Welcome back to What’s In Your Cart, where we ask noteworthy creators, athletes, and celebrities about their favorite products, their shopping habits, and their deal hunting acumen. If you or someone you know would like to be featured, shoot an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “What’s In Your Cart.”
This week, we hopped on the phone to chat about products with Hannah Hart, best known for her My Drunk Kitchen series on YouTube. She’s also written a New York Times bestselling cookbook under the same name, a New York Times bestselling memoir, and has a new, holiday-themed cookbook coming out next month. You can follow Hannah on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, and preorder her next book here. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
The Inventory: Would you consider yourself a deal hunter?
Hannah Hart: I definitely consider myself a deal hunter. I am the person that uses all my pharmacy coupons. Like when you go to the CVS or Walgreens and they print out that long list of coupons, I stand there and I look through everything on that list. I use my extra bucks, man, I’m all about saving $9 at a time every time I go to the pharmacy.
The Inventory: When you make a big purchase, is it usually something you already decided to buy, and you were waiting on a deal? Or do you make big purchases because you found out about a product because it was on sale?
Hannah Hart: I pretty much make my bigger purchases based off of research. So basically, once I determine what it is I want to buy, then I start looking for deals on that specific product. I feel like the consumer reviews are hopefully trustworthy. So like, with our TV, we have a Roku TCL TV. It’s great, we like it, and for the price point it was perfect. So we determined that this was the TV set we wanted, and then we go around and figure out who can give us the best deal on it.
The Inventory: What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?
Hannah Hart: I like to save up my airplane miles, and after saving up miles for a year, I was able to fly Delta One to Japan on a free upgrade. That was awesome! I was so excited, I made a whole video about it. People were asking me if it was a brand deal, and I was like “no, I wish, I’m just genuinely so excited to fly in this pod to Japan!”
The Inventory: Did that ruin flying for you forever?
Hannah Hart: You know, it’s but a memory now. I’ve returned back to my commuter flight ways, but it was a wonderful, beautiful moment.
The Inventory: So it seems like you like to collect credit card points.
Hannah Hart: <Laughs> Yeah, I only like to do things when they lead to other things. So I have an Amex with Delta for mileage and points for all my business expenses. And then my second card for my personal expenses is the Amazon Prime card.
The Amazon Prime card is pretty great. Basically, if you have a Prime membership, I don’t see why you wouldn’t have the card. I do all of my personal purchases on my Amazon Prime card, and then when I actually go to Amazon, I basically never spend money. I just spend my points, because they build up so fast. Amazon should pay me for how much I love that card. I just heard myself and was like “wow, Hannah, you love that credit card don’t you?”
The Inventory: It’s a good card.
Hannah Hart: It’s a good card!
The Inventory: What’s your favorite place to shop online?
Hannah Hart: I guess online, I’m a big fan of Overstock. Obviously, we’re all prey to Amazon, and I do use Amazon a lot. But when it comes to making furniture purchases, or purchasing stuff for the house, I like to go to Overstock, because I can find basically stuff that’s discounted for being “out of season,” or whatever. Also, Shopbop for clothing has some really good deals on stuff that’s post-season and cheaper. Ooh and also Modcloth!
The Inventory: What’s the biggest purchase you’ve ever made online?
Hannah Hart: I think the biggest purchase I’ve ever made online was probably airplane tickets, but we found this amazing company called Catastrophic Creations, and one of the biggest single purchases I made was buying their cat wall set. It was like $600, and it basically lets you design your house into a really cat-friendly space, and it’s one of the best things we have, it keeps our cat happy, it keeps them off the furniture, they don’t scratch anything, and they get to climb and hunt and explore. It’s great.
The Inventory: I need that for my cat.
Hannah Hart: It’ll change your cat’s life. It’s a game changer. Game. Changer.
The Inventory: Can you think of something you bought recently that really exceeded your expectations?
Hannah Hart: I got a knife sharpener recently. It’s nothing special, I don’t know if it’s the best knife sharpener out there, but it works. And that’s great. It’s brought a second life into all my knives. It’s just this stationary thing you can run your knives through. Again, I can’t vouch that it’s the best knife sharpener out there, but it has opened my eyes to the world of knife sharpening.
The Inventory: On the flip side, is there something you bought recently that you had to return, or that just didn’t live up to your expectations?
Hannah Hart: When I’m traveling, and my phone is dying, and I need to grab a charger for my car, I find it really frustrating when you buy chargers that don’t have the voltage to charge your phone. Or that break. So headphones, earbuds, and USB cables, I’m really finicky about, because you buy them at the drugstore, and they’re just going to break!
Like one time, I bought one, and I plugged it into my car, and it just didn’t work. I brought it back inside and I was like “hi, this cable doesn’t work,” and the guy was like “oh yeah, those don’t work.” Why are you selling them!
The Inventory: What’s the best gift you’ve received recently?
Hannah Hart: The best gift I’ve received recently would have to be from my manager Linnea. She gave me a KitchenAid stand mixer, and it has really upped my kitchen game. It can have different heads and whatnot, and it really makes me feel unstoppable. It’s like, wow, I can really make anything, because I have a standing mixer, who wants some bread?
The Inventory: What are some of the more obscure kitchen tools that you think people should own?
Hannah Hart: Well I don’t know if it’s a tool, but you can’t ever have too many novelty wine stoppers. Some of my favorites come from Fred, they’ve got a lot of cute ones.
The Inventory: Say someone is still using the kitchen gear that they got back in college, where would you recommend they spend their money on new stuff that would make the biggest difference in their cooking?
