What do you splurge on?

wjsweMarch 1, 2009

Our topics are always about how and what we save....but what is it that you will actually splurge on? What can you not live without??

I have to have my bottled water. The water here is gross and I do not like the filters that go in the fridge or the ones that you place on the sink. Now I mostly buy it by the gallon (usually the Wally World brand)but sometimes I buy the individual ones at Sam's.

What about you?

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I used to buy bottled water, but I got tired of lugging home the jugs and worried about putting them in landfills, so I went to Sears and got an electric water distiller. It has paid for itself many times over. As for indulgences, I like good tea (Darjeeling, Irish, etc.) and the occasional dark chocolate. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to keep the lights and heat on these days.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 11:22PM
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WATER SNOB here - we've distilled our drinking water for over 25 years and we're on our 6th 1-gallon distiller. Much cheaper than bottled water and you are assured there is little to nothing left in the water - including Rx drugs and drugs used on farm animals and chemicals applied to farm land, found in well water and tributaries around here, as well water treated in towns. The last distiller we got through Amazon.com. Had horrible luck with the last 3 we got from Sears.

SHOES - Good quality leather footwear. They may seem like a splurge when I purchase them, contrasted to a pair of shoes from Payless or Wal-Mart that might last a season, but I will wear them for years and years and keep them in good condition. We actually polish our footwear. My leather winter snow boots are 33-years old. I'm NOT Imelda Marcos, however (LOL).


    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:47AM
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running sneakers- pay now or really pay later

don't stone me but i've been known to frequent starbucks..once a month with a friend or after a challenging run.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:56AM
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About a year and a half ago I started splurging on my hair. I went to a nicer salon rather than going to one of the cheap places. The lady listened to me describe what I wanted and then told me that I'd look better with different cut and some highlights. She also told me I needed my eybrows waxed. I let her do her magic and she was right. I've gotten a lot of compliments since then. I figure I conserve in other places and we have the money so why not look good.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 10:01AM
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I like home decor/hobby lobby. LOL

No offense, thought you would like to know. On my Alaska cruise I sat next to a woman whose brother's job is testing water. He travels all over the USA. He won't drink bottled water because he knows it worse than any city water he has tested. The average user pays $8. a gallon for drinking water. I don't know if that includes the refills, it might be cheaper.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 10:02AM
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    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Stargazzer~ thanks for letting me know. I have actually heard that before. Honestly I can say that it is not really the chemicals in the water that bother me it is the taste. Most tap water tastes like cholorine to me. But all that being said...when I go out to eat I usually ask for iced water and most of the time the taste doesn't bother me all that much.

We use tap water for kool-aide, tea and to make frozen juice. I don't drink those often but the kids and DH do and they haven't complained yet.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 1:37PM
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Since several have mentioned bottled water, I thought I'd include a recent article on same. Many (most?)of the more popular brands of bottled water are essentially slightly-tweaked tap water. As the article points out, some are even worse than tap water. Virtually all of the lower to moderately priced bottled water came from tap water sources. To get bottled water that originated from ground water aquifers, etc., means more $$$, for obvious reasons.

We have one family member who drinks Evian, supposedly from an aquifer in France. So that's our splurge. She also is aware of what Evian spelled backwards is. :)

Good topic! Amidst our many money-saving practices, we all have some things we can't do without.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bottled Water Report

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 2:48PM
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I must be a total cheapskate. I splurge on Gum - Orbit at $1 a pack! I think it's highway robbery that gum is $1 a pack but I love the Orbit so I pay it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:33PM
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A DSL Internet connection and birdseed.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 4:29PM
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seeds. I can't afford to buy lots of plants, so I grow my own. I can't walk past a seed rack without picking up a few packets. The on-line seed companies know my cc#.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Newgardenelf, are splurges are the same although I'm a little worse with the coffee. DS2 and I have a weekly "date" that consists of going to storytime at Barnes & Noble and then sitting in the cafe - him w/ a chocolate milk & snack, me w/ a coffe or tea. He pretends to read a magazine or "reads" a favorite book from memory. I flip through a stack of kitchen magazines. This is the last year for this as he will be heading to school next year.

I completely agree on the running shoes. I'm a fairly heavy striker(a size 2, but my feet come down hard) and my joints would be shredded if I didn't pay for good shoes.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:24PM
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coffee beans.....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 6:59PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Our topics are always about how and what we save....but what is it that you will actually splurge on? What can you not live without??
I sort of view a splurge as anything that is really not all that necessary.

