Good ROI [NOT 27/11/23]

Hi, friends!

Happy Monday, may your week be gentle and kind.

I spent $9 on a sudoku puzzle book last week and holy shit was that money well spent. There’s variations in there that I’ve never seen before and they’re super fun. It tickles my brain in a wonderful way.

So tonight’s theme is low cost yet high return items you have.



  1. $60 clippers bought in May 2020 from Bezos Emporium.

    Saved me roughly about 36 haircuts at the hair salon or roughly $17 a cut as I got the kids rate because my haircut takes 10 minutes max (one of the benefits of being almost bald.)

    I still go from time to time if I need a professional cut (cough, F2F interview, cough.)

    • There’s a lot to be said for being able to acquire a high quality item knowing it will last and last.

      To sum it up better than I could — Sir Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

      “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

      Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

      But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

      This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

      • This pretty much sums up my parents view on things. They were frugal, but not cheap.

        When they usually bought something it was meant to last a while. I also learned from them that you take care of the things you buy so that they last longer even if it was dollar store stuff.

  2. 25 years ago, I bought a factory refurbished KitchenAid mixer (the model with the lifting bowl–not that bullshit version with the tilting heat) for half of what a new one would cost.  At the time it was still insanely expensive for me, but the total cost of ownership at this point breaks down to about $8/year.

    • Are the newer ones not the same quality as the older ones? I don’t even own a stand mixer so I don’t really have a horse in this race. I’ve just wondered if as they went from niche item to being available basically everywhere, if the quality dropped.

      CHI hair irons did that – when they expanded from just like mall kiosks to being in Ulta etc, the quality was noticeably lower.

      • We inherited an old one that’s still chugging along except for a knob that fell off the lock and you just have to push the remaining stem.

        I’ve heard the motors on the new ones can burn out from stuff like kneading bread.

        • Part of the “bread kneading” problem (honestly it applies to *all* really heavy doughs!), from what I’ve understood since the pre-Gawkerverse days of Chowhound, many folks either don’t KNOW, or they simply don’t pay attention to Kitchen Aid’s recommendations on how long & at what SPEED to knead bread dough… you shouldn’t go above Setting #2, *AND* you shouldn’t run the dough on that #2 for more than two minutes…

          But LOTS of folks will *try* to run bread dough (AND heavy cookie doughs os a similar consistency!) on a MUCH higher speed, annnnnd they’ll try to mix ’em for 5-10+ minutes at a time…

          Stripping the gears or seizing the motors on the OLD models–orrrrrr stripping that sacrificial nylon gear, on the *newer* ones.



        • Slightly shorhorn-able regarding tonight’s topic–


          The number of people who get *allllllll* into a snit, annnnnd who apparently CAN’T tell, when a human being is wearing flesh-toned fabric (which DOESN’T EVEN *match* their skin tone!!!🤣🤣🤣), annnnd when said skin is *actually* nude!🤪🤪🤪

          This article over on Buzzfeed about Dolly showing up in the DCC-knockoff outfit CRACKED me up!😆😂🤣🤣🤣

          Because if you zoom in on the pics in the article *closely*?

          You’ll notice that *most* of Dolly’s flesh-toned “skin” is covered in rhinestones.

          Her hands& wrists–are covered in her signature Fingerless Gloves, allll the way to the first knuckles on her fingertips.

          It looks like she most likely has nude mesh (typically called “Bridal Mesh”) up around her neck, and covering her cleavage. (Those rhinestones AREN’T on her bare skin!!!)

          Her “stomach” is color-matched *ATROCIOUSLY*–annnnnd that’s why there’s a star sewn on her “belly button.”

          Because of that “nude” fabric on her stomach–and the cleavage covering illusion mesh, *with* those fingerless gloves, she’s *more* covered on her Torso, thsn she would be in a one-piece swim suit!

          Annnnnd then, there’s her legs…

          I honestly *can’t* tell if she’s got a double-layer of dance tights on–nylons/tights *under* the nude fishnets that the rhinestones are attached to or not… but the woman IS in a full-length set of nude fishnet tights–*also* covered in rhinestones…

          If she’s wearing dance tights *under* the fishnets (many dancers & performers *do*!!!), she’s essentially in a neck-to-toes jumpsuit.

          The “skin” sections?

          Those are ALL fabric covered!!!

          The woman is nowhere NEAR nekkid–and it CRACKS me up(!!!!!) that SO many people are apparently *that* incredibly gullible and DUMB about stagewear!😆😂🤣🤣🤣

          The “outrageous a 77-year old being “inappropriate(!!!)” is a RIOT😆😆😆

          Dolly is THE BEST, and I hope the haters choke on their rage😁🤗🥰💖

      • There is a gear in the newer ones, which iirc is now made of nylon rather than Metal, which (predictably!) will strip/break/shred itself, when the machine is put under *too* much stress.

        Reason being, that gear is *much* easier & cheaper to replace, than is an entire *motor*…

        The old ones had *all metal* gears, and my understanding is that the gears would either strip under heavy abuse, *or* the engines used to seize up?

        It’s one of those “feature not a bug” issues, that’s *actually* meant to *SAVE* the mixer… buuuuuut it makes some folks frustrated when their mixer “craps out” (even though they were doing things they really *shouldn’t* have!)

        A domestic Kitchen Aid *isn’t* an Industrial-grade Hobart 5′ floor-mixer, and it really *shouldn’t* be treated like one!😉💖

  3. I recently found out my library offers free access to which is basically an infinite rate of return for a great service, unless you’re a grinch and start trying to factor in taxes.

    • I’ve used our library account to basically eliminate magazine subscriptions. Everything I would want to read is online via the Libby app. There are just a couple niche magazines that I still get in the mail, and those are gifts, so: free to me.

  4. My Nintendo Switch was a gift so I can’t count the initial expense as my own. But there are lots of inexpensive games that are fun. And even the more expensive ones go on sale frequently. Hours of entertainment for low cost.

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