Best cheap investments you have made?

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Signing up for a Capital One credit card -- the free "double-warranty" coverage has helped me out on two occasions.
 
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I wouldn't call it an investment, just a purchase, but this cheap knife sharpener has been very impressive! http://www.amazon.com/Smiths-JIFF-S-10-S...778&sr=1-22 It may or may not be suitable for fine cutlery, but for inexpensive steak knives in the kitchen and regular pocket knives, I find it amazing. An old knife that will hardly slice into the skin on a tomato, will slice it like butter after two or three strokes through this sharpener.
 
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I bought a used Dutailier nursing glider for $100 off craigslist. After using it for 6 months I sold it for $140 off craigslist again.
 
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A 1978 Buick Skyhawk that I bought for $900 for daily driver duty in the NY metro area in the late '80's. It got rear-ended twice in minor fender benders and I got $1600 in insurance payments. I drove it for 4 more years after moving to Indiana and sold it for $450 with a bad clutch. I heard about 5 years later that the subsequent owner replaced the clutch and continued to drive it until he donated it to the local fire department, where it was disassembled piece-by-piece training firemen to use the Jaws-of-Life. That car had a full life.
 
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JTK

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Originally Posted By: vtecboy
ebay chinese ELM327 OBDII scanner...saved me alot of money already.
Amen to that brother. I've lost count of how many issues I've helped sort-out with my no-name OBDII reader.
 
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If you come up with a very innovative idea, go to the effort of getting it patented in North America. Many people end up seeing something produced, then they say to them selves the old "Darn, I thought of that years ago". I worked with someone that was close friends with the guy who invented the coax cable connector. You know that little bolt that crimps onto a stripped coax cable that threads into the back of a tv or into a DSL modem and allows the bare cable to make the connection? Well, he sold the idea and he will never have to work again. Ever.
 
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Hello all, Not going to a Casino. Instead, going to Home Depot and buying Insulation & Caulk. This lowered my winter heating bills (every year). With that money saved, I bought automotive tools. Started doing easy repairs myself. This lowered car ownership costs. Now I'm saving on heating bills and auto repairs. I have to admit, I'm retired, so I have the time. With these yearly savings: I bought parts to repair my snow-thrower (instead of buying new). * Reshingle my shed - myself * Replaced the bathroom window - myself * Cut the lawn - myself With these yearly savings, I can buy plumbing & electrical tools. [b]Now I really start saving money.[/b]By not paying other people, I feel I am improving my standard of living and my mind. I look at my life as running a business. I want it to succeed. Take control of your life, be responsible. Larry
 
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Free Mn Twins PEZ Dispenser at the ballgame. Sold it a week later for $105.00
 

MolaKule

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OK, I'll bite. What does any of this have to do with Science and Technology of Oils and Lubricant Additives?
 
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$5 magnetic parts tray for holding screws: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200326798_200326798?cm_mmc=Google-pla-_-Garage%20%2B%20Workshop%20Supplies-_-Magnets-_-25108&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=25108&gclid=CMLM1bzJlLkCFUVk7AodvQgAtg And a $3 magnetic part retriever: http://www.daymotorsports.com/proddisp.php?ln=21037&product=3LB+MAGNETIC+RETRIEVER&partnumber=TPT-11763&description=%95+7%2F16%22+diameter+head%0A%95+Handy+pocket+clip
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
Wife ?
Those can become very expensive investments...and they don't like to be referred to as "cheap"...
 
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The ideas from Larry have my vote for " best " I will add one low cost manual foot air pump ...best kept in car trunk for re fill when a nail or screw is discovered causing a slow leak. .. Saves tire destruction until a proper patch at tire shop.
 
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Xcelite XST-102 and XST-101 screwdrivers. I bought another of the XST-102 soon after the first one just because sometimes tools are hard to find in the house. These Phillips screwdrivers have a black case hardened tip that really holds up over time. I bought those back in the 1970's and only recently has the tips of both of the 102's (larger ones) began so show a little wear. Many Phillips screwdrivers loose the real grip that comes with a screwdrivers that has no wear on it, soon after you buy it. Those Xcelite XST with the black case hardened tips are almost unbelievable in how well they hold up. I must have driven and removed thousands of Phillips head screws with those screwdrivers over the years. Those screwdrivers simply outperform any others that I have ever owned, and by a significant amount of grip weather driving a screw in, or removing it. These are one item where it really pays to ignore the price. Just get them and decades later you will still be using the same ones.
 
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Since we're on a car maintenance forum, I figure DIY car repairs one of the best investments I've made, time or money wise. Started with the basics low-pro jack and jack stands from HF. After the first few oil changes, the equipment paid itself off. Still own the tools 6 years later. DIY full synthetic oil changes, synthetic ATF, coolant, belts, brake service, all fractions of what express lube shops offer. I can even bleed brakes yearly for under $10.
 
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