Author Topic: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?  (Read 20377 times)

firewalker

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2015, 06:46:48 PM »
Bought gobs of stock in the Wahl Clipper Company just hours ago. I'm FI now!

Kwill

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2015, 08:19:25 PM »
I bought an ice cream maker on Craigslist for $1, used it a couple times and then swapped it for a breadmaker that my brother and sister-in-law had bought but didn't like. SIL can't have dairy, so they get more use out of the ice cream maker in the summer making alternative ice creams with things like coconut milk. I only use the breadmaker every now and again, but over maybe six years, I've gotten more than my dollar's worth.

I bought a chipped French press coffee maker at a yard sale for about $1. It makes good coffee, even if I just buy the pre-ground store brand coffee. It hasn't exactly saved me money because without the coffee maker, I'd drink tea at home, which is cheaper. But it's a cheap way to make coffee.

NCGal

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2015, 12:39:30 PM »
Salad Spinner -  I used $9.99 on a gift card at World Market so technically I didn't purchase it. It also looks just like the brand that sells for $29.99 in BB&B. It saves me from wasting money on salad in a bag and heads of lettuce last a lot longer.

BMEPhDinCO

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2015, 12:57:02 PM »
Programmable themostat - sorry no link, but yeah, saves a lot since it turns on or off the heat and air without us fiddling with it!

+1 to buying own modem, etc as well!

Armer Student

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2015, 02:04:57 PM »
Programmable themostat - sorry no link, but yeah, saves a lot since it turns on or off the heat and air without us fiddling with it!

+1 to buying own modem, etc as well!

ha!
I got two of those little money savers a few weeks ago for my studio. They are really great and work just fine. The studio is perfectly temperated when needed, and ice cold when I'm not at home anyways. Perfect! <3

My below-50$-purchase to save real money was a studded bike tire. Amortized itself after only 4-5 days of winter cycling.

Unique User

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2015, 02:25:37 PM »
Cordless Dremel for doing the dog's nails.  Pays off in a month or two.

I've been thinking about this, but don;t want to hurt her.  Do I need to get a specific one?  I saw a $20 on the Home Depot website?

RetiredAt63

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #56 on: February 19, 2015, 02:47:35 PM »
If you don't cut into the quick (the blood vessel) you won't hurt her, any more than you hurt yourself when you cut your nails.   If her nails are white/clear it is easy to see where not to cut.  With black nails it is harder, but doing it every week and just taking a bit off will work.  Nail clippers and then the Dremel are probably easiest.  If your dog's nails are not too rough when you finish (some are more brittle than others), or you do a lot of walking on rough surfaces, you can skip the Dremel.

General comments - reward, reward, reward - my dog expects a treat every time I do her nails (when we are done she jumps up and runs to the kitchen counter where her treats are) but she doesn't fight me about it, just looks resigned.  When you are first starting you could reward after each foot, or even after each nail.  Tiny tiny pieces to make the treat last.

If you can hear your dog's nails click on a hard floor, they need cutting.  Too many dogs are walking around with their paws at a bad angle because their nails are too long.

To stay on topic, good nail clippers for a dog (scissor type) are usually about $10, plus the Dremel, and I used to pay $6 every two weeks (sometimes every week if her nails were growing fast) when I got it done at obedience class.  Not to mention that you can do it in the comfort of your own home, no need to make an appointment and go out (just like cutting our own hair).

Dremel - you want an attachment that will grind off things, like an emery board for the dog.  Sort of like these:
http://www.dremel.com/en-ca/Accessories/Pages/SubCategories.aspx?catid=2051


I've been thinking about this, but don;t want to hurt her.  Do I need to get a specific one?  I saw a $20 on the Home Depot website?

minimustache1985

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2015, 02:58:26 PM »
A decent travel mug (aladdin).  All the free ones I got from work/conferences/etc seemed to leak early into their life which made it hard to stay out of the gas station for my caffeine fix.  Now I always start my commute with a $0.03 cup of tea.

benjenn

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #58 on: February 19, 2015, 03:11:35 PM »
God for you! More people need to do this. beyond the cost savings, those k-cups are are horrible for the environment.

"There were 60 billion K-Cups that have gone into landfills during Keurig's rise so far," Mike Hachey says. "Obviously, Keurig is the machine of choice for many people 13 million people have this machine."

IDK what the volume of one k-cup is, but that is a huge volume of unnecessary trash!

Agreed.  And I didn't even mention that we re-use the k-cups multiple times, not just once.  We've been re-using the same few k-cups for the last 2 months and I've only thrown one away since we got the re-usable lids.  We probably have at least 50 used k-cups in a box.  Those will last us a VERY long time at this rate.

