.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: wisermiser on September 09, 2015, 05:12:12 PM
A Lodge cast iron skillet.  With some minimal maintenance it is non-stick and will last forever. 

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Pre-Seasoned-Cast-Iron-Skillet-10-25-inch/dp/B00006JSUA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1441840174&sr=8-3&keywords=lodge+cast+iron+skillet

Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: seemsright on September 09, 2015, 05:29:04 PM
+1 on cast iron skillets.

I bought a set of 4 skillets (different sizes) and a dutch oven all cast iron when I was 19 about to get married and move out on our own. My thought was I was only going to buy one set of cooking pans. They had a huge learning curve but after about 15 years my egg pan is awesome.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: teen persuasion on September 09, 2015, 06:00:35 PM
A basket FULL of knitting needles from a garage sale, $2.  Double pointed sets, circular in a variety of lengths and sizes, long pins, a few oddities like a starting shuttle and crochet books of bone or ivory, broomstick lace pin, needle size gauge, cable needles.  Quite a treasure trove.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Learner on September 09, 2015, 06:38:35 PM
Two favourites that jump to mind are a $4 coffee urn I found second-hand, and a 12" stainless steel frying pan for $7.  Try to keep non-grocery buying to a minimum.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Exflyboy on September 09, 2015, 06:51:12 PM
My $200 Harbor Freight trailer. I pull it behind my $350 Dodge Neon... Great up to about 1000lbs of crap.

Of course we also have a 1989 F250 with a horse trailer.. and a horse, but that can't live forever..:)
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: hred17 on September 10, 2015, 06:49:29 AM
A small, cloth purse that I found at a market in Thailand.

It cost me about $2 six years ago and I can wash it, pack it up small, wear it crossbody easily and it's big enough to hold just enough for when you're walking around (phone, passport, cash, etc). It is colorful on one side and black on the other so I can wear it for both casual and more formal use if needed. Best $2 I've ever spent! I can't believe sometimes how much use I get out of it.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Gone Fishing on September 10, 2015, 10:24:58 AM
Just remembered my large stainless bowls.  Got 4 or 5 of them at the thrift store for a few bucks.  I use them all the time in the kitchen.  They don't fit in the dishwasher, but clean up super easy.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: szmaine on September 10, 2015, 12:45:30 PM
My ikea cheese graters and garlic press.  Both inexpensive, both going strong for almost 10 years.  Hands-down, the best cheese grater out there, and I HATE grating cheese.  Garlic press is starting to show signs of wear, but unlike other stupid ones that have fallen apart, this one is still going strong.

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50153180/
http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/00089163/

Being a bit of a kitchen fiend, I have a number of very expensive items in my kitchen, but these are two cheap ones that just keep on trucking and are great to use.

I actually logged on to add my 2 cent re: that cheese grater! Have had mine for 13yrs. It is the greatest grater IMHO.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: BriarRose111 on September 10, 2015, 02:56:33 PM
Cheap universal pan lid.  I didn't actually buy it, but received it as a gift from my Dad when in my pre-Mustacian days I asked for a lid for my Revere Ware large fry pan (thinking he would get the Revere Ware lid).   It probably cost less than $10 and I use it for every pan we've got, just about every time I cook.  Love it!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: CupcakeGuru on September 10, 2015, 03:10:37 PM
My waffle iron from a garage sale. $0.50 about 4 years ago. We use it about 2 to 3 times a week.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: bsmith on September 10, 2015, 03:18:10 PM
What's the universal pan lid look like? I'm intrigued.

I bought a waffle iron at a garage sale for $2, but it just made a huge mess, so we gave up on it. I do love waffles, though.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Rural on September 10, 2015, 07:28:06 PM
Hell, I don't know. The only things in the house we paid full retail for are the computers and the dogs, and one of the computers we bought used. Oh, wait. Also pay retail for food and ammunition.


I do think I have the exact same dollar store blue plastic tumblers as the OP. They were three for a dollar and aren't sold anymore, which is unfortunate because they crack if you drop them on a concrete floor while they're full of water.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 10, 2015, 07:57:32 PM
I have a piece of steel pipe in my garage painted yellow. Right now my winter tires are hanging from it.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3uyE8HfuHgg/VGFudxq-lFI/AAAAAAAAFzQ/KCZsacwwgDo/s1600/_DSC0360.JPG)

It has been used as an extension on a ratchet for belligerent bolts, as a prybar to lift a 6000 lbs boat, as a spreader bar in hoisting operations, as a bat in demolition, and as a pull bar to remove a chimney from the side of a house. This same bar has been with me since at least 1998. I have no idea where it came from or when I got it. I am guessing it was free.

Definitely high on the list.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: BriarRose111 on September 10, 2015, 08:40:24 PM
What's the universal pan lid look like? I'm intrigued.

I bought a waffle iron at a garage sale for $2, but it just made a huge mess, so we gave up on it. I do love waffles, though.