Things that I could live without, but choose not to are many.
Candy and junk food. Often I don't get to a store for weeks at a time, so when I do, I tend to stock up, always trying to get the most bang for my buck though.
Pop...namely Pepsi!
Flower seeds and plants.
Good name brand walking shoes(these are more of a necessity though)
bird seed and doggie treats
Kitchen gadgets, though they are usually unique, used, in good shape and at a good price.

I'm sure there is more but they escape me now.

I'm finally thoroughly cleaning and defrosting the deep freeze for the first time ever. In getting to the bottom of it I'm realizing just how important it is to know one's freezer inventory and to be sure and have it packaged well, and to be sure and rotate the stuff. My doggies will be getting lots of people food treats in the days to come after I get things cooked up for them....sigh.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:12PM
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My husband and I have a "date" every Saturday. We go around to yard sales and estate sales and then we eat lunch out, somewhere not too pricey.

Sometimes we find great bargains, sometimes nothing, but we are together in the car for about 4 hours with no distractions or interruptions and we talk about everything under the sun.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:45PM
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My vices are High-speed Internet service and cokes. I have to have my coke, but I do buy Wal-Mart brand. I would give up High-speed Internet before I would coke.

Grainlady that leather is so much warmer than synthetics. Wow, you know how to take care of shoes. I am going to check into the distiller. Thanks for telling us about it. Many here think the high cancer rate is from our water.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:05PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Thought of 2 more...High speed internet. It keeps me well entertained here at home, thus in a way is a savings.

Dish satellite TV, though it is a smaller package, and I never rent movies from it or anywhere else.

I also splurge on reaching out and touching someone by calling them even if they are long distance. I think it is a great value, and I sure could not drive to see them for an in person visit for what the charges are. I often have coffee and visit a friend via phone. It is entertainment for both of us and a lot more personal than an email or an IM. (I loath instant messaging and only use it long enough to ask if they have time to talk (via phone).

Bf and I eat out occasionally when we are out and about. Every so often I treat him and buy, otherwise I leave the tip if he buys.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 10:08PM
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wjswe I use ice because it tastes better. In the summer I start my day with one or two glasses of ice water and a few frozen grapes. I really miss them, with my broken arm it's to hard to clean and separate them for the freezer. As soon as I typed those words I thought "dummy, wash and freeze them on the stems in small bunches". Ahh, love those senior moments.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Yeah, I like those yard sales every Saturday morning, too.

Often I find something that's such a great buy that it pays for that day's gas and more. Plus I enjoy it and I get to meet people I wouldn't ordinarily. I've admired their plants and have often been given seeds or starts; other times they'll sell me some really cheap. Sometimes I find something that's such a good deal, I can resell it and make money on it.

I splurge on things that will end up paying for themselves. I'm looking into getting a water distiller and a grain mill. So I'll be watching for Grainlady's answer to the water distiller question on another thread. I recently ordered a "muffin top pan" so I can make my own hamburger buns and muffin tops. It should get here today. I just got a pizzelle maker because the price was reduced and I've wanted one for awhile. I buy books sometimes if my local library doesn't have what I want to read, but the price has to be right. I can turn around and sell them and get most of my money back if it's something I decide I don't want to keep.

I'm probably going to splurge on a water-collection tank this summer. I bought one last year but it overflowed after just one good hard rain, and I used all that water and then had to water with City water. Had I had that one at the down-spout in the back, and a bigger one where the present one is, I probably would've been able to collect all that ran off the roof and ended up under my, and my neighbor's, houses. Many think we're going to have a drought in Oklahoma this year. Parts of the state experienced it last summer and fall. This puts a definite crimp in my gardening abilities.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 7:54AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I recently ordered a "muffin top pan"
After seeing the 'muffin top' episode on Seinfeld years ago, when I saw the pans at a flea market they were something I had to have. I got 2 different sizes. For years thy just took up space in a cabinet until I finally got around to baking with them. I failed to adjust the time, and watch them well, and they got too dark....well actually they burned.