FabricStache

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #59 on: February 19, 2015, 04:05:39 PM »
Cordless Dremel for doing the dog's nails.  Pays off in a month or two.

I've been thinking about this, but don;t want to hurt her.  Do I need to get a specific one?  I saw a $20 on the Home Depot website?

You don't need a pet specific one.  One that has a variable speed that has a slower setting will work.  If you go too fast their nails will heat up.  With the Dremmel you can go slower and take off a little at a time so I'm not as worried about hitting the quick.  You can even do a little over a few days if it's too much for your dog to handle all at once.

I hold the paw with my hand and the nail that I'm working on with my finger so dampen the vibration.  My dog use to run away from me and tuck his paws under him when he saw the clippers.  Now he lays in his bed and almost falls asleep.  Our dog has really thick nails and even walking 1-1.5 hrs everyday doesn't grind them down.  So we've save plenty of $ doing it ourselves.  It is messy so I lay a towel under his legs and just shake off the nail dust outside.

Travis

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #60 on: February 19, 2015, 04:10:02 PM »
YNAB was $45 and paid for itself after a month, my Wahl clippers were $30 something and paid for themselves after a month (purchased 2 years ago), and most recently I bought a Roku 3.  It was $80 with shipping, but as soon as I cancelled cable my bill dropped by $110.

darkadams00

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2015, 08:33:08 PM »
Energy-efficient light bulbs (over $50 for entire house)
Cable modem (a little over $50)
Rechargeable batteries
Two warm blankets (keep house two degrees cooler since getting them)
Slow cooker (cheap meals and saves at least 2-3 quick meals eating out each month)

DSKla

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2015, 09:11:15 PM »
-Pourover coffee cone and kettle (can be had for under $50 combined depending on model) has saved me a ton on buying coffee shop coffee. Plus I don't need to leave home or worry about power outages disrupting my caffeine addiction.

-quarterly unlimited bus pass for $33 versus paying $74/month for parking at work, plus commuting costs. And I can use it to get around town anytime, not just for the commute.

-yet another vote for wahl clippers. The GF doesn't like my head shaved so I'm back to traditional, but they saved me hundreds for years, and I still use them for my beard.

ALMOST making the cut at $55:

-wooden gymnastic rings from MDUSA. I work in the S&C industry, and for my money, I cannot think of a single piece of storebought equipment that is more versatile and effective than a set of rings. There is practically no way to break them. And until you can do plaches, malteses, handstands, front levers, iron crosses, and everything in between, you have not graduated from rings. There are movements ranging from absolute beginner to ungodly superman that you can do with one piece of equipment that weighs a couple of pounds and packs very efficiently into a travel bag. They can be hung from anything that bears your weight, including uneven objects like tree branches. You can't do much for the lower body, but the upper half is covered. My ideal Mustachian gym would just be a set of rings, plus a used olympic bar and plates. MAYBE a squat rack if you wanted to splurge.

henrysmom

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2015, 09:56:31 PM »
Crockpot #1.  Bought it for 20 dollars years ago and still use it weekly.  Allows me to make tougher meats delicious. 
Small portable lunch kit/ice chest #2.  Take my lunch most days to work, keep drinks and snacks in it for kids while driving around town or doing errands.  Probably paid for itself in less than a month.
Eyebrow dye #3.  Sounds strange but I have dark hair and blond eyebrows and don't wear much makeup so if my eyebrows are blond I look exhausted.  Dyed them for years at $15-25 a time because couldn't find a pencil I liked.  Invested in the dye from Amazon and now do it myself for probably less than $3 in the comfort of my own bathroom
Library Card #4. Two dollars.  I read voraciously. Used to easily spend $100-200 a month on books.  Found out I can be a patron of the large county library in addition to city libraries in my area.  Never buy a book anymore since I can get interlibrary loans free or very inexpensive and can even download books onto my computer or kindle.  Great bargain.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2015, 12:35:43 AM »
Three plastic screwtop one litre containers, $2.50 each.

They're ideal for carrying lunch to work, rather commute-proof, and I usually fill them upside down, nuke for a couple minutes, upend it into a bowl and nuke some more. :)

Saved me plenty instead of buying lunch.

smalllife

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2015, 04:45:42 AM »
Diva Cup (for the ladies) - $30 that easily saved me hundreds and it's only a couple of years in
Wool socks
Cloth napkins
Mason jars for storing bulk goods

free: deciding to try no mascara and cutting my own hair

KMMK

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2015, 04:57:39 AM »
Tortilla press.

