• Admiral Patrick@dubvee.org
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    4 months ago

    I can think of a few that have served me well:

    • A good laser printer: $100 plus a few reams of paper have covered my printing needs for over a decade (and going)
    • Wool socks for the winter. Makes dropping the thermostat a degree or two much less unpleasant
    • A good, 100W USB-C PD charger. I’ve got a few, and they’ll charge/power pretty much any of my devices (including laptop).
    • Naich@lemmings.world
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      4 months ago

      100% laser printer. My Brother laser paid for itself the first time I bought a set of cheap toner for it. I don’t understand why people buy/rent inkjet ripoffs.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        I spotted one on the curb and thought it was an Epson at first glance. Took another look and saw it was a BW Brother laser the internet nerds are always going on about. I took it inside and dried the water off from the rain that just started, and was ready to take it back out to the curb where I found it whenever I discovered why it was put outside.

        That thing is rock solid.

        My girlfriend insists on having her Canon inkjet for color, and that thing bugs out at least once a month. Her mom’s HP has been a nightmare for me to deal with over the time she’s had it. This trash Brother has been the best home printer and scanner I’ve had in my near 30 years of computing. It’s still going on the toner it came with, not that I print much. Any wifi issues have not been related to the printer. It prints and scans great. From what I understand, third party toner should be no issue when the time comes as there’s no chip.

        The hype is real on these Brothers.

    • invertedspear@lemm.ee
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      4 months ago

      I just had to replace my 15 y/o Samsung laser printer because I couldn’t find toner carts for it anymore. Nor would it work with anything but windows. Last time I found toner about 3 years ago I bought the last two the website had and they finally ran dry and no matter how much I shook them gaps were present. Laser printing is the best.

  • mipadaitu@lemmy.world
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    4 months ago

    Almost any repair tools, gardening, or anything NEEDED to DIY. You can do a lot of personal projects with very little money.

    That being said, it’s very easy to fall into a trap of going beyond what is needed into a full, fancy workshop, with all the shiny new equipment. If that’s what you’re goal is, that’s fine. If you’re doing it to save money, there’s a lot of ways to just get the bare minimum, and be extremely effective. Especially if you can get used, or even non-functional equipment and fix it up yourself.

      • mipadaitu@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        It’s a tough balancing act. You don’t want to dive all in and buy the nicest, fanciest, most expensive equipment right out. But also, if you buy too cheap, or too limiting, you’re going to get discouraged.

        Used is a really good balance between the two. Plan it out, figure out what you need, and meet someone locally to pick up their old stuff. Usually, if they’re selling their starter equipment to upgrade, you can even chat with them about the hobby, and get some real good local advice. Maybe even and in with the local community.

        It really is a win-win.

        • snooggums@midwest.social
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          4 months ago

          And when it doubt, if it has a motor or needs to hold a heavy object over you then go for something in the middle range of cost unless you will be using is professionally or as frequently as a professional. The cheap stuff can be dangerous, and are generally not that much cheaper than a decent home use tool.

          Estate sales and garage sales are other places to pick up used tools if you have a rough idea of what to look for like the finishing touches that used to be put on older higher quality tools like smoothing mold lines. Old mismatched tools from formerly reliable brands like Craftsman can be had for cheap!

      • Monument@lemmy.sdf.org
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        4 months ago

        I had to talk myself out of looking at small backhoes or tractors with a backhoe attachment today…. because I’m thinking about installing a single French drain. My “land” is 50’x100’, in a city.

        Going big instead of being reasonable is a very real affliction that affects way more people than you realize.

    • invertedspear@lemm.ee
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      4 months ago

      Buy your first whatsit as cheap as possible, if you break it, replace it with another cheap one, if you break that one too, go buy a nice one.

      • Admiral Patrick@dubvee.org
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        4 months ago

        So much this.

        If I know I only need a tool once or twice, I always buy Harbor-Freight (discount power tools if you’re not familiar with them). I’ve always been able to complete the job with it, and anything beyond that is just bonus IMO (versus renting a better tool for the job at equal or greater cost).

        Normally, though, they last a lot longer than that. I bought a HF drill in like 2004 and it finally died last year and was used pretty heavily throughout its life. Pretty sure I got my $18 worth.

    • ColeSloth
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      4 months ago

      They always sale descent mechanics tool sets for like $100 on black Friday and sometimes other times from home depot or Lowes.

