I know, Christmas is now more than a month ago. I was hoping to put this article before now, but COVID had different plans for me and our family. I had been debating about whether is wise to publicly put this out there. Usually, I’m usually quite frugal and all this spending is very off-brand. However, since we aren’t spending money on vacations and we have a lot more dog boarding money, we have a lot more money to spend than we usually would.
Here are a few of the deals we bought, what they might typically cost, and what we along with the prices we paid. Please note that some of the products have Amazon links and I may get a small commission if you click through and buy from there.
This was the only thing I wrote a review about (see link above) and it was worth every penny
Typical Cost: $299
Our Cost: $299 (but with a $50 Amazon gift card)
It wasn’t a big savings, but it seems like the Oculus Quest 2 is never on sale. It’s the best VR you can buy, so it doesn’t have to be.
When my wife was deployed they had a V7 version of these at her pharmacy. She said it was incredible. Then I read another blogger say they had one that was incredible. Dyson’s are expensive, but I have to admit that it comes as advertised. It’s so light, quiet, and strong. It does wonders for picking up dog hair, which is very important when you run a dog boarding business. This particular model comes with a brush for hardwood floors, which is 75% of our house… and 90% of the dog hair.
Typical Cost: $449
Our Cost: $299
A deal site had highlighted this one at NewEgg. I was originally looking for a refurbished one because I read that’s where the best deals are at. However, refurbished Dysons seem to be in very limited supply. I’m surprised to have gotten as good a deal on a brand new one.
I’ve never paid more than $200 for a tablet before now. I had a $99 HP Touchpad and a bunch of $100 10″ Kindle Fire HD. My biggest splurge was a Google Nexus 7 for $183.
However, I’ve been in the market for a tablet that my kids can use to learn digital drawing. (I want to learn as well.) It seemed like getting into the Apple iPad ecosystem was going to be $300 – per kid. And then I’d have to get pens (at additional cost) or share pens.
I happened to catch a flash deal on Samsung S7 Tab (their latest at the time) where it included their S-Pen and their wireless earbuds. If you traded in a tablet (anything working) it brought the price to under $200. Trading in that old Nexus 7 worked. I plan on selling the earbuds, so maybe it gets under $100.
Typical Cost: $510
Our Cost: $187 minus whatever we can sell the earbuds for.
I’ve wanted a good drone for a long time. I’ve had some cheap ones for about $25. They are perfect if you have kids ages 6-8. They can’t mess up things too much. They are perfect for kids to practice on. I even have a step-up option for the kids that has a camera for recording video. It should be all they need for a year or two.
I wanted to explore with something better, so a DJI Mavic is the best way to go. The first-generation Mini is probably the cheapest entry-level you can get. It’s still usually $350-$400. DJI has been selling refurbished models on eBay at a big discount. I paid a little more for extra batteries so we can “fly more.”
Typical Cost: $469
Our Cost: $230
Everyone on the deal sites says that this is the best deal you can get. It went away a couple of hours after I bought it. I guess it comes back every now and again though.
My wife has wanted a Canadian Goose Coat for a long time. After buying some of these gadgets for me and the kids, it made sense that my wife get something nice for herself too. A vacuum wasn’t going to cut it. She’s not into drones or tablets. She does love the Oculus though.
Also, when you have a year when the President of the United States thanks you for visiting him – well, that’s something to celebrate.
Typical Cost: ???
Our Cost: ???
My wife knows the cost because she paid for it. I didn’t ask, but I played games like, “I can’t believe you spent $600 on a coat. I mean $800 is way too much for a coat. A $1200 coat? For $1,600 it better fly you to Canada.” It didn’t get a reaction and I’ve gone all the up to about $40,000. I could probably look up the cost online, but that’s no fun.
I’m a little jealous because it looks great on her. My coat is wool and all the dog hair sticks to it. Sometimes people make fun of it and I just say, “I love my business so much that I bring it with me wherever I go!”
My wife was deployed until the week before Christmas. We rushed Christmas through. We told the kids that the big gift was the finished basement. It wasn’t intended to be a Christmas gift, but the timing just worked out. They love having the space – even though we have to furnish it (and do some final decluttering).
Typical Cost: ???
Our Cost: $25,000 – estimated
Yes, it is expensive. However, it turns our 1800 sq. ft home into about a 2100 sq. ft. That’s much cheaper than buying a different bigger house.
Outside of the last two items, we spent $1018 on things that would have normally cost $1727. Because of the $50 gift card that came with the Oculus and the Galaxy earbuds that came with the tablet, we probably spent about 50% of retail. And, notably, these things usually don’t have sales. I had to resort to buying refurbished with the drone, but I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from brand new.
The kids got other things for Christmas that were more appropriate for their age.