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9 Surprising Purchases That Will Save You Money In The Long Run

surprising purchases

Everyone likes to save money when they can, and a lot of the time it’s as easy as buying the least expensive option available! But sometimes, spending a bit more money up front will actually save you money down the road, and that phenomenon is exactly what I want to talk about in today’s post!

We’ll be taking a look at 9 different items that cost a little more up front, but can actually save you money over time. These consequential purchases can end up paying for themselves in the long run—and then some!

If there’s an item you consider splurge-worthy that wasn’t included on this list, I’d love to hear about it! Tell us all about it in a comment at the bottom of this post and we can keep the discussion going!

9 Purchases That Will Save You Money Over Time

surprising purchases

1. LED Light Bulbs

Price: $13 for a pack of 4

The higher price tag of LED light bulbs might have you reaching for the less expensive incandescent or halogen bulbs instead, but the fact that LED bulbs last up to 10x as long as regular bulbs makes them worth the extra cost! Another good reason to opt for LED bulbs is that they use around 1/6th of the electricity of standard bulbs, meaning you’ll save money on your electric bill too.

surprising purchases

2. Apple TV

Price: $150-200

If you’re an Apple or iPhone user, Apple TV could well be worth the upfront cost. Not only does it give you access to all your favorite streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, but you can also use it to listen to music from your iTunes library, view your photos, or use AirPlay to view your phone screen up on the big screen.

surprising purchases

3. Amazon Prime

Price: $119 per year

If you shop on Amazon frequently, an Amazon Prime membership is almost certainly worth the upfront cost! You’ll get Free 2-Day Shipping, as well as access to Prime Video (Amazon’s answer to streaming services like Netflix).

Prime Video has a growing catalog of TV shows and movies to watch, and you’ll be able to enjoy those at no extra cost. Plus there are other benefits too, like unlimited photo storage and music streaming!

Related: 9 Reasons Why I Love Amazon Prime

surprising purchases

4. Coffee Maker/Soda Stream

Price: $30-100

If you find yourself buying coffee or sodas several times throughout the week, that money can add up fast! Keep that money in your pocket by switching to an at-home machine like a coffee maker or a Soda Stream. The machine will pay for itself eventually, so it’s worth it to spend a little more for a high-quality machine you know you’re going to use.

Related: The Surprising Benefits Of Home Soda Makers

surprising purchases

5. Instant Pot/Crockpot

Price: $30-130

While Instant Pots and crockpots are fundamentally different appliances, they do have one thing in common–they can both save you a lot of money in the long run! Eating out typically costs $10-15 per person, whereas you can make an entire meal in an Instant Pot or crockpot for $15 (with leftovers to spare!) Replacing a few takeout meals per week with an Instant Pot or crockpot meal will definitely save you money over time.

Related: Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker – What You Need To Know

surprising purchases

6. A Good Phone Case

Price: $20-50

With so many cheap phone cases available in stores and online, it can seem like a waste of money to buy a more expensive case. But splurging a little on a sturdy, protective phone case could end up saving you from having to replace a broken phone down the line. When you compare a $40 phone case against the cost of replacing an $800 phone, spending a bit more on a good phone case just makes sense.

surprising purchases

7. Cloth Napkins

Price: $15-30

Investing in a nice set of cloth napkins is less wasteful than using paper napkins or paper towels, and it can save you money in the long run too. Choose napkins that are durable and machine washable, and they’ll serve you well for a long time to come!

surprising purchases

8. Reusable Bottle/Cup

Price: $10-30

Investing in a good reusable water bottle or drink cup will almost certainly pay off, and fast. If you replace bottled water, sodas, or coffees by filling up your trusty cup, you’ll be saving money before you know it. I use my big insulated drinking cup all the time, and I love how it keeps my drinks cold for hours!

surprising purchases

9. A Good Pair Of Shoes

Price: $40-100

Some people just can’t find it in themselves to spend more than $40 on a pair of shoes, and I get it. If you’re not much of a fashionista, it can seem wasteful to spend a lot on shoes!

But investing in a good, sturdy pair shoes can actually save you money over time, because those shoes could very well last you years! You can view a list of some of my readers’ favorite comfortable and investment-worthy shoes at the link below!

Related: These Are The 10 Best Brands For Comfortable Shoes

What items do you think are worth splurging on?

I may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website. I always offer my own genuine recommendation. Learn more.

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • This is interesting about good quality items. I’m trying to replace a TV and wireless speaker that died on me. My TV that died was an Amazon Fire and every so often they try to get your account info to get you to buy certain channels. I finally figured out a way to bypass it. After some relatives recently had ordered something – someone pretending to be Amazon sent a confirmation email trying to charge them a lot more than what the original price was. Amazon thought they wouldn’t notice because they are older.So they actually canceled the order because of someone trying to phish to get their info. I’m also dealing with this right now with checking something on Walmart’s and then getting emails from scammers. I just called my local store and decided to report them. It’s so frustrating. I actually love the reusable water bottles . I use a metal one for work . Unfortunately it’s starting to get an odor. Anyone know any tricks?