It's a rather cheap looking large pan lid, large diameter (12") , fairly flat.  I think it's made out of aluminum.  It has a sort of bevel on the bottom with a few shallow concentric rings to form a 9 1/2 inch diameter also.  I'll try to find a picture or post one.

Nice find on the waffle iron!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Faraday on September 10, 2015, 09:12:38 PM
+1 to the OBD II reader. I have one that's over 10 years old, still works great with my over-10-year-old cars. I've saved myself a TON of money using it to diagnose and fix problems with cars.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Cwadda on September 10, 2015, 09:22:23 PM
Bought a utility trailer for $350. Less than one payment on the typical pickup truck. Better for my purposes in almost every respect.

+1
Has paid for itself many times over.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: LifestyleDeflation on September 10, 2015, 09:47:09 PM
Really cheap things? Pilot G2 pens, metal water bottles from lost and found at my gym (they put them up for grabs just before donating them), the carabiner I use as a keyring (got it for free at a county fair years ago), Google voice/Google hangouts, which allow me to make and receive calls for free anywhere in the world I have Wi-Fi, and have saved me around a thousand dollars so far.

Less cheap but also ridiculously useful: My Honda fit, which has carried everything I've ever tried to get inside it, my custom sliding car bed for the fit with sleeping pad and various sleeping bags appropriate for the weather, which has saved me thousands in rent, my galaxy s3 which is also my e-reader (going to get a kindle when they refresh their line though, 10+ books on a cellphone screen in a year is a bit silly), my 1 pair of quick dry pants and 1 quick dry shirt, which I wear probably 150 days a year each.

Honestly, I feel like I live a pretty damn mustachian lifestyle as far as my possessions go- there's not much I own that I don't get a lot of use out of.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Sloeginfizz on September 10, 2015, 09:59:53 PM
22 years ago, when I was in college, I bought a Melitta single cup coffee cone. Don't remember what I paid for it, but considering its equivalent to the one currently selling for $3.99, I'd say it can't be much more than that. I have made countless cups of coffee with it, used it nearly everyday since then except for summer which is iced coffee time. I have a fancy Japanese kettle designed for pour over coffee now but I've used it with nothing more than a saucepan before. It's hard to make coffee for company, but 99.9% of the time, it's just me wanting coffee and it's perfect for that.

I sometimes think about replacing it with a glass or ceramic one, but I worry about breaking it, so I stick with my old plastic one. Best coffee maker ever.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLA on September 11, 2015, 12:39:04 AM
My entertainment system was $11 from the local pound.  You can see his picture on the cat thread.  (There are maintenance costs, though.)

my first thought was my dogs, too. Cheap, one was free.  The one from the shelter is the best dog I have ever had or ever will have. Stopping, or I will be listing the 1001 reasons she is so great
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: meg_shannon on September 11, 2015, 01:47:19 AM
A learning tower, basically a step stool on steroids that's adjustable in height. They're for kids and meant to get them up to counter height. I picked it up for 35$ off CL (200$ new) when my daughter was 18 months. We've used at least 5 days/week since.

Now, at the age of five, she actually helps me cook. She's fairly proficient with a paring knife, spreading, mixing, measuring, etc. When she was little I mostly let her dump ingredients in the bowl, stir, and play with water at the counter to keep her entertained while I or my husband made dinner.

Give a little kid a small pitcher full of water, even smaller glasses, and a sponge on a large cookie sheet: entertainment for at least 20-30 minutes and very little mess. Give them a towel after and they'll probably clean it up too.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: BlueHouse on September 11, 2015, 05:40:08 AM
Probably doesn't count as cheap, but since I'm re-purposing it, maybe i get a pass for original cost.
I use an old crutch to push the top of double hung windows up so I can lock the windows. I can't reach them from the ground and for the windows over the sink, I can't reach even with a steps tool without climbing into the sink, so I love the crutch method. I also use it to open and close vents on the ceiling without having to get a ladder out.  It's my most useful tool around the house.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: jwilliams0215 on September 11, 2015, 07:59:53 AM
Definitely our $8 bread maker from Goodwill! Make fresh bread once or twice a week and soooo delicious! Maybe not the healthiest, but hey I'm training for a marathon so it's all good!

Will also add in our Wahl clippers which eliminated our haircuts starting about a year ago.

Could I also say Visa Gift Cards? Starting to work on credit card churn so spending 1% for fees on gift cards is expected to yield enormous travel savings.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLA on September 11, 2015, 01:02:50 PM
Tervis 24 oz tumblers with lid, they're like 20 bucks, I wait for clearance.  Keeps drinks cold or hot for hours, way longer than any one I've tried in the past, they don't sweat. Lifetime guarantee, I have one that cracked, I have to call them. 
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: StetsTerhune on September 11, 2015, 01:30:35 PM
When I was 19, I bought a toaster at walmart for, I believe, $6.87. A dozen years later that toaster still toasts bread exactly as well as every other toaster that's ever existed.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Faraday on September 11, 2015, 05:27:01 PM
Tervis 24 oz tumblers with lid, they're like 20 bucks, I wait for clearance.  Keeps drinks cold or hot for hours, way longer than any one I've tried in the past, they don't sweat. Lifetime guarantee, I have one that cracked, I have to call them.

