It's funny how times change. It wasn't long ago when people were fine with rolling up huge amounts of debt, buying vehicles whenever they thought they "needed" them, and going out to eat every day. Suddenly coupons are cool, frugal is the word of the day, and the driver of the Prius gets more street cred than that of a Hummer.
How do you get big returns on your money these days? Well, sometimes you have to spend to save. Here are some items I have sprung for which have paid for themselves over and over again. (not an inclusive list, just some off the top of my head, in no particular order)
The hair clippers. I bought them in college for about 19 bucks and haven't spent any money on them since. 10 years of free haircuts through all spring, summer, fall, and some winters at about 13 bucks each. Savings: well over 1,000 and growing.
The Snackster: I love this little machine. I bought it after college when my buddy Mark Arant raved about it. One sandwich and I was hooked. Cheap, tasty and simple. About 20 bucks to purchase, high quality sandwiches ever since.
Lasik surgery: While most places are quite expensive, I managed to find a place to get both eyes done for 600 dollars. Sure it was in a trailer in an abandoned parking lot, but I can't argue with the results. Savings: 5 years and counting of no glasses, contacts, and having the priceless ability to see perfectly.
An engagement ring: It looks neat, but the symbolism of the ring is where the true value lies. A lifetime of being with the person I love. The mother of our child. A friend forever... Plus excellent meals.
Anybody have any other really great things you have bought to save money???