Hannah Hart: I think the first thing you need to do is upgrade your pans. Because so many times, you’re cooking with the pans you bought at Walgreens in college, and when you cook with those pans on a really high heat, they warp. And sometimes, the nonstick surface coating comes off and gets into your food. You don’t want to be dealing with any of that. It’s really worth it to buy one good pan; you can cook so many things with one pan.
From there, you could spend your money on a fancy olive oil or whatever, but it’s not worth using a fancy oil if you have a shitty pan.
The Inventory: You have a book coming out soon, so I was curious about the essential tools in your writing setup. What’s on your desk while you’re working on that?
Hannah Hart: I’ve got two things on my desk that I really like. One of them is a really rad notepad that has all these little slots in it for different colored pencils. I love this thing; you can rip it off one sheet at a time into a giant stack of paper, with all these colored pencils. I’m a big note taker and a big jotter. I like to jot things down.
Additionally, I have a Nest camera set up in my studio, and that enables my fiancé to check in on me to see if I’m working or not. That’s a good thing and a bad thing, you know? It can also project messages through a speaker, so if I’m not working, she can very creepily emit into the room “Hannah? What are you doing?” Definitely not playing Sim City on my phone! Definitely not.
The Inventory: How about for your YouTube channel? What are some pieces of equipment that you couldn’t do without?
Hannah Hart: My liver. My kidneys. My therapist tells me I have to stop thinking of my body as a piece of equipment.
Most recently, I just got the new G7X by Canon, the Mark III. I’m a huge Canon fan, they were always the cameras I’d use even when I was taking photos with film cameras. The G7X is great; it’s portable, it’s durable, it feels really good to hold, it has a touchscreen. I have a little mic that I plug into it too.
The one note I have about the Mark III is that I wish it had an onboard mic slot, but that would take away from its portability and durability. And the mic that’s built in is pretty good too, but I use it with a little shotgun Rode.
The Inventory: Do you subscribe to any physical subscription boxes? Amazon Subscribe & Save? Meal kits?
Hannah Hart: I actually kind of have my own wine club! If you go to trywinc.com/harto, you can sign up for my wine club, which is basically just four bottles of wine per month. It gives you a chance to expand your palate and try different things.
The Inventory: What are three items you couldn’t live without?
Hannah Hart: Number one: wrinkle spray. I use wrinkle spray a lot, because I’m a wrinkly girl. I just spray my shirts down, then use a hair dryer and blow it out, and that works great for me. It’s a really fast way to de-wrinkle a t-shirt. And there are many, many t-shirts in my life.
A stainless steel water bottle. I really like Hydro Flasks. Those are my favorites, but they seem to grow legs and walk away. I also have a habit of giving them away when people come over. So if you know anybody at Hydro Flask, please tell them I’m a huge fan.
The Inventory: Generous of you to give those away!
Hannah Hart: I don’t know what’s wrong with me! Ella’s always saying that every time someone comes over they leave with a gift, and I’m like “I can’t help it!”
And my third thing I can’t live without...I don’t wash my face because I have sensitive skin, so I use Simple micellar water. It’s pretty basic, but it’s an easy way to give yourself a little facial at the end of a day. You just put it on a cotton pad and wipe your face down, and you’re like “oh my god! Where did all that stuff come from? I’m not even wearing makeup.” And you realize that it’s just the filthy, filthy air.
The Inventory: Is there anything you buy a lot of that might seem strange to an outside observer?
Hannah Hart: Yeah, there is. Look, there’s no way around it. There’s this blueberry oatmeal baby food that comes in a squeezable thingie. It’s perfectly suitable for adults. And it’s a great grab-and-go breakfast for busy people!
So many times, Ella’s rushing off to work, or I’m rushing off to a shoot or a meeting, and I can just grab this portable breakfast. Yes, it is marketed towards babies, but dude, just slap a matte finish on it and change the font, and you’ve got adult food.
The Inventory: That’s my favorite answer in the history of that question.
Hannah Hart: If you can get over the embarrassment factor, it’s really not bad. Just make sure you refrigerate it. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but if you eat it warm, it might feel more like baby food.
The Inventory: Are there any big ticket items that you’ve had your eye on, maybe that you’ve put in your cart a couple of times, but you just haven’t pulled the trigger on yet for whatever reason?
Hannah Hart: There’s this Dyson vacuum, the V8. It’s $400. Ella, my beloved future wife, is just so hopped up on this vacuum, and I’m like, “I’ve never seen you vacuum!” I do see her sweep a lot though. We have cats, we have a couch...maybe I’ll get it for her birthday. Actually, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to purchase a $400 vacuum.
The Inventory: Word of advice: check the Dyson eBay outlet. They have good deals on refurbs.
Hannah Hart: Oh my god! Oh that’s such a pro tip. Here it is! $280. Holy shit. You can do Buy It Now. Oh my god I’m literally buying it right now. Hey, thanks everybody, look at us. We’re vacuum people. We’re cool!
The Inventory: And finally, what are the last three things you ordered on Amazon?
The Inventory: That’s a great trio!
Hannah Hart: I know, right? They’re all completely unrelated, but that is fucking hilarious. This looks intense. It gets weirder as you go down. There’s a monocle, a top hat, a jello brain mold, a stethoscope, Jesus. It’s all for content, guys.
The Inventory: That goes from very American Psycho to pretty childish quickly! Anything else you want to add?
Hannah Hart: The number one thing that’s important to buy is my new cookbook! My Drunk Kitchen Holidays. It’s coming out in October, it’s a great celebration of the holidays, and it’s an honest look at growing up, and taking the traditions you want to take with you, and leaving behind the ones that you don’t. The holidays are a really complicated time of the year, so I wanted to write this cookbook as a guide to savor and celebrate all year long. And potentially for some self-care during the sometimes-regressive holiday season.