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What We're Buying: How dealnews spends our paychecks

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Timberland T-Shirt

Funny story – I didn't even mean to buy this Timberland T-shirt. I was testing out a free shipping coupon code for dealnews and accidentally hit the order button. I don't typically like paying $15 for a T-shirt, but I'm fairly lazy and figured I'd just keep it. At least I was smart enough to pick the right size. And hey, the free shipping code DID work! I've worn the shirt once, and it performed adequately. It features two sleeves, a hole for your neck, and more. -- Jim Adams

Teva Ryley

I recently bought two pairs of Teva Ryley shoes for myself and my husband at Teva.com. They were on clearance for $14.99 each pair -- quite a deal for this brand, whose shoes normally retail for $60 and up. I've never owned a pair of Tevas and the price point made the purchase a no-brainer for trying them out. This is also my first pair of recycled shoes (if you don't count those "recycled" hand-me downs I sometimes got as a kid). The lining and outsole are made of post-consumer recycled material. My husband and I both like the quality and look of the shoes and the Wraptor Fit System makes them fit like a glove; however, they apparently need a little break-in time to be truly comfortable, especially in the back heel. They'll come in handy for outdoor activities (such as hiking) but look equally good with a pair of jeans for everyday activities, like running errands. -- Sarah Jones

Kill A Watt P4400 Electricity Usage Monitor

I bought the Kill A Watt P4400, in theory, so we can do more energy-usage Feature pieces for dealnews. But honestly, I've kind of been jonesing for this because I totally want to geek out at home and figure out what each thing, big and little, that's plugged into a light socket costs me in energy dollars per year. I bet I make back the money I paid for it in the first three months. Care to wager? -- Dan De Grandpre

Wayne Double Layer Sweater Vest

I loooove designer apparel, but usually can't afford the steep retail price. In my humble opinion, a fashion-obsessed gal like me can do way better buying designer items online than fighting the crowds when the stuff finally does go on sale in-store or at a sample sale. As of late, a designer purchase I can boast about is this ramie and rayon Wayne Double Layer Sweater Vest, which originally retailed for $275 at Saks Fifth Avenue. I waited until items were on super sale, and nabbed it for $54.95 AND applied a free shipping coupon. Yeah, I did good. I didn't need it, but it was super duper cute, and I knew I could transition into the fall by layering a tee or even turtleneck underneath to give it a seventies vibe. As always, the packaging/presentation from Saks was of the utmost quality, and I was pretty pleased with myself in the end (read: didn't feel guilty about buying something that I didn't need, especially when my closet is bursting at the seams). -- Julia DiNardo

R.H. Forschner 8" Chef's Knife by Victorinox

I like to eat out, but lately I've been trying to cook more so I needed a good, affordable knife I could keep in my kitchen. Based on Jeff's recommendation, I got the Victorinox R.H. Forschner 8" Chef's Knife. It cost $19.26 at Amazon.com so I paired it with a miniSD card for my smartphone to get free shipping. I never thought I'd get excited over a knife, but this thing is awesome. It's ridiculously sharp and effortlessly slices through anything. It has a slip-free handle so even if your hands are wet you'll be able to keep a firm grip on the knife, and the 8" blade is just right for slicing through bread, cheese, veggies - you name it. Like I said, I tend to order in a lot, but this knife makes me want to cook more just so that I have an excuse to use it. -- Louis Ramirez

Dell Inspiron 1720 & Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptops

I chose to take take advantage of the "Buy one, get one 50% off" deal at Dell and pick up both a Dell Inspiron 1720 and a Dell Inspiron 1525 for my wife and son. Since my wife's employer is a part of the Dell Member Purchase Program which stacked onto the BOGO deal and a 10% off coupon, it came to $1,500. Could we have shopped around and gotten cheaper laptops? Yeah, but it's what they (Stacey & my son) wanted. Stacey is not a Mac girl and she's been wanting her own notebook and my son is getting his as a replacement for his desktop in his room in order to save space (and to get him off my MacBook Pro). -- Chuck Phillips

Keds Retro Wedges

I bought these Keds Retro Wedges from dELiA's. I had my eye on them for several months, but they were a little ridiculous (in that, "I'm not sure I'll still love them next year" kind of way), so I didn't want to pay the full $55 price tag. Some patient shopping resulted in a $25 discount, and on top of that I used one of the store's frequent coupons to get an extra 15% off, for a final price of $25.49. Not only was this a great deal for the store, but it was a great deal on a pair of Keds shoes I continue to see sold elsewhere for the original price. Even if I lose interest in them (though how could I? they're quirky and comfy) it's no skin off my back at that price. -- Lindsay Sakraida

Strathwood Blake Teak Armchairs

I recently bought a pair of Strathwood Blake Teak Armchairs from Amazon.com for our front walkway / porch area. I paid $299, plus $100 shipping, and of course the next day Amazon abruptly dropped the price to $269 for the pair. I asked for and promptly received a $30 credit from their 'low price guarantee' program. Suitable for covered patio or outdoor use, these are very high quality and heavy chairs crafted of natural teakwood. I put a couple coats of teak oil on mine to bring out the nice rich Brown color, and to help them hold up to the rain and weather. They are comfortable, look great, and are a fine value for the dollar when compared to other similar chairs. Just keep an eye on the price (or check on dealnews) as it seems to fluctuate continuously. -- Stuart Obermann

Thirsty Light

I kill houseplants. It's not something I try to do, it's just a fact. I'm rather good at it, too. No amount of watering seemed to help me keep my leafy friends (yes, I talk to them ... what? is that weird?) from passing from this earth into vege-heaven. Then I heard the shocking fact that most domestic greens can die from over-watering as well as under-watering. "Well, that's just too fine a line!" I thought. How am I expected to ride that razor-thin edge of perfect watering. Enter Thirsty Light. I heard about this item on The Daily Giz Wiz and knew it was the solution to my problems (at least the ones involving plants and water.) You stick this thing's probe into your vegetation's soil and a sensor ... er ... senses the moisture-content of the dirt. When the plant needs water, an LED on the sensor begins to flash at you. When it really needs water, it flashes faster. Simple! Hopefully, this will end my days as a notorious plants-ecutioner. -- Jeff Somogyi

Edited by Jeff Somogyi, dealnews' Media Editor who worries about the day when his plants start talking back.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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