  • Not sure when this was originally posted but Amazon is NOT $99 anymore. They are up to $125. I use it because of the free shipping, not just to me but also presents to my family which is scattered all over. Prime DOES have some good points, like video and audio. Bezos has made quite enough money, I agree. But so has WalMart, who doesn’t treat their employees much better. WalMart is NOT a local store by any means!

  • I refuse to pay money to Amazon Prime, or Amazon. Why would you pay to spend money? So what if you order something and it takes longer than two days, are you going to “die” without that item or those items?
    Furthermore, if you Google Amazon, you will learn that they treat their employees as if they were robots, and, use robots instead of hiring more employees. This is why we have people out of work and fearing eviction from their homes.

    • I must feel about Amazon ANYTHING just like you do, Carla! I REFUSE to USE them for anything!! I have written this before on other posts! I will not use them because of the (former?) owner Jeff Bezos. And they are absolutely killing the small businesses and the owners of them. He is a filthy rich, greedy man with the personality to match. I have begged people to try a local business to order their items. I happen to live in Iowa so my go-to is Walmart. I can find EVERYTHING through them and it is delivered to my doorstep, sometimes the very next day! Just depends on what it is. Also, most of the stuff from Amazon is quite a bit higher in price! Well, better stop…I have probably overstepped boundaries. Sorry if I offended anyone. But, Amazon is NOT everything!

  • I refuse to pay money in order to spend money, so enjoy Amazon Prime if it’s “your thing,” but I can find what I need at Target, Price Chopper, Aldi’s when they reopen or drive to Holyoke as they have a large Mall. Why the Mall in Lanesborough closed still remains a mystery.

  • The thing I dislike about cloth napkins is they always seem to come out of the dryer needing to be ironed and if it has to be ironed at my house it typically does get used very much. Then I read somewhere about using washcloths for napkins. I invested in some big, thick washcloths and not only are they absorbent and soft, they don’t stain and never wrinkle even if you don’t get around to folding them for a few days. With my busy lifestyle wash cloths are an easy care and practical alternative to traditional cloth napkins, as I’m not real keen on the idea of reusing napkins from one day to they next.

  • We use cloth napkins all the time – just always have. I change them every 2-3 days or if they get grubby before that and wash them with my usual laundry. Napkin rings or other identifiers are helpful for “second day” napkins, and are fun. Air drying cloth napkins is a real time and money saver. I’ve found that with most cotton napkins, instead of running them through the dryer, when you take them from the washer if you shake (snap!) them firmly while holding both corners of one side then run the hems between your fingers to flatten them, you can dry them flat or on a rack (I use a pasta drying rack, which works fine) and they’re soon ready to fold and store. Not all napkins will do this well, but many will. Then, if you’re being “dressy” about your table, you can press them quickly to iron in the folds. I almost never bother, but we’re casual hosts. The same technique works for handkerchiefs, bandannas, and Turkish hand towels. It’s sort of my “second tier” of laundry management.

  • Thank you, Thank you Jilliee! I have been an Amazon Prime member for years, and for some reason did NOT know that I could get shows. I love the series Worst Cooks in America. It is hysterical and heartwarming at the same time. But our carrier didn’t have anything before midway though season 12. I have now found the other 11 1/2 seasons. BINGE watching tonight! ha ha. Thank you!

    • They have some great shows and movies! Make sure you search some of their original movies and shows only available on Prime Video. You also get access to Prime Music with your membership. Make sure you check it out. :-)

  • I love this post. I have used cloth napkins and individual napkin rings all my life, wouldn’t live without them. I agree with the advice about buying better quality shoes, but I think that goes for all clothes as well. One of the worst global pollutants is clothing. We are so used to buying cheap clothes in sales just because they are cheap, but then have to throw them out or give them away in a very short time because they have shrunk/ stretched / torn/ come unstitched/ colours run etc. If we teach our children (and ourselves!) to buy five or six good quality items, pay a bit more for them and wear them for years (decades!) compared to the months that the cheap clothes last, we will be benefitting both ourselves and the Earth.

    • Unfortunately, our “kids” and their kids tend to be more into “fads”…junk that’s in today and not in tomorrow! Also, they are such “disposable” minded. It is so sad, but somewhere there was a terrible disconnect! Their thinking is so different. Many young people I see today didn’t think it was important to listen to anything their parents tried to instill in them. Seems to me that when cellphones came into the picture, the most important purchase was an expensive cellphone (only for recreation and entertainment of the mind!), and every other thing took a back seat!! They don’t even know how to have a face-to-face, eye contact required conversation! Sorry…just what I’ve seen…

  • I find that Wal Mart.com is more economical than Amazon prime. They have pretty much everything that Amazon does and if you order more than $35 worth of items shipping is free. I just add things to my shopping cart and when they equal $35 I press check out. This also keeps me out of the store. Another money saver.