You have to go on their website to take advantage of their lifetime warranty. They give you instructions, you get an RMA and you pack the broken tumbler up and send it to them, you pay for shipping. It's a huge pain in the ass and I'm not sure it's worth the cost of shipping, but they DO honor their lifetime warranty....
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Retire-Canada on September 11, 2015, 06:04:11 PM
I bought a couple dozen beer coolers at an army surplus store 10-15yrs ago for $0.10 each. Keep my drinks cold which I love and they were so cheap I don't worry about getting them all back at a party.

Just got a couple more super nice ones at a trade show for free. I am very stoked. Drinking a beer out of one right now. :)
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLA on September 11, 2015, 06:17:05 PM
[
[/quote]

You have to go on their website to take advantage of their lifetime warranty. They give you instructions, you get an RMA and you pack the broken tumbler up and send it to them, you pay for shipping. It's a huge pain in the ass and I'm not sure it's worth the cost of shipping, but they DO honor their lifetime warranty....
[/quote]

thanks!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Tigerpine on September 11, 2015, 06:21:47 PM
My electric razor. I found it in the last hire car I hired and omg... Best thing ever!!!! Saves money over buying blades and I don't fit myself when I am half asleep in the shower anymore :-)
+1
I still use my electric razor my father gave to me probably 25 years ago.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: lbmustache on September 11, 2015, 07:05:51 PM
I gotta say... a lot of stuff from Ikea.

1) Tools. While they are not super duper high quality (meaning I don't know how they would stand up to major household repairs), they have done every job I needed them to do around the house.

2) I also love their ultra cheap nail sets. (For example: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30224230/)

3) Most of the furniture I have bought is still going strong years later. My favorite "big" purchase has been the Klippan leather couch for $399 (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00306294/#/90288667). I changed the legs out to wooden legs (you can search Etsy) and it looks great.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Tabitha on September 11, 2015, 07:35:56 PM
The basins from the dollar store.
One as a dishpan, to control the amount of water and soap.
One as a cleaning tray/little bucket/supplies corral
And most importantly, one as a pedicure basin that I can move to sit in a comfortable chair.  This last has saved me 1000's of dollars by keeping me out of the salon...

T.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FIRE me on September 11, 2015, 08:47:19 PM
$5 pill splitter. Good for splitting prescription and over the counter pills. For non-narcotic Rx drugs, the doctor has never batted an eye when I ask him to double the strength so I can split the pill and save half on my out of pocket cost.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: NataliaDuma on September 14, 2015, 12:25:27 AM
I have this wonderful coat that I bought really cheap from a consignment shop. It's pretty cozy that's why I totally love it. I don't mind if it's a secondhand item as long as it is something that I can use and feel comfortable with.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: TheBuddha on September 14, 2015, 01:50:22 AM
Bamboo back scratcher at the 99 cents only store
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Catbert on September 14, 2015, 10:31:18 AM
An LG dumb phone with slide out keyboard that I bought for ~$25. in 2010.  Still going strong although I may need to replace the battery soon.  Imagine how many iphones I could have bought in those 5 years!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: PMG on September 14, 2015, 10:37:47 AM
$10 faux apple bluetooth keyboard.  I use it with my cell phone.  It almost eliminates the need for a computer if I didn't do a lot of graphic design.  It's great for traveling light.

Years ago my grandma gave me a dollar store toy phone stocking stuffer.  I was a teenager and I think it was a gag gift because I wanted a cell phone.  It included a "toy" headset with an auxillary plug that actually worked with my parents house phone.  I threw out the phone part and used that headset for years. 
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: powersuitrecall on September 14, 2015, 12:05:28 PM
A lot of coffee references here so I'll add mine ...

The amazing Aerobie Aeropress: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AeroPress

For a good cup of coffee on the cheap it's unmatched. 

I've used it almost everyday for 10 years now!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Fodder on September 14, 2015, 12:23:10 PM
A lot of coffee references here so I'll add mine ...

The amazing Aerobie Aeropress: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AeroPress

For a good cup of coffee on the cheap it's unmatched. 

I've used it almost everyday for 10 years now!

I have an aeropress as well and would completely agree that it is amazing.  The coffee is rich, bold and delicious.  I usually use mine to make an americano, and it's just as fast as keurig/other pod coffee system, and the coffee is far superior and much, much more cost-effective.

I use a Bodum Columbia 1.5L for general coffee making, but another ikea cheapie is their coffee press - I have one at work and it works brilliantly, and is only about $10.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Easye418 on September 14, 2015, 02:44:10 PM
+1 to the Wahl hair clippers. 

