Budget Priced Essentials for New Homeowners
New homeowners, and especially first time homeowners, congratulations. It's been an exciting and terrifying journey through real estate agents, mortgage lenders, offers, escrow, and inspections, hasn't it? But now that you've closed and set a move-in date, the hard part's over, right? Well....
That particular set of new home challenges, responsibilities, signed checks, and swiped credit cards is over. Now it's time to enter the fray of filling the house you just bought with the essentials you'll need to start making it home sweet home, and go through all of those things on a new level. And on a budget. A tight, tight budget.
The following keeps it pretty basic, covering products you'll need for home maintenance and repair, products you'll need for the kitchen, plus rooms living, bed, and bath, and a few items for the yard.
Note: Household goods prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.
Battery Powered Cordless Blower
You're messy. Your wife is messy. Your dog is messy. Your friends...don't get me started. Blow all of that shit away while roaming free as a bald-headed eagle with this sucker. Blower. Whatever. This is actually great for just blowing shit out of your garage or yard and into your neighbor's yard for them to deal with. I initially got this because my father-in-law said I should have one and I didn't want him to come over and judge my ass, but I actually use this all of the time now. It has a variable speed motor that delivers max speeds of 150 MPH which is strong enough to blow your wife's skirt over her head without giving her a wedgie. A must have.
WORX 8-in-1 Aerocart
The ultimate chore buddy, this wheelbarrow-cart-dolly hybrid is an all-purpose lifter, carrier, and mover that helps lighten heavy loads and transport yard waste, household goods, and junk from where they don't belong to where they do. The Aerocart's heavy-duty steel construction can carry up to 300 pounds, but paired with its oversized, balanced wheels the resultant load should feel more like 25 pounds.
The pair of wheels, unlike traditional wheelbarrows' single roller, also provide failsafe stability and prevent tipping when the Aerocart is used horizontally. WORX tires are of the never-flat persuasion, and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor application.
12-1/2-Foot Telescoping Ladder
A ladder made for the determined DIY-ers. Use it to do anything from changing a ceiling lightbulb to crawling into your roof framing space to shoo away the squirrels and seal up their access holes. he aluminum climber extends incrementally by the foot to a max height of 12.5', granting access to any interior space. Unless you live in some pimped-out pad with 20' ceilings, in which case whoever's climbing on a ladder in your house is probably the hired help who brought over their own ladder anyway.
Weber Gas Grill
Weber doesn't make the cheapest grills you can buy, but I think they make some of the best for a reasonable amount of money. Plus you can distribute the purchase amongst multiple expense categories: household; food; entertainment; and man toys.
The gas grill shown here is Weber's Spirit E210. It has a pair of stainless steel burners able to put out 26,500 BTU-per-hour over 450 square inches of total cooking area.
If you're anti-gas, Weber's charcoal kettle grill is a classic for a reason, and for around the same price, this one comes with a sweet side table and cart attachment for prep and mobility. Or cut your costs in half and do Oscar the Grouch proud with the Po' Man Charcoal Grill.
Apollo Tools 39 Piece General Tool Set
As a new homeowner, you're gonna need a set of tools for things you can't even think of right now. You won't need the best or most expensive tools though. And you won't need a 1,000-piece tool set that gives you a bunch of ridiculous tools for every repair imaginable. You need the basics. A screwdriver, a hammer, a tape measure. Some needle nose pliers for removing your kid's teeth (kids' if you're trying to be a resource hog).
This tool bundle helps you save the cash and excess of those gargantuan sets so you can use the extra 80 bucks for something worthwhile, like the cable sports expansion package.
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
Right from move-in day you'll probably find yourself dealing with dumps, breaks, and spills. This do-it-all vacuum can handle most any debris, wet or dry, with a 2HP motor and 2-1/2-gallon storage tank. And while Armor All didn't include a means of plugging the vac into your car, its 6' hose and 10' cord make it easy enough to clean up that mess of kiddie Cheerios and Goldfish...and apple juice and pink lemonade...covering the backseat from an outlet in the garage.
