Are you done with holiday shopping? 2020 is a bit different than normal and I think most of us are shopping online instead of going to the mall. So you need to get it done earlier than usual to account for shipping. It will get really busy before Christmas so you should get your orders in now.
We’re done with all the shopping this year so I’ll evaluate all my Amazon purchases in 2020! Most of us buy stuff that we thought we really need (right now!) and then forget about them soon after. In 2020, I purchased a ton of stuff from Amazon. I suspect I spent about twice as much on Amazon than the previous year. The pandemic shifted a ton of purchases online. Also, we didn’t spend much on travel and entertainment this year. This makes me less hesitant to spend money online. I still put stuff in my cart and wait until I can get free shipping. This helped a bit because I removed items from my carts to “Saved for later” frequently. Let’s see if these purchases still make sense after a little time has gone by.
*Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you use the Amazon affiliate links below to purchase an item. Thank you!
$15 ROKEY Flea collar for cats: A+
This was so worth it. Our cat picked up some fleas from the yard last year and they were so difficult to get rid of. The flea collar helped a lot. This brand is no longer available, but this flea collar looks pretty similar.
$25 Enforcer flea spray for Homes: A+
We sprayed this all over the inside of our home. It worked and got rid of the fleas.
We sprayed this all over our cat, multiple times. This helped, but the fleas came back.
This helped a lot too. It killed the fleas on our cat.
- We had a huge flea problem last autumn. Our cat picked up some fleas from the backyard and they multiplied like crazy inside our house. Everyone was getting bit by these little suckers. First, we tried the Advantage Flea treatment and Vet’s Best. They helped, but the fleas came back. These treatments killed the fleas on our cat, but not the eggs or the fleas around the house. So we need to keep treating the cat and house. We got the flea collar and the Enforcer spray, and used everything in combination. This worked and we finally killed all the fleas. It was horrible. This summer, our cat stayed indoors.
This was great. I installed it with no issue. Our cabin filter hasn’t been replaced since we purchased the car in 2010 so 10 years… Anyway, replace your own cabin air filter. It’s a lot cheaper than having the dealer do it. Check on YouTube for DIY videos.
I also replaced the engine air filter. I replace this every few years. This air filter was much easier to access than the cabin air filter. It took me only 5 minutes. I think the dealer charges around $40 for this service.
I got this controller so we can play local co-op games and don’t have to worry about batteries. It works pretty well but doesn’t feel as nice as the Microsoft controller. It’s good enough.
$18 Pizazcraft Steel Baking Plate: A-
Both of our pizza stones broke last year so I got pizza steel to try. It bakes a very nice crust, better than a pizza stone. Also, I don’t have to worry about breaking it. The only negative is that you have to season it occasionally or it’ll rust. I don’t think this is available anymore. Here is one that is pretty similar – A36 steel plate.
These are good. We use them to practice soccer in the backyard. They are the right size for a small yard. I wouldn’t get the 2.5 feet goals. Those are probably too small.
$26 Wyze Cam: C
The Wyze cam is still working, but you have to pay a subscription fee ($25/year) to record long videos and for human detection. For free, you get 12 seconds of recording whenever the motion detection kicks in. That’s not bad. I only give this a C because I never look at the recording.
$14 WizGear Magnetic Phone Mount: A
This magnetic mount works really well. Now, it’s easy to use Google Maps when I drive. This purchase was useful.
$77 Office Chair: A
I ordered this chair for Mrs. RB40 when she transitioned to work from home. She still likes it.
$18 Shimano 7 Speed Shifter/Brake: B+
I got this to replace the broken shifter on my son’s bike. It works pretty well but required a lot of adjustments. I’m not a bike expert…
This extension pole has been very useful. I used it to paint, dust, and squeegee high places. I also used it to clear the leaves from the top edge of the skylights on the roof. This wasn’t possible previously because I couldn’t reach it. This was a good buy. The price is now $10 cheaper than when I got it, awesome.
$30 Handheld Electrotherapy Device: C+
This electric therapy device is actually pretty relaxing when you use it. However, the relief is only temporary. A real massage is much better. Also, it’s inconvenient to put on so I rarely used the device. Oh well.
The toner slid right in. The quality is good so far.
$15 Vegemite 220g, two pack: A+
Excellent. I used the Vegemite in our Kid Food Challenge video #2 Vegemite. Our son doesn’t love it, but at least he tried. I like it so this is a good value for me. It’s nostalgic because I used to eat Vegemite when I was a kid.
$10 Oviitech wall tap switch: A
These switches work well. I put them in the basement on the fluorescent lights.
These aren’t as nice as real Braun replacement, but they are way more affordable. They are good enough.
$10 HiWare Sporks 6-Pack: C
These sporks are quite nice, but I don’t use them very often. I don’t really need these. Seems like this was an impulse purchase for nostalgic reasons. RB40Jr tried the sporks a few times and he didn’t like it. Kids these days!
Mrs. RB40 asked me to purchase this to restring our old badminton rackets. This string is still in the original so we get an F for now.
$9 Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds: A-
These earbuds are really nice. This is my 3rd pair. The only problem is they stop working after about 2 years so I have to keep buying a new pair.
$106 AmazonBasics Safe, 1.2 Cubic Feet: A?
The door fell off our old SentrySafe so I got this one as a replacement. It seems solid, but who knows… Hopefully, it’ll deter a casual thief and help protect our documents in case of a fire.
I got these to cover our gas stove. You can throw them out whenever they get too dirty. They’re great. Now, our cooking videos don’t look so messy.