Rural

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2015, 06:42:10 AM »
Thought of one that actually fits the price range. Pressure canner from a yard sale. It was like new still in the box many years ago, and I paid 40 bucks for it. It's a big one, holds a double rack of quart sized jars, so it was expensive even back then to buy new.

rubybeth

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #68 on: February 20, 2015, 06:59:34 AM »
I'm sure the warm boots with good grippy bottoms I bought for less than $50 have saved me more than $50 in gas money because I'm able to walk to work in the winter. :)

johnny847

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2015, 09:10:34 AM »
+1 for the hair clippers. Well, I guess I haven't saved money with it yet technically, because they cost me $25 and I've cut my own hair twice now (which displaces$10-$12 haircuts before tip). But they will.

$40 bike trailer from Craigslist enables me to bike to a Korean grocery store 13 miles away and haul back loads of groceries (one time I dragged back my body weight in groceries + trailer). But again technically I haven't recouped the costs yet because I've only done this ride three times so far since I don't need to go there that often. All in due time though

That's all that comes to mind at the moment. Unfortunately I haven't used either of these things enough yet to recoup the costs....
I do use YNAB but I got it for free as a student, so that doesn't technically count either. I highly recommend it though.

SisterX

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2015, 11:26:35 AM »
Question about the rice cooker: we currently add rice and water to a pot, bring it to a boil, and then simmer for 20 min and it comes out perfectly. What exactly would a rice cooker save me? Or what benefits are there? I am really interested because so many people swear by them.

As someone else said previously, it's more about the time savings.  I mostly use ours for oatmeal, since I can make a large pot that way (which I can't in the microwave), enough for me and my toddler to eat for a couple of mornings, and don't have to sit there babysitting it as I would if I did it on the stovetop.  I push the button (mine only has "cook" and "warm", and one of them is always going when it's plugged in) and go get ready for work.  By the time I'm done getting myself ready, breakfast is done.
Also, I can add frozen fruit to the pot while it's cooking and it doesn't come out ungodly hot, the way it did in the microwave.  I no longer burn my mouth on a regular basis while eating oatmeal.
Lastly, a bunch of people have developed recipes that you can make in a rice cooker, as in whole meals.  Takes less time/energy than a CrockPot (not knocking those, I love mine) but again, you don't have to do much work to have a nice meal.

Unique User

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2015, 12:36:30 PM »
If you don't cut into the quick (the blood vessel) you won't hurt her, any more than you hurt yourself when you cut your nails.   If her nails are white/clear it is easy to see where not to cut.  With black nails it is harder, but doing it every week and just taking a bit off will work.  Nail clippers and then the Dremel are probably easiest.  If your dog's nails are not too rough when you finish (some are more brittle than others), or you do a lot of walking on rough surfaces, you can skip the Dremel.

General comments - reward, reward, reward - my dog expects a treat every time I do her nails (when we are done she jumps up and runs to the kitchen counter where her treats are) but she doesn't fight me about it, just looks resigned.  When you are first starting you could reward after each foot, or even after each nail.  Tiny tiny pieces to make the treat last.

If you can hear your dog's nails click on a hard floor, they need cutting.  Too many dogs are walking around with their paws at a bad angle because their nails are too long.

To stay on topic, good nail clippers for a dog (scissor type) are usually about $10, plus the Dremel, and I used to pay $6 every two weeks (sometimes every week if her nails were growing fast) when I got it done at obedience class.  Not to mention that you can do it in the comfort of your own home, no need to make an appointment and go out (just like cutting our own hair).

Dremel - you want an attachment that will grind off things, like an emery board for the dog.  Sort of like these:
http://www.dremel.com/en-ca/Accessories/Pages/SubCategories.aspx?catid=2051
thinking about this, but don;t want to hurt her.  Do I need to get a specific one?  I saw a $20 on the Home Depot website?

You don't need a pet specific one.  One that has a variable speed that has a slower setting will work.  If you go too fast their nails will heat up.  With the Dremmel you can go slower and take off a little at a time so I'm not as worried about hitting the quick.  You can even do a little over a few days if it's too much for your dog to handle all at once.

I hold the paw with my hand and the nail that I'm working on with my finger so dampen the vibration.  My dog use to run away from me and tuck his paws under him when he saw the clippers.  Now he lays in his bed and almost falls asleep.  Our dog has really thick nails and even walking 1-1.5 hrs everyday doesn't grind them down.  So we've save plenty of $ doing it ourselves.  It is messy so I lay a towel under his legs and just shake off the nail dust outside.

Thank you, I'm going to look into this.  I take her about every two months at $15 a pop so it does add up. 

PMG

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2015, 12:42:06 PM »
A mini air compressor. Plugs into the cigarette lighter in my car.  It was about $20. I nursed along a tire with an undiscoverable slow leak for far longer than I should have... But that little compressor is so convenient and easy.  I am much more likely to check my tire pressure and adjust than if I had to find one at a gas station.  I delayed spending on the tire purchase but have definitely saved on wear and tear by keeping things in good working order. 

