I like investing in things that save me time and money. And if it can help the environment, well, that’s just icing on the cake. This means spending your money wisely instead of just going for the cheapest option.
One of the misconceptions about being frugal is that it doesn’t mean you’re a cheapskate. In fact, I enjoy luxury things and am willing to invest in an expensive item if it gives me a better and longer-lasting experience. These are items that pay for themselves, depending on your lifestyle, and are worth the splurge.
Here are 20 products that will save you money in the long run. This list also makes great gift ideas too!
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1. Instant Pot
This Instant Pot is the #1 selling multi-cooker which has become a must-have in many homes. If you want to cook faster, easier, and healthier, then buying an Instant Pot is a game changer. This is one of the best products that will save you money in the long run.
This 7-in-1 kitchen tool can help you save both time and money. You can cook frozen food directly in the Instant Pot. It’s also a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, and warmer — all in one tool! Click here to learn more about the Instant Pot.
2. A food saver that helps to eliminate freezer burn
A food saver is a great investment for any home. Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away. Whether it’s spoiled produce or uneaten leftover, it’s like throwing money down the drain.
If you’re preparing meals in bulk (such as using your slow cooker), you can use a food saver to save leftovers for months without spoilage. You can save food items whole or portion it into individual meals. Click here to learn more about this food saver.
3. A water bottle with a built-in filter
If you’ve been reading Mint Notion for a while, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of reusable water bottles. This water bottle is next level because it has a built-in filter.
This is great for when you’re on-the-go. You can fill it up anywhere and enjoy filtered water. Protect the environment and save money by ditching bottled water. Click here to learn more about this water bottle.
4. A drying rack to extend the longevity of your clothing
I use my collapsible drying rack on a weekly basis to dry my clothing. This helps save money on the electric bill and preserves the life of my clothing. Click here to learn more about this drying rack.
5. A lunch bag with reusable containers
I used to spend up to $10 a day on lunch when I was working in an office. This was costing me about $200 a month – just on lunch!
It wasn’t until I bought a lunch bag with reusable containers that I got excited about bringing a homemade lunch to work. Eating a homemade lunch has helped me make healthier food choices. This is one of the best products that will save you money. Click here to learn more about this lunch box.
6. A Brita Water Filter
If you’re still buying bottled water, it’s time to stop and get a Brita water filter instead. The water tastes great, it will save you money and help protect the environment too. It’s a win-win all around.
We love using our Brita water filter. This is one of the best products that will save you money in the long run.Click here to learn more about this Brita water filter.
7. A bed tray to help your laptop last longer
I like watching movies from the comfort of my bed. Unfortunately putting my laptop on my bed sheets can make it overheat. This bed tray helps protect my laptop and makes it easy to watch movies while in bed. Click here to learn more about this bed tray.
8. A Reusable Travel Mug
Instead of spending money on Starbucks each morning, I recommend bringing a reusable travel mug. If you’re a caffeine addict that makes multiple trips to the local coffee shop, consider using your travel mug in the morning and visiting the coffee shop in the afternoon. This will help cut your café visits in half and one of the best products to save you money. Click here to learn more about this travel mug.
9. A Food Processor
Hate chopping up vegetables? Me too. That’s why I like to throw everything in my food processor (especially onions) and let it do all the hard work for me.
I use my food processor on a weekly basis for baking (making pie crusts and scones), making salad dressing, pasta sauces, dips, soups and more. Because I try to make everything from scratch, this baby has been a HUGE time and money-saver for me over the years.
I can’t imagine cooking without one. It also prevents me from eating processed foods since I can easily whip up meals with this appliance. Click here to learn more about this food processor.
10. A Soy Candle
Soy candles are natural and made from vegetable oil, whereas paraffin candles are made from petroleum oil. This means that soy candles DON’T increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere like paraffin candles do.
Soy candles burn 50% longer than regular candles, which makes them more cost-effective in the long run. Click here to learn more about soy candles.
11. Soda Stream
I use to be addicted to a popular Italian brand of mineral water. I couldn’t believe how much I was spending just on water. The Soda Stream lets me to make my favorite carbonated drinks and bubbly H20 at home for a fraction of the cost. It’s perfect for making cocktails, sodas and more. You can even add lemon or mint to take your carbonated water to the next level. Click here to learn more about this Soda Stream.
12. Gel nail polish and curing light
Ever since I’ve learned how to paint my own nails, I’ve stopped paying the high prices at the nail salon. Unless I feel like treating myself for my birthday, I just can’t justify the price of going to the nail salon when I can give myself a manicure at home for a fraction of the cost.
If you’re a big fan of gel nail polish, I recommend getting the polish and curing light so you can do it yourself at home. It may be a little pricey up front, but if you’ve been visiting the nail salon on a regular basis, this is one of the best products that will save you money in the long run. Click here to learn more about the kit.
13. A book that teaches you how to manage your money
Spending just $10-$20 on a book that can help you budget, pay off debt and manage your money is priceless. One of my favorite personal finance books is, I Will Teach You How To Be Rich. Click here to learn more about this awesome book.
