2021+ Survival Guide Purchases

On Ongoing List (updated Jan 11/23)

Allison Kessler
7 min readJul 5, 2021
Making smarter purchases in 2021 is paramount to our survival

Before 2020, making smart changes to my purchasing habits was at the back of my mind. “I should really do this at some point…” or “I’ll make a note about this product and come back to it later,” was how I approached it.

Now, in June 2021, I feel taking a serious look at my one-time and ongoing purchases is paramount to my survival. I would like to share some of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time as to where I spend my money, how I run my household, and how good it feels to finally take responsibility for my financial decisions.

You see, some of these changes to my spending require a bigger up-front investment. In the past, requiring a larger initial cash payment was enough to deter me from making the better long-term decision. But I was missing the whole point. Paying more for the investment usually pays off well beyond my imagination 6 months or longer after using the product. Additionally, a larger investment generally means obtaining a higher quality product, well outlasting any short-term string of Band-Aid purchases for things I need to use regularly and are actually important staples in my daily life.

Why is society in this predicament?

We traded traditional, environmentally-friendly solutions for convenient throw-away traps. Unfortunately, it only take 1–2 generations to erase the original way of doing things — and the WHY and HOW people were doing it that way—from the memory of the collective.

For example, my grandpa used to use hankies. Then the babyboomers in all their wisdom, invented Kleenex. My mom, an avid adopter of all things convenient, would never dream of re-integrating the use of hankies. Too much work. It’s so much easier to grab a box of Kleenex at the grocery store monthly, and to take out the trash every week, then to re-evaluate the idea of hankies. I come along, born with Kleenexes in my life, am not even aware that a generation ago, we were doing it a different way. I only know what my experience has told me. And I trust the system to decide whether something is good for me or the “right” way to do things now.

This is how knowledge is so easily lost forever.

How do I find good products?

Nowadays, researching good products is super easy. I do one or more of the following to find solutions to my problems and have had great results. It’s amazing how people like to be helpful and share their knowledge, experience and information to help other people out.

  1. Ask for a referral from your social media networks.
  2. Do an online search.
  3. Participate in forums where they discuss this type of thing. This is especially helpful for getting new ideas for improvement and products you didn’t even think about.
  4. Try things out.
  5. Read reviews.

My Best 2021 Purchases and Beyond

Here’s my Best Purchases so far that I totally recommend:

  1. Berkey Water Filter. I have been paranoid about the quality of our drinking water. Every cup of water, even with the Brita Water Filter Jug, smelled and tasted gross to me. I finally dug in and invested in the Big Berkey water filter system, including the extra flouride filters from the Canadian distributor. Warning, it’s a bit overwhelming to set up your first time, so be sure to watch the instructional videos. I feel great about my water now. It’s portable, so I don’t need to worry about “what happens if we need to abandon our house” and we can take it with us for clean water anywhere.
  2. The Gargoyles: “Wash Your Clothes Without Laundry Detergent.” I was skeptical about whether this would really work. I’m amazed that my clothes are getting clean, without the toxicity of buying those stupid washer pods. One Gargoyle lasts up to 1,500 wash loads or ~4 years. This is a no-brainer purchase. Unfortunately, I’m unsure whether they ship internationally outside of Canada.
  3. Dryer Balls. To go along with the Gargoyle, you can get 2 or 3 dryer balls to replace those Bounce sheets. I saw them available at a local farmers’ market and didn’t invest at the time. I purchased some crappy dryer balls at Superstore to hold me over until I find the good ones again. By “crappy”, I mean they are hard plastic balls with spikes sticking out of them that could potentially ruin delicates or knitted wear. They are perfectly fine for most clothes, towels and sheets.
  4. Aspen CLEAN natural dishwasher pods (unscented). The Cascade dishwasher pods are poison. But I was trained to do all my shopping at the grocery store and only purchase what’s available. I put up with toxic dishwasher soap for many years even though it was making me instantly sick and couldn't be in the kitchen when the dishwasher was running. I bought a couple packs just to try it out and then reordered 8 packages to last me 6+ months.
  5. Blue Light Glasses by BLUblox. I was experiencing so much eye strain! I can’t even describe how painful it was for me to be in front of my computer all day. Using my smartphone or spending any time on the TV after that was pretty much impossible. I ended up choosing the Crystal SummerGlo glasses and I absolutely love them.
  6. Menstrual DivaCup: For all you ladies out there tired of throwing money into the proverbial toilet, I purchased the DivaCup at London Drugs here in Canada. I got the one made for woman over 30 who have already had a baby. I am happy every month I save money with this one! It’s pretty convenient once you get used to it!
  7. Supplements: I started taking regular vitamin and mineral supplements and I have never felt better in my whole life. My immune system is strong and chronic ailments have lessoned or completely disappeared, like allergies to pets and animals. My favourites are: MegaFood Daily Vitamins, iodine drops, AOR Zinc/Copper combo, vitamins C and D, and magnesium.
  8. I’ve gone “no poo” in November 2022. Who knew there was a whole niche around people who’ve decided to take the plunge and ixnay shampoo! Hence the “no poo” nickname. To make a long story short, I’ve been losing my hair for years now. I mentioned it to my hairdresser and she said, “it’s normal.” No way, this isn’t normal! Anyhow, I now wash my hair with egg yolk and condition with apple cider vinegar. And I only do this every 2 weeks. In between, I use a very gentle high-quality hand soap. My hair is in the middle of repairing itself. Oh, and I also stopped using hair dye!

More of my product recommendations to come!

A Note About Buying Local

My Opinions & Predictions

I love supporting international, domestic and local businesses. Buying local has been a trendy catchphrase for the last couple decades. However, there hasn’t been any incentive to following through or forcing it, other than adhering to my own conscience. I believe that incentive is on its way and that the world is undergoing transformation that will through us into the dark ages for quite a while.

Travel has already been negatively impacted since the world was locked down in March 2020. Thus far, global logistics operations has done a pretty good job of keeping up the appearance of being able to receive and deliver shipments of products and goods.

Let’s face it. We are in a vulnerable and precarious situation and we could be thrown into the abyss at any moment.

My recommendation is to start making a list of LOCAL supplies for everything you need. I have been procrastinating on this step. It’s not yet forced upon us. I will add to this section as I muddle my way through it and figure it out.

There are two things on my mind:

  1. I have bunnies who depend on me for survival. They need: hay, pellets and daily greens. I often see local farmers advertising extra hay. This seems like smart local connections for me to make… just in case things go sideways in the fall and the pet stores shut down.
  2. I like my vitamins and supplements. I have a local store I like to frequent, but it is located in a mall. I need to talk to the owner about their emergency plans if the large mall suddenly closes and where their basement / garage or warehouse alternative location is.

More to come about this thought.

Thanks for Reading!

What are your preparations for a post 2020 world? Have you been thinking about overhauling your purchasing power and habits? Do you have a product you’d like to recommend that has changed your worldview? Please share in the comments below!

Allison Kessler lives in Calgary Canada and is a WordPress web designer and Canadian entrepreneur. She’s starting a new venture called Moon Phase Launches, which is an intuitive 28-day System to take your online products from start to launch in sync with the moon. If you sign up for the membership waiting list, you’ll get a kick-ass freebie called “Daily Workspace Opening Ritual” so you can turn your dreams into reality quicker. Daily task completion leads to Big Goal Accomplishment!