21 TFD Readers On The One Home Item They Use & Love The Most

Everyone makes a home differently, and everyone has a different definition of “essentials” when it comes to making that home functional, practical, and beautiful. And while what works for one person is never guaranteed to work for another, it’s always good to remind ourselves now and then of the things people get real, long-term use out of. There’s a difference between “nice to have” and “makes my everyday life easier and better,” and these 21 TFD readers were kind enough to share their most prized home item with us this week. 

1. “This can opener. During college when I came home for Christmas break this was the can opener my parents had. I was sufficiently confused the first time I tried to use it but soon after bought one for myself. No sharp edges on the can or the lid!” – Anna

2. “Remote control outlets. The house I rent didn’t have any ceiling lights/fans (this is common in St. Louis/surrounding areas) so I bought plug-in pendant lights. I use a remote to turn the outlet and light on or off from another room. Especially handy for my upstairs. Makes my house feel grown up.” – Kelsey

3. “Best home item value: Splurging a little bit on a nice pottery barn sofa! I spend so much time on it, and I’m way more comfortable than I ever was on my crappy IKEA futon! Now I do ‘comfortable’ right!” – Mary

4. “I have two! My oxblood Doc Martens have officially lasted a decade as of this year and are still going strong, and the immersion blender my partner and I invested in has definitely paid itself off by now; seriously, homemade mayo is a revelation.” – Katie

5. “Single serve espresso maker (has saved me so much money!) Chef’s knife. $2 mason jars for storage (food, drink, utensils, everything). Step ladder (I keep in my kitchen for things in high cabinets).” – Mariel

6. “An onion chopper! I try and eat almost entirely plant-based, so all of my go-to meals tend to require a ton of vegetable chopping. I received mine as a gift and originally judged it as one of those useless kitchen gadgets (“who can’t suck it up and slice their own vegetables?”) but I soon saw the light and now use it to chop EVERYTHING with one quick swipe of the blade. I’m moving next week and packed this away early into my packing marathon and have been lost without it. This isn’t the exact model I have as it was a gift, but here’s a similar version from Amazon.” – Chelsea

7. “In response to the household item: My Ninja Pro. I’m literally sitting here, eating a smoothie bowl with seeds and granola, that I made in about a minute. It’s literally the easiest bit of nutrition in my day, and it’s so tiny. AND you get to take the container you blended it in as a to-go cup! #obsessed” – Tori

8. “Toaster oven! So easy to warm something up, toast quickly or bake a small amount of food. I NEVER use a microwave and only have one because I received one as a gift because my toaster oven is my life!” – Taryn

9. “Favorite home item that more people need to have: water flosser! Got one because of braces and will never ever go back. Honorable mentions: french press, humidifier and a sleep mask (one that “seals” and doesn’t press against your eyes while you sleep).” – Shiny

10. “My Roomba has been life-changing. SERIOUSLY. Yes, they’re $300 BUT THEY ARE AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND QUALITY OF LIFE. If mine broke, I would just walk over to the computer and order a new one.” – Sarah

11. ” I can not sing the praises of my cast iron skillet enough! I was a skeptic at first, but my $20 Bed Bath & Beyond skillet has quickly become my favorite thing in the kitchen, possibly my whole house. Pros: Super durable, gives you a boost of iron, makes you feel like a food blogger / cowboy. Cons: none.” – Sandra

12. “My absolute favorite home item that was worth every penny was a Roku streaming stick that I picked up at Best Buy for $49.99. The greatest thing about the Roku is that it plugs into any TV with a USB port and with a wifi connection you have access to all kinds of streaming apps which has saved my roommate and I a boatload of money on a cable subscription. We’re not big live TV watchers, but everything we would have normally tuned in for (the presidential debates, the Superbowl, the Oscars) is available to stream for free through YouTube or the ESPN app, which is pretty freaking awesome. I am on my family’s HBO and Netflix subscriptions free of charge (great Christmas gift tbh) and coupled with the second hand TV I bought off a friend, the Roku ended up being a pretty sweet deal.” – Kathleen

13. “I have gotten the most use out of my kettle. Tea is usually a daily joy and I use very hot water to quick-rinse dishes in the sink before the dishwasher and spot mop the floor. I hope my contribution to your list helps.” – Alyse

14. “A white noise maker. Essential if you have a roommate or live in an apartment and are a light sleeper. Doesn’t make annoying fake ‘rain’ or ‘jungle’ sounds. This is the one I have. I’ve had mine for 7 years, worth the price.” -Ashley

