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Your Take: Your Best Purchase

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Tobey!I think my best “purchase” in recent memory was adopting our beagle Tobey. We rescued him from a local rescue, Partnership for Animal Welfare (PAW), after meeting him at an event at our local Petco. He was 7 when we adopted him a little more than a year ago and the house is always a little too quiet without him barking (or snoring).

In fact, as I write this, he’s stretched out behind my chair just snoozing away. What a life! :)

I knew that adopting a pet would be a lot of work, though I underestimated how much responsibility it was, but I’ve never regretted the decision. Adopting an older dog has it’s advantages and disadvantages. For example, he’s already house trained and knew a few commands (making subsequent training easier) but a year in the kennel has made him a little jumpy and defensive. We’re working on all of that and it’s been a wonderful time.

We didn’t really “purchase” him, as you would a pet at a pet store, but we paid for shots and checkups and such.

What was your best purchase in recent memory? It can be something you use all the time or it could be a stock that happened to be doing well lately. Share anything and everything, we want to know!

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40 Responses to “Your Take: Your Best Purchase”

  1. Glenn Lasher says:

    Well, we do have pets (cats) who keep the house lively, and I can certainly relate.

    Well, I am an audiophile, and my current “best purchase” is the sound system in my home office, of which no component is younger than 20 years old, and the cost of which totals about $168. I bought the tape deck new in 1990. The turntable and equalizer were gifts from friends who weren’t using them any more. The tuner cost me $5 at Salvation Army. The amplifier cost me $10 at a yard sale. The speakers cost me $3 at Salvation Army.

    I have no CD player, but a computer is connected to the system and is used for all digital audio media. I don’t count the cost of the computer in the cost of the system, because I would have bought the computer regardless.

    As to what I got for my money:

    The turntable is a Technics SL-5400. It’s the automatic variation of the famous SL-1200 that they still make because professionals still want it. It’s a popular design because it’s at that magic point where performance:price is maximized.

    The tuner is nothing special, except that it does AM stereo as well as FM stereo. One local AM station broadcasts in stereo.

    The tape deck and EQ are nothing special.

    The amplifier is a Sony TA-1055, which was one of their first entries into the American market. It was do or die time for Sony when they introduced it, and although it is not overwhelmingly powerful, it is almost completely noiseless, low-distortion, versatile and generally sweet-sounding.

    The pièce de résistance, though, are the speakers. For my $3, I landed a pair of Dynaco A-25 speakers, c. 1969. They have real wood cabinets. They fit on my bookshelf. They have a unique cabinet design that removes all resonance so that the response is flat and clean as it should be. They sound freaking amazing. They cost $89 in 1969, and I make that out to be about $500ish in 2010 dollars, and, guess what? They sound like $500 speakers.

    That’s my current choice for best purchase.

  2. Shirley says:

    My best purchase in the last few years is my 23″ widescreen 2nd monitor, used alongside a 19″ square LCD monitor.

    I can spread out and easily view 3 excel spreadsheets at one time or view 2 or more other computers or drives on my LAN for transferring information. I groan now remembering cascading or tiling screens to work with. :-( This has made my computer life so much easier!

    A Linksys 8-port router (replacing a 4-port) comes in at 2nd place to keep all the computers easily accessible to my main computer where I dutifully “keep them all in line”. ;-)

  3. Fred says:

    Fun question!

    I think that considering utility-for-the-dollar my best purchase has been an iPhone. I use it for work, home, games, web, etc… Best part about it is if you get stuck in a line somewhere, you can check e-mail, read news, etc… I rarely ever find myself impatient with others at stores now – just sit back and catch up on something else while I’m waiting.

  4. cubiclegeoff says:

    I’m with Fred, kind of. I’d say my best purchase is my blackberry. When going to grad school at night, after work, it was very helpful to get a start on papers and things when I had downtime (like between when I got to school and when classes actually started), and it’s been invaluable when I need to find directions or information on the fly when traveling, or when around town.

  5. Well, if you use just a little creativity, my answer fits…

    Without a doubt, the best “purchase” I have made recently is going to be coming into the world in 4 months.
    http://www.boymeetsfood.com/2010/05/its-a-boy/

    Like I said, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a purchase, but there are certainly a LOT of expenses that go with it, and for those costs I get something to take home with me, so you can think of it somewhat like a “purchase”.

    • poscogrubb says:

      LOL. I bet the procurement process was pretty fun, too.

      I have two of them, and I’ll say these the things you pay for but can never afford!

  6. “Enough Rope”, a massive collection of short stories by Lawrence Block.

    And I paid a pittance on Half.com :)

  7. Miss Thrifty says:

    Probably my blog hosting! Writing Miss Thrifty is one of my favourite hobbies – and certainly the cheapest! (I guess that’s kind of fitting…)

  8. zapeta says:

    The engagement ring for my finacee!

  9. Scott says:

    Our best purchase this year would easily be a refurbished Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder for only $160 from J&R. Here is Magnavox’s page on it:

    http://www.magnavox.com/p/index_player.php?id=29

    It lets us record TV shows from an antenna so we’ve got DVR for just the one-time cost of the device and still don’t need to pay a silly cable company or TiVo or anything like that. This one device replaced our other DTV converter box, our DVD player, and our VCR which we kept around to record stuff. Plus we run the iPod through this device and can record to DVD’s off our camcorder and pretty much anything else. It cleared out some space on our entertainment stand and is now our all-in-one entertainment device.

  10. cdiver says:

    Blackberry for sure, followed by Microsoft Zune HD.

