9 things that we received from our wedding that we used all the time

My husband and I had a hard time picking items to register for when we got married. We both owned a condo before living together, and eventually bought a house together. It was harder to combine the things we owned when we started living together.

Since we have everything we need, we only picked 23 items to register for. We only registered at Amazon because I don’t like going to brick and mortar stores. We looked at what we currently have and used the wedding as an opportunity to replaced items we have or get items that we will never buy ourselves.

Here are the items we register for that we use ALL THE TIME

The links below are affiliate only for those items that I recommend and actually uses.

Corelle Embossed Bella Faenza 16-Piece Dinnerware Set

We didn’t register for a china. Instead we (I mostly) decided to replace my old sets of plates. I liked the old plates, but it was thick, heavy and takes a lot of space. I’m a big fan of Corelle, but I want something more than just white. When I saw these pieces, I registered for 3 of the 16 piece set, which will give us 12 pieces of each. For some reason our gifter gave us 4, so now we have 16 of each. We donated our old set and used these every day.

Glasslock 11292 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set

This is another food related item. I brought my own lunch majority of the days before we retired. I have exactly 5 sets of pyrex bowl that I used. We also started cooking a lot more when MBP was born. This became very handy for left overs. The small containers can hold cut up fruits/ berries or crackers for MBP.

ARC International Luminarc Pub Beer Glass, 16-Ounce, Set of 10

I like these glasses since you can stack it. We used it all the time. We didn’t handle it well so we lose it piece by piece. I think we only have 2 of the original 10.

NETGEAR N600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router (WNDR3400)

This was suggested by my husband. He knows more about our tech needs and suggested that we replaced our old one. It’s still working after 3.5 years and I have no complaints.

Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Omelette Pan, 10-inch and 12-inch Set, Black and Calphalon Contemporary Pot & Pan Lid Glass Cover 10-in.

I’ve been wanting to replace my old set with a new one. The old one was no longer flat because of everyday use. We cook a lot and this one gets a ton of usage.

ChefLand Set of 6 Standard Weight Mixing Bowls, Stainless Steel, Mirror Finish, 0.75, 1.5, 3, 4, 5, and 8 Qt. (Mixing Bowl Set Of 6)

These are great bowls, especially for the price. We thought about getting one ourselves but since we’re running out of ideas to add to our register, we just registered for it. We used it for mixing, or serving chips, fruit salads and sometimes a toy for MBP.

OXO Good Grips Utensil Set, 3-Piece, OXO Good Grips Wooden Spoon Set, 3-Piece, OXO Good Grips Wooden Corner Spoon & Scraper

We used this opportunity to get some wooden utensils for cooking. We used it almost daily. It’s not exactly the best quality, but it serves our needs.

USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel 6 Pieces Set, Cookie Sheet, Half Sheet, Loaf Pan, Rectangular Pan, Square Cake Pan, 12 Cup Muffin Pan

I love these pans. I then added more pieces to this. It bakes evenly and doesn’t stick.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe Option, Chrome

We have 2 coffee maker, one for decaf (me) and one for a very strong coffee (my husband). My husband uses this one. I prefer Carafe than single pods since we only brew once in the morning and drink it through out the day.

Here are the items that we used occasionally

Home Essentials & Beyond Del Sol Glass Beverage Drink Dispenser With Knobbed Lid, Chalkboard On Chain, On Metal Stand and Raised Easy Flow Spigot, 1.5 Gallon for Picnics Parties Bbq

We probably used this twice? We rarely host parties at home. If we do, we usually buy individually packed drinks.

GoSports Cornhole PRO Regulation Size Bean Bag Toss Game Set – Foldable (American Flag, LED, Black, Red & Blue Designs)

I never thought that we will receive this. My husband want it for fun. We did have fun with it and used it for MBP’s 1st and 2nd birthday and some 4th of July party. Sadly, a kid jump on it and broke one piece. It’s just being stored now in the garage, broken.

Hamilton Beach 1.7L Stainless Steel Electric Kettle 40893

We finally upgraded to electric kettle. I use it occasionally when I want some tea. This is probably not the best quality, but it heats water and gets the job done.

KitchenAid KFP0722CU 7-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice System – Contour Silver

My husband mainly uses this. It is good to have when you have to cook for a party. I prefer cutting with knives if it’s just one or 2 pieces since it’s a pain to clean this.