Bought a pair on Amazon for $23 bucks and my girlfriend(wife now) began cutting my hair.  I was skeptical at first and we had some "unique" hairstyles, but I absolutely love that thing.  It has saved me $1000+ dollars over the years.  I get to cut my hair when I want and how I want it for free (pretty much).

I spray tan my wife in return I get my hair cut.  Save money on both sides of that transactions.  I've only been spray tanning her for 6 months, but it will quickly have a better ROI than the clippers.

Using the good solution will run ~$2 bucks a spray vs salon at $10-$20 a spray.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FIRE me on September 14, 2015, 03:24:17 PM
Bamboo back scratcher at the 99 cents only store

I'll second that one. I bought two of them years ago and they are both frequently used.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on September 14, 2015, 04:10:49 PM
I spray tan my wife in return I get my hair cut.  Save money on both sides of that transactions.  I've only been spray tanning her for 6 months, but it will quickly have a better ROI than the clippers.

Using the good solution will run ~$2 bucks a spray vs salon at $10-$20 a spray.

LOL!  Now THAT is a win on multiple levels!  I can't imagine a much more enjoyable way to save money. :-)

But seriously, I didn't know it was possible to DIY a spray tan.  My wife is pretty frugal but always wants a spray tan for any formal events we go to.  Where does one find DIY spray tan stuff?  I would totally make the "sacrifice" of doing that for her. 
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Valetta on September 14, 2015, 06:09:45 PM
$20 iced tea machine by Mr. Coffee. It was on sale at Target. I don't drink soda or coffee, only water and unsweetened iced green tea. I drink almost a pitcher of tea every day so the machine gets a ton of use. It makes a full pitcher of perfectly brewed tea in 10 minutes.

DH made fun of it when I first bought and called it a waste of money. He now calls it the best $20 ever spent.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLA on September 14, 2015, 10:03:09 PM
I use a lot of lip balm, as does DD and DMom. Cheap, I get a bunch when Avon has it for a buck.  Last Avon batch did not come with labels so you could see how full they were from the outside.  They were maybe 1/3, more like 1/4 filled.  Not buying that ever again, no wonder they could sell it for a buck.

I found this site called Bulk Apothecary that seems to be for people who make their own stuff or for people looking for wedding favors.  They had all different types of lip balm.  Being a "bulk" site, I had to buy 50, which I know sounds insane.  But they were 11 cents then 20% off of that and found a free ship code.  It stockpiles well and has to be hands down the world's cheapest lip balm and it's good.  Smells, looks, feels just like Avon. I don't think you could make it yourself that cheap.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Easye418 on September 15, 2015, 08:03:21 AM
I spray tan my wife in return I get my hair cut.  Save money on both sides of that transactions.  I've only been spray tanning her for 6 months, but it will quickly have a better ROI than the clippers.

Using the good solution will run ~$2 bucks a spray vs salon at $10-$20 a spray.

LOL!  Now THAT is a win on multiple levels!  I can't imagine a much more enjoyable way to save money. :-)

But seriously, I didn't know it was possible to DIY a spray tan.  My wife is pretty frugal but always wants a spray tan for any formal events we go to.  Where does one find DIY spray tan stuff?  I would totally make the "sacrifice" of doing that for her.

Yes sir, multiple wins. 

Amazon.  There is a learning curve for sure.  If you look up Maxi-Mist, you can find my detailed review (trust me, I don't work for them either).  I don't typically write reviews, but I researched and researched and researched it.  Up front will cost you $200ish bucks and a splotchy looking wife for a bit.  Remember, you are not power-washing her with tanning solution, you are applying a light coat. 

Most over the counter spray (affordable) solution is garbage, reach out to manufacturers are ask for a sample solution.  You will quickly find out what sprays work best for your wife. 

Spray her once a week, sometimes twice.  Most solutions will last decently 5 days.  Sleep with the solution on then wash in the morning.  Be sure to sleep on a separate blanket!!!  She will stain the covers. 
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 15, 2015, 08:52:32 AM
  Remember, you are not power-washing her with tanning solution, you are applying a light coat. 

I laughed out loud. Thank you.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: jengod on September 15, 2015, 09:13:50 AM
Found a Griswold cast-iron skillet at Goodwill in 2005 for $.99. We use it all the time. More than any other single pan.

We use a set of four plastic Rubbermaid laundry baskets for everything. Laundry, toy cleanup, and even as luggage on road trips. We don't even bother with a suitcase a lot of times when doing short visits to the in-laws in the next state. Just put a basket of clean laundry in the back of the car and get on the road.

$20 OXO kettle.

$14 thrift rice cooker.

$10 thrifted 4-qt Procter-Silex slow cooker.

Wissotzky tea chest boxes keep our batteries organized.

Battery tester.

Metal funnel and canning funnel.

