I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences.
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Even though I wrote this post three years ago--I'm still happily using every one of these products all the time. And they're all still performing perfectly, knock on wood - benefitting me daily.
1. The Lab Rat & I use our VitaMix 5200 at least once a day.
2. The Philips Sonicare Toothbrush gets used 2-4 times a day.
3. The Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad is used every night for 5-6 months of the year.
4. The Acoustic Wireless Stereo Headphones, are only used occasionally, these days--when I'm trying to blog or read & my husband is watching something loud & annoying on TV-- like reruns of the Band of Brothers or Ultimate Fighting. If you crave quiet--these do the trick.
So, why did I decide to repost it, today of all days, when I have at least 10 other topics I want to write about?
Because, this morning I got a call from a good friend, who finally, three years later, took my advice & bought the heated mattress pad I recommended.
Susan: You know that mattress pad you wrote about?
Me: Yeah, like at least three years ago!
Susan: Well, I finally bought one. JC Penney had it on sale--and with free shipping. We plugged it in yesterday, and Joe & I could not believe it! Simply, heavenly. And, it felt so good on my sore back.
Why did I wait so long to buy it?
And Joe said, "For 20 years I've lived through miserably cold winter nights--now, that's history. This is absolutely fantastic. Where did you hear about this?"
Susan: Our friend, The Healthy Librarian. Who else?
I figured that if a simple heated mattress pad purchase "knocked my friends' socks off"--maybe some of you would appreciate a "kick in the pants" to reconsider some of these products-with-health-or-comfort-benefits. Trust me--I have zero affiliation with any of these companies.
Full Disclosure: There may be updated models from what I recommended three years ago--so do your due diligence! This much I do know: the VitaMix 5200, the Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad, & the Philips Sonic Care Toothbrush are all still around.
Just something to think about, in case you want to make a practical holiday purchase that is guaranteed to bring you--or someone you care about: Health, Calming Quiet, Cozy Warmth & Excellent Dental Care.
BTW: Over the past 3 years I have heard from many friends & readers who were all delighted with these products. No complaints yet.
Revisiting December 20, 2008
Money Well Spent: In the Pursuit of Health, Calming Quiet, Cozy Warmth & Excellent Dental Care
I don't spend money easily. I don't like excess. And I don't like to shop--except for food & books. My parents were young adults during the Great Depression, so their lessons of thrift definitely have rubbed off on me.
In Pursuit of Health - The Vita-Mix 5200
- Yes, I know you are all ready to shoot me if I say one more thing about my Vita-Mix & green smoothies--but believe me, I too, was once a skeptic! And I don't part with money easily.
- We use this blender everyday, and at a hefty $450 I figure that at $1/day for a year & 3 months it's worth it.
- There is no way is the world that I could eat 5 cups of kale, spinach, Swiss chard or spinach; an orange; a kiwi; mixed berries; 5 carrots; an apple; some pomegranate juice & 2 TBS. of ground flax seed in one day. But I can put it all into this incredible blender, add some water or ice & VOILA--I have a delicious drinkable, portable breakfast & mid-day snack. You cannot believe the power of this contraption.
- I use it to make salad dressings, to instantly puree vegetable soups, make my own tahini, humus, all-fruit sorbets, and more.
- It cleans in seconds & there are no annoying parts to take apart like in a food processor.
- To read more of my annoying green smoothie discoveries, click here and here
In Pursuit of Quiet - The Acoustic Research 900 MHz Wireless Stereo Headphones with autotuning - Model AW772
- My husband loves his TV time--especially loud WWII videos, like The Band of Brothers--Seinfeld reruns & anything on SPIKE. I like to sit in our cozy Library/Den with him, but honestly, the noise is so annoying!
- My sister clued me in to the idea of wireless headphones that allow one to watch TV or listen to music--have the volume as high one likes--and not disturb anyone else. She bought a pair of these for my brother-in-law #1 for Father's Day. He said it was a gift for her, not for him--but Oh Well--that's my sis!