Here are the items we used once or never used

Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot Cleaner, 5207F

We used this once, but it’s a pain to clean it after use, especially if you’re cleaning nasty things. I’m pretty sure we “forgot” to clean it and I’m not even sure if it made the move.

Great Northern Popcorn Original Stainless Steel Stove Top 6-1/2-Quart Popcorn Popper

I don’t know why I register for this. I don’t even like popcorn. Suffice to say, it’s never been used.

Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent 2 3 4 Person 3 Season Weatherproof Double Layer Large Space Aluminum Rod for Outdoor Family Camping Hunting Hiking Adventure Travel

Who am I kidding? I’m not really a “rough it out camping” type of gal. I like day hikes and being able to shower and sleep on my own bed after (or at least a cabin with a bed). This one haven’t been used.

5 Year History of my Amazon purchase and how it showed where I’m at in my life

I don’t like to go to malls or grocery stores or department stores. Whenever I go, I have specific things that I need to buy and I’m usually in and out. These days, we go to the mall to utilize their indoor play area for MBP, especially on winters, but I don’t buy anything.

Shopping is still a line item on our expenses and most of the time, I don’t even know what it is. Most of these shopping items came from Amazon (and Costco, lately). I decided to look at my Amazon order history and surprised how it showed the stages in my life.

Note that my husband and I have separate Amazon account and this post only reflect mine.

My life through my Amazon Purchases

2015 was the year we bought a house and got dog, a month after moving. I ordered 43 items, 3 were returned and 7 were gifts. I kept 33 items and 48% of the items were dog related. We have a pretty spoiled fur baby.

2016 was the year we got married. I ordered 48 items, 5 were returned, 8 were gifts. I kept 35 items and 37% of the items were wedding related. The rest were pretty random.

2017 was the year MBP was born. I ordered 85 items (OUCH!), 4 were returned, 12 were gifts. I kept 69 items and 71% of the items were baby related. I can’t even remember why I ordered some. There were some items that I never used, but for some reason never returned. At least I learned that there was no magical pillow that will help you nurse better or any sleep sack that will make your baby sleep through the night.

2018 was our last full year before early retirement. This means that we are both working while my mom takes care of MBP. I ordered 51 items, 6 were returned and 5 were gifts. I kept 40 items and 58% of the items were baby/toddler related. I’m still learning how to get items from the consignment stores. Things like toddler shoes (that were used for less than 3 months, because MBP just grew so fast) were ordered.

2019 orders went down. We retired and I got pregnant, but surprisingly there was only 1 pregnancy related item that were ordered. I ordered 32 items, 2 were returned and 8 were gifts. I kept 22 items, 32% of that were toddler related. The rest were just random.

There are 4 apparent trends I saw while searching through our browser history

I purchased majority of Christmas gifts and Birthday gifts at Amazon. Christmas Gifts were sometimes shipped directly to the recipient, which made it more convenient.

I will buy consumables like lotion and dog food. This shows how much I dislike driving and going to a local store. I’d like to think that Amazon prices were cheaper too.

I will buy non-sense items and it showed quite a bit when we got a dog and when MBP was born. This includes dog toys that got chewed on in 20 seconds or random items that advertised to help me nurse or pump for MBP.

I buy things on Prime Day, just because. We have 3 echo’s in total, I bought 4 t-shirt (it’s on sale). I was able to use it for work, but the quality is awful, that 2 of them already have holes.

What I bought showed what I prioritized

Similar to our budget, what I bought showed what I prioritized. The first thing I did when we got our fur baby was go to Petco and bought $100+ of dog items like bowl, bed, toys, etc, etc. Little did I know that I can get all of these for a fraction of the price at thrift store. Similarly when MBP was born. Almost everything that we think we need are purchased online with very little thought on a more frugal option. And that’s ok. By going through this history, I cannot lie on my priorities in life. I cannot say that I prioritize travel, when I our spending don’t even include that. Perhaps when the kids are a little older.

Your turn! Anything in your purchase history that revealed something?

Early Retirement Spending – January 2020

The first month of the year is over. We finally got rid of our very high health insurance premium. The expenses for this month reflected that. We are also on the “waiting for baby #2 mode”. I’m now passed 37 weeks as of this writing. Although 37 weeks is still consider early, it is safe for the baby to come out. I worry less now. My doctor gave me a green light to get out of the modified bed rest. We started going out for walks, but I get winded quickly and have to take it slow. MBP is enjoying it though. We’ve been to the pond and he likes seeing all the ducks. He also likes playing around the puddle.