  11. Rianne says:

    My bicycle. I haven’t owned a new bike since I was a kid and since I don’t own a car I figured it was about time. My last one cost $40 and lasted 3 years, but it was constantly needing something repaired and wasn’t all that fast or comfortable.
    So I saved up and bought a brand new very nice bicycle with all the little bells and whistles like fenders and a basket on the front.
    I expect it to last pretty much forever, I get exercise and save money on buying transit passes. It would have been way too expensive if I wasn’t using it pretty much every single day but since I do it was a great purchase.

  12. Lacey says:

    A scooter! Yamaha Zuma 125. It is fun, fun, fun! It gets great gas mileage – around 80 mpg – I use it get to work almost every day. My car will likely die soon, and I’m trying to wait as long as possible before purchasing a replacement. It has saved me a little time and a lot of money. And did I mention how much fun it is? :)

  13. Yana says:

    I’ve made a few good purchases recently, but like you, adopting my dog from the animal shelter still stands out – but I did that when she was around 7 months old and she just turned 15 years old! It cost $40 to adopt her and another $40 for a reduced price mandatory spay. I’m always saying that was money well spent, because she is a great friend and now one of my favorite old ladies ;)

  14. ziglet19 says:

    A replacement Sonicare toothbrush. My old one finally died after 8 years of everyday use. I received the first one as a Christmas gift and can say it is the gift I’ve ever gotten the most use out of. I expect the replacement will do just as well.

  15. My wife and I refer to it as the “$299 are you outta your mind” steal of the year!

    7 days in a very nice beachfront condo on Maui for about $40 per night. We loved every second of it.

  16. Karen says:

    My best purchase ever was the GPS for my car which has saved me both gas money and agravation. I bought it on Black Friday in 2008 for $199 but could get a better one now for less.

    The gas is probably trivial compared to the frustration of getting lost. I travel a lot so it helps.

    I have purchased two puppies in my lifetime and would now ONLY get a rescue dog. Unfortunately the aforementioned travel precludes my having a dog at this time.

  17. George says:

    argh. hard question. MY best purchase was my diamond ring for my soon-to-be-fiance. I couldn’t live without her.

  18. billsnider says:

    My new car. My other one has 180,000 miles on it. It still works, but can’t compare to the new one in reliability and comfort. I feel that I can hit the open road again and take a really long trip this summer.

    Ha, the freedom it gives me.

    Bill Snider

    • Shirley says:

      Ah yes, Bill… the older we get, the more value we place in reliability and comfort. I hope your trip is fruitful and everything you want it to be.

  19. Marco says:

    A $475 new Toshiba 14″ laptop for my kids three years ago.
    my kindergarner, 2nd grader, and my 6th grader each spend hours on it. Along with my desktop, my laptop and their laptop, they’ll video chat (while in the same room), log into poptropica club penguin, you-tube or other site.
    They do use it for homework or extra credit activies for school. The oldest did 6 powerpoint presentations, and at least double that in reports and projects. the smaler ones go to reading and activity websites for school credit that are optional assignments.

    sure, I’ve replaced the hard drive, restored the system three times…yet the ease of this is such that within 20 or so minutes, they are using it again.
    a $400 investment in my kids loosing the fear of using a computer…priceless…

    • Shirley says:

      This is a fantastic purchase in terms of knowledge gain and self-confidence for your kids.

      You sound like the type of person who will keep a close eye on their online activities and know how to do just exactly that. Kudos to you for your foresight.

  20. Joe says:

    Well, this wasn’t recent, but the breadmaker we got for our wedding has been in constant use over the last few years. We make at least one loaf of bread a week and they taste so much better than the store-bought stuff!

  21. Stoic says:

    I purchased a butcher-block kitchen table for $25 on Craigslist a couple of months ago. It’s base was badly painted white and the top was banged up. I refinished the 1 3/4″ maple top and painted the base black and turned it into a office table. It’s feaking gorgeous. That and a couple of other Craigslist finds were featured on Lifehacker’s Workplace Show and Tell Pool last month.

  22. Rosa Rugosa says:

    Three things stand out for me in the past year or so. In spring of 2009, I bought a pair of tickets to a Dead show for an online Deadhead friend and his wife. I had never met them, but I felt really bad when their circumstances prevented them from buying tickets to a concert that we were all so excited about. I had enough saved from my “allowance” to do that, and it was some of the best money I ever spent. I just knew the experience would be the better for being shared, and this turned out to be so true. In Jan this year, I bought an expensive painting (for my budget). Oddly enough, it has helped me be more frugal. I feel like having something so beautiful prevents me from feeling a need to but a lot of pretty little stuff for my home. Lastly, we adopted a young adult male cat from a local rescue group in April. Ogden was my birthday present, and I couldn’t imagine a better one!

  23. Kathy says:

    Easily my iPhone and new computer, combined less than $800. Both are fast, reliable technology that I need and use every day and that help me in my job and personal time more than anything else. The phone has my spending/checking register app and my banking app (I deposit checks with USAA’s iPhone banking app), and my computer allows me to watch TV for free, in addition to the usual bazillion things a computer does. The computer also saves me money because it’s much more energy efficient than my old one.

  24. elloo says:

    Well, I have to say it’s my Sprint Instinct phone. Not that’s it’s the greatest phone, but the GPS together with it’s large screen have been good to me. I usually drove around lost until I got this thing. The directions sometimes are a bit loopy, but it’s better than my sense of direction.

  25. eric says:

    Hmm this is really hard…American consumerism at its best! I’m really a gadget person (like a lot of other commenters it seems) so a good purchase of mine would probably be some piece of electronic. :)


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