Joe's buying guide.
There are a few products that I have owned / used in my life that I think are terrific. I have always been very careful with my money since it is possible that my current gig might be the last gig I ever get! Ok, I know that is very unlikely to be true since I have a hunger to do a lot more stuff, but that frugal mindset has been helpful in allowing me to take long breaks from the entertainment industry when I need to. By creating this blog post I figure that you could benefit from the time I have spent over the years researching, trying out and finding various products that have made my life easier or more fun. Plus, since there is a literal sea of crappy products out there, I thought I would honor the inventors of these few amazing products by listing them here.
1. Reusable Water Bottle - Imagine filling a plastic bottle 1/4 of the way up with oil. That is the amount of oil it takes to create that bottle and get it to you. Avoiding single use plastics is a huge step in helping solve many environmental issues. I have been rocking THIS AWESOME STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE for almost 9 years now. It is rugged, holds just the right amount of liquid, keeps stuff inside cold or hot for a long time, has a locking lid that is quick to open and close and if the lid ever breaks (after a high fall or something) you can order a new lid from Thermos for $3.50. Just get the silver one, if you get a color the paint will just chip off and look super old after the first year or two.
2. Robo-Vacuum - I dislike dirty floors, but I also dislike sweeping or vacuuming floors since it always takes more time than I think it is going to take. Now I can have clean floors in my place without the physical exertion and time suck of pushing a broom like some neanderthal from 2008 because of THIS LITTLE GUY.
3. Electric Car. I purchased a 2001 Hyundai Elantra back in late 2000 for $12,000. I named it Cletus and drove it for 19 years all across the country. The amount of money people lose on cars is stunning to me. The only way to come out ahead is to buy a car and own it for at least 10 years. The longer the better! Back when I was producing XOXO Tesla announced the Model 3 at a starting price of $35,000, so the director and I both put down our fully refundable down payments thinking the car was only a year or so away. The $35k version was finally made available in May of 2019 (more expensive versions were available before that.) Since then, I have spent a total of $45 on electricity and have driven almost 5,000 miles. The main reason for my low electricity cost is because I had free supercharging for 6 months for referring a friend to buy one too. If you are buying a new car and are looking at cars in the $30k price range, buying a Tesla Model 3 makes the most sense based on eventual resale value, cost of ownership, savings on gas and possible tax incentives depending on the state you live in. Maintenance on these cars is almost non-existent. No oil changes or transmission flushes. If you use this referral code, you will get free supercharging for a while and you will get put into a drawing for a Tesla Roadster. https://ts.la/joe53989
4. Food Processor - I have not used any kitchen appliance more than I have used the MAGIC BULLET FOOD PROCESSOR THINGY. In my younger years I used it primarily for making post workout smoothies (protein powder, strawberries, blueberries, peanut butter and banana) but now I use it for making my daughter snow cones (just blending ice in there) and for blending oatmeal to make really good oatmeal / banana / egg white pancakes about once a week. This thing should have 5 stars!
5. Pizza Oven. My buddy Aaron in St. Louis introduced me to this little gem about 6 years ago. It is a TABLE-TOP PIZZA OVEN that you can use to make pretty much any "freezer food" that you would normally make in the oven. Pizzas, fries, tater tots, fishsticks, etc. I have never burned anything in the 6 years I have had this thing!
6. Laptop Computer. If you are getting a new Mac computer, I strongly advise NOT getting a new one from Apple because of their exorabadent starting prices. The new macbooks are much more limited with their ports (you only get usb-c on the new ones), are only marginally faster and the battery life is not as long. Out of all of the products I mention here, I have spent the most time researching this one. Look for a used Retina mid 2015 Macbook Pro with at least 500GB of flash storge and a 2.5gz (or greater) processor. I found mine on e-bay for $700. Make sure you pay very close attention to the photos before bidding. Also, ask the seller questions if you have any. If they do not get back to you, I would not bid on it. No link here, just go to ebay and search around.
There you go. A small list. I hope it helps! I will periodically add to this list when another product makes my "hall of fame."