Happy New Year! I hope you’re not working too hard this week. Why not take it easy and start the new decade off on the right foot next week? Relax and goof off a bit this week. Lots of people are on vacation anyway. So I got a new series for New Year. I thought it’d be interesting to evaluate my Amazon purchases over the previous 12 months. Most of us buy stuff that we thought we really need (right now!) and then forget about them soon after. In 2019, I purchased a ton of stuff from Amazon. It seems like a turning point. In previous years, I spent much less money online. Now, it feels normal. I still put stuff in my cart and wait until I can get free shipping. This helped a bit and I removed items from my carts frequently. Let’s see if these purchases still make sense after a little time has gone by.
$41 H&R Block Tax Software – A
This one gets an A. I used it to do taxes and project how much we’ll owe the following year. Also, I had to file a tax amendment due to late K1 statements. That was easy to do and I’m very happy with it. I’ll purchase another one for 2019 very soon.
$28 Samsung 128GB MicroSD – B
I put this in MicroSD card in my phone and put all the pictures on it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to put podcasts and audiobooks on this card. That’s due to the phone, though. I give this purchase a B because I probably should have purchased a smaller card. 64GB would have been enough.
$8.50 Howard Wood polish and conditioner – A
This beeswax wood conditioner is really good. It worked better than anything else we tried.
$17 Disc sandpaper – B
I got a variety pack of sandpaper for my orbital sander. These are economical and they worked well enough. I used these to sand the deck and my DIY bench.
$25 Air filter – A
This is a pack of 6 affordable air filters for our furnace. It worked pretty well. I recently changed it and it’s filthy. That means it worked, right?
$91 Kraus kitchen faucet – A+
I splurged on this Kraus kitchen faucet, $91. This is the most expensive faucet I ever purchased. It’s so nice, though. We use it every day and we love it. It’s solid, smooth, and works flawlessly. Cheap faucets don’t feel as nice. I installed a few over the years on our rentals. Cheap faucets work okay, but you don’t get any joy from using them.
$20 HD TV antenna – returned
This didn’t work too well. We only pulled in 2 channels with it. We’re pretty close to the TV broadcast antenna so I’m not sure why the signal is so bad here. I guess we’re in a bad spot. I returned this item.
$58 Black + Decker cordless dustbuster – returned
I got this one because it was chordless. However, I decided to get a more powerful corded vacuum so I returned it.
$90 Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum – A
We use his vacuum all the time. It works well for us. We don’t need a full-size vacuum anymore because our new home has hardwood floors throughout.
$70 Office Chair – B+
Our cat loves this chair and I have to fight her for it. I use it every day so I got plenty of use out of it. However, I wish it has better armrests and more ergonomic adjustments. Oh well, it’s pretty good for the price. I can’t fit an office chair with wheels in this space so the choice is very limited.
$140 4-pack Kwikset deadbolt/entry knob – B
I replaced all the locks at our new home. The Kwikset is okay, but great. I like Schlage better. They are smoother and more secure according to reviews. These locks are okay for now. I might upgrade them to a better brand later. Good brands are really expensive, though. A premium lock costs $100 for just one. This pack is super affordable at 8 for $140. Anyway, our doors have windows so if someone really wants to get in, they’ll be able to get in.
I use this rack and tray very often in our toaster oven. This is very useful when I need a small amount of fries or tater tots.
$25 Bodum pour-over coffee maker – A-
We use this every morning. The only problem is the strainer is not fine enough. I got a better strainer and it works better now. This would get an A+ if it came with a good strainer.
I use this to clean my son’s ears occasionally. It’s pretty good. The soft silicone scooper feels good to me. But my son still complains that it hurts. It’d be even better if the scooper is softer.
$9.50 MacGregor Junior Basketball – A
This basketball is good. We use it when the weather is nice. It’s grippy and bounces well. I don’t have any complaints.
$12 Nerf gun face masks – F
I got these safety glasses for my son and his friends when they play with the Nerf guns. They used it twice and that was it. I guess you don’t really need these…
I use these in our oven. Our sink is too small to accommodate the standard backing rack. These are much easier to wash because they’re smaller. This set has 4 sizes.
$15 Bondo filler – A
I used this to repair my car. A kid rode a bike into the back of our car and punched a bit hole in it. It worked okay and I saved $5,500. It looks pretty bad, though. That’s my fault, not Bondo.
$5 Bondo plastic spreader – C
These worked pretty well, but an old credit card would work too. I didn’t really need to get these. I used them so it’s a C.
$15 Touch up paint – A
The touch-up paint looks okay. It matches our paint, more or less. It’s much better than the pink Bondo so I’m happy with that. Anyway, my repair didn’t look that great so there’s only so much the touch-up paint can do.
$22 2-pack Mesh screen curtains – A
I use these mesh screens on our balcony doors. They help keeps the bugs out so I’m pretty happy with them. Bonus – these are cheap!
$10 Personalized hat – A
I printed RB40 on this to see how it’d look. It’s pretty cool, but the print quality wasn’t great. Stitching would have been a lot better. I use it frequently so I’ll give this item an A.
$15.50 Kirkland cetirizine – A
These pills helped a ton during allergy season. Kirkland is a lot more affordable than the brand names.