What a wonderful idea about making home made hamburger buns. I might have to give those a try too.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 12:13PM
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Ballroom Dance Classes - we have our last class tonight.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:27PM
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Good quality coffee (whole bean from Starbucks, to grind at home) and good bread (from a local organic bakery)are two weekly splurges. My cats also get good wholesome food and I spend $$ on a great quality litter (keeps the smell and mess down, which is priceless to me!).

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 7:30PM
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I must admit that I will slurge on a message maybe once a year. Chocolate maybe once a week.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:09PM
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I do splurge on some things. I broke down and got DSL when it was a decent price and I justify much of the upgrade since I don't have cable/satellite and it's entertainment plus used for work - makes work easier. Not tempted to go to movies or anything.

I guess a major splurge is pets. Yes they're a splurge and a responsibility. I don't cheap out with the food for them either. Good quality brands. Iams, Eukanuba mainly and occasionally Purina One. I won't buy the junk foods for them. I'll put junk food into me but not into them. They can't tell me when they're not feeling well. So I believe it's my responsibility to take good care of them. I use coupons coupled with sales and was surprised how low the actual annual cost was when I totalled it up once.

I buy bottled water for convenience and savings. Yes I do save money since I carry a few bottles with me so if I eat out at a fast food joint or something, I have water and can buy 12 or 15 bottles for the price of one purchased pop. And I can buy a couple cases for the cost of one Megabucks coffee!

I do go out to eat once every month or two with a friend and we go to modest places like Chili's, Red Robin, Appleby's or something. That's a splurge but we spend several hours catching up and enjoy the meal and have soft drinks with free refills (or coffee) rather than swilling hooch so it's usually about $15 each.

Lately, I've been eating out more. I like to go out for breakfast which is a cheaper meal but more enjoyable for me. I try to watch it though. I guess I don't feel so bad splurging on food, water and the pets rather than what some will do like megabucks coffee every day, having toenails painted, expensive haircuts, contract cell phones cable/satellite (and still have nothing to watch!), etc.

There's more but these are what come to mind. And it should be said that some of this is rationalization too. I'm frugal and far more frugal than the average person but I'm not a nutcase. I'll spend money but I like to get value.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:03AM
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Sometimes I splurge on a special ingredient if I need it to make a recipe. Biggest splurge is anything that is good for my little dog that is needed. I don't buy bottled water. I was given a reverse osmosis filter for Christmas and we really like it. It is hooked to our ice maker also. I give the RO water to our doggie too.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 6:31PM
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Marilyn, my sister sells Shakley products and swears reverse osmosis is the best filtering system there is. Pricey though if you buy Shakley brand.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 6:52PM
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Books: we buy a LOT of books since we're both voracious readers. And we like to re-read books as well, so borrowing them from the library doesn't work for us.

Food: we spend for quality on certain things (wild-caught fish, high quality meats, farmers market seasonal produce) that is worth the cost because the taste is incomparable.

Dining out: we dine out a lot. Sometimes cheap ethnic, but at least half the time, a good expensive restaurant. I cook a lot and enjoy it, but going out to a great restaurant (we live in the SF Bay Area so there are some FABULOUS places) is like a cheap mini-vacation for me...great food I wouldn't think of making, and no dishes to wash, LOL!

Broadband (I'm on the Net a lot) and cable (my DH is a TV fiend): he doesn't ask for much and I figure this is something he enjoys.

Alternative health services: we go fairly regularly to three different people, an acupuncturist, an acupressurist, and a certified massage therapist. Although these are not covered by our otherwise-comprehensive HMO, we have found them extremely valuable in maintaining good health over the years, and thus worth the out-of-pocket cost to us. We don't believe my DH would have recovered so well from his stroke had we relied solely on the minimal recovery care provided by the HMO.

What we don't spend on:
Bottled water. Wasteful in so many ways. We have a good undersink filter system, but our tap water is excellent anyway so I drink that, myself.

Clothes. Have enough and more, to spare. Been giving stuff to charity. When my DH stops working, out go the suits!

Alcohol, bars, movie theatres, processed foods, expensive cars (although I love 'em!), most vacations (we're cocooners and like to stay home).