    • I also love how Walmart has recently started using the restaurant type delivery services for some of their goods. I ordered online the other day and my order arrived two hours later!

    • I pay $12.95/month for Walmart unlimited grocery delivery so when I order on Walmart.com, I also get free shipping even if it is less than $35! They really ARE a better deal than Amazon! Really.

  • Another tip about cloth napkins: you can make them last for at least a day or two if you can figure out whose napkin is whose. That’s where napkin rings come in. Antique napkin rings have names and initials on them, or whimsical characters…that’s not just because they were pretty, but because it showed clearly who the napkin ring – and the napkin – belonged to. Buy some napkin rings – you can find some vintage but inexpensive ones on ebay, but don’t get them all the same. You want ones that are different from each other, and will belong to each member of the family and identify the napkin that’s theirs. (After dinner, put the napkin back in the ring and place them in a bowl or basket near the table for the next meal.) Saves on napkin waste, but with this method, also saves on the laundry load!

  • Good shoes and proper care of your feet can stop many pain problems. I was told to take care of my feet and they would take care of me. My mom was told when I went to be fitted for my first pair of shoes to never use hand-me-down shoes. She never did. Your feet form the inside and everyone’s feet are different. Pair your work boots with merino wool socks and your feet will be even happier. My husbands cracked heels, healed quickly, and in the summer your feet don’t get that waterlogged feel from sweating.

  • I actually use 6 out of this batch, and I concur that these are all money savers in the long run. I’d like to add that (if you cook) to buy only quality kitchen supplies. Nothing is more irking than to break or shatter something in a batch of food. I’d also like to add that I use my Kitchen Aid mixer every single day. Its well worth the extra money if you cook. If you don’t cook…please learn at least a few basic recipes…that will save you a huge amount of money.

    • I have a Kitchen Aid and I hardly ever use it, as there are just the two of us at home, now. When our three girls were home it saw a lot of use, especially when I baked, as they lived at home prior to my husband becoming Gluten Intolerant. Now I use a box mix of GF brownies or some GF cornbread mix and both can be mixed either by hand or with a hand-held mixer.
      I do cook at home as it is still unsafe for oldsters to dine out, although I do miss dining out and chatting with the waitstaff, however, I keep my cooking simple and easy. I broil pork chops, boneless chicken breasts, cook cube steaks in a nonstick frying pan. Sometimes I roast a whole chicken, boneless loin of pork in the oven. I find the slow cooker great for pot roast, soups, and beef stew, and soups.

      • Carla, do you have an air fryer? I am down to myself and my adult son here, and I find that I use my air fryer more than anything in my kitchen!! Hardly ever use my oven! I do ALL of our cuts of meat in there…steak, pork chops, chicken, stir fry for fajitas. We love fries in there, they come out like the ones you USED to get in a restaurant! Nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside! You can even make hard-boiled eggs to perfection in them. Quickly became my go-to appliance.

    • I have decided that with the next stimulus (March 22nd) I am going to splurge and get myself a Kitchen Aid mixer! I am the “cheesecake lady” amongst my friends, neighbors, and family so I really need a good mixer with a paddle and whisk so my gifts will be easier to make, and more fun! With stores going down like flies, however, I am having a rough time finding what I want. I won’t give up…I really want one!

  • I absolutely love your useful ideas on a variety of subjects.I really look forward to seeing what you have come up with next.You never cease to amaze me.Keep up the good work.

  • Amazon Prime is a great investment if you are a frequent buyer like I am. I often make several small purchases a week and even the smallest amount still ships free in two days!

    • Yes, a few things are sometimes a dollar or two more but if you use it a lot like we do it’s still a money saver and you get things quickly. Also, things that are cheaper usually cost a lot more when you add the shipping and handling. We check all sites and additional fees
      before ordering.

  • I worked in retail for many years and good shoes were essential for comfort and health of your feet. Good quality shoes that fit well can help you avoid foot and leg health issues.

    • We do not wear shoes in the house but put on a pair of footlet type of shoe with a thicker sole, and I bought these through a catalog, they keep the floors cleaner. Outside, for when we shop I wear slip-on sneakers that are black flecked with silver and can be washed in the washing machine but hung to dry the same pertains to the sneakers.

  • Love the fact that we have already done most of the things on your list :) I make my own cloth napkins– I love to sew, it is super fun to pickout pretty cottons and it is very easy! I LOVE your site–I am a newcomer here but your ideas are terrific!!!

  • My family has used cloth napkins since the early ’90’s. The original purpose was to creat less paper waste. Some of the napkins I originally purchased are still in our stack of napkins! Now, one box of paper napkins will last all year!

    • we’ve used cloth napkins for about a decade now. I just bought them at thrift stores. Get good cotton ones, or linen. We love them, as does Mother Earth.

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