15. “Home items I’ve gotten the most use out of: A set of nice, simple ceramic plates/bowls…the kind that you get in a box set from a department store. The ones my husband & I have are plain white with a simple decorative texture, so they work for casual dinners with just the two of us as well as when we have guests!” – Natasha

16. “I personally have gotten the most use out of my slow cooker. I knew I was a grown up when I got one for Christmas and was super excited.” -Andrew

17. “Rice cooker. Perfect EVERY TIME and I don’t have to do a damn thing but make sure the water:grain ratio is right.” – Summer

18. “A pitcher to put leftover hot coffee in & pop in fridge. No drop of coffee gets left behind, and I save on my iced coffee fix.” – Kat

19. “Set of flexible cutting boards from Home Goods. Or three-compartment reusable containers for meal prep from Meal Prep Haven via Amazon.” – Jordan

20. “Ever since I’ve gotten one of those plastic makeup organizers, my dresser top (which acts as my vanity) has remained clean, pretty, and no longer the place I go to dump everything when I get home.” – Olivia

21. “Basically everything I’ve ever bought for cleaning/organizing around the house has been something I haven’t regretted, but some of my favorite things are my chalkboard-labeled jars and boxes, which I use primarily in the kitchen but throughout the house. They are a cute way to keep everything in order, and easily know where things are, and the aesthetics actually make me enjoy tidying and sorting.” – Annie

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  • Amen to the Roomba. Best decision ever.

    • Alexis

      I’m very interested in reviews of the Roomba. It’s extremely tempting for a household with two people working and we’re pretty much all out of energy come the weekend…

      • Summer

        A friend of mine (with a 3-dog, 2-person, 1-cat household) has a Roomba and she also swears by it. I still don’t quite understand how they work for getting in corners or around furniture, but enough people rave about them that they do become rather tempting.

      • I have 815 SF of hardwood floors & no stairs, so I’m probably the ideal customer. It can be scheduled to run during the day, & it vacuums up all the cat hair (& human hair, let’s be honest) while I’m at work. It gets a little tripped up on rugs sometimes, and has occasionally closed the bathroom door & locked itself in there to repeatedly clean the same floor over & over again until it dies, but the pros so heavily outweigh the cons. And they’re not really cons, they’re just “sigh… silly Roomba” moments. I bought mine on Amazon at the Warehouse, so it was either a return or a refurbish, not sure. But it was way cheaper & works perfectly so no complaints!

      • SN

        I cannot recommend a Roomba enough. Hardwood floors get noticeably dirty FAST and the Roomba makes life so much easier. I also have a handheld vacuum for when I need to get just one spot fast but for your general cleaning it is an absolutely amazing investment if you can afford it.

        • Alexis

          Wow, thanks for all replies and reviews – think I’m going to have to take the plunge, it sounds like a fantastic device 🙂

  • SN

    I think the Pottery Barn link actually goes to a $300 sofa cover instead of the actual couch? Let’s hope you can find a Pottery Barn couch on Amazon, lol.

    • Lauren K

      They only link to Amazon because they are the only company that will pay them for affiliate links. It’s tacky.

      • chelseafagan

        I would just like to note that this is totally untrue. We participate in a few other programs, we just find that Amazon gets by far the most response from our readers. We are always looking for unobtrusive ways to support the site and pay more writers, and this happens to be one of the best for now. (We will be launching a subscription option soon, and hopefully that will offset a good amount of other things, but until then our choice remains that of nearly all digital media — be “tacky,” or not exist at all.)

        • SN

          Nice, that makes sense. So are you going to change the link to the sofa couch cover? It could be confusing for some people who may think they’re buying the actual couch.

      • Rebecca Ann

        It’s not “tacky,” it’s business. Tell me how you pay content writers for your successful website?

        • Lauren K

          It’s a personal finance blog, about saving money. There are a number of them that monetize sites without selling their souls to amazon. Half banked, twenty something finance, money after graduation, etc. Like I said above, I’ll leave you all to spend your money on amazon and stop visiting this site in favor of personal finance blogs that align with my money saving principles.

          • Rebecca Ann

            That’s your prerogative. But then why all the ranting and railing against this site? Seems like a waste of your time to continue to post comments on here because you disagree with their business model. Just stop reading, and go to the sites you like. Geez.

