There’s no question, I am frugal. I run a tight budget and love finding deals. It’s the only way I was able to pay off all my student loans on a teacher’s salary and afford to leave my job as the breadwinner to be a work-at-home mom.

But people are often surprised about some of the items I have because they’re not exactly cheap.

Below are a few things that were well worth my hard-earned money, and I would buy them all again in a heartbeat.

Which things?

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Things Worth The Splurge

These things are not cheap but were worth the investment because they make my life easier and will last for years.

In the long run, they save me time, money, and stress.

1. Apple MacBook Pro

When my husband and I decided I was going to seriously pursue this whole “work from home” thing, the first thing I invested in was a MacBook Pro.

Going from a 9-5 office with no windows to this office is good for the soul.

Having worked in school districts with both PC and Mac computers, I know how much harder life is for me when technology doesn’t work. And when my work is 100% on the computer, I need my computer to work!

It was about $1,200 for my laptop and worth every penny. It’s been over two years and I have not spent a dime on it since.

Get My MacBook!

2. Vitamix 5200 Blender

I finally splurged on a new blender. My husband teased me because I’ve been saying I wanted a new blender for years.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t want just another blender off the Walmart shelf, but I wasn’t ready to spend the kind of money for a really good one. My old blender was a plain old Ninja, and it worked fine for a lot of things…but definitely not for green smoothies.

I was so tired of chewing kale in my non-smooth “smothie.” It was gross.

Finally, after we got our $300 Amazon gift cards through our health insurance (which I talk more about in this post), and experiencing major struggles with my diet and nursing my second baby, we decided it was finally time invest in a QUALITY blender to make healthy eating easier on all of us.

Of course, I did research, read a million reviews, compared prices and purchased the Vitamix 5200 Blender…and I AM IN LOVE!!!

After just one smoothie, I finally understood how people get their smoothies to look the way they do on Pinterest! No more chunks. No more chewing. Just smooooth fruits and veggies for me and the kids.

And the best part?

My baby and toddler LOVE drinking my green smoothies too. You would not believe all the veggies my kids eat now because of this blender.

So this one was definitely worth the price.

Get My Vitamix!

3. iRobot Roomba Vacuum

When we moved to a house with double the square footage, I quickly realized three things:

  • it was awesome to have my own office
  • It was amazing to have room for the kids to run and play
  • it was a pain to have so much floor space to clean! (first world problem, I know.)

I hemmed and hawed over the idea because I had a vacuum that worked fine. It was just a pain in the butt to either have dirty floors or waste so much precious time cleaning the floors!

So just like I suggest in all my stories of how we save money and were able to get out of debt, I asked for this gift for Christmas.I got an iRobot Roomba and love it! It saves me SO much time and does a pretty darn good job.

We call it “Robo,” and he’s like another member of our family. Robo is cleaning the kids’ playroom as I write this (and the kids are napping. Hallelujah!)

You can read my complete Roomba review and see it clean my kitchen floors over here.

In summary: Kids sleep. I get work done. And the floor is cleaned. All at the same time, friend!

Needless to say, this one easily made the list of purchases worth the splurge!

Get My Roomba!

4. Healthy Food

Yes, sometimes eating healthy foods can be more expensive. But without good health, your entire life is going to be more of a struggle.

Plus, my daughter has severe food allergies and my son is very sensitive to foods too, so this is just one of those things we need to budget more for.

Whenever I can, I use cheap healthy foods like oats, eggs, beans, carrots, bananas, lentils, rice, greens, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes.

For everything else, I try to save money without sacrificing quality by getting food from:

  • Vitacost
  • Brandless
  • Amazon Prime (Subscribe & Save)
  • Local organic farmers (CSA box and Farmer’s market)

You can save money on qualiy food by using:

**If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership yet, you can try it Free For 30 Days. I did and I’ve been in love with the discounts and fast shipping ever since.**

I use and I redeem my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards to help even more.

5. Running Shoes

So here’s the truth: I like the accomplishment of running but my body hates running. It’s weird, I know.

I deal with quite a bit of foot pain and injuries, so for me, supportive shoes are a must.

Nike running shoes? Heck no! My Amazon Prime cardboard boxes are more supportive than those.

My feet need the real deal. So far, my favorite brands have been Brooks, New Balance, and Saucony.

My sister, who can wear just about any shoe she wants, recently bought her first pair of “good tennies.” She sent me a picture the first day she wore them and said it was like “walking on clouds.” (These are the pair she got, so cute!)

Sometimes the younger sister is the wiser one. 😉

Related: 12 Best Walking Shoes for Women & How to Pick the Right Ones For for Your Feet

6. Shoes for Kids

Just like I get supportive shoes for myself, I do the same for my wobbly, growing little ones.

I’ve been happy with the combination of flex and support that Stride Rite shoes give my kids, and I’ve been able to find them at really affordable prices.

One pair I found clearance at Kohls. Another I’ve found on Facebook buy & sell groups.

They last through the wear and tear of the kids and then they are still in good enough shape to sell to someone else.

They also have stride rite shoes on Amazon, but you have to find the right combination of color and size to make them less expensive.

7. Toyota and Honda Vehicles

We save up and pay cash for our vehicles because we don’t like debt. We don’t just randomly have enough money in our bank account when the time comes to make a purchase. As soon as we buy a vehicle and deplete those savings, we start building it up again because we wear on them and they need to be replaced over time.

We never know exactly when it will happen, but we all know it’s going to happen.

Although Toyotas and Hondas cost more than many others upfront, they hold their value for much longer.

We have a small Toyota commuter car that has well over 200,000 miles on it (I bought it with 90,000 many years ago) and it’s still going strong. I also joined the Minivan Mom Club with a Honda Odyssey. And this is how we comfortably haul our family of 4 + golden retriever around.

I’ll never say never, but I’ll be shocked if I ever purchase a vehicle that’s not one of these brands.

8. Usborne Books

There’s just something extra special about Usborne books. I’m so grateful for the friend who introduced me to them.

My toddler loves to read, and I love using these books to help her learn.

Kids are so curious, so I love taking advantage of this time in their life to teach them everything and anything I can. To be honest, I only know so much, so these books teach me a lot.

It’s awesome to model reading and learning for your kids. And even if you don’t have a teaching background, most of these books give you tips for using the book in different ways (things you can ask or do) that will help your child get even more out of the book.

Because it’s like food for the brain, I invest and love Usborne books too.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Living a simple and frugal life is not all about saving all of your money and never splurging.

Instead, when you create an intentional plan for your money and set goals, you’ll be able to splurge on things that are valuable to you. Whether they save you time, money, or your sanity (or all 3), there are some things that are worth the investment.

Shop smarter by buying things when they’re a great deal and getting free cashback with easy and safe sites like Ebates, Mr. Rebates, Swagbucks, and Ibotta.

What’s on your list of things you’re glad you splurged on?

Let your light shine,

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