My Wisest, Most Frugal, Longest-Lasting Purchases From Amazon

If you’ve been shopping at Amazon.com for many years like I have, a fun activity is to look at your order history which it appears they keep indefinitely. I have purchases dating as far back as 1999, with many questionable ones sold off long ago on eBay including Palm PDAs, Minidisc players, and those multichannel walkie-talkies that were so popular for a while. However, other items I still have and will hopefully get many more years of use out of them. Again, these aren’t all my best purchases ever, just five examples I bought from Amazon.

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
This was bought shortly after we got married, and we’ve been using it regularly without any issues for nearly 10 years. We use it to beat eggs and knead dough for pizza, pasta, cookies, and bread. Cooking at home saves us lots of money, so even though it was expensive upfront, the added convenience has definitely been worth it already.


Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
This $20 gadget measures the electrical usage of any appliance, either in real-time or cumulatively over a day or a week. You can enter your electrical rates it’ll spit out the actual dollar cost as well. Very interesting and informative if you’re trying to see why where your power bill goes.

Lodge 12″ Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
With nearly 3,000 reviews and a 4.6 out of 5 star average rating, I know I’m not the only fan of these heavy-duty lifetime-lasting beasts. Great for searing, oven-safe, no worrying about scratches or dings. My only comment is that I started liking cast-iron so much that I now mostly use our Staub and Le Creuset enameled cast-iron dutch ovens which were gifts. Those $200-$300 babies are awesome and spread out over 30+ years of use not even that expensive, but honestly I don’t know if they are that much better than this Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven which runs under $100.

MagLite 3-D Cell LED Flashlight
I bought the older incandescent version many years ago, and about 5 years ago bought this LED sibling. It’s has a strong, pure-white light, provides a nice hefty feel, and is relatively hard to misplace. The 4-D battery version makes a good defense weapon too. These days there are a ton of tactical flashlight options out there with some running north of $100, but I’m very happy with the $20 I spent on this one.

Men’s Platinum Comfort-Fit Plain Wedding Band
Yes, I really bought my wedding band from Amazon. The platinum is pretty scuffed up, but I’ve never polished it either so that’s not exactly a surprise. Let’s hope this thing “lasts” a while longer. ;) I was going to mention some nice diamond stud earrings, but I bought those from Blue Nile. I know that jewelry may not appear frugal, but I think by buying a classic style you’ll get a lifetime (or more) of wear out of it instead of something that’ll only be fashionable for a little while.

Comments

  1. We received a cast iron pan for our wedding, and it is still the most used item with everyday use. Great item to have in the kitchen for the long haul.

  2. I also own a kill-a-watt and love it but I have to admit that I am an Electrical Engineer too so it helps me resolve my own curiosity. I don’t think normal people would have much interest in it.

    As far as flashlights go my flashlight of choice is Amazon’s “FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp”. It ships from China so it takes a while to show up but the price is right and it runs on 1 AA battery. I bought a bunch to put in my cars and for Christmas presents for family members last year.

    I see no need for a flashlight to run on D batteries now that they run on LEDs. Sure, the run time might be longer but who wants to buy D batteries?

  3. Haha, my wisest and longest lasting, most frugal purchase is my wedding band, which I got on amazon too – except mine was only $29 (paid for with a gift card from a credit card deal)! Looks like it is now only $18: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I85G18/ref=ox_ya_os_product

  4. Interesting post. We use our iron skillet all the time. Meeks me want to buy a mixer!

  5. Jonathan – the fact that you wear diamond stud earrings completely blows my mind! Or were those for your wife?

  6. @InACents – So that means you registered for one? Very wise. :)

    @Peter – D batteries just last forever, so I like ‘em. :) You can put AA Eneloops in the D adapter as well. I have a thing for flashlights for some reason, and I’ll definitely check that out. I’ve been collecting LED headlamps when they get cheap – I like the handsfree aspect and they are great during blackouts.

    @Mike – Very nice. I also bought another wedding band when I lost some weight from Overstock for about $30. It also looks like platinum prices are nearly double what they used to be. I think your purchases was smarter and I would do the same today if I had to do it over!

    @Derek – Yes those were for the wife. No piercings for me, I think I had an urge for an eyebrow piercing in college but I would file that under fashion as I don’t see me wearing it much in my 80s. :)

  7. @Mike, I have that same ring, except I bought it on Overstock. I’ve had a number of people compliment me on it, including the wife of a guy who wears the same ring. Incidentally, I bought my wife’s ring on eBay and she loves it to this day (and she’s the one who found it, so it’s not like I’m the only cheapskate around).

  8. Just as an interesting aside, my local library actually has kill-a-watts available for checkout.

  9. There are some awesome deals on the Kitchenaid Mixer now. If you use your Chase Freedom card, you can get one for under $100 after the Kohl’s cash and Ultimate Rewards!

  10. There is no universe in which a wedding band (and what it represents) can be said to be the wisest and most frugal of investments. None.

  11. LOL, I own variations of 4 out of the 5 items — blue Kitchenaid “Heavy Duty”, too lazy to see if we have a 3 or 4 cell Maglite, the same Lodge cast iron pan and I have a platinum + gold Comfort-Fit simple wedding band. All pretty much indestructible.

  12. Very wise buys. These items are a gem for the price that you paid. Online shopping thus have its perks.

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