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Shrink wrap window insulation that could help you keep from jacking up the heat so you can sit in that lovely well-appointed den that happens to be made up of three walls of windows.
A lined city shell made for layering and ease of movement. So you can get away with making do with this coat instead of replacing that wearable sleeping bag coat that’s starting look like a garbage bag instead. Plus, if you travel often, you can work around this instead of checking a bag for a bigger coat.
A fabric shaver you can take to the couch you’ve had for a few years and still love, even though you don’t love those pills it’s accumulated. And then you can use it on all your sweaters and coats!
Death Wish Coffee (yep, that’s the name!) you can get pumped about it in case you’re a person who spends A LOT of dough to stay caffeinated (it me) and as much as you roll your eyes when some finance guru tells you to quit your habit, good lord you just looked at your 2019 expenses and ummmmm maybe that isn’t the worst advice ever. (Not the best advice, but clearly not the worst.)
A 30 oz. Yeti tumbler that’ll save ya’ on those days when you’re doing the homemade coffee thing and then get so busy going about your day that you forgot about said coffee ’til the afternoon when your eyelids get really heavy and then you remember that your caffeine juice is still piping hot in this big ole boy.
A hard-water booster for your dishwasher that’ll finally get your Pyrex bowls that you thought were donezo looking normal again. You and I both know those bowls are lifers, despite your home’s hard water.
An ink remover to erase all sorts of pen accidents and transform even Sharpie writing. Look at you saving that white button-up shirt that had a tussle with a ballpoint pen! Any day you can avoid trashing a piece of clothing thanks to a stain is a *great* day.
A Trader Joe’s cookbook so you can get inspired to shop *my* favorite budget grocery store and whip up something besides their amazing frozen pre-made meals. Takeout food and dining out up racks up quickly, and eating a few more homemade (even partially!) meals can help a budget significantly.
And some TJ’s everything bagel seasoning to dump all over your scrambled eggs, sandwiches, really most whatever. It’ll take your impromptu DIY meals up a notch with a shake of your wrist.
Capital City Sweet Hot Mambo Sauce you can use as a marinade, glaze, dipping, finishing sauce, or even for food on the grill. Because sometime it takes a lil’ sauce to get you excited to make your own food. Or make your loved ones food for a dinner in that’ll cost way less than that place that has an uncorking fee.
A repair kit for electronics in case you’re super handy and would much rather spend a lil’ elbow grease to get that thingamajig back to fighting shape.
The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money, an easy to read, but incredibly informative tome from a CBS News business analyst/podcaster that isn’t one of those books that tells you Budgeting 101. But it *will* walk you through IRL scenarios that’ve happened with people and their money mistakes. Also, of course how to avoid said mistakes!
But if you need to start at the basics (we’ve all gotta start somewhere), The Financial Diet can give you the info you need.
Needle-nose pliers that, if you don’t already have a pair in your tool bag, you absolutely need. A pair like this is my most-used hand tool thanks to their nimble ability to bend things gently, like warped earring hooks, Christmas tree ornaments, and just about anything else that needs some detailed handiwork.
A bottle of dye for reviving your black jeans that’ve been looking a little more gray as of late. Keep wearing those perfectly worn-in jeans without screaming I LIVE IN THESE or bothering with hunting down another pair.
And a jean button replacement kit in case the problem with your go-to pair is actually the hardware. Yes, $7 for a one-time fix can feel steep. But y’know what’s steeper? Finding another pair and then paying for ’em.
A nail polish thinner to help you make the most out of those tiny bottles of lacquer that seem to dry up in the most inconvenient times.
A shoe repair kit for anyone who wears down their heels like it’s their job. With some online instruction, you can do the task yourself instead of taking it to the repair shop.
Mink oil that’ll waterproof and preserve those perfectly worn-in boots that’ve gotten significantly worse looking for wear. Revive them with this $3 buy and make your feet *and* wallet jump for joy.
A sassy cross-stitch pattern you can buy and then execute a few times throughout the year for birthday, housewarming, and any other kinds of gifts. People LOVE a gift like this (I know! I give them!) and if you can spare a few hours for executing a beaut like this as a relaxing hobby, you can save a pretty penny on your gift-giving.
A mini reading journal that, yes, costs money, but could help you cut down on your towering book-buying habit. Check out those tomes from the library and have this physical reminder of your faves. You can still rec books to friends! And convince them to use that local library branch!
A bottle of air sanitizer (yes that’s a thing) that apparently funeral directors love…and you will too, for lots of more NORMAL uses! Stop burning through all those fawn-cy candles and spray air fresheners just to cover up that weird smell that you can’t locate. Light those candles and enjoy then WHEN YOU WANT.
And an all-black (naturally) candle accessory set because I can’t be the only one whose candle has been useless with more than an inch of wax to go thanks to a warped-as-heck wick that, tbh, I should’ve trimmed.
A Hearts card set with some bite you can get 3–5 players involved in for couple game night instead of meeting everyone at the bar and then pouring sooo much money into beer, wine, and various bar eats. BYO card game for entertainment that costs less than those, tbh, subpar bar nachos.
Speaking of nachos, a nacho-specific cookbook can prevent you from venturing out for the best bar food ever (absolutely do not @ me) or spending way too much to get someone to bring you an order.
Magnetic garage handles and faux windows that’ll bring some serious curb appeal to your home for an EXTREMELY small fraction of the price of getting some carriage-style doors. They’re pricey as heck. These magnets are not.
Hush Money, a podcast meant to get listeners more comfortable about discussing traditionally taboo money topics in an effort to make life easier. Recent episodes (that I’ve listened to!) include doing social stuff when one person in a group is “broke” and the pros/cons of combining finances with a partner. Breaking the stigma of talking about this stuff IRL can save you a lot of frustration (and maybe even money!) in the long run.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.