OXO scale
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Fishindude on September 15, 2015, 09:42:38 AM
Drove by a garage sale 30+ years ago and saw a Coleman lantern for sale.  Stopped and bought it for $10, still going strong.

Many of my hand tools were relatively inexpensive and will last a lifetime.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: esq on September 15, 2015, 10:15:11 AM
Not super cheap, but in the long run, more than worth it:  Phillips Sonicare toothbrush, about $60.  I inherited horrible teeth and gums, and despite the fact I haven't flossed in 20 years, my teeth and gums are in great shape.  The sonic wave action kills bacteria that cause cavities and plaque.  When applied to the gums, it "knits" them tighter to the teeth.  Dentists and hygenists have confirmed my gums are tight and teeth have almost zero plaque.  I will sit and watch tv and just go over my gums for at least 5-6 minutes each day.

I have even gotten rid of toothaches and sore spots on my gums just applying the brush for a few minutes extra each day.

Faced with the possibility of dentures and teeth problems as I get older, this is totally worth the cost of the unit and replacement brush heads.  You only have one set of teeth!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on September 21, 2015, 06:51:04 AM
Two very solid road bikes bought on Kijiji (Canadian equivalent of Craigslist) for 75$ and 120$. My bf rides his at least 25 km a day to and from work, and mine gets a little less mileage, but is used on weekends for either leisure or errand-running.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLBiker on September 21, 2015, 07:01:13 AM
Not super cheap, but in the long run, more than worth it:  Phillips Sonicare toothbrush, about $60.  I inherited horrible teeth and gums, and despite the fact I haven't flossed in 20 years, my teeth and gums are in great shape.  The sonic wave action kills bacteria that cause cavities and plaque.  When applied to the gums, it "knits" them tighter to the teeth.  Dentists and hygenists have confirmed my gums are tight and teeth have almost zero plaque.  I will sit and watch tv and just go over my gums for at least 5-6 minutes each day.

I have even gotten rid of toothaches and sore spots on my gums just applying the brush for a few minutes extra each day.

Faced with the possibility of dentures and teeth problems as I get older, this is totally worth the cost of the unit and replacement brush heads.  You only have one set of teeth!

You should work on commission.  I've been resisting one of these for ages, and my teeth and gums are "fine" but it takes a lot of work.  I just need to buy one of these things, I think.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FrugalWad on September 21, 2015, 11:28:54 AM
I'd have to say my cheap but awesomely protective case (http://"http://amzn.to/1FpD9pw") for my Republic Wireless Moto X 2nd gen. Since I only talk via speakerphone, and use it to follow recipes in the kitchen, the pop-open stand is the best thing ever. I was always propping my old Galaxy S4 on makeshift stands before. This is so much easier.

Generic cheap ink (http://"http://amzn.to/1OLxJap") that's like exponentially cheaper than buying manufacturer ink. I was super skeptical, figuring I'd see if it works. I tried smearing the ink after the first print with it, no smearing at all. It's like it's too good to be true, but it works great. I'm waiting to see if it all dries up one day randomly or something.

My 12" Lodge cast iron pan (http://"http://amzn.to/1Oq8wD3"). It's replaced a whole kitchen's worth of cookware for me. The uneven heating still makes me long for All Clad, but it's awesome for what I need it to do. Which is everything. I got a 7 quart dutch oven too, which comes with a lid; that way I can have a lid when I need it for either.

My Krups coffee/spice grinder (http://"http://amzn.to/1Oq8ISV"). Alton Brown approved. There isn't a morning where I don't get to make fresh ground coffee now. I loves it.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Kaspian on September 21, 2015, 12:55:46 PM
$2 Betty Crocker potato masher from the Dollar Store.  Gets used multiple times each week and I'd probably cry if it broke.  :D
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Jeremy E. on September 21, 2015, 01:06:34 PM
My $8,000 1989 28*65(1800sqft) Double Wide Manufactured home, that I bought at an auction. I have spent about $25,000 total on buying it, separating it, getting axles and tires for it, moving it to my property, digging a foundation/basement, pouring concrete floor, moving it over concrete, pouring concrete wall around it, building frame underneath it, installing garage door on one end and windows in basement, hooking it up to water/sewer/electric. Now it's a 1800sqft 3 br 2 bath house, with a full 1800sqft garage/basement under it. I rent it out for $1100/month. I put it on property that I already own, as the first house I bought came with 2 lots and only sat on 1 lot, so I put this on the 2nd lot. I did almost all of the work myself or it would of been much more expensive.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: MissStache on September 22, 2015, 06:20:03 AM
  The sonic wave action kills bacteria that cause cavities and plaque.  When applied to the gums, it "knits" them tighter to the teeth.  Dentists and hygenists have confirmed my gums are tight and teeth have almost zero plaque. 

