Things I resisted, and shouldn't have. Being cheap is not always a bad thing. Not always a good thing either. These things are luxuries, most definitely, and not necessary in any way for a happy life. However, I am not exaggerating when I say I give up a little prayer of thanks every time I use these items. Especially the dish washer. And the swiffer. And the laptop. And the...well, you get the idea...In hindsight, I just shoulda bought 'em. I love them that much:-)
Dishwasher - Our house, purchased in Feb 2005, did not come with one. And I didn't love that fact, as I'd always had a dishwasher before. But over time I came to almost enjoy my dish washing routine and thought that the money saved in the cost of the machine, and the water, and the soap was probably worth the time spent washing dishes. I was wrong. I save myself A LOT of time everyday, and gained precious counter space back. We got a great dish washer for a pretty good price (about $399) in 2010. It's high efficiency, so it doesn't even use a lot of water. Best $400 I've ever spent?!
DVR - I resisted this aspect of tv, because it would add $5 to our bill each month, and I'm always too thrifty for such things. We were forced into it, eventually, by the shrewd cable company - our tv (purchased in '08) came with HDMI hookups. The only HDMI cable box they provide must accompany the DVR (digital video recording) plan, adding that dreaded $5 to our monthly bill. It made me grumpy. Until I realized what it was. Then it made me soooo happy! It gave us freedom for the tv. There was a show we always wanted to see on Wed nights, so we'd rush home (from church!) to see it. A sports game we couldn't miss the beginning of, so we'd rush out - Now we tape every thing we want to see and watch it when it is convenient for *us*, no matter when it is on. This is so nice! I feel like I am not a slave to the tv schedule at all, and bonus - we never have to watch commercials! (if you do not have cable (which is now us), paying 7.99 per month for a service like hulu plus will give you the same thing - tv you can watch when it's convenient for you)
A Stand Mixer - I had the handheld mixer I was given as a wedding gift, and it was more than sufficient. I desired a Stand Mixer (Kitchen Aid or similar), but just could not justify the cost, since what I had was working fine. Well, I was wrong. I *thought* what I had was working fine, until I got a Kitchen Aid:-) I was given this as a Christmas gift, and what a game changer that thing is! It makes my baking time soooo much more efficient, since I can be "hands-free" while doing so. I've found I bake more, now, since it requires less effort and time. Which is a good thing (but bad for my waist line;-)...cookies, breads, doughs, cakes, it's just all too easy, with quick clean up too (dish washer safe).
Swiffer Wet Jet - I knew what it was. I just didn't want to have to buy refills all the time. So I tried all these other mops from the beginning of our marriage in '03, until...late in '07 I believe. Yup. I had 2 kids by then. I guess it takes a lot for me to cave in when I know money will be involved. I should have known better. Before, I could almost never "get around to" mopping my floors due to the hassle. uhhh, so thanks Swiffer. If it weren't for you, my house would never be clean:-) Worth the money, to me, for the hassle free cleaning. I now make my own liquid solutions, saving money, but I opt to still use the disposable pads. I guess I hate doing laundry more than I hate spending money on the pads. Walmart has recently come out with an "off brand" called Grime Boss that fits the Swiffer Wet Jet and is half the cost (for the pads).
Food Processor - I was recently given a full-sized food processor as a Christmas gift. What a game changer. I have used it for soooo much, and it's only the tip of the ice burg. Did you know you can make your own mayo? I have soo many things I want to try, and have tried with great success. All I really wanted it for was making fresh salsa and shredding cheese, but my eyes have been opened. I can't believe I waited 9.5 years to have one. Mine is a Cuisinart, and is dishwasher safe. Score.
Laptop - Just so practical. And I love not being "stuck in the office". With kids, with homeschooling...with LIFE in this modern era we find ourselves in...it's just too practical to not be enjoyed. We don't have nice expensive ones, but we do love them to pieces!
Kindle Fire (like a mini tablet) - We had resisted getting a tablet, due to cost, but when a steal of a deal came up for a Kindle Fire, I caved (this past Christmas). My suspicions were correct: it is an excellent tool for home schooling with young children. With so many free or very cheap apps, we have wonderful educational supplements for the kids to work on, and this requires almost no involvement from me. Perfect for "nap time" and stuff. And my kids are currently totally killer on knowing every flag for every country in the world:-) Fun (and educational) stuff! I even enjoy reading actual books on it:-)
Cell Phone/Texting - Brian going back to like, 1999, always had one, I never did. Right before Kenna was born, he got me a phone and added me to our plan. Just so we'd be safe if something happened when we were out. Right before he got me the phone, I was stuck in unprecedented traffic on my way home from work. All the bridges and tunnels were closed, and I was in the middle of it, just stuck there. I left work at 3:15, and didn't get home until 7pm. WHERE WERE YOU?! As soon as I come in the door. Nice to see you too! I informed him that, naturally, he should have checked the traffic, it was all over the news, and just assumed I was caught in that. Anyway, shortly thereafter, I got a cell phone:-) And it was really nice. But I kept it to just a phone. I had no bells or whistles. But then texting got really popular and I couldn't stop people from texting me, which charged me the max amount, since I had no texting plan. I finally was basically peer-pressured into adding texting to my plan, to avoid these charges...and yah...it's pretty great. I'm definitely a texter now. I LOVE it. What a quick and efficient way to communicate.
King Size Bed - We bought a queen when we got married. It was about $500 Serta, so not a top of the line mattress by any means. After almost 10 years of use, it was pretty done. Not that I was vigilant about flipping it every month or anything, but it was way saggy in too many spots and hurting our backs. We were offered a King sized mattress and box spring in January, for free. Who can refuse. And wow. So far, multiple times, one of the kids (or two of them) have snuck into our bed, due to a bad dream or whatever...and I didn't know they were there. The size difference is hugely important when adding that extra kid in there! Before they were immediately forced out, because there was no space, and I hate getting kicked. Just go with the King. It's wonderful.
iPod - Ok, this is the thing with me. I can't imagine spending significant (to me) amounts of money on something I am not sure I will like. Neveryoumind that everyone else in the modern world has one, and loves it. Somehow I guess I figure I am unique in the crowd. Maybe I won't like it. Maybe I won't use it. Maybe it will tempt me to buy music for it. We were given an iPod shuffle, and I thought it was fine, but since I wasn't really into the iPod "mode" it didn't get much use. Then someone gave us their old not being used iPod, because they felt bad for us that we did not have one. I never felt bad for myself over such matters before. But I guess it's a little irksome to some people that we are apparently not up to speed with our generation. It's the original "old" one...the classic. And we LOVE it. I have been uploading all our CD's onto it, and we enjoy it so much when driving, especially!! Again, as I am thinking back, I can think of all the times it would have been so useful to have one. So I should have bought it. Although, on the other hand...why buy it when you can just wait for 12 years and have someone give it to you for free!! ;-D