      That and youtube will pay for itself the first time you need to do an easy diy job on your car.

      Why pay a shop $300 dollars to replace a thermostat when you can do it for a $15 part and $20 of radiator fluid yourself?

      $30 set of jack stands and you’ll never have to pay a shop $400 again to replace your front brakes. Good brake pads are $50.

      Spark plugs need replaced? $200 at a shop for a 4 cylinder car, or do it yourself in under an hour for $35 worth of spark plugs.

      There’s tons of vehicle stuff that’s not very hard to do that will save you tons of money with a set of tools and the ability to learn. I drive 15+ year old vehicles and have only taken one to a shop twice in the past 20 years. I do stuff a lot more advanced than your average person probably wants to try to do themselves, but I like working on my own stuff. But most of what I do is easy enough for most people to do without being too difficult.

  • tubbadu@lemmy.kde.social
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    4 months ago

    An old, ugly bike and a good bike lock. No one will ever steal it and can bring you wherever you want without the fear of leaving it in the wrong spot

    • Victor@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      Isn’t that the point of the good bike lock? To prevent stealing even a good, new bike?

        • Victor@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          I usually park my good bike with my good, strong lock in very public places so an angle grinder would probably cause someone to call the police, lol. But even so, an angle grinder would have to put itself to work on my lock. I had to get that lock, otherwise an insurance claim would be invalid in case the bike was stolen. Or so the bike store sales woman told me. 😬

          • Cordyceps @sopuli.xyz
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            4 months ago

            This was my logic as well. Bike got taken off from the front of a busy shopping centre, and nobody had bothered to get involved.

            • BastingChemina@slrpnk.net
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              4 months ago

              My roommate got his bike stolen in front of a busy café. When he arrived people showed him where the thief went.

              It took a good minute for the thief to break through the lock in front a busy cafe and no one bats an eye.

        • Victor@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          I don’t think that’s true lol. But sure, some people will do anything they can in desperation. Surely it’s a spectrum of necessity.

          • thermal_shock@lemmy.world
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            4 months ago

            if locks kept people out, there would be almost no theft, like 90% reduction. if someone wants in, they’re getting in.

            • Victor@lemmy.world
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              4 months ago

              You are generalizing but I understand what you’re trying to say. Locks aren’t magical or anything, it’s just metal, right? But they work pretty well. Anybody could be tempted to take a bike if it’s just sitting there unlocked. Anybody.

              But locked bikes are stolen much less than unlocked bikes, so locks work. Locks do keep people out. 🙂‍↕️

              • Revan343@lemmy.ca
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                4 months ago

                Locks discourage theives, but don’t actually stop them. They can break your lock; the lock only helps if it makes it more effort than it’s worth, usually by making easier to go steal the one further down the rack that has no lock, or a less secure lock.

                But there are two halves to the equation: the difficulty of breaking the lock, and the value of the item that’s locked up. The more valuable the locked item is, the more effort is worthwhile. Thus, a rusty bike with a good lock is less likely to be stolen than a fancy new bike with a good lock

                • Victor@lemmy.world
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                  4 months ago

                  Locks discourage theives, but don’t actually stop them.

                  A discouraged thief is a stopped thief in my book. 🤷‍♂️

              • Cordyceps @sopuli.xyz
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                4 months ago

                And here we arrive to the point of the original post. Value of the bike vs. Risk involved in retrieving it. A POS bike with a moderately good lock is far less likely to get stolen than a Canyon 7K e-bike with a lock that you can saw through in 3-4 minutes with a Li-ion battery powered angle grinder.

                • Victor@lemmy.world
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                  4 months ago

                  🤷‍♂️

                  I think the point I’m trying to make is a good enough lock should prevent the theft. Unless the value is absolutely ridiculous. But of course if you can drag the slider of value infinitely high then yes, correct. But then I can also drag the slider of strong lock infinitely high.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        Battery operated angle grinders have removed the effectiveness of just about any lock. The idea is to be a less attractive target. Will someone risk getting beat up or arrested for a beater bike? How about an obviously expensive bike? The effort and potential punishment is the same, but one has a much high potential for reward. Even if they don’t take the whole bike, do you have expensive rims, etc?

        A bike not worth stealing can still be all you need it to be, but not what someone else would take a risk for.

        • Victor@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          I guess I live in a place in the world where it isn’t such a big problem. I mean, bikes are stolen all the time here, but I park my bike in public places so that it won’t get stolen. I have a very big lock as well so even an angle grinder would have to go for a while, enough for people to wonder and maybe call the police.