Honestly, this seems like mumbo-jumbo to me!  Is it legit?  I also have genetically bad teeth/gums, and overcrowding so flossing is AWFUL.  Lots of shredded floss and hacked-up gums.  I'd really like to be able to take care of my teeth without having to go through the daily trauma of flossing.  Maybe I just skeptical of something promising to fix a problem using "sonic waves" ha!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: lizzzi on September 22, 2015, 08:05:21 AM
My gray hooded sweatshirt by Hanes, bought at Walmart for about $5.00. My total "go-to" garment...wear it all the time over my tanks and tees. Didn't take it on a recent trip out West to Colorado...missed it the whole time. Warm but not too hot, neutral so goes with all colors, seems to function as a "security blanket" for me. Will be easy and cheap to replace if need be.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: neo von retorch on September 22, 2015, 10:44:46 AM
  The sonic wave action kills bacteria that cause cavities and plaque.  When applied to the gums, it "knits" them tighter to the teeth.  Dentists and hygenists have confirmed my gums are tight and teeth have almost zero plaque. 

Honestly, this seems like mumbo-jumbo to me!  Is it legit?  I also have genetically bad teeth/gums, and overcrowding so flossing is AWFUL.  Lots of shredded floss and hacked-up gums.  I'd really like to be able to take care of my teeth without having to go through the daily trauma of flossing.  Maybe I just skeptical of something promising to fix a problem using "sonic waves" ha!

It probably is marketing mumbo jumbo, but... my experience is that I've always struggled with the habit. Many years ago, my dentist recommended one, and I (pre-MMM) happily forked over something like $90 for it. And I loved it and used it all the time and my mouth health definitely improved. Eventually the battery stopped holding a charge and it was worthless. Years later, I finally gave in (post-MMM) and bought one on sale for just $20 at Target. Unfortunately, I hated it! Very buzzy and not very sophisticated. Can't really bring myself to use it, and still struggling with my habits. Strongly considering getting a $60 model...
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Jeremy E. on September 22, 2015, 11:44:33 AM
  The sonic wave action kills bacteria that cause cavities and plaque.  When applied to the gums, it "knits" them tighter to the teeth.  Dentists and hygenists have confirmed my gums are tight and teeth have almost zero plaque. 

Honestly, this seems like mumbo-jumbo to me!  Is it legit?  I also have genetically bad teeth/gums, and overcrowding so flossing is AWFUL.  Lots of shredded floss and hacked-up gums.  I'd really like to be able to take care of my teeth without having to go through the daily trauma of flossing.  Maybe I just skeptical of something promising to fix a problem using "sonic waves" ha!

It probably is marketing mumbo jumbo, but... my experience is that I've always struggled with the habit. Many years ago, my dentist recommended one, and I (pre-MMM) happily forked over something like $90 for it. And I loved it and used it all the time and my mouth health definitely improved. Eventually the battery stopped holding a charge and it was worthless. Years later, I finally gave in (post-MMM) and bought one on sale for just $20 at Target. Unfortunately, I hated it! Very buzzy and not very sophisticated. Can't really bring myself to use it, and still struggling with my habits. Strongly considering getting a $60 model...
Well, getting stuff done at the dentist is super cheap, root canals are less than $60 I'm pretty sure, you probably shouldn't get the $60 model and just pay to get your teeth repaired in the future as it will be much cheaper.
FYI I'm being sarcastic and if you won't use the $20 model and think you would use the $60 model more often, it'll probably save you money in the long run and you can think of it as an investment.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: jwc082 on September 22, 2015, 12:02:55 PM
Our Goodwill has hundreds of cute, well-made Ts for $2.17 each. I use these for exercise class and to work around the house.

+1

Goodwill is always the best place to get most of your day to day clothes.  If you destroy a $2 shirt in exercise class, or working around the house or on the car, who cares?  It was only $2.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: BrickByBrick on September 22, 2015, 06:42:09 PM
$18 hair clippers and a $5 hand mirror

My hairstyle is simple enough that I can do it to myself, and I've gotten a lot better at cutting/trimming the back of my head.  My hair grows fast enough that I was averaging a hair cut every 3 weeks (I hate having too much hair on my head...feels so restricting - and hot).  Has saved me $500+ so far since I started a couple years ago, it will save thousands in the decades to come.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: BrickByBrick on September 22, 2015, 06:48:19 PM
Not super cheap, but in the long run, more than worth it:  Phillips Sonicare toothbrush, about $60.  I inherited horrible teeth and gums, and despite the fact I haven't flossed in 20 years, my teeth and gums are in great shape.  The sonic wave action kills bacteria that cause cavities and plaque.  When applied to the gums, it "knits" them tighter to the teeth.  Dentists and hygenists have confirmed my gums are tight and teeth have almost zero plaque.  I will sit and watch tv and just go over my gums for at least 5-6 minutes each day.

I have even gotten rid of toothaches and sore spots on my gums just applying the brush for a few minutes extra each day.

Faced with the possibility of dentures and teeth problems as I get older, this is totally worth the cost of the unit and replacement brush heads.  You only have one set of teeth!

