I am always grateful I purchased the following:
1 - Safety Plan for my daughter's glasses. $50, and she got a free replacement pair when someone knocked her glasses off and someone else stepped on a lens. It's still in effect, and if she needs it again within the next year, she's covered.
2 - Oil Change Punch Pass. I paid $100 in January to get six oil changes throughout the year. Because we also bought our tires through the same place, they include tire rotations. With the hubster being laid off, I can still get maintenance done on my vehicles to keep them running. Awesome purchase.
3 - Legos. Come on, you can never go wrong with something fun to build. Then tear apart and build into something else. Then tear apart and rebuild again into something even fancier. I will never regret the cost of Legos.
4 - My weed whacker. As much as I'm not a fan of yard work anymore (I used to be, but then I turned 40 and, well, there's this whole blog I keep about what happened) I love the weed whacker. It keeps the grass from blocking the automatic sprinklers in the corners. It makes the front yard look under control. It gives the yard a finished look, even if it's just camouflaging the weeds and making them look like grass. LOVE that tool.
5 - My drill. I bought a Makita cordless drill about ten years ago, along with a drill bit set. I can hang pictures, take apart and put back together just about anything in the house that needs repairing or fixing or painting. The one I bought is light enough for me to handle easily but has enough power that I don't feel like I have to ask a big strong burly manly man to do something for me that I can do myself.
6 - My art supplies. One can never have too many art supplies. I am ever so grateful that while I was in college, I took my professor's suggestions and tried out a bunch of different mediums and grounds. Now when I want to experiment, I have the majority of the tools that I want to play with. I have never regretted investing in brushes, paints, papers, inks, tapes, thinners, wood boards, canvas, molding pastes, etc.
7 - A new computer monitor. This is in the "I want that" category, although I did feel I needed it, too. I have all kinds of reasons and rationales about how I use the computer for photoshop and to design stuff for people. And yes, back when my brain worked, that did make me some money. But the fact of the matter is that the primary use for the monitor now is for me to play WoW on my bad days, type when I feel the need, and goof off on facebook or play sudoku when I need to numb my brain. I use it to look up reference pictures for art, and I do use it to help kids with homework; I certainly don't regret buying it. I will never consider it a waste of money, no matter how much time I waste with it.
8 - The Wii. Yes, I know there are more advanced game systems out there. Yes, I know its outdated. But you know what? This game system and all of the Just Dance games as well as the family game night series has done more to bring my family and kids together than anything else. We dance, we play, we cheer each other on, we goof off, we giggle. It's a wonderful thing. My younger girls get on the Wii Fit and do basic yoga and other exercises they think are super fun. So yeah, new systems may be out there, but I'll keep using what I've got because it works wonders for cementing my kids together in spite of all their personality differences.
9 - My Canon Rebel xTi DSLR. I bought it for my Beginning Photography class in college. It was a required class for my Illustration degree, because you take a LOT of photo references for accurate paintings. I love that camera. I love being able to affect lighting, exposure, and depth of field. I love the quality of pictures. I don't necessarily love how heavy it is, or how bulky it is to carry around, but I am glad that I invested in it all those years ago. It was worth every penny.
10 - My Epson six-ink printer.
A - Beautiful, awesome scans. I have never had an issue with scan quality, size, or dpi. My favorite scanner, ever.
B - When I used this printer for package design, it gave me the best colors of red. I hadn't seen some of those colors outside a print house, and this lovely printer gave them to me. Also, the photographs, oh they print gorgeously.
--- Granted, the ink is NOT cheap. It costs close to $90 to re-ink this baby. I only buy it when I'm doing a job for someone that requires color proofs. I have a laser printer that is much easier and cheaper to use for everyday homework and other print needs.
I had a list of other gadgets around the house that I love, but I've lost it and can't think of any of them off the top of my head. So there's my top ten. :)