14. Reusable Snack Bags
These eco-friendly bags are washable and convenient for when you’re on-the-go. They are perfect for kid’s lunches, picnics, work lunches, and when you’re out running errands. Reusable snack bags will help you say goodbye to those wasteful plastic bags. You can buy these cute reusable snack bags.
15. A Coffee and Spice Grinder
We all know that brewing coffee at home will help you save money, but if you want to take your coffee experience the next level, I recommend grinding your own beans at home. Not only will your coffee taste better, but it gives you the experience of enjoying a fresh cup of coffee at a café for a fraction of the price. You can also save money by grinding your own spices at home too. Click here to learn more about this grinder.
16. Flash Drive / External Hard Drive
I still remember the morning I had three essays due for school and my laptop decided to die (which meant I wasn’t able to print out my essays). I didn’t even own a flash drive or external hard drive at the time, so I nearly lost all my work. Investing in a couple of flash drives and an external hard drive has been a total game changer for me. I store all my movies, music, photos and work on them to help free up space on my laptop. I cannot emphasize the importance enough of using a flash drive or external hard drive to back-up and store your work. Click here to learn more about this external hard drive.
17. A pantry that’s ready for any meal
If you’ve been following me on Snapchat or Instagram stories, you’ll know that I LOVE to cook. A few years ago though, I was a terrible cook and hated making dinner. Instead I used to spend a lot money eating out and trying new restaurants.
In order to eat healthier and save money, I’ve recently taught myself how to cook and stocked my pantry full of staples, which makes preparing a meal at home quick and easy. Some of my favorite things to have on hand include:
- Canned Goods: Tomatoes, beans, coconut milk
- Spices and Herbs: Basil, Crushed Red Pepper, Chili Powder, Oregano, Cinnamon, Cumin, Soup Base Cubes, Vanilla Extract
- Oils, Vinegars and Sauces: Soy Sauce, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Honey (or Agave), Mustard, Hot Sauce
- Dry Goods: Flour, Sugar, Rice, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Pasta
- Refrigerated Items: Non-Dairy Milk, Butter, Cheese
18. A stocked desk drawer full of goodies
To prevent spending money on office lunches, I recommend stocking your desk door with essential goodies. At my previous job, I would keep tasty snacks on hand (trail mix, fruit, seaweed, chocolate), spices, a tea pot (yes, I would make tea at my desk), tupperware and even actual silverware (fork, knife and spoon). Of course what you decide to stock in your desk door will vary, but this will take your lunch hour to the next level and help save you money.
19. High-quality staples for your minimal wardrobe
I’ve talked about the dark side of fast fashion in a previous post. This inspired me to go an entire year without buying any new clothing. Fast fashion can be addictive, because it’s cheap and it gives you the feeling of being richer than you are. But fast fashion doesn’t pay off in the long run.
Instead I recommend investing in high-quality staples and building a minimal wardrobe. This means buying less, but more expensive items that will stand the test of time. It may sound silly to spend $100 on a top, but if it pairs well with many items in your wardrobe and you take care of it, it will only cost you about $0.50 per wear.
20. A cheaper cell phone plan
Canadians are paying top dollar for their cell phones and have some of the highest smartphone service prices in the industrialized world. Some of my friends are paying $70+ per month for their smartphones. While this may be okay for some people, I don’t feel comfortable paying this much for a smartphone plan.
Instead I recommend getting a contract-free phone plan or negotiating with your service provider to get a better rate. I currently pay around $25 per month for my smartphone service. This includes unlimited nation-wide calling and text.
I use my home phone for calling during the day, which is cheaper than paying for a better service plan for my smart phone and connect to free WiFi whenever possible. I know many people who cannot imagine not having a data plan, but it’s easy to connect to free WiFi in my city, and when WiFi isn’t available, I can wait until I find access to it.
Bonus: A High-Power Blender
It took me years before I finally bit the bullet and invested in a Vitamix blender. I didn’t understand why anyone would need a Vitamix blender until I discovered what it can do. I’ve had my Vitamix for 4 years now and it’s completely changed my life.
I use my Vitamix every single day. I make smoothies, nut butter (like peanut butter), whipped cream, hot soup (yes, you can make creamy hot soup in a Vitamix), hummus, juice, vegan cheese sauce, waffle batter, nondairy milk, DIY flours, salsa, chopped vegetables, pesto, creamy salad dressing, healthy dips, vegan alfredo sauce, cauliflower rice, ice cream, and more.
A Vitamix is one of the best products that will save you money in the long run. We used to spend $6 on Booster Juice smoothies each day, which was costing us thousands of dollars per year. Now we make fresh and delicious smoothies at home for a fraction of the price.
If you’re looking to get healthy this year, invest in a Vitamix. It’s easy to use and easy to clean. My family and I have never been healthier since getting our Vitamix. Click here to learn more about the Vitamix.