Want to provide a link?  I'm in a similar situation.  I seem to have inherited great teeth (no cavities ever), but horrible gums (root canal in my near future)...its kind of weird.  I literally cannot floss, it seems to make things worse.  My dentist recommended one of these types of things before but I never gave it much thought.  As I get older though I'm beginning to think more about my future healthcare costs.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Meowmalade on September 22, 2015, 07:38:32 PM
Not super cheap, but in the long run, more than worth it:  Phillips Sonicare toothbrush, about $60.

I had a Sonicare for years until the battery died on mine, at which point I switched to an Oral B Smartseries electric toothbrush since the replacement heads are about half the price.  It turns out that I like the performance a lot better, too!  I feel like they do a better job of cleaning my teeth.  My favorite are the Floss Action heads.  I recently got my mom an unused demo display one on eBay for about half the price of a new one  :)
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: jengod on September 22, 2015, 09:08:21 PM
Thought of another one:

FREE 2-gallon bucket acquired from a grocery-store bakery. (The bucket once held bulk frosting.) It is much easier to tote around when full than a 5-gallon bucket and I use it all the time.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on September 24, 2015, 01:42:08 PM
My husband had terrible gum disease which caused him to have six teeth pulled. Since he started using a Sonicare, his gums are much healthier. He hasn't needed any periodontal work beyond normal cleanings for several years. Plus his breath is way better. :) It's not cheap, but it has saved him a lot of painful dental visits.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLA on September 26, 2015, 09:45:01 AM
The basins from the dollar store.
 

I found these in the perfect shade of blue as my son's furniture, they went on two low bookcases already painted the blue.  Bookshelves found in hoarder parent's basement, she let us take them.  It turned out so nice with all those basins as toy/book storage.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on September 27, 2015, 09:41:32 PM
A small, cloth purse that I found at a market in Thailand.

It cost me about $2 six years ago and I can wash it, pack it up small, wear it crossbody easily and it's big enough to hold just enough for when you're walking around (phone, passport, cash, etc). It is colorful on one side and black on the other so I can wear it for both casual and more formal use if needed. Best $2 I've ever spent! I can't believe sometimes how much use I get out of it.

I'm after this exact thing for next time we travel. Still looking!
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on September 27, 2015, 09:42:55 PM
+1 to the Wahl hair clippers. 

Bought a pair on Amazon for $23 bucks and my girlfriend(wife now) began cutting my hair.  I was skeptical at first and we had some "unique" hairstyles, but I absolutely love that thing.  It has saved me $1000+ dollars over the years.  I get to cut my hair when I want and how I want it for free (pretty much).

I spray tan my wife in return I get my hair cut.  Save money on both sides of that transactions.  I've only been spray tanning her for 6 months, but it will quickly have a better ROI than the clippers.

Using the good solution will run ~$2 bucks a spray vs salon at $10-$20 a spray.

I cut my husband's hair, he tweezes my eyebrows. :)

Others would laugh but they are bonding experiences.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: FLA on September 28, 2015, 02:27:13 AM
For non-narcotic Rx drugs, the doctor has never batted an eye when I ask him to double the strength so I can split the pill and save half on my out of pocket cost.

Consumer Reports used to say to do this.  I have not found one doctor personally or professionally willing to do this. They will right for the higher strength but give you half as much.  With electronic records shared between doctors and specialists, this would be a PITA, how would anyone know the "real" dose?  Maybe it's a NYS thing and they can't do it
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: jwc082 on December 21, 2015, 10:18:57 PM
Digital tire pressure gauge.  Keep it on a keychain, use it surprisingly often.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: MrDelane on December 21, 2015, 10:24:44 PM
20$ hair clippers . . . which three years ago replaced monthly haircuts at about 20$ a pop (after tip).  I'm hoping to avoid ever paying for a haircut for my son now . . .

I'll second this and raise you...

A roughly $30 pair of hair clippers I bought in 1994, and I continue to use today.
I use them about once a month.  I figure I've saved a bit over $5K in haircuts in the past 21 years.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on December 21, 2015, 10:37:18 PM
I bought a desk lamp when I went to college. I've used it continuously. It's on my husband's desk now and he uses it daily.
I bought it in 1980.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Exflyboy on December 22, 2015, 12:53:14 AM
My 20$ OBD II reader.   ELM 327.  Just connect that bad boy via bluetooth to a smart phone, makes short work of vehicle troubleshooting.  Im sure I have another favorite item but that one comes to mind.

I actually have one of those but never had anything to read it with.. Now my Wife has a Republic Wireless  phone I really must download the Torque Pro app and save the odd trip to Autozone..:)
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Exflyboy on December 22, 2015, 12:56:52 AM
Bought a utility trailer for $350. Less than one payment on the typical pickup truck. Better for my purposes in almost every respect.

+1
Has paid for itself many times over.

