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Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive: Electric Toothbrush, Folding Knife, Smart Speaker and Extreme Hand Lotion

Mary Hunt on

One of the best things I've done in a long time is to invite my readers to send in their requests for my Best Inexpensive picks. I'm not sure why I love it so much, but it may have something to do with satisfying my inner shopper without actually shopping.

At any rate, today I'm excited to reveal my Best Inexpensive pick for four completely unrelated but frequently requested items, with links available at

ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH. I've gone to the same dentist for so many years that I'm sure he'd be embarrassed if I told you here. Know how much I trust and depend on Richard Oliver, D.D.S., of La Palma, California? I now live 1,100 miles away, but he's still my dentist, and I still show up for regular cleaning and checkups. Dr. Oliver believes so strongly in the effectiveness of a good electric toothbrush that he gives his patients a new brush head for their particular model every visit. My pick for the Best Inexpensive electric toothbrush is the Oral-B Pro 1000.

Here's why: It has a built-in timer, so I know how long I have to keep going at it. It gives me an alert when I'm done -- and also a pulse every 30 seconds, indicating when I should switch areas. The replacement toothbrush heads are very inexpensive -- or free, if you know Dr. Oliver. This brush holds a charge for many days, which makes it ideal for travel. The manufacturer claims that the Pro 1000 removes 300 percent more plaque than a regular toothbrush, something I cannot prove but, having used both, I believe. And here's the best part: It costs about $40.

FOLDING KNIFE. Having all sons and one husband, I know how much many men enjoy and depend on a decent pocketknife. In my family, I've joined those ranks. I love having a good, dependable cutting tool in my handbag. And I know the heartache of losing my favorite well-used and always-sharp knife. That's when it's good to know I carry the best that is also inexpensive. My pick for Best Inexpensive pocketknife: Columbia River Knife and Tool's Drifter G10 plain-edge folding knife.

Here's why: It is the perfect size and shape. Once folded, it locks in place for safety. The razor-sharp blade is high-quality stainless steel. For the money, this is a super bargain. It's about $23.

SMART SPEAKER. It started with Apple's Siri -- a voice-activated intelligent cellphone feature willing and able to answer just about any question. Then, about two years ago, introduced its version for the home, featuring the intelligence of Alexa. Don't know what I'm even talking about? Ask any 10-year-old (or, in my case, any 2-year-old grandson who has fallen in love with Alexa). My pick for Best Inexpensive smart speaker: the Eufy Genie smart speaker with Amazon's Alexa.

Here's why: I have been testing Eufy Genie for weeks now and find it to be on a par with Amazon's Echo Dot in every way. And it's so much less expensive. It's about $35.

EXTREME HAND AND BODY CREAM. If you suffer with what one reader describes as "alligator skin," you've most likely spent a fortune trying every possible moisturizing hand and body cream out there. So have I, especially now that I live in a very dry climate. And all of my tests and trials have paid off, because they led me to Atrac-Tain superior moisturizing cream.

Here's why: This cream is the undisputed best option for every skin type, even extremely dry, cracked skin. Atrac-Tain is miraculous. It is fragrance-free, thick and creamy and goes on nearly dry, leaving no greasy or sticky feeling. This is a miracle in a tube and worth every penny. It's about $11.


Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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