List of essentials

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Redo
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:30 pm

List of essentials

Post by Redo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:39 pm

Hi,

I'm one of those people who always buys the cheapest things I can find, but I'm tired of buying shoes and earbuds every 6 months, so I'm interested in investing in products/tools/clothes etc that will last me for decades. I know absolutely nothing about whether some things are overpriced because of the brand name or the quality, so I'm looking for suggestions.

So far from what I've read:
Shoes:?
Clothes: Filson, Barbour, Burberry, Columbia, Helly Hanson, Patagonia. The North Face, L.L. Bean
Winter clothes (coat, gloves): How is Canada Goose?
Pens: ?
Earphones: Sennheiser
Computer: ?
Tools: ?
Bicycle: ?
Water filter: ?
Light bulbs: ?
Silverware/dishware/kitchen appliances and utensils: ?
Can opener: Rosle (Roesle), P-51 military can opener
Down sleeping bag: Valandré
Things I forgot: ?

Luxury items:
Blender: Vitamix
Pressure cooker: Kuhn Rikon
Pocket knife: Sebenza
Boots: Hanwag

Thanks.
Last edited by Redo on Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

prognastat
Posts: 737
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by prognastat » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:09 pm

For the pressure cooker so far myself I've preferred an instant pot over getting a pressure cooker. It's possible the Instant Pot is going to be less durable than something like a dedicated pressure cooker(fewer parts that can break etc) however I like the programmability and I suspect with the built in element rather than sitting on the stove it would be a little more energy efficient.

Shoes I have some old chucks I use while in the gym, but I wear my boots for everything else.

For clothing so far I've liked the unbranded jeans. They're a little pricier so I have them on price watch on amazon and I get them while they're on sale. So far they seem to hold up pretty well with the heavier duty denim. For on top I mostly wear t-shirts and I don't really have a brand since I simply have far too many anyway that have been gifted to me for birthdays and Christmas(enough to last me for decades probably).

For dishware one thing I like is those large thick mugs, they can be used for hot beverages or as a bowl for things such as soup/noodles or to cook scrambled eggs in using a microwave. Very versatile. Most dishware if cared for generally lasts a long time, even the cheap stuff.
Last edited by prognastat on Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Riggerjack
Posts: 2573
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: List of essentials

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:30 pm

@ OP,

Search BIFL, or Buy It For Life, to see where this has come up here before. This has been discussed a few times, and each thread has many good suggestions.

Redo
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: List of essentials

Post by Redo » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:01 pm

Thanks guys. I knew there had to be some sort of discussion about this, didn't know it was called BIFL. I'll check it out.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1462
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: List of essentials

Post by Sclass » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:08 pm

Hey,

I bought an instant pot during Black Friday week. $60. I avoided it in the past because it was kind of trendy and expensive. But I have to say I’m very impressed with it. I think I’ll be making a lot of my meals in it going forward if it doesn’t break.

Thought of you folks when I made some pea soup. I plan on making lentils. Cooks a lot faster than conventional or crock pot. Takes all the guesswork out of pressure cooking.

Made a wonderful pot roast with celery last night. Made the tough beef really tender in less than two hours.

shadow
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:18 pm

Re: List of essentials

Post by shadow » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:41 am

I would also recommend the BIFL subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/BuyItForLife/

Scott 2
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: List of essentials

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:18 am

I've always seen the BIFL idea as a reflection of Jacob's personal values, rather than something necessary for financial independence.

In today's consumer economy, value often optimizes at the low end of the curve, especially once we consider:

1. Your time has value. Repairing a buy it for life item does increase your resilience, but it also costs your time.
2. You change. I used my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker maybe a dozen times. Then I decided I'd rather cook in a crock pot.

Ultimately though, the quality of your sub-$500 consumables isn't making or breaking your financial independence. On the spending side, it comes from optimizing the big stuff - taxes, housing, transport, insurance, travel, food, quantity of stuff, etc.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10785
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:31 am

My approach to "stuff" doesn't make or break FIRE. However, focusing on BIFL AND buying it used means that my net outlay for "stuff" is ~$0 because I can sell it used for the same price (sometimes lower, sometimes higher). All I pay for usage are fees and shipping.

The difference is that BIFL requires a higher capital outlay. In particular, if you're just starting out, you'll be spending a lot more than you would on the cheap approach. However, when you're done, you're really done. I think the best side-effect is that it completely removes any desire to "upgrade" because there's simply nothing better to upgrade to. That was my initial motivation to "buy the best" which overlaps with BIFL.

From a minimalist perspective, BIFL has more downsides because it's harder to get rid of stuff. With cheap stuff, you can just donate it, break it, or throw it out. This will not be so easy with the good stuff.

However, it's not like I apply this philosophy as a one-size-fits-all. Sometimes---like when I'm only going to use it a handful of times---it's cheaper to buy a cheap-ass tool from Harbor Freight than trying to source a fancy Snap-On on eBay for 10x the price because the shipping/fees of the latter exceeds the new price of the former.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by tonyedgecombe » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:05 pm

I've always been slightly skeptical of the BIFL movement, it seemed to much like good marketing by business to allow them to jack up their prices.

My preference is just to avoid the bottom 10% of any market. A £10 pair of jeans will probably fall apart within weeks but a £20 pair is likely as good as a £100 pair.