Same here.. $250 from Harbor Freight a few years ago with 12" tires. I have pulled that thing at over 70mph with my Dodge Neon!.. Awesome tool (although we now have a cheapo monster truck for getting the 2.5 tons of hay for the horse each Summer and hauling him to the arena when its too we to ride him in the pasture.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Exflyboy on December 22, 2015, 01:00:40 AM
Just about every tool I ever bought falls into this category.. Except maybe the mig welder which I really never could justify.

My fav though is the Oxy-acetylene welding set.. Not that cheap but I've had it for donkeys years and its so damn versatile.. There is no such thing as a rusted on nut of any size.. Heck if you can't break the rust you can just melt it..:)

I can weld almost anything ferrous with it as well.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: syednaeemul on December 22, 2015, 03:31:54 AM
The $20 slow cooker I bought from Target, who'd have thought cooking is so easy / hands-off?
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: superkookyburra on December 22, 2015, 04:38:26 AM
Veggetti.  $15 - $5 coupon at Bed, Bath, Beyond.  Whenever we have spaghetti now, we use zucchini for the noodles.  Just as easy of a meal to make, but much healthier.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Nickyd£g on December 22, 2015, 05:48:00 AM
Mine is a chair, though I didn't buy it - I found it on the street!  It was a really cool wooden chair, though had paint splashes on it and was a bit grubby.  A friend of mine was doing decoupage while off work with stress, and I asked her if she could decoupage it.  Cost me £5, plus a bunch of flowers :)  It is now my bedside "table", and is very colourful and pretty.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: justajane on December 22, 2015, 06:05:35 AM
Not cheap, but a $50 non-stick anodized skillet from Cuisinart has stood up to 5+ years of daily use. I was dubious when my husband bought it, but it has been awesome.

My $10 hair-cutting scissors from CVS are going to save me hundreds of dollars in haircuts for my kids. I say only hundreds because I am likely to upgrade them in the next few years. But it's still a good ROI! Oh, and the $40 Crea clip on Amazon from my own haircuts. That was a MMM recommendation for which I am very grateful.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on December 22, 2015, 06:32:33 AM
Dont know how much they cost because i have had for so long but i have about a dozen flannel shirts I wear seemingly 8-9 months a year and they just never wear out.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on December 22, 2015, 07:08:43 AM
I bought my car with 16,000 km on it for 3,800 CAD. Granted, it's a 2004, but it's a Hyundai Sonata and built pretty solid. Pretty good buy in my opinion.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: hoping2retire35 on December 22, 2015, 08:12:26 AM
+1 on home hair cuts

our slow cooker is definately our most important piece. it was a gift but I am guessing ~$80. smaller ones are even cheaper, maybe even check craigslist but they are awesome. put everything in and walk away.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: OmahaSteph on December 22, 2015, 08:19:58 AM
I bought a pair of black leather high-heeled boots at a consignment store for $9 and they've way outperformed my other more expensive boots. Thinking of taking them to a shoe repair place to get some work done on them BUT I've been powerlifting and my calves are getting bigger, so they may only fit for another couple months. :(
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: Frugalman19 on December 22, 2015, 08:27:03 AM
Corkscrew for sure lol
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: ohana on December 22, 2015, 08:29:01 AM
A little plastic dish scraper that cost $1.  I use that every night and love it. 
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: pbkmaine on December 22, 2015, 08:30:35 AM
I have measuring cups and spoons in bright colors. They make me happy every time I use them.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: BarkyardBQ on December 22, 2015, 09:16:50 AM
I got a Mr. Coffee Dehydrator when I was 12 for Christmas, 19 years ago, still works great.
Title: Re: What's your favorite really cheap thing you bought that is functional?
Post by: horsepoor on December 22, 2015, 09:42:51 AM
22 years ago, when I was in college, I bought a Melitta single cup coffee cone. Don't remember what I paid for it, but considering its equivalent to the one currently selling for $3.99, I'd say it can't be much more than that. I have made countless cups of coffee with it, used it nearly everyday since then except for summer which is iced coffee time. I have a fancy Japanese kettle designed for pour over coffee now but I've used it with nothing more than a saucepan before. It's hard to make coffee for company, but 99.9% of the time, it's just me wanting coffee and it's perfect for that.

I sometimes think about replacing it with a glass or ceramic one, but I worry about breaking it, so I stick with my old plastic one. Best coffee maker ever.

The exact same thing came to mind for me.  My college roommate bought it for me for Christmas when we were both broke.  Sadly, mine developed a crack, and then it broke all the way this spring when I packed it in my luggage to make coffee while traveling.  I did find a stainless steel Hario to replace it with, and think the coffee is marginally better, but that Melitta cone really paid for itself over the years.

Last winter I picked up a very ugly but very solid little book shelf that was left on the curb.  It was marginally useful in the garage, but I just moved it down to the basement closet that I use as a pantry, and it fits like it was made for the space, and is perfect for storing winter squashes.