- Back in September I wrote about My husband's promise: He's buying wireless headphones to use when he wants to watch TV & I want to read or write. Or vice versa. Why be mad, distracted, or have to read the same page over & over again when you can buy wireless headphones for your TV? Viva the silence!
- He bought them--he loves them--and so do I! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it is to not have a loud TV in the background when I want to read, write or think. In fact, I can cook in the kitchen while listening to the radio (NPR of course), while hubby is less than 5 feet away in our den watching Seinfeld. It's AMAZING!
- Another plus--since they are wireless, he can walk into his office, go get a snack, wash some dishes & keep listening to whatever he wants to listen to.
- Only downside: When he has his headphones on he can't hear me (I guess that's an upside for him) unless I get right next to him & tap him on the shoulder.
- He picked the Acoustic Research brand by going to our small town's electronics store so he could support the local economy & get some expert advice on a reliable model. Expect to pay between $65-$120 for a good pair--I think.
- I think wireless stereo headphones would also be the perfect solution for anyone who has to share a tiny 1 bedroom or studio apartment with a roommate.
In Pursuit of Warmth - The Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad with dual controls
- We set our thermostat to go down to 58 degrees when we go to sleep. Natural gas prices are sky high. Even with a sheet, a quilt & a down comforter, last winter I had to resort to crawling into a down sleeping bag to get warm enough. Needless to say, my husband wasn't too happy with this.
- This Fall, I spotted a queen-sized Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad at Costco for about $75 & thought I'd give it a try. After all, Costco will gladly accept returns if you are dissatisfied with a product.
- We both LOVE this mattress pad--which I know sounds slightly looney. It's got a nifty Preheat setting that we set fifteen minutes before crawling into bed, & each of us has preset our preferred temperatures--I'm comfortable with Low, and hubby who doesn't wear PJs likes #3.
- Now we only need a light-weight quilt to stay warm through the night. No need for the down comforter. And the house is a cool 58 degrees. We could probably even go lower!
- There's even an automatic shut-off that turns the pad off, should you forget, after (I think) 10 hours. And of course it has multiple adjustable temperature settings for both sides.
- Save Energy & Save Money. Calculating with March 2008 Energy Information Administration forecasting---if you can lower your thermostat 8 degrees, 24 hours a day, 25 weeks a year, you save up to $131 a year. That's a pretty good dollar return for a $75 investment, not to mention a cozy warm bed!
In Pursuit of Excellent Dental Health - Philips Sonicare Flexcare 2 Handle Toothbrush All-in-one Sanitizing Charging and Storing Unit
- Full disclosure here. My husband is a dentist and we've used the original Sonicare model for years.
- This new Flexcare model came out about 6 months ago--and there's no comparison to the older model.
- The pluses: There is a timed Maxcare mode that keeps that toothbrush oscillating in your mouth for a full 3 minutes. The average person brushes for less than a minute with an old-fashioned toothbrush. If you want a quick brush between meals--there's a 1 minute Go-Care setting.
- Ultra-violet light sanitizer is included & it kills up to 99% of E. Coli & streptococcus Mutans, not to mention assorted cold viruses. Since we all keep our toothbrushes in the bathroom & flush the toilet with the seat up--I think you get the picture. The sanitizer is a closed-door unit keeping your toothbrush away from any nasties.
- If you travel, the set includes a portable travel charger--a nice convenience.
- My last dental check-up was absolutely the best I have ever had. My dentist could not believe it. It was as pretty close to perfect as you can get. He would not conclude that it's the Flexcare--but I've done nothing else differently. Again Full Disclosure: I floss my teeth daily. I apparently hold my toothbrush at the correct angle (a must do!) & I Only Brush My Teeth Once a Day in the Morning. I say it's the Sonicare Flexcare that is giving me excellent dental health.
- This unit is not inexpensive. I saw it online at Costco for $160.00. But with new research coming out weekly about the connection between good dental health, inflammation & heart health--I think it's a small price to pay. It's all about prevention in my book!
OK, Dear Readers! Please help us spend our money wisely.
If you have a favorite kitchen or household item that you can recommend--as we consider holiday gifts--now's your chance!!