    • garbagebagel@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      I recently purchased a good lock because I got myself an escooter and figured I’d need something good to protect it well. I am still in shock by how much those locks cost, like holy I understand why but I just never expected it. Didn’t help that I forgot to check the price before taking it to the counter either I guess.

      I still get anxious about parking my e-scooter though so I try to only bring it to places with secure areas or where I can fold it up and keep it with me.

      • Cordyceps @sopuli.xyz
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        4 months ago

        I bought an e-bike worth a long penny and an u-lock to match, and the bike got stolen from the front of a busy shopping centre by guys in a van using portable angle grinders. Conveniently the security cameras were not in operation due to a system malfunction. I was inside the centre for about 10 minutes, so a real bummer. Thankfully I had also taken an anti-theft insurance that covered the out of pocket cost of my insurance, so mostly this was an annoyance, but also a valuable lesson.

        • rekabis@lemmy.ca
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          4 months ago

          Next time, stuff some C4 into the seat pole, and hook it up to the speaker leads of an Apple AirTag. If it ever gets stolen, the thieves will get a notification that they are being tracked, and when they try to trigger the AirTag’s speaker to see where it is, it will detonate the C4. And if they just don’t care or haven’t gotten around to it yet, you can do the same from the comfort of your own iPhone.

  • BlueLineBae@midwest.social
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    4 months ago

    I have recently needed to travel for work and my duffel bag was a pain in the butt to carry around the airport. All the rolling bags I saw for purchase didn’t seem well made and were pretty expensive while somehow not utilizing all of the available overhead space. Even well known brands like swiss gear seems to have critical break points on their luggage. The last trip I made, I noticed that all of the flight crew used the same brand of luggage that looked very well made and was reinforced in all the right areas. So I looked it up and found that their non-commercial line was just as shitty as everything else I was seeing, but their flight crew line was top tier… But only flight crew could buy it. So I found a website that would sell it to me! $240 for a suitcase that looks like it will last my lifetime and fits the exact dimensions of the overhead space saving me $40 per trip to not check the bag (my company doesn’t cover checking bags). Return on “investment” is 6 flights or 3 round trips. The brand is Travelpro for anyone wondering. And the site I purchased from is mypilotstore.com. They even sell spare parts such as wheels/bearings or leather handles. Super happy with my purchase!!

    • bookcrawler@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      Really wanted to get some of the Travel pro brand. Sadly, despite seeing it all the time with crew, it doesn’t meet our size requirements as passengers.

      • BlueLineBae@midwest.social
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        4 months ago

        They have different sizes in the latest lineup. Including 3 smaller sizes that fit in the overhead. I got one that’s 22x14x9 which is perfect for most domestic flights in the US. But they also have smaller sizes and an international size.

        • bookcrawler@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          I’ll have to see if they have an international site. Checked today and their smallest option is still a bit too big. Might get one anyway as it seems all the luggage recommended for the airline are all a bit too big in at least one direction. We have one of the stricter airlines for baggage size.

          Thank you though!

  • tunetardis@lemmy.ca
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    4 months ago
    • A good quality belt. A cheap belt may last a year or two while a good one lasts decades but doesn’t cost 10x as much.
    • Any sort of micro-mobility device (bikes, scooters, etc. or even costlier electric versions of these) that replaces a regular commute has good ROI over driving or even public transit (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a city where it’s free).
    • A big sack of rice. It’s kind of insane how many meals you can get out of one of those.
        • BarqsHasBite@lemmy.ca
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          4 months ago

          If it replaces a car it’s cheap. Even replacing transit passes will save you money over some years.

          • tunetardis@lemmy.ca
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            4 months ago

            This. I have calculated that the ebike I bought will pay itself off in about 2 years from all that not-driving I’m doing. That’s just from fuel/maintenance savings alone. If I factor in that my car is getting quite old and I would probably need to have replaced it by now, it has already paid for itself. (I still need a car for bad weather and certain hauling needs, but I drive it only sporadically these days so it’s lasting forever.)