$11 Door reinforcement lock – A
This lock is great. I put this on the door to the basement. It had a flimsy old latch on previously. This lock made the door a lot more secured. It’s easy to use too.
$76!! Ninja obstacle course for kids – F
Unfortunately, this item didn’t work out at all. The kids couldn’t use it. It’s too hard for some reason. I think the problem is the grips aren’t good and the line bounces around. We’ll try again next summer. Also, it takes a lot of time to put up and it’s quite expensive.
$23 Climbing Rope – A+
This climbing rope worked out really well. The kids use it as a rope swing and practice climbing on it. It’s great. We got a lot of use out of this rope. I wish we got a longer rope though. 10’ was a bit too short for our tree. I might get a 20’ rope next year.
$15.50 Skateboard deck – A-
I used this to build our skateboard swing. The deck worked well, but I’m not sure how it’ll hold up over the years. It’s outside year-round so we’ll see.
$15 Tree swing strap kit – B
This strap kit helped a lot. Our tree was too tall for our skateboard swing and rope. These straps helped. However, it’s already fraying. I’ll have to look for a different solution in a year or two.
$16 Nylon rope – B
I used this to make the skateboard swing. It works pretty well, but part of fraying already. The quality isn’t great.
$12 Black diamond carabiner – A
I use this large carabiner to attach the rope climb to the strap kit. It works very well. This is a quality piece.
$6 10-pack Lithium battery – A
I got these batteries for our car key fobs. It works well.
$24 Amazon Basics tripod – returned
I realized I don’t want to lug it around and returned it.
free… Hairpin Table legs – NA
I ordered these 18” table legs, but they kept sending me the 19” version. They finally opened a box at the distribution center and found that the boxes labeled 18” all had 19” legs in them. They let me keep it for free so I didn’t have to pay for them. It’s just in the basement for now. I’ll find a use for them at some point.
$14 Sanding belt – A
I used these to sand our deck. It worked okay. The expensive belts from Home Depot are probably better.
$12 3-way dimmable light switch – A
I replaced a switch in our tenant’s unit. This worked well and I didn’t get any complaints.
$30 LETSCOM fitness tracker – stolen
This package was stolen off our porch and I got a refund. From this point on, I sent the amazon packages to the Amazon lockers. I didn’t really need this anyway so it worked out.
These fit pretty well.
$14 Book safe – A
This book safe is pretty neat. It blends right in with our books on our bookcases. I really wanted a fireproof safe, but couldn’t find one I like. This will work for now.
$10 Reflective running gear – A
I use these when I go collect scooters in the evening. Vehicles can see me much easier with these on. I think it helps a lot.
$18 Chair legs – B
I used these to build my DIY bench. They worked okay. However, the bench isn’t flat. I’m not sure if it’s the legs or the wood that’s the issue. I’ll try to fix it next summer somehow.
$7 Steel spatula – A+
This is a lot better than the super cheap spatula I had previously. Cooking on the wok is much more enjoyable now. I highly recommend this one if you have a wok.
$12 4-pack halogen bulb – C
I got these for our rental condo. Actually, I hate these things. They don’t last very long and they’re expensive. Next time, I’ll splurge for LEDs.
$20 Fotopro tripod – B
I got a small tripod for our new compact camera. It works pretty well and it’s kind of like a selfie stick too. This is a good item, but it doesn’t quite work with video. For some reason, the camera zooms in a bit in the recording mode. I had to set the tripod way back to get a good video. So I don’t use this tripod as much as I envisioned. I guess it’s really the camera’s fault, not the tripod.
$83 TV stand – A
This TV stand is great. Our new TV has legs on the edges of the screen. It didn’t fit our old entertainment center. So I got this TV stand and it solved the problem. We can keep our old entertainment center and the TV sits at the perfect height. This TV stand is very solid. I got the biggest version so it fits our 65” TV perfectly. I highly recommend this TV stand.
$47 EVISTR digital voice recorder – NA
I got this to use when we make videos. The camera’s microphone doesn’t work very well in a noisy environment. I hope this recorder will help, but I haven’t tried it yet. I can’t give a verdict on this item right now. It’s too new.
$14 Exploding kittens card game – NA
We got this for our son’s birthday in February. We haven’t played it yet so I can’t give a verdict at this point.
$10 Compact camera case – A
I got this case for our compact camera. It fits pretty well and should provide a little protection. I like it so far.
Holy moly, I purchased 43 items and spent $1,168 on Amazon last year. That’s a lot of money. It was our biggest year of buying stuff online yet. I guess that’s how life is now. I resisted buying online for a long time, but I gave in last year. It’s so convenient and saves a lot of time. This is why Amazon is killing the brick and mortar stores. Walmart and Target seem to be doing okay, though. They are selling a lot of stuff online these days too. Excuse me while I go buy some Amazon stocks.
As for the purchases, I did alright. I’m still happy with a large majority of them. I regret purchasing just 2 items – the ninja kit and the Nerf face mask. That’s not too bad, right?
Have you ever looked over your Amazon purchases? It’s pretty interesting. If you are happy with most of them, then you’re fine. However, you might need to cut back if you regret too many of your purchases. Happy New Year and good luck with everything!!
Source: Retire By 40
Republished by Blog Post Promoter