I have a problem spending money.
Ok, that not 100% accurate in that I don’t have a problem spending small amounts of money. Of course those small amounts add up before I realize it (ugh), but I struggle at spending what I feel is a lot of money…all at once…for one thing. Anyone else?
Some things, I have learned over time, are worth the investment. I learned through repurchasing inferior products when one would break or from getting tired of putting in more work than was really necessary. Here’s my list of food and fitness products that are worth it.
*some affiliate links included
1. Vitamix blender
This is actually what sparked the idea for this post.
We have had our Vitamix since soon after we started dating which means about six years now. Since then, we have used it literally every day (minus being out of town of course). We mainly use it for smoothies, but here’s some other things we make in it: eggs, pancake batter, pesto, nut milks, flours, etc. It’s one of the best investments we’ve ever made.
Because they are expensive, we bought a refurbished model which has caused us no issues at all. Before that, we had a Ninja blender, but it didn’t cut it at all when making smoothies because it was unable to fully blend any greens we put in there, leaving you with a chewy smoothie. Gross. We upgraded and never looked back.
We have the 5200, but on Amazon the refurbished 5300 is only $30 more, so I’d probably go with that one. There are more expensive models with all kinds of bells and whistles, but honestly you don’t need anything besides these basic controls.
2. Instant Pot
Yes, it’s really just a pressure cooker, but it’s one that doesn’t make you feel like it’s going to explode if you do something wrong. We got one before Christmas last year and were amazed at how quickly it cooked everything — even starting from frozen. Once we upgraded, I got rid of my crock pot that I barely even used.
There are so many things that the Instant Pot can do and we are still playing around with it, but it’s worth the price just for the few things we have made. If you have the Honey app, you can set an alert on Amazon letting you know when the price drops as well since it often goes on sale!
We have the 8 qt, but only because the 6 was sold out when we decided we wanted it RIGHT THEN. I’d say you’re fine getting a 6 qt.
3. Food processor
I own a food processor for one thing — making homemade nut butters. It is LIFE CHANGING. I have made all my own nut butter blends in a food processor for years since realizing that I couldn’t get my Vitamix to make them without adding oil (defeating the purpose). I even sold them on the down low until moving to Chicago. I don’t even know what else to do with it. HA.
Even if you’re not a manic nut butter maker like I am, a food processor has tons of other uses, my favorite being slicing veggies (even though I’ve only done that twice). If I vote you should get one and I only do one thing with it, then you should definitely add it to your list because I’m sure you’ll use it even more than I do!
I got this Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus from Costco, but there are a ton you can choose from here. Personally, I wouldn’t go any smaller than this because it’s the perfect size for the amount of nut butter I make, but the choice is up to you!
Bonus: I also want to add a Kitchenaid mixer in here, but since I don’t actually own one I’m not going to give it its own category. I just don’t bake enough right now to feel the need for it. For those of you who do though, it’s LEGIT.
I initially had this broken up into different categories, but it all costs money and it all does the same thing.
Invest in your health. Whether that means a gym membership, studio classes, or personal training, spending money on those things now saves you from spending money on more medical expenses as you age. Figure out which ones makes the most sense for you and set aside money each month to spend on your fitness.
Some people can work out on their own but need a space and equipment, which is where a gym membership comes in. If you’re like me and thrive off the energy and relationships in a class atmosphere, find one you love and commit. If you’re not a fan of classes or you need that personal attention and accountability, invest in some personal training sessions.
If money is still an issue, always talk to the owner(s). They may have programs you’re unaware of such as a membership exchange where you work a small amount at the studio in exchange for a membership (hint: that’s how I started at my first studio!). You can also propose a discounted membership in exchange for promotion on social media or by bringing new people in. It’s always worth a shot to ask!
5. Workout clothes
For the longest time I was someone who shunned places like Lululemon and other expensive clothing retailers. I didn’t see the necessity of spending what I felt was an arm and a leg on clothes that I would sweat into.
When I got my first pair of Lululemon pants (with a gift card), however, I slowly started to change my tune. My pants were no longer loose after I started working out and I didn’t have to continuously pull them up. I added a few more pieces and noticed the difference in how they felt and how long they lasted. I’m less picky about tops, but I always make sure to invest in my leggings.
Here’s my advice — consider how often you work out and make your decision. If you have a consistent exercise routine, then I’d say make the investment. If you work in the fitness industry, you’re also eligible for discounts at some stores. At Lululemon they raised their R&D discount last year to 25% and Athleta’s has always been 30%.
If you’re still on the fence, I also buy pieces used from apps like Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay and I’d say those make up more of my collection than items I’ve bought from the store.
The most important part about shoes is to have a pair that’s made for what you’re doing. I learned this the hard way when I was running a lot and training for half marathons. As you start increasing your mileage, your body will tell you very quickly if you have the wrong shoes.
Runners especially — make sure you go to a running store and get yourself fitted for shoes. They will often run through a series of tests including an analysis of you running on a treadmill to see how you run and strike the ground. Once I had that done, all my aches and shin splints went away.
I’m not running much anymore, but I do make sure to buy shoes that are appropriate for the types of workouts I will be doing. I have a rotation of about three different pairs of shoes based on if I am lifting in a stationary position or doing more dynamic and high-intensity movements.
What are some of the things you invest in buying? Let me know in the comments!
(All of the food links can also be found in my Amazon store where I share my recommendations for tons of other things found on this blog!)