Next time you do an Amazon order, considering buying a few extra things that you might not need right now, but you’ll be glad you have at home. These are inexpensive items that you will need before you know it, and you’ll be super glad you don’t have to drive to the hardware store and overpay for them when you are in need.
Foam Paint Brushes
If you need to do a little bit of painting — say a small staining job or a little touch up, then you can’t beat foam brushes. These things are super affordable, they don’t leave streaks, and while they can be washed out, you won’t feel bad if you just do your painting and then toss them one you can more on to your next task.
This kit gets you 20 foam brushes for just $8, or 40 cents a brush, with sizes ranging from tiny 1-inch wide brushes to full-size 4-inch ones.
Heavy Duty Packing Tape
If you need a roll of tape from your local UPS store or post office, you might pay $5 per roll for the light duty stuff. But if you buy from Amazon you’ll get 6 rolls of the premium, heavy-duty packing tape for just $14.
This is the tape you need for wrapping up packages because, as you know, you can’t seal a package with duct tape or scotch tape!
You can also save a ton by buying painter’s tape (you know blue masking tape) in bulk online instead of buying a roll at a time in person.
Cheap Paint Brushes
If you go to your hardware store you might see high-end paint brushes from Purdy and Wooster that cost you $12, $15, or even $17 per brush. While those premium brushes have their place, sometimes you just need to do some priming or quick painting and a cheap brush will do. This is extreme true when you need to paint a dark color that is going to stain your nice new brush no matter how thoroughly you wash it out.
These Hiltex paint brushes sell in a 5-pack with brushes from 1 to 3 inches wide, for just $7. We always keep a set of these handy in case some painting comes up on a rainy day.
The more of these I buy, the more uses I find for them! Scotch-brite pads are mostly known for being on the rough side of sponges, but what people don’t realize is that the green pads are actually quite rough and they can really scrub! For example you shouldn’t use full-on Scotch-brite (the green ones) on enamel since it can wear down the glass-like material — use the blue instead!
There are a lot of different products that incorporate this wonder material, but three of our favorites are:
Carhartt Full-Zip Hoodie
This may not be something you think of “stocking up on” but you simply can’t been a heavy hooded sweatshirt for cold weather work. And when it comes to workwear, Carhartt is known for making clothes that just just refuse to quit. That means tough fabrics, reinforced seams, bombproof zippers, and easy to clean materials.
Our favorite is this full-zip hooded sweatshirt, which is a steal on Amazon. The full zip is great because it’s easy to get on and off with a hat or helmet on, so you are ready to cool off when work heats up.
The thing to do with these is to always keep one in your garage, hanging right at the door, so no matter what you are doing you have protection from the cold, scrapes, as well as whatever else you might run into.
Mixed Battery Bundle
Batteries are just about the most obvious thing to stock up on when making an online order or going to your local Costco (etc.) but all too often we tend to just buy the AA or AAAs and forget the rest. The thing to do is to buy a mixed battery bundle, this way you are covered in the case of a needing a charger or anything from a TV remote to a child’s toy to a stud finder to a smoke detector.
A good battery bundle will contain AA, AAA, C, D, and 9v batteries.
Mosquito Repellent Candle
If you are doing outdoor work or just relaxing after a hard day, you don’t want mosquitos flying around and bugging you. Bug spray can help, but it’s gross so a candle might be the answer. These DEET-free candles are affordable, they don’t smell too bad, and they actually work to deter bugs.
These are 30-hour candles so you are only spending about 33 cents an hour to use them.
Bonus: if your power goes out these work great and they are in metal tins so no need to worry about broken glass or hot wax spills.
Almost every homeowner used to stock pile lightbulbs, but with the move to LED bulbs (which last 25,000 hours, not 1,000) it didn’t seem to make too much sense. The thing is that most of use have not fully made the transition, so we are still tempted to spend $1 to replace a bulb, not the $7 or $8 an LED might cost. This means we save in the moment, but end of losing money due to higher power bills.
The solution? Buy a big box of LED bulbs, cut that price down to about $5/bulb and never feel tempted to go with old fashioned energy-burning bulbs again. These dimmable GE LED bulbs are excellent and come from a brand you trust.
Pro Tip: Make sure you get dimmable bulbs if you have dimmers! If you don’t you can save about 33% by getting non-dimmable LEDs!
Pro Grade Screws
Once you move to high-end GRK screws there is little change you’ll ever go back. Yes, they cost a bit more money, but they are stronger, more resistant, they almost never strip, and they never snap in half. When it comes to relying on something you a screwing in — say when it’s going to be hanging over your head — you want to use top quality hardware.
These GRK bugle-head screws are absolutely top-notch and we’ve shifted to using them for all our jobs aside from simple sheetrock work. 100 will cost you $10 not $6 but if it’s a job that counts it’ll be worth it. And you can get some good savings from buying these online as a lot of local places will want drive up the price knowing you aren’t going to budget from choosing GRK.
If you are doing any sort of plumbing or woodworking, or you are spec’ing out a fix, you are going to need some sort of writing tool handy. The rule here, as we all know, is to have a lot of them because they are going to get lost or broken (sometimes both!) so they should be everywhere — pockets, tool belts, glove compartments, behind your ear… everywhere.
Here is our pick of home improvement-friendly pencils, pencils, and more…
And that’s the list! There are other things you should consider as well, but you’ll be wells-served if you pick up a few of these items and start to fill your basement, attic, or pantry with some stuff that is actually useful!