Seppia
Posts: 764
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: List of essentials

Post by Seppia » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:34 pm

@tony there's always the law of diminishing returns, if I had to wing it I would say quality works on a log scale: a $100 pan will be 10x better than a $10 pan, but if you want 10x better quality than the $100 one you will have to spend $1000.
So everybody can find their sweet spot, but usually I've found it to be
Definitely worth it to buy "good stuff" instead of shit
Rarely worth it to bug "the absolute best"

@Scott my approach is to "BIFL" when I know it's something I'll both
A) use often
B) use for a long time
In those instances buying "the good stuff" is significantly cheaper than buying shit, plus you get the added benefit of simply having a better tool (whoever has tried to cook with bad knives understands what I'm talking about).

I noticed most of the times it comes down to just doing a quick back of the envelope math: using again the knife example, a shitty chef knife costs what, $10? while a very good one (Zwilling-Wushof-Global etc) will set you back $100-150 at most.
The good ones last forever, but let's assume a minimum of 10 years*: since I cook every day I'm not submitting myself to the torture of cooking with a shitty knife to save $10 per year

*i lost one while moving so I've had twice the same knife since 1998 or so

Scott 2
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: List of essentials

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:08 pm

Using the BIFL knife as an example, there's an element of hedonic adaptation to consider. I cook with $10 knives, bought 15+ years ago. My wife and I use them every day. Far from torture, we haven't known anything else, so we are completely satisfied. When it came time to buy more (due to a lazy dishwasher), my wife ordered the exact same knives online. It took 5 minutes and cost $10.

IMO BIFL is a way to invest in something you really enjoy. That interest makes the experience of acquiring, owning and using the object a pleasure. Even passing it on to a new owner can be fun. However, it is a luxurious way to use time or money. I constrain it to my favorite hobbies.

It can also get out of control, since one can recognize top quality and spot a "deal". Somehow there are 6 BIFL yoga mats in my 2 person household.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by tonyedgecombe » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:12 pm

@seppia Or maybe an s-curve, at a certain point utility goes out the window and it's all about signalling.

Seppia
Posts: 764
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: List of essentials

Post by Seppia » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:48 pm

Scott 2 wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:08 pm
Using the BIFL knife as an example, there's an element of hedonic adaptation to consider. I cook with $10 knives, bought 15+ years ago. My wife and I use them every day. Far from torture, we haven't known anything else, so we are completely satisfied. When it came time to buy more (due to a lazy dishwasher), my wife ordered the exact same knives online. It took 5 minutes and cost $10.
Of course, I agree 100%.
The point for me is, is the hedonic adaptation worth it or not?
The answer is (as often) it depends.
In the case of the kitchen knife, im confident you will find the upgrade to a $100 knife to be absolutely worth it (assuming you use it often enough)

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by tonyedgecombe » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:36 pm

Seppia wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:48 pm

In the case of the kitchen knife, im confident you will find the upgrade to a $100 knife to be absolutely worth it (assuming you use it often enough)
That raises an interesting point, if @seppia educates himself to be a connoisseur of kitchen knives then they are going to be disappointed with the $10 knife and possibly the $100 one. Cooking in a friends kitchen will never be the same joyful experience again.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3805
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: List of essentials

Post by BRUTE » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:05 pm

OP: brute regards blenders, pressure cookers, pocket knives, and hiking boots (Hanwag) not as essentials, but as luxury hobby items.

Campitor
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: List of essentials

Post by Campitor » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:15 pm

Blenders a luxury? Not if you hispanic. ;)

My wife makes pasteles which is requires grinding up a god awful amount of plantains and root vegetables. An hour long endeavor until I got a vitamix.

https://youtu.be/kcdOuQm0oeI

Solvent
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:04 pm
Location: ኢትዮጵያ
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by Solvent » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:52 am

I had both a blender and a food processor at one point, and barely ever used either. The food processor was goid for hummus and falafel. The blender... Can't think of anything I made regularly with it.

My immersion blender, though? I love it. Use it probably twice a week or more.

chicago81
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: List of essentials

Post by chicago81 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:21 am

The blender is essential for our cooking. Used almost daily. Most meats are cooked in a frying pan, with a blended vegetable puree added in after the meat is mostly fully cooked. The puree usually consists of any combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic clove, green/red/yellow/jalapeno peppers, fresh herbs, carrots, celery, etc.

That said, I've owned the same cheap (< $30 new) Kitchen-Aid blender for well over a decade....

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10785
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: List of essentials

Post by jacob » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:42 am

The section on Appropriate Response (5.2.4) in the ERE book discusses this and the example in Fig 5.6 literally covers kitchen utensils.

Nomad
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 5:23 pm
Location: UK

Re: List of essentials

Post by Nomad » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:58 pm

re: computer. I would buy a second hand previously corporate computer on ebay about 3 years old -> very cheap.
Probably something like a Dell.
Then I would format it to run Linux which is free, robust and faster than Windows.
The version I would install would be Ubuntu. I've done this myself for a couple of computers.
If something broke on it like the hard disk - I would just buy a new one and put it in.

I have a few computers that were 'thrown away' by my place of work and they are fine - running Linux.
One is a Dell Optiplex All in One with an i3 processor. I have this in my kitchen and can listen to Spotify or watch Youtube while cooking.

Post Reply