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Five Star Buys (2022-05-12)

brook > getlinks > getstuff

(This is going to be US-centric, because guess where I happen to live!)

Firstly, I feel like I should acknowledge that I continue to remain deep within the Amazon ecosystem, despite being aware of the corporation's horrendous labor practices. And, yeah, I should stop, but the site is Very Convenient.

Alternatives to Amazon

(See also: The Amazon Pamphlet, Cancel Prime.)

But it's because I've spent over a decade using the site that I'm aware of a 'jack of all trades, master of none' scenario. Amazon tries to do a lot of things to a certain degree of competency, and excels in selection and logistics as a result. But, other companies focusing on their niches tend to provide a better service and often for cheaper.

Costco Wholesale
For half 43% of the price of Prime, you can get your Gold Star and have any item from the nearest warehouse shipped to you in 2 days. Even the refrigerated and frozen stuff.
Monoprice
Low-cost retailer for all sorts of A/V equipment and cables, with prices that usually beat Amazon's on equivalent items.
Vat19
Good source for oddball and obscure tools and useful items. Also has a nice selection of drinkware and oversized gummy candy.
Archie Mcphee
Produces novelties and gag items to delight and prank your friends with.
Monterey Bay Herb Company
Direct dealer for bulk spices and herbs, because you know it's time for more oregano and cinnamon sticks.
StarTech
Loads of PC and networking components and peripherals to get your old and new computers working how you need them to.

Then, with all the money you're saving by not having a Prime membership, you can sign up for a streaming service much more focused to your media interests:

Prime Video Alternatives CuriosityStream ($3/mo or $20/yr ($15 with YouTuber promo code)) Documentaries for the learners. RetroCrush (Free w/ads; $5/mo or $50/yr ad-free) The Greatest Hits and obscure gems of pre-2000s anime. Maximum fun if you grew up watching oldschool Toonami. HIDIVE ($5/mo or $48/yr) Selection of anime hits targeted at a more mature audience. Shudder ($6/mo or $57/yr) More horror and thriller movies than you can shake a knife at. discovery+ ($5/mo w/ads; $7/mo ad-free) Includes educational content from Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Food Network, and more. Peacock ($5/mo or $50/yr w/ads; $10/mo or $100/yr ad-free) All your favorite NBC shows, sports and news, and the WWE Network. Paramount+ ($5/mo or $50/yr w/ads; $10/mo or $100/yr ad-free) Featuring CBS, Nickelodeon, and Star Trek. HBO Max ($10/mo or $100/yr w/ads; $15/mo or $150/yr ad-free) One hell of a library, including Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, the CW, TBS, TNT, and TCM. JustWatch Guide to which shows are playing where in this fragmented mess. "WE DON'T NEED THIS MANY" -Scott the Woz fat RIP to CNN+ lmao

Recommended Items

On to the purchases. Prices may have changed since I made this page.

$180 Alera Elusion
Highly comfortable and customizable chair.
$37 Rollerblade Chair Wheels
For superior manuverability and immunity to hair-clogs.
$27 Stanley Work Light
Useful rechargeable light with unfolding LED panels and a magnetic base.
$15 Nintendo Console Repair Kit
Screwdrivers, spudgers, and picks to get into your games machines.
$10 Cedarwood Incense
200 sticks of a superb Japanese-style low-smoke incense.

House Embetterment

$260 Tineco A11 Hero
The best value for a battery-powered canister vacuum cleaner.
$80 5-Tier Metal Book Rack
Sturdy storage solution for your book and/or movie collection.
$30 Luxe Bidet
An easily-installed bit of plumbing to get ur stinkin' hole clean.
$30 2x Emergency Light
These ones have a battery so you can keep seeing during power failures.
$29 Non-Programmable Thermostat
Basic-bitch heat/cool sensor with no lithium battery that inevitably fails.
$24 RMR Mold Killer
A quality disinfectant that the pros use.
$20 10x E26 LED Bulb 4000K
Efficient 3-watt light globes to illuminate the space.
$17 Delta H2Okinetic
Simple but effective pressurizing showerhead with 1.75/2.50 GPM toggle.

Everyday Carry

$43 Solar Battery Bank
Charge your phone with the power of the sun!
$31 Emergency Radio
AM/FM/WB radio with reading light, usable with a hand crank or AAAs.
$28 First Aid Kits
One for home use, and a mini pack for your pocket.
$26 Anker Power Brick
Folding-plug USB charger with A and C ports.
$21 AmazonBasics Tablet Bag
Ample space to bring all your shit.
$18 Tactical Belt
Seatbelt-style pants-securer that doesn't go anywhere when clicked shut.
$15 2x Butane Lighter
Adjustable handheld stick lighters that spew a jet flame.
$14 Battery Tester
Universal tester for the most common forms of 1.3-22.5V batteries.
$10 Zebra F701
Sturdy all-metal pen to satisfy your writing needs.

Batteries

Based on a series of comparisons by Project Farm, the best value for alkaline batteries is from AmazonBasics (or Kirkland Signature), the longest-lasting batteries are Energizer Lithium, and for a balance between price and time between swaps, there's Energizer Max.

I would avoid Duracell whenever possible, as it seems like in the past 10 years those have become extremely eager to leak.

For rechargeable batteries, Eneloop has the best capacity retention in storage, while SmartTools cells offer the best cost per mAH.

Got a Mavica? Try a WasabiPower L-cell. And while they seem to not be manufactured anymore, if you can track down a ProMaster Traveler+, those charge nearly every variant of InfoLithium (and even a few Panasonic batteries).

Online Services

As a fan of reducing expenses when possible, I've been seeking out the lowest-charge, highest-quality stuff out there. Here's what I can confidently recommend:

Webhost: NearlyFreeSpeech.NET (Used since 2011)
By far the best webhost for a single static site (besides Neocities lol), at under $4/year. But if you should need it, PHP is supported.
Home Phone: voip.ms (Used since 2018)
The hidden gem of the industry, offering a self-explanatory configuration system and $0.85/mo numbers.
Cellphone: Consumer Cellular (Used 2009-2018) Ting (Used since 2018)
Expensive phone bills? Fuck that noise, how's $10/mo for unlimited talk and text plus $5/GB sound to ya? Or perhaps something even cheaper?
Domains: Porkbun (Used since 2020)
The cheapest domain name registrar on the entire internet. On top of that, they don't charge extra for must-have features like DNS and WHOIS privacy. See how they compare.
Email: FastMail (Used 2011-2022) PurelyMail (Used since 2021)
If you just need mail and not a bunch of other crap added on, you can have it for only $10/year. (Other low-cost providers: NexusBytes ($3+/yr), Zoho ($12/yr), Tutanota (€12/yr).)
Cloud Storage: BackBlaze B2
If you do need to host a lot of large files, it might as well be done for 1/4th the price AWS would charge you.

No matter what you'd choose, I suggest avoiding GoDaddy (overcharges and uses shady upsell tactics), and any webhost owned by EIG (guts and races-to-bottom the companies they own).

Additional Resources Prudish MasterCard about to make life difficult for tons of websites keep ya outdated morals out my fuckin bank account smh DRM-Free Living Where to find content that isn't locked down. Dumbphone Finder Tired of smartphones? Find your perfect smartn't phone. Unicomp Model M Keyboards It's time to upgrade to a proper typing experience. Recommended Kitchen Tools What you need to make your life tasty. Bytemoth's Amazon WishlistGet me something nice for my birthdaymas.

[Listen]Listen to "Modern Talking - Geronimo's Cadillac" on YouTube?

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