Our old cat (20) has been yowling at 3 am for a while now. I got this to help her sleep. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to help much. Our cat still wakes me up almost every morning. She sleeps a lot during the day. If you have any advice, let me know. This product is a waste of money, IMO.
I also got melatonin for the human victims. These are pretty good, but it leaves me groggy in the morning. And I still wake up when our cat makes a racket. I think these will be helpful when I take an overseas trip.
$15 PoP voice Lapel Microphone: F
I haven’t used this yet. I need to learn how to use my digital voice recorder so my videos are better.
I put these in our Go Bag. Actually, it’s more of a “hunker down at home” bag. Our house is walkable distance to the river so we could get water and purify it if worse comes to worse.
These filters work quite well with our old Brita pitcher.
$26 Two Logitech Wireless Mouse M330: A
I got these on sale for $13. The normal price is $30-$40 each! The mouse works very well and uses a regular AAA battery. RB40Jr uses it for school and likes it a lot better than his old AmazonBasics mouse. This is a good buy.
$30 OXO Salad Spinner, Large: ?
This is what Mrs. RB40 wants for Christmas. I hope it works out. IMO, I already have a built-in salad spinner. It’s called a hand.
$76 Two VINGLI Awning/Canopy 30″x40″: A
I got this to help shelter our balcony door. Water was getting in because the caulk deteriorated. We caulked it and put up an awning. A lot of water was running down the door so this awning helped a lot. Our door was narrower than 40″ so I had to cut it down with a jigsaw. It worked and we don’t have a leak anymore! This is a good product. I liked it so much I ordered another one for our deck.
$22 Cold Steel Rifleman Tomahawk: B-
I got a tomahawk to chop branches in the backyard and take camping. This tomahawk is very affordable at $22. The price fluctuates a lot so keep an eye on that if you want to get one. The head is made in Taiwan. This tomahawk needs a lot of work out of the box. I sharpened it and hacked a few branches with it. It works pretty well, but I need to work on it more. The handle needs to be filed so it’ll fit better. Also, I wanted it for self-defense, but it isn’t going to work. It’s 22 inches long and only 2.2 lbs. However, it is so unbalanced. All the weight is at the head. I’ll have to find something else and just use this in the backyard.
$12 CRAFTSMAN Jigsaw Blades: B+
I used one blade to cut down the awning to size. It works pretty well. However, some of the blades have squiggly teeth. I guess that’s okay as long as it works.
$16 Genesis 12.5 Amp Heat Gun: A
This is a splurge. I got it to heat shrink my electrical wiring. It’s also useful for removing tapes, caulk, and sticky stuff. I like it a lot so far. At 16 bucks, it’s a good buy.
Wow, these are very cool. I used it to wrap some electrical wiring in place of those twist-on connectors. It looks much cleaner with these shrink tubing. I like it.
$20 Two Door Draft Stopper Sweep, 2 Pack: B+
We had 3 drafty doors with bad weatherstrippings at our duplex. I put it off the whole year and finally got to it. These sweeps help a lot. The only problem is they were folded in the packaging. As a result, the pieces weren’t straight out of the box. I had to warm them up and try to straighten them one by one. It never got 100% straight, but I installed them anyway. I don’t think you’ll notice it unless you get down and take a critical look.
One of the awnings I installed has a gap. This is due to our structure, not the awning’s fault. I order this to plug the gap. The shipping time is 1-2 months so we’ll have to wait a while. If I can find something else that works, I’ll cancel it.
I got this for our son. He needs a big headphone so it doesn’t press on his hearing aid. It’ll be one of his Christmas presents.
$80 FIRE HD 10 Tablet: A?
This is a Christmas present for Mrs. RB40’s dad. We’ll use it for Zoom calls so they can see each other. We have several of these and I expect it to work well. The normal price is $150 so this was a good Black Friday deal.
I need to replace some old weather stripping. We’re still waiting for this item to arrive.
$8 Micro USB cables, 5 pack: ?
Some of our old USB cables stop working so I ordered replacements. We’re still waiting for this item to arrive.
$14 KN95 Mask, 5 pack: ?
I plan to travel to Thailand early next year so I ordered these masks. Normally, I just use a disposable surgical mask when I go grocery shopping, but I need something better for a long flight. We’re still waiting for this item to arrive.
Is it tax time already? Ugh! I use H&R Block every year so it should be fine. The first few steps were fine and I was able to import the last tax return without any problem.
$14 Primasole Folding Yoga Mat: ?
I order this folding yoga mat because I’ll be in quarantine for 15 days when I travel to Thailand. I might as well get back into yoga and meditation while stuck in a hotel room. I’m waiting for this item to arrive.
$14 Wood Rasp File, 2 pack: ?
I ordered these to file down the tomahawk handle. We’re still waiting for them to arrive.
2020 Amazon Purchases
Whew! This is a huge list. I purchased a lot of stuff from Amazon in 2020. The total was $1,097 for 49 items. Let’s see how that compares to 2019… What the? I spent more last year, $1,168 for 48 items. Wow, I guess the pandemic didn’t change my online purchase habit too much. That’s great.
So how did I do with my Amazon purchases this year? Let’s see.
- Happy with the purchase: 82%
- Waiting for the product to arrive: 9%
- Unsatisfied with the item or didn’t use often enough: 9% (Wyze cam, electrotherapy, sporks, badminton string, cat melatonin, and the lapel mic.)
Alright, I’ll give myself a B for this year. Next year, I’ll shoot for at least 90% satisfaction. Well, we might reach 90% this year if I’m happy with every item I’m waiting for. I’ll update this soon.
How about you? Did you spend more money on Amazon this year? Are you happy with all those purchases?
Source: Retire By 40
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