        • Passerby6497@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          I just started looking into getting a recumbent bike, and holy shit does adding pedelec features (ebike conversion)/peddle assistance) skyrocket the price. I knew it would be a bit expensive, but goddamn 😭

          • tunetardis@lemmy.ca
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            4 months ago

            My first ebike was a used tourist rental. As such, it was a bare bones model feature-wise. It only had one button you push to turn on pedal assist and that’s it. But the ebike shop owner was kind enough to put a fresh battery on it at no extra charge, and because it was designed for rentals, the thing was built like a tank and looked no worse for wear.

            I rode that thing for about 3 years before upgrading to a more tricked out fat tire bike that suits my usage patterns better. Then I gave the old one to my daughter’s roommate and it’s still getting good use afaik?

        • Mr_Blott@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          You can build your own for €500 if you pick up an old shit heap bike and put an electric wheel on it

      • PP_GIRL_@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        Same. Been looking for the past few months because my previous ~18mi round trip daily commute was cut down to about 2 miles, but I’m not paying the price that people want for legit vintage Vespas in my area haha. I could get a whole GROM for that price.

    • clive@sh.itjust.works
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      4 months ago

      My wife got me a handmade leather belt shortly after we started dating 10 years ago. I have worn it daily and its still in great shape. About two years ago I finally had to start using the next tighter hole as it has stretched, but theres definitely another 10 years of life still in it

  • PP_GIRL_@lemmy.world
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    4 months ago

    A rice cooker. YMMV but I’ve probably cut 80% of my food spending since I had a way to cook rice reliable and easily.

    • Semi-Hemi-Demigod@kbin.social
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      4 months ago

      I’ve never found a rice cooker to be necessary. Just cover the rice with about an inch of water - i.e. the finger trick - bring it to a boil and then cover it and turn it off. The latent heat will cook it perfectly in about 20 minutes without any other thought.

      • Breezy@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        That sounds nice and easy, but i fucked up my rice about a third of the time and it really deterred me from making much. I got a rice cooker 4 years ago, ooooh boy now i make rice at least twice a week. As simple as making rice seems, untill you get it, it just isnt that easy. Plus rice cookers are like 25 dollars. Definitely the most used extra appliance ive ever had.

      • DominusOfMegadeus@sh.itjust.works
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        4 months ago

        I don’t get it either, and I have tried both. My results in the Zojirushi are middling, and well below what I achieve on my stove. If I need a longer-cooking variety (like brown or black rice) done more quickly, then I use the Rice button on my Instant Pot. The Zojirushi takes minimum 60 minutes on any variety and the results are not as good as what I can do on my stove in 20 minutes. (Plus the Zojirushi has no timer, no status indicator, and no power button. To turn it on you plug it in.)

        • Ottomateeverything@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          (Plus the Zojirushi has no timer, no status indicator, and no power button. To turn it on you plug it in.)

          Every zojirushi I’ve ever seen has more buttons and settings than most microwaves. Did you buy the cheapest one they sold?

      • tunetardis@lemmy.ca
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        4 months ago

        It’s good to have a pot with a heavy, well-sealing lid in this case since rice cooks better under a bit of pressure.

    • HamsterRage@lemmy.ca
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      4 months ago

      An small InstantPot does the trick just as well, and you can use it for other stuff as well.

    • garbagebagel@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      I’m actually the opposite. We relied heavily on our $25 rice cooker (and it’s still nice sometimes) but recently I discovered that stove cooked rice with like actual ingredients in it isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Total gamechanger and even though I love my plain white rice, it can be really nice to mix it up and do like a Greek or Mexican style rice.

    • Bob@feddit.nl
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      4 months ago

      Could you elaborate? It sounds like you used to fuck the rice up most of the time and have to throw it?

  • plactagonic@sopuli.xyz
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    4 months ago

    My wallet cried a little when I bought new bike, then I calculated the cost of alternative (car, public transport) and was surprised that even nicer bike is cheaper.

    If I count only operating cost of car it will pay off in about 1 - 1.5 years. Public transport is at about 2 years.

    Yes I know that I have some infrastructure, and other things that make it possible for me to use it everyday as car.

    Also I stay fit and healthy when I don’t sit in a car - so this is another value that can’t be easily put in monetary perspective.

    • dohpaz42@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      If you still own a car, and you don’t drive it to work, call your insurance and have them reclassify your car as “personal use”. It’ll save you on your insurance costs.

      • tunetardis@lemmy.ca
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        4 months ago

        That’s interesting. I will follow up on this. I do occasionally drive to work when the weather or road conditions are atrocious. More so in the winter months. But it’s a sporadic thing now and the car is no longer my main mode of transport.