I carried it in my work truck for years.   I can't even remember how many times I used it on one of our fleet of trucks, or helped other people out. Sometimes to properly inflate a spare or just to off a tire and get the vehicle to a garage for a patch before it loses too much and damages the rim.  So much time and hassle and money saved.

It's one of my go to gifts.

Marianne

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #73 on: February 20, 2015, 02:35:03 PM »
- LEDs
- hair scissors
- hair color (every 4 weeks)
- lady cup
- basket for my bike (not amortized yet)
- bread machine
- some books about finances
- food boxes for taking lunch to work, I also use them for freezing leftovers

alice76

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #74 on: February 20, 2015, 02:56:16 PM »
+1 slow cooker. $25 on Craigslist. No takeout.
Resoling work shoes.
Metal water bottles.


Astatine

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #75 on: February 20, 2015, 02:57:09 PM »
Clippers for DH's hair. The bonus is he cuts his hair more often than when he used to go to the hairdresser, so he spends less time looking scruffy. The payback time was less than 6 months.

Aeropress for DH at work to minimise his clown latte habit. Ditto with the payback time.

Bunch of screw-top 500ml plastic containers from the Reject Shop ($2 each) - easy and convenient to freeze meals for both of us to take to work for our lunches.


Travis

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #76 on: February 20, 2015, 05:15:13 PM »
Question regarding male shaving. I have to be clean shaven every day for work.  I've been using razors for years because I like the close shave, but there is a repeating cost (and my neck is inflamed when I'm done).  I've been able to stretch out razor blades a lot longer than the product states, but it still bugs me to drop $20 on blades even if it lasts me most of the year.  I've experimented with electric shavers, but I've never been satisfied with the results. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Elliot

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2015, 05:25:32 PM »
I find that safety razors are just as effective as the jillion blade kind. You can get a handle and 100 blades for under 30 bucks. Even if you only use each blade for a week, that's a significant savings. Dry it off and store the blade in baby oil between uses, and it'll never rust.

BrickByBrick

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2015, 05:57:50 PM »
Question regarding male shaving. I have to be clean shaven every day for work.  I've been using razors for years because I like the close shave, but there is a repeating cost (and my neck is inflamed when I'm done).  I've been able to stretch out razor blades a lot longer than the product states, but it still bugs me to drop $20 on blades even if it lasts me most of the year.  I've experimented with electric shavers, but I've never been satisfied with the results. Any thoughts or recommendations?

I've been using these lately:

http://www.amazon.com/Dorco-Plus--Blade-System-Trimmer/dp/B008O82O7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1424479273&sr=1-1&keywords=dorco+razor+blades

Each blade in my opinion lasts longer than most of the competition, they're cheaper than most, plus a package like this gets you 10 of them.  These blades are what the Dollar Shave Club tries to sell you at a premium (they buy direct from Dorco).  I average about 2 shaves a week, they are the smoothest blades I've ever used and I'm still on the first blade after 3 months (I expect these 10 to last me for two years at least).  If the amazon price jumps up try buying them directly from Dorco.

ambimammular

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2015, 06:49:37 PM »
Bathrobe and slippers. All winter I wear these over my clothes. It's like being wrapped in a blanket.

terran

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #80 on: February 20, 2015, 09:47:19 PM »
Question regarding male shaving. I have to be clean shaven every day for work.  I've been using razors for years because I like the close shave, but there is a repeating cost (and my neck is inflamed when I'm done).  I've been able to stretch out razor blades a lot longer than the product states, but it still bugs me to drop $20 on blades even if it lasts me most of the year.  I've experimented with electric shavers, but I've never been satisfied with the results. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Look into old fashioned double edged razors: http://www.amazon.com/Merkur-Heavy-Double-Razor-Included/dp/B000QYEK88/

You still have to buy blades, but they're a lot cheaper: http://www.amazon.com/Feather-Double-Edge-Blades-Count/dp/B00AGG3MNU -- These are some of the pricier ones, but they're my favorite. Still only 32 cents per blade.

I would tear up my face pretty good shaving every day, but I get less razor burn than I used to with the new fangled 3-blade type, and a closer shave.

MissPeach

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Re: What $50 or less purchase has actually SAVED you money?
« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2015, 05:36:45 PM »
For me, one item is a foaming soap dispenser. To use these you typically need 1 part soap to 5 parts water. For the soap I use a cheap, Eco friendly one like dr. Bronners. I can get a whole year of soap for $10 for a family of frequent hand washers.