Pets. Love them dearly, but our last cat cost us $7K EACH YEAR the last two years of his life, counting everything including his medical (old age) problems. We don't even spend that on our own health, to spend it on a pet was ridiculous. I can go pet the neighbor's cat or walk my friend's dog when I need a 'pet fix'.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 7:24PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Cynic, this website gives an analysis of dogfoods. While many people think Iams and Eukanuba are good foods, they are not.
Certainly I am not criticizing your choices, but it is best to be informed at least. I did not know for many years what went into dogfoods or how they are made except from tv commercials. Good foods do cost more but personally I think they are worth it. I feed my dogs Wellness dry and would feed cats that too if I had them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dogfood analysis

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 8:33PM
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I've seen the site before and it's a very uninformed and contradictory site in many ways. I don't give it much credibility.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:39AM
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laxsupermom- dates with the kiddies are nice memories (maybe we can call that one an investment)as are running shoes.

I have had to bow out of the yoga classes splurges that some friends continue to do as the prices have gone from $2-4/class to $10-$15/class. I'd rather do a yoga video from the library and save up for a massage- another splurge......which sadly has become a once-a-year birthday splurge..ahhhh...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 2:19PM
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For the book readers, the following site can save you some money. I love it. And if you join,
please put equinecpa@yahoo.com as your referrer so I can get a book credit!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Paperback Swap.Com

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 4:47PM
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The vets here still just say a good brand name pet food, he said you don't have to have the costly special foods.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

It is an unpopular notion among the frugal to buy good dogfood. However there are many websites other than the one I posted that goes into the same type of critique on dogfood.

Everyone makes choices they feel are best for their family but to choose to be uninformed because they don't care is ignorance at best- at least know the reasoning behind buying good dogfood before picking up a bag of pedigree.

Vets are some of the uniformed because the few hours they do receive on pet nutrition is from pet food manufacturers.

I am only posting this, I certainly don't mean to hijack this thread, but no informed person says Purina is a good dogfood.
Do people buy it? Of course. They also buy cigarettes and Twinkies. Will it kill them? Maybe- maybe not. But the likelihood is there and it doesn't promote good health.

Again, I am not criticizing anyone for feeding a grocery store brand as long as they know why they do so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good dog and cat food

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 10:21PM
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Yarn and gardening supplies (esp. seeds). I view both of these things as entertainment and therapy. And when the gardening season begins, it's great exercise to prepare the soil and plant everything I've grown from seed.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:53PM
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Cable tv including DVR and HBO and dining out. My expensive hair stylist is a necessity, not a splurge.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Grainlady, like you, we have a distiller and consider it a health device, not at all a splurge. However, my splurge is 1/3 cup of really great icecream (organic on discount sale from co-op) with morning organic coffee.

My oldest shoes are a pair of cordovan stack heeled Clarks that I bought over 45 years ago! Have had the heels capped once and had to oversew them once. I do not wear these 'town shoes' daily-but they are fine with slacks and are soooo comfortable. These shoes are a classic style.

We love home cooking/eating in (raise most of what we eat), and this year's main splurge in food was an order for 11# of candied ginger! Experimenting with more Asian foods...DH's splurge is dinner wine-so visit Trader Joes 2-3X/yr for discount indulgences.

Our food animals and gardens keep us exercised and the wood shop provides sawdust making opportunities to keep us sane...splurges?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Bumblebeez is 100% correct. What you save on crappy dog food, you'll end up paying for later at the vet's. Ear infections, skin allergies (constant licking or chewing on the paws is a typical sign), obesity and the accompanying health problems, ETC, ETC, ETC, are all very frequently directly related to poor quality foods.

Science Diet, Eukanuba, Iams, Purina -- NOT good foods, sorry!

The nutrition levels in various dog foods evolve over time -- some brands start out as reasonably good quality food, but when the parent company is bought out, the quality often plummets. In other cases, knowledge of canine nutrition and diseases advances to the point that what *was* top-of-the-line once upon a time is no longer even in the top tier, new product lines available are vastly superior.

Most vets are NOT very knowledgeable about nutrition. The nutrition requirements to graduate vet school as a general practioner vet are really not all that extensive.

Do some research on canine health and nutrition before you discount the value of feeding quality foods.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:11PM
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Getting back to the original point of the thread ...

Running Sneakers
Hiking Boots
Cable Modem (how that isn't a necessity I'll never know)
Is spending $20/week on fruit splurging??
Nice gym (If you don't go how much are you saving?)

