Parenting can be a pain in the ass. Being an adult, even without kids can be one too. I was recently cleaning up the garage and cleaning out stuff to donate when I thought it would be a great time to take stock of what I purchased that actually wasn’t a waste of money this year. Here is the list of the things I needlessly purchased that became an integral part of daily life. Let us know what you think in the comments –
1. Yeti Koozies
I’ve been living like a damn caveman drinking my beverages with a normal neoprene cover for years. We took a camping trip this year and I decided to buy various yeti koozies for all of us and it turned out to be a massive hit. We have a set of tumblers for the Sprinter Van and now a set of koozies for the standard soda cans and even the taller skinny cans.
I used to let my drinks get warm and the condensation would eventually start dripping onto my shirt. This would make me look like a slob who kept spilling my drink. I didn’t even know this was a problem until Jen called me out on how I didn’t look like Ricky from Trailer Park Boys with my fancy new koozie. These things were well worth the price. Must have item for people who like cold beverages
2. BottleKeeper X
I don’t drink much beer now that I joined the infamous Flaviar Whiskey Club and the Trefethen Wine club. However, this bottlekeeper X is a vacuum sealed beer bottle koozie that looks like a water bottle. This is perfect for tailgating at the game, not looking like an alcoholic at your kids little league games, or just trying to keep the bottle nice and cold.
The bottle can be adjusted to fit the cap. There is a nice rubber seal inside it so you can close off the beer as well. The cap has a bottle opener on it too! You just unscrew the bottom, slide your bottle of choice in, and drink beer how it was meant to be consumed… like water! Must have item for thirsty people.
3. Kelty Camping Love Seat
I’ve gone through so many different types of folding chairs over the years for the beach, camping, kids games, and various other events. The kids always want to sit with me but sometimes I would prefer they don’t sit ON me. This love seat was a perfect match for our family. I initially bought one and used it at the beach a few times. I then went back and bought a second one because everyone wanted to keep sitting in it and I was left without a chair.
It comes with a nice case that has a shoulder strap. Packs up easily and fits anywhere a normal folding chair would go. The bonus of being able to accommodate 2 people is massive. Now I only have to carry half as much crap when the wife wants to drag me to another birthday party at the beach. Must have Item for EVERYONE
4. Multi Charging Cable
Talk about never knowing something was a problem until you have the right tool for the job. With our family growing and the infiltration of electronic devices, finding an open charging port is difficult. Me personally, I have my phone, tablet, and headphones charging on my desk right now. It used to look like spaghetti but now its a single cable. If you are still in a monogamous relationship with your charging cable, you need to rethink your approach to life. Your electronics don’t respect the sanctity of the single charge cable so why should you? Must have item for EVERYONE.
5. Greenger Power Sports CRF-E2
I love motorcycles and so do kids. All three of mine have grown up learning to use balance bikes and the electric Stacyc bike. They are now graduating to something a little more adventurous. I was debating on the 50cc motorcycle but came across the electric counterpart to it. I ended up pulling the trigger to buy one and couldn’t be happier with it. There are cheap toy electric motorcycles you can find at target and walmart or on amazon but this thing is legit.
Has two speed settings with a top speed of roughly 22mph. The frame is all aluminum and has real suspension. Not this cheap crap built for the toys. The battery life is dependent on how fat the rider is and how hard they ride. Our kids have been getting a solid two hours of riding time on it between charges. Its almost completely silent too! Must have item for the adventurous family that wants less maintenance.
6. Ryobi 7-1/2″ cordless fan
Fans are important when you have no air conditioning at home. I have had so many window fans rust the motors, fail, or just outright break. I wanted something I could move around easier and take camping with me. I’ve got a large collection of the ryobi tools now with the same battery pack so this was an easy addition to the garage. This fan pushes more than enough air and is way quieter than I expected it to be. I found it cheaper in person at Home Depot but if you are too lazy or hate people too much to venture outside, Amazon does have them readily available. I would encourage you to get a 4 or 6 mah battery pack though. The standard 2mah one will only power it for roughly 4-6 hours. If you want to leave it on while you sleep, you will need the bigger battery. Must have item for those who run hot.
7. Deaths Door on PS5
Deaths Door is a deceptively difficult video game that came out in 2021. Initially, I tried the game with my alone and couldn’t beat the very first boss fight. I became frustrated with it and put it out of mind for several months. I then went back to the game one day with my son to show him how hard of a game it was. He ended up beating the boss for me and we set out on a journey together to beat the game. It was a great experience taking turns like we did back in the day in the arcade at the local pizza place. The build up of suspense as we grinded our way through various battles trying to find out what happened to the world. It was an awesome way to spend several hours with my kids and being a text based game, it forced them to read. I made it a point to have my son read all the prompts to me. By the end of the game he was rattling off paragraphs without hesitation.
I think video gaming gets a bad wrap because so many people use it as a babysitter. Gaming really shines when you use it as an educational tool and a social gathering. Take the time to get involved in what your kids want to do and find a way to make it educational at the same time. Must Have for the growing gamer.
8. Card Game for the Family
I was prepping for a road trip and trying to find something that would be engaging for the kids and fun for the adults. Knowing I couldn’t break out the cards against humanity set with the kids, I opted for this family friendly game. We sat around the campfire on the beach playing this for hours. The kids were amped and it took them a while to settle down after we were done. All the adults involved were also having a good time. I’m not sure if it was due to there beverages of choice or if they truly enjoyed the game. I however, loved the game.
9. 1up double Bike Rack
Ever since my ankle incident I have had a hard time riding a bike. Jen and I finally sold our beach cruisers and replaced them with the electra cruiser GO! models. They have an electric pedal assist option but no throttle. I didn’t want to have a full on throttle option because I would never pedal. I figured the pedaling would be helpful in the long run for my ankle. Unfortunately, with any electric bike comes the issue of transporting it.
Electric bikes add a significant amount of weight that makes it difficult to transport them on a standard bike rack. I found a company that made a “super duty” rack that would hold over 200 pounds. It was a hitch mount rack with the ability to expand the capacity to 4 bikes. Easily one of the best must have items of the year.
10. elgato HD60 X External Capture Card
The kids love recording their video games and playing them back with their friends. I use this device to create educational ultrasound videos for work. It plugs into any HDMI port and basically records the live feed. You can then load it onto any computer and cut/splice/edit the videos to do whatever you need to. Its insanely user friendly and totally portable. I have been working on teaching the kids how to make videos so we shall see what there imaginations cook up in the future. This is a great educational tool and the perfect device if you want to start streaming games online for others to watch.
In a consumer driven world it is important to pay attention to what you purchase. I like to look back at our purchases and keep asking myself “was it worth it”. Sometimes it was but other times it was a complete waste of money. Do you have items you purchased and wish you would have done it sooner? Better yet, do you have items you purchased and regret entirely?