Friday, July 24, 2015

7ToF: These are a Few of My Favorite Cheap Things

I'm writing this several days in advance since I'll be out of town the rest of the week and I have no idea what will be happening with us by the time you read this. This is a post I've had in the back of my head for several months. We so often gripe about how expensive things are ($30 for a hardback book! $5 for a loaf of bread!), I thought maybe I'd pay homage to a few things I love that are under $10.

1. Toenail polish in crazy colors ($1.99 and up): I live in an area where no one sees my toes for nine months of the year. So painting my toes is something I do for me. In the middle of winter, I pull off my socks and there are my blue or purple or green toes and it makes me so happy (it's the little things). Even if I buy the "expensive" stuff, it's $8.99 a bottle, which is pretty cheap for being cheered up in the dead of winter.

my current week-old home pedicure
also, if you do home pedis, PellMel told me about Seche Vite. Great stuff, check it out (also under $10).

2. Jar grip- You can get a package of three of these for $4.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond and let's face it, one of the nagging irritations of midlife is decreasing grip strength. I've had mine for years (it shows), and I use it practically every day.

my ancient jar grip, on top of a costco jar of jam
(we will probably still have this jar of jam a year from now)

3. Sony MDR-WO8 headphones: Ear buds won't stay in my ears unless I'm sitting absolutely still. If I wear the over-the-ear ones, I can't hear approaching traffic when I'm out walking. These headphones, which I bought at Target several years ago for $7.99, have decent sound, they stay on my head, and they don't totally block all other sounds. I luuuuurve them, and I guard them with my life, because they are hard to find now that everybody wants earbuds. (I just googled to make sure and apparently Walgreen's carries them for $9.99 in some locations. Amazon has them for $180!! I guess they have become relics!)

4. Sugar cubes- did you know you can still buy sugar cubes? I spotted them on the top shelf in the baking aisle at the grocery store a few years ago and have been buying them ever since. Yes, per ounce they're more expensive than regular sugar, but they're still only five or six dollars for a two-pound box. My current box has lasted over a year. Sugar cubes make it really easy to control sugar intake--I can drop one in a cup of coffee and it's just enough to take the edge off but it's only 15 calories. Plus, they're fun.

5. Deodorant- Can we talk? :-) You probably already know this, but just in case. "Anti-perspirant" has aluminum in it, and I've never been able to use it. I tried it once about thirty years ago and I will never use it again--I'm not sure if it amounted to a full-scale allergic reaction, but it made me miserable. "Deodorant," on the other hand, has no aluminum (unless it is Anti-Perspirant Deodorant). Commonly available brands usually have propylene glycol as the first entry on the list of ingredients, which some people will tell you is just as bad as aluminum, but I have trouble believing that since it has never bothered me even one tiny bit.

Anyway. Up until a couple of years ago, there were several widely available inexpensive deodorants marketed for women. But for some reason the major sellers of underarm products have quit selling non-aluminum products for women (is this a regional problem? maybe no one else is dealing with this). The first time I noticed, I stood in front of a wall of pastel labeled underarm products, looking in vain for deodorant that was not anti-perspirant, and the only one was a "natural" product that cost twice as much. Why?????

Even more perplexing, you can still get [non-aluminum] deodorant in the men's section. Again: why???? So, in the service of you, my gentle readers, I spent about ten minutes sniffing my way through the men's deodorants so I could find the ones with the least objectionable scent, and here you go: Old Spice Wolfthorn and Old Spice Bearglove. When they're on sale, they're $3 or less. I actually kind of like Wolfthorn, although who in the world thought up that name?

Note that these say "Deodorant," NOT "Anti-Perspirant"
6. Pandora. I could do an entire post about apps I love (and maybe someday I will), but Pandora is the only app that I pay for and still adore. Pandora is a music service. It's free if you don't mind 30 second ads every five minutes or so, but I think it's well worth $5 a month for ad-free listening.

You can create your own "stations" by giving Pandora the name of an artist or even just a song to use as a starting point, or use their pre-created stations. If a song comes up that you don't like, you press the thumbs-down icon and Pandora gradually learns your taste. My favorite stations: for mellow music, the James Taylor station, for female alt-rock, the "Royals" station (Lorde), for guy alt-rock, the "Some Nights" (Fun) station, and I also use "Today's Country Radio" and "Today's Hits Radio" pretty often. There are classical stations and instrumental stations and meditation music--pretty much anything you want. $5/month is cheap, if you ask me.

I'm running out of cheap stuff, so help me out here. I could do skin/hair products, or kitchen products, but maybe I will save those for another time. What is your favorite cheap stuff??

time elapses.... #7, because you know, SEVEN things on Friday, I have to have one more. This one is $14.99 on Amazon right now, so I'm cheating a little. But it's still a pretty good deal, because HOT FLASHES. It's strong enough to make a difference, but not so strong that papers go flying everywhere.

My Vornado personal fan, and it's BLUE!
And that's it for me. Hope you have a great weekend.

1 comment:

DreaG said...

Chip clips. It brings me much joy to fold down the top of a bag and attach a chip clip. They come in your standard chip clip or in lots of fun shapes and sizes. My favorites are currently the animal shaped chip clips -- I believe I have a tiger and an elephant.

I absolutely agree on the nail polish. Lots of smiles in one little bottle.

A Jamba Juice smoothie -- probably a smoothie and any good smoothie store.

A comfy pair of drawstring pajama pants. Flannel in the winter. Cotton in the summer.