5 Absurdly Worthwhile Under-$10-Purchases I’ve Made In The Past Year(ish)

June 2nd, 2013

valentina

34oz bottle of Valentina Hot Sauce

$1.99 at Associated Market, Park Slope, Brooklyn
The setting: March 10, 2012, shortly after my 24th birthday. In either a complete lapse of judgement or ultimate gift to the hot sauce heads of P. Slope, next-door Associated Market grocer slaps a $2 price tag on monster bottles of put-it-on-everything-delicious Valentina hot sauce. It would take a year to finish amidst generous daily usage. (Folks wised up, offer is no longer available. Bottles pictured are 1/3 of the size.)

 

pyrexftw

3 Cup Pyrex Lunch Container

$9.99 on Amazon
It doesn’t matter what food options your office is surrounded by (in DUMBO that equates to not many), all work week lunch options will eventually lose their tasty glimmer. The way I see it, if you have to eat it every day you will inevitably result to grabbing “the usual” overpriced spinach salad or expensing Seamless.com sushi on the reg as survival food. In February, I spent an exorbitant amount of time identifying the optimal sized (good meal portion + appropriate flat shape for work bag packing) microwave-safe, dedicated lunch container. Ever since, my go-to Pyrex has helped me continually cook, save money, and even lose weight. Oh hell yes.

 

crest

Tooth Brush + Mini Toothpaste for Office Desk

$Whatever at Bridge Fresh in DUMBO, Brooklyn
Never underestimate the usefulness of emergency teeth brushing utensils stashed at your desk. That one day a year you realize that you forgot your morning brush 10 minutes before the big meeting, you will thank me.

 

lamzhou

Handpulled Noodles with Minced Pork Sauce + Pan Fried Dumplings

$6.50 total (before tip) at Lam Zhou, Chinatown, NYC
They recently moved the noodle-slapping/hand-pulling out of customer view, but I forgive them. When I first ate at Lam Zhou on a friend’s recommendation, they had a C health rating and were damn delicious. All that’s changed is their fresh health code B-status. Do yourself a favor, hop off the East Broadway F stop and find this spot. The guy who takes your order may not smile at you like he does for me, but the noodle texture is a beautiful thing and their dumplings (which you will douse generously in the magical four: Vinegar, light soy sauce, chili oil and Sriracha. Repeat that to yourself.) are out of bounds. I’ve had a number of great meals in great company here. Tip ‘em well.

 

bike

6 Hour Bike Rental

$10 at Greenbikes in Barcelona, Spain
The highlight of a week in Barcelona con mi madre. Copped a sweet beach cruiser (with lock included!) from a Santa Cruz to Barcelona transplant in the Gothic Quarter. So ensued a perfect 80 degree half day of pedaling along the Barceloneta beach, diving into cold water in my underwear, and grabbing a burger + Orange Fanta with my feet in the sand. Unforgettable.