  • Jack

    I would have a HARD time narrowing this list down. Cordless dyson means I vacuum constantly and therefore have the cleanest house ever. Also basically everything in my kitchen. Vitamix, Cuckoo rice cooker, good quality knives, Le Creuset kettle. I spend almost all of my free time at home so I made it amazing <3

    • Rebecca Ann

      I LOVE my Dyson Ball! I got it refurbished from Overstock, so I didn’t pay an arm and a leg, and it still works fantastic, almost 5 years in!

  • Maria Kieferova

    For me it’s Instant pot: we use the slow cooker, pressure cooker and yogurt maker settings several times per week. Saves us precious counter space and money and it’s so great to wake up to the smell of oatmeal and cinnamon.

  • Emily

    “My Roomba has been life-changing. SERIOUSLY. Yes, they’re $300 BUT THEY ARE AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND QUALITY OF LIFE. If mine broke, I would just walk over to the computer and order a new one.”

    I’ve been reading TFD since it was just a blog hosted on Tumblr but I think this article is the one to make me finally realise that this site is no longer for me. For a personal finance site to be creating articles based around essential home items that are “an investment in your quality of life,” complete with affiliate links to Amazon doesn’t sit right with me. If, in fact, this is now more of a lifestyle site then I wish you the best of luck. But to be a site that people come to looking for financial help and advice, and that instead encourages them to buy more things they may not be able to afford – through Amazon links and the TFD shop – is really disappointing.

    • Emma

      Wow, it’s amazing to me that so many readers have an opinion about affiliate links when none of us are actually paying to read this site. They have to pay writers somehow, right? If you have an issue with it, you have an issue with the entire writing internet, because you quite literally get what you pay for.

      • Beth

        You do not have a problem with the “entire writing internet” when you have a problem with a financial advice website that quite literally goes against it’s own “commandments”. Yes there are plenty of websites that use affiliate links but those websites are not hiding what they are – they are lifestyle websites. They’re not preaching financial wellbeing while quite literally pushing you to buy things. There are plenty of personal finance blogs, websites, and writing columns that either get by without endorsing lifestyle inflation and thoughtless spending from readers just to make a buck. And any affiliate advertising those websites might have is still geared towards personal finance products, like budgeting software or personal finance apps. Or here’s a thought – maybe a personal finance website should offer LITERALLY ANY kind of financial services or coaching in exchange for money that they can then use to “pay their writers”.

        And tell me honestly, what kind of personal finance website endorses dropping $50 ($89.99 if you pay retail) on a WATER FLOSSER when you can get regular floss that works just as well for less than $3. Seriously?

      • Emily

        No I do not have an issue with “the entire writing internet.” I do however take issue with a website that is dedicated to helping people be better with their money writing articles with no purpose beyond encouraging people to shop. I’d rather sidebar ads than “articles” only focused on shopping. This article and the links have nothing to do with personal finance and instead actively encourage people to spend more money needlessly.

        As I said, if TFD is becoming more of a lifestyle site then the best of luck to them. However I will miss what this site used to be and shall be reading other finance sites instead. Lauren K gives some great recommendations.

    • Lauren K

      TOTALLY agree with last paragraph. I no longer agree with the direction and to be honest, the content in articles has been lacking. So I won’t be back. If you are looking for other blog recs for saving money, saving with spunk, half banked, and simple dollar are all great.

  • Stef

    How many Amazon affiliate links can you post in one article? So tacky. Starting to think the reason you write articles at all is for the affiliate links.
    Totally understand that it’s something you have to do (I was once part of an affiliate program) but at least try and space them out a bit and link to things more relevant.

  • Susieq

    I could not live without my swiffer! I have hardwood floors and 2 dogs. It’s great therapy to walk around the house and collect all of the dirt and dog hair!

  • lazuliz

    I have to second a few things: The Ninja blender- we have one with single-serving smoothie cups that I use every day for work, Bialetti coffee percolator, and my humidifier that doubles as a white noise machine. If any of these things broke, I would have to get another immediately.

  • AN

    A good rice cooker will change your life.

  • Lava Yuki

    I can’t live without a can opener and a steamer, the two items that are essential for someone like me who sucks at cooking. Throughout uni, I ate a lot of tinned tuna as it was super cheap, and I put all my veg in the steamer while I go off and do something else as I don’t like cooking and had a lot of study in my course. When I emigrated, these two items were the first things I bought, I can’t make lunch or dinner without them!