Things I live w/o:
HDTV (I have 3x27 inch TVs that are almost exclucively used for kids cartoons. They don't need HDTV.)
Premium channels (who has time to watch TV)
Premium automobiles (I can't see spending much past reliable, safe transportation)
Coffee (I don't even drink it. Tetley tea is perfect for me.)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:09PM
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Travel by far, Hawaii, Europe, central America, etc
Food - Fresh seafood, fruits, etc
Premium TV/internet
Fine furniture

Things I live w/o

cell phone
Eating out (except while traveling)
Premium cars
Premium pet foods

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 2:23PM
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Bumblebeez, you are so right about the dog food. There is a tremendous amount of information that says you are right as well. I am glad you are informed & willing to share that information.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:18PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thanks debbimc. Sometimes I get tense/disturbed/angry when I'm at Wal Mart and see shoppers loading up on Ol' Roy!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:44PM
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nothing much, i pop for the leather interior in my car, every 3 yrs when i lease one. and cigars, 300 bucks a yr for a box of 50.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 1:22AM
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I think leather upholstery in a car is a good investment. I had a Buick LeSabre for ten years. We raised our grandchildren and they were toddlers when we bought it. Both car seats in the back seat (they were only 13 months apart). I can't tell you how often I had to clean up spilled stuff, mud from the park and other accidents in that back seat. Cloth upholstery would never have taken all that abuse. When we sold the car, the people who bought it loved how clean it was and paid more for it because it was in such great condition.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 8:19AM
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Travel twice/year for vacations plus one trip to see family.
Facial every two months - I'm 61 and work full time, so I need it.
Unique handmade crafts - the kind you see at the National Craft show.
Eating out one/twice/week (we both still work)

Do without:
Cable TV
Second car
Handy man, gardener, or maid
Nail salon
New clothes (I get mine on eBay and get compliments)
iphone, etc. I do have a cell phone, but do not have to have the lastest version or one that takes pictures.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:01PM
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Woodworking tools! Equipment must be Jet or Delta, power tools Porter Cable, hand tools Lie-Nielsen, Bridge City Toolworks, Starret, Robert Sorby, some Veritas. Snap-on for any wrenches, ratchets, etc needed. Best accuracy and feel, and if I ever get to the point where I can no longer do woodworking, these will keep their value for resale much more than most hardware store tools. They just make my heart sing and work that much more enjoyable. Also get gel overlays on my nails or else they get all worn and torn and so annoying from the woodworking.
Agree that good shoes and boots - Frye - good investment, and non trendy clothing that will last.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 5:24AM
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Produce - fresh and frozen
(Got to have my smoothies)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:31PM
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My husband wears Docker-type pants and button down shirts. Years ago, I did those Air Force khakies up really great - literally so stiff they stood alone, but just don't seem to be able to do that now - so he sends them to the laundry. He can wear them for work a couple of times, though, and then will wear them once again for golf, etc.

My conscience bothers me, though, can you tell?

We travel for work in a travel trailer and we use a lot of paper towels for wipe ups, etc. At home, I use cup towels and rags for this, but since laundry has to be done at a laundry facility, and that is quite expensive - and I hate going to them, it is just easier to use the paper towels. I do try to use a sponge for a lot.

My conscience bothers me there as well.

I can't speak for others, but I'm well aware that much of the bottled water is 'duded-up' city water. That isn't the point for me. The point is, I simply cannot drink water that smells and tastes like Clorox. If I don't drink bottled or filtered water, I don't drink water. I can either pay for bottled water and drink lots of it, or I can pay for dr's visits and medications. My personal plumbing is 68 years old, it is operating very well (knocking on wood), but it needs lots of water to stay that way. That makes it very cost effective, for me.

It is one of those decisions everyone has to make for themselves and I don't think there is a right or wrong.

We do have a filter on the water line of the RV, but it doesn't catch all the chlorine taste or smell and I have tried Pur or Brita and it doesn't do it for me, either. I used to buy an very inexpensive filter made by Holmes, but can't seem to find it in the stores anymore.

I, too, drink a lot of water in restaurants - many filter their water. I can tell when they don't.

Grainlady, I'm going to do some research on the distillation process. Our water at home is pretty bad also.

We don't feed our cats expensive food, but not the cheapest either. I noticed when we visited our daughter who has three cats, one that is diabetic and has other problems, their cats eat much less than my three and 'poop' much less and the smell is not as bad. She keeps telling me it is the cat food. They feed their cats what, for me, seems very expensive - might not be in the long run. I would have to order from Amazon and just haven't done it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:32PM
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