Mail-Order, Vacuum-Packed Mattress
Lower-cost mattresses shipped to your door in a box light and compact enough for two, maybe even one, person to drag upstairs to the bedroom became a thing a couple years ago. Now you have over a dozen choices of which mattress by mail you wish to order. Most of them are shipped vacuum-packed flat in a piece of heavy plastic, and then rolled up to slip into a rectangular box.
To unpack the mattress, you cut off the end of the plastic and...psh!...watch the compressed slumber box underneath begin to re-inflate. As the owner of one of these mattresses, I will admit this process is pretty gratifying.
Here we have two examples, the eve Mattress on the left, and the Casper mattress on the right. Both are made of high-density memory foam and promise to deliver nights of sleep as peaceful and easy as their shipment and setup. And if you disagree, both also offer 100-night risk-free trials, after which you can call the company to come haul the mattress away again.
As far as I know, you don't have to re-vacuum-pack and roll it up to make the return.
Cuisinart 15-Piece Knife Set
Look, I'd love to be able to just cut everything with my fork (or knork), but at some point you have to give in to adulthood and get a decent set of knives.
The good news is, you can get a quality set of knives for pretty cheap these days. Don't be tempted to go ultra-budget here. Cuisinart is a name brand and you can still get a complete set (with scissors, which you will use more than all of the knives combined) and a sharpener. Don't put them in the dishwasher and sharpen often, and they'll last long enough to afford a $1,000 set when you're old enough not to care about money.
Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker
This is a little bit over budget priced at first glance, but let's do some math. You're getting 7 uses out of this thing for 70 bucks. That's $10 per use (with a nod to Miss Henley my senior year math teacher who I may or may not have had a small thing with).
The Instant Pot is a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker (another nod to Miss Henley) and warmer. Now, I'm not saying you're going to use all of those, but just throw some food in there, and chances are you'll have a meal eventually. That's my kind of cooking.
Fire Gone Fire Suppressant Canisters
Sure you could go with the big, red I'm-tempted-to-break-the-glass-and-spray-this-mother-everywhere-each-time-I-pass-one standard fire extinguisher, but let's set some realistic expectations here. There are two kinds of fires. The first goes: Oh shit, I caught my carpet on fire because I wanted to see what would happen if I put a lighter flame to my deodorant, and then I dropped the deodorant it when it went up in flames. Then I tried to stomp it out and kept lighting the carpet more on fire. That's a fire you can handle, and these little dogs are perfect for that.
The second kind of fire is the one that comes out of nowhere, or at least starts and spreads before you notice it. The kind that gives you only enough time to grab your most beloved Hustler magazine and get your ass out of the house to watch the bonfire with Alexis Texas and wait for the firefighters to arrive.
So save a few bucks, get some fire suppressant canisters, and stay within your capabilities.
Ready America Emergency Kit
No matter your medic skills or ability to look at blood without losing your lunch, some version of first aid kit is a must for any household, under any circumstances. Ready America combines their 33-piece first aid kit with additional supplies you may need if the emergency extends beyond a finger that got chopped with the onions.
Enough food and water to sustain 2 people for 3 days, plus emergency blankets and 2 safety light sticks are all packed with the first aid kit inside a read Ready America backpack you can just as easily grab and run with as unzip to access the supplies you need.
Battery Backup & Surge Protector
The worst thing about a power outage? No streaming! No email! No porn! This combo battery backup and surge protector powers your devices through thick (electricity pumping as normal) and through thin (damn high winds, heavy snows, and fallen branches.) It has 6 total outlets, 4 of which provide both battery backup and surge protection, and 2 of which give surge protection only.
Shown here is APC's Back-UPS 425VA model, ideal for small electronics including your wireless router and IOT devices, laptop, and TV / cable box / DVR player.
Toilet Bowl Brush & Plunger Set
Hopefully you won't christen your new home with a clogged toilet like I did, but whether it happens on Day 1 or Day 471, I promise you, a big turd is in your future. And when it drops, you'll be able to pick up the nicely housed, partially hidden plunger from your compact mDesign Toilet Bowl Brush & Plunger Set and yell at that choking porcelain throne, "Shit's about to go down!"