In January, we spent 2,471.50

Insurance $0

I’ll start with our $0 insurance cost. Investment income which includes dividends and interest is our only form of income. We have at least a year of our spending budget and I don’t expect to realize any capital gains for the year. Because of this, our income is “low”, per Washington state guideline. We thought about moving it up in order to pay for the marketplace, but the Apple Health through WA state plan has a better coverage. It has our whole family’s provider. This insurance cover both health and dental.

Food $641.73

Our biggest expense now is food. We spent $519.43 on groceries and $122.3 on restaurants. Our restaurant’s expense includes 3 trips to Costco, and 1 trip to KFC for my birthday dinner. There are 2 more establishments that can actually qualify as restaurants. Back in the days, pre baby, we can easily spend $60+ on brunch. which usually occur every weekend with friends. Going out is really where I see our expenses go down. We shop at WinCo and Costco for our groceries. Costco is closer to us and we think that we will most likely move most of our grocery purchases. We’ve been really good at eating all the produce. MBP has been obsessing with strawberries and blueberries. We serve fruit everyday with breakfast with some “soupy oats” during the weekdays and eggs/pancake combo during the weekend. There are still some food that go to waste, but we’re getting better and figuring out what we actually eat.

529 College Fund $400

I decided to include this as our expense. I know that it is not a cash outflow. It is still part of our net worth and has grown – thanks to Mr. Market. We started contributing $400 after his 1st birthday. Our decision to fund this will warrant another post. We will most likely open another one for baby #2 with the same monthly funding ASAP.

Tax Software / Licenses: $334.24

I am a license CPA in state of WA and plan to keep it. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to pass this exam after graduation. I plan to launch my own business at some point. I spent $230 for my CPA renewal that is valid for three years. I also spent $104.24 for HR Block Software. There was a glitch while I’m buying the software and I mistakenly bought 2. I purchased the premium + business downloadable software. This let me file for 5 federal tax returns. I prepare taxes for our family. The software will let me file for (1) ours (2) my sisters (1) my brother and (1) my parents. Total comes to just a bit over $10 per tax filing. I’ve used HR block and Turbo tax before. I like HR Block than Turbotax. I like that I can actually see the forms in HR block. It also tends to be cheaper than Turbo tax.

Utilities (Electric / Gas and Sewer): $216.33

This month doesn’t include water and garbage which is billed every 2 months. It is still fairly high because it was a cold January. We’re also running the washer and dryer almost everyday since we are potty training MBP. He has a habit of pulling his diaper out while sleeping and he wakes up in the morning soaking wet.

The kid got the chance to play with the snow.

Baby Supplies: $176.82

Baby Boy #2 is due in 2.5 weeks. We bought an infant car seat since our last one that we got for free expired. I also got some adapters for our Uppababy stroller so we can use the bassinet and the seat at the same time.

The rest of the expenses are routine/ boring. Our YMCA membership wasn’t canceled. I missed the cut off from last month. It finally canceled this month. This should be the last month with the gymexpenses. We bought some wipers for our Prius in Costco, dog food and other household supplies in Costco. Our internet is still around $50 and our mobile phones from Xfinity clocked in at only $11.93 this month for 2 lines.

“Crocodile swim at the Y”

We don’t optimized on all things. Items like “shopping” and even “household supplies” are somewhat unknown. We will keep an eye on it, but will not sweat it for now.

And here’s our expenses for January 2020. How was the start of your 2020?

DescriptionAmountComments
Food641.73Groceries and Restaurants
529 College Fund400
Business Services230CPA License renewal. Valid for the next 3 years
Utilities216.33Electric, Gas and Sewer
Baby Supplies176.82
Household Supplies121.04Toiletries and other items
Gym121Last Y membership
Gift117.12Gift for a wedding and random
Tax Software104.24
Auto78.95$60 for Gas and $18.95 for wipers
Pet Food & Supplies69.94Dog Food
HOA Dues68.25
Shopping54.02Not really sure. I think a shovel was included here
Internet49.95
Mobile Phone11.93Very cheap for 2 lines through Xfinity Mobile
Pharmacy9.61
Electronics & Software0.57
Grand Total2471.5