The word “spendthrift” has always been confusing to me. It describes a person who is the exact opposite of “thrifty”. Without further investigation one would not know that the meaning of “thrift”, as used in the word “spendthrift”, was prosperity or wealth, which is to say that a spendthrift is someone who spends all his wealth.

I’m going to hijack this word for my blog to share what i spend money on, and how i try to be thrifty while spending. You get double the thrill when you spend, while being convinced you’ve spent the least amount possible, right? It sounds ironic, but, spend to save!

Taobao product recommendation – Automatic plant watering system

No, you don’t want your plants to die when you go on extended holiday. That’s why i got hold of an automatic plant watering system from Taobao. Yes, it sounds like a fun project to DIY, but, why waste precious time when you can just buy one for only 89 Yuan (S$18.6)?

A comprehensive set including 10m of tubing and detailed instructions

Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Automatic plant watering system

Taobao product recommendation – Projector

A projector is no match to the ultra large (60″+) 4K TVs we have today, but it’s far cheaper. Also, a projector can easily scale beyond 100″ to give you the big screen experience. Projectors no longer cost a bomb like they used to, if you source from Taobao.

As with most popular products, you will find hundreds of sellers and brands for a projector on Taobao. Here’s how i shortlisted mine: Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Projector

Taobao product recommendation – Floor wiggle cleaner

There’s nothing quite like this quaint product. The brand name – 洒哇地卡 (which they abbreviate as SWDK) sounds like the Thai “hello” greeting. A silly brand name if you ask me. But, the product actually works! It cleans the floor by wiggling the attached cleaning pads back and forth. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Floor wiggle cleaner

Qoo10 product recommendation – EuropAce robotic vacuum cleaner

The Robotic vacuum cleaner has been around for well over a decade by now, and just out of curiosity, i found out that the first Roomba was selling for US$199.95. Since the market for such a product is well established by now, i can finally buy one without breaking the bank.

As the title suggests, i bought from Qoo10 instead of Taobao. Moreover, i bought from a local brand – EuropAce, because of the warranty is backed by a real service centre. I’m a big fan of EuropAce tower fans (pun unintended), so, even though i know they probably didn’t do their own product R&D for a robotic vacuum cleaner, there’s better assurance that my money doesn’t go down the drain in case something actually goes wrong. In fact, i placed my order during their pre-launch promotion without doing any research. I presume that, by now, any robotic vacuum can’t possibly perform poorly given that the technology is widely available. Continue reading Qoo10 product recommendation – EuropAce robotic vacuum cleaner

Taobao product recommendation – Pad mop

Years ago, the spin mop was seen as revolutionary in making it much less tiring to remove dirt from a mop as well as wringing out water. However, it still didn’t make it any easier to actually mop the floor. Only the part of the mop that is pressed against the floor is effective in picking up dirt, whereas the loose strings just make the surrounding area slightly wet. Since the contact surface area is very small, it would take a long time to cover the entire space.

The latest iteration of pad mops finally solves this problem. The entire surface area of the pad, which is rather large, is at work in picking up dirt from the floor. It makes mopping the floor quite effortless. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Pad mop

Taobao product recommendation – Broadlink Smart-home devices

A Smart-home setup is all the rage these days. I say this because i have two friends who have done-up their new homes with Smart-home features. It is not exaggerating to say that a Smart-home is synonymous with Broadlink (a Chinese Tech company), at least in this part of the world, because their products are the most accessible and popularized ones. There are many sources for Broadlink products, but Taobao is likely the cheapest one for obvious reasons.

I bought the RM Mini 3 during the Singles (11.11) day promotion, and it was only 60 Yuan (S$12.50). Including shipping, it was probably under S$15 overall. I recently also got hold of the SP3 plug during the CNY promotion, and it was only 39 Yuan (S$8.15). I noticed that the official Broadlink store on Taobao often run out of stock during the promotional period. Either that, or, for some reason, they would withdraw items from sale on their store. Thankfully, other stores on Taobao would match their pricing, and that was how i managed to get the SP3. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Broadlink Smart-home devices

Taobao product recommendation – 4A USB charger

I was looking for a USB charger primarily for use with my Intel Compute Stick. I basically did an exhaustive search on Taobao looking for a USB charger that could supply 3A on a single USB port, and believe it or not, it was hard to come by.

Just about all the USB chargers offered have a maximum cap on the current output of its individual USB ports (2.4A is quite common) despite being able to supply more than 3A overall. It was distressing trying to find what i needed, but Taobao proves itself again as the ultimate supply of all things you can imagine – i stumbled upon the Smart Power 4. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – 4A USB charger

Wifi Repeater vs Mesh

Alright, i’m no networking expert, but i do know just about enough to be able to get WiFi to every corner of my house, and i’m sure every household wants to achieve this.

These days, Mesh networking is a popular tagline, helping manufacturers get products off the shelf, the most notable of which is Google Wifi, one of the cheaper options available. “Mesh” certainly sounded cool enough for me to want to do some research on it. What i wanted to know was, besides being able to blanket the entire house with Wifi, whether it gives me the full Wifi speed. The answer, sadly, is negative! Your Wifi speed is halved, just like any other Wifi extension schemes that were available before Mesh networking came into the picture. Besides ease of setting up (which is a big deal to some i suppose), the advantage with using Mesh networking is the ease of setting up, with only a single SSID throughout. Besides, you may already have Mesh capability on your existing routers – if it supports WDS. I have no experience setting up WDS, so i can’t really comment on its effectiveness. Continue reading Wifi Repeater vs Mesh

Qoo10 product recommendation – cordless vacuum cleaner

A cordless vacuum cleaner is only as good as the battery enclosed. The moment the battery dies, you basically have to toss it. For this reason, i don’t really want to buy an expensive cordless vacuum cleaner, and to me, anything above S$100 is expensive.

While i buy just about everything from Taobao, i feel hesitant when it comes to a cordless vacuum cleaner. For one thing, it is a sensitive item, since it packs a battery, and that means shipping costs more. It may still be cheaper to ship from Taobao rather than buy the exact same item from a local seller, but it just seems like a hassle. Anyway, it’s surprising to learn that the typical battery capacity of a cordless vacuum cleaner is no more than your phone battery! Continue reading Qoo10 product recommendation – cordless vacuum cleaner

Taobao product recommendation – Intel Compute Stick

One of the best things about Taobao is being able to buy export-oriented products at a fraction of their overseas retail prices. I just got hold of the Intel Compute Stick at only 299 Yuan (S$62), which is quite a steal. It is a fully functional PC designed by Intel, and it comes pre-installed with a legitimate copy of Windows. It’s next to impossible for any other sub-S$100 stick computer to include a Windows license, so, in that sense, nothing beats this. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Intel Compute Stick