Five Things It’s OK to Spend a Little More On

by Kelly · 10 comments

in Money & Spending

With all the talk about trimming budgets and trying to control our spending, is there anything that it’s better to spend more money on? Of course. Think back to the proverbs ‘penny wise and pound foolish‘, ‘an ounce is worth a pound of cure’ or even ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. Each, while slightly different addresses the idea of acting now to improve the future. With that in mind, here are five suggestions for the better, albeit more expensive, choice.

Electric Toothbrush

For a long time I was convinced that electric toothbrushes were just hype and that my $4 version from the grocery store got the job done just as well. Then I found a new dentist who diagnosed an impending case of gum disease, which, if I didn’t act quickly, was going to get very bad, very quickly. She recommended buying an electric toothbrush, so I did, ever so reluctantly, and only because I trusted her opinion.

What a difference a month made! Even I, untrained dental health professional that I am could see a difference when looking in the mirror. And there are a ton of proven advantages including electric toothbrushes are much more efficient at getting under your gums and providing a dentist like cleaning.

Admittedly, it is more expensive than the drugstore version, and you have to also pay out money for replacement heads. (There are ways around that: my husband received a pack of 18 for Hannukah last year) . But aren’t your teeth worth it?

Solar Recharger

The electricity in our town was recently cut off for a few hours while work was being done on the system. I had forgotten to recharge my cell phone and, of course, our regular phone wasn’t working either. While this was only a minor annoyance for a morning, just think of how bad it could have been during a disaster. Not just for cell phones, but for everything. There are small universal solar rechargers that you can buy that recharge a variety of appliances. I bet these would come in really handy during an emergency- better safe than sorry!

Rechargeable Batteries

This is an environmental concern, but also a frugal one. Buying batteries can be expensive over the life of a remote control, for example. Sure, it costs a bit more to buy a pack of rechargable batteries, but it can save you big bucks in the long run. And if the electricity goes out, well, just hook up your solar recharger to your battery pack!

Organic Food

If you have the money, it’s great to buy all organic food, for everyone in the household. Sometimes however, it’s just not possible to squeeze it into the budget. If you do want to buy as much organic as possible, try to stick to produce and animal products.

When choosing which fruits and vegetables to buy organic, a general rule of thumb is to prefer the organic versions of thin-skinned fruits and vegetables. Pesticides are absorbed at different rates, and it’s safer to eat some non organic produce than others. For example, onions do not absorb many pesticides, and you remove the peel before eating (I hope!), so you could buy a non organic variety. On the other hand, peaches and strawberries are very absorbent, so choose organic when possible. Here are two good guides: from the Organic Center and the Environmental Working Group. Another excellent option is to buy locally; organic certification can be quite expensive, so a smaller local farmer might not apply for it. If you go to the local farmer’s market and meet the farmer for yourself, here’s your chance to ask.

When it comes to meat, organic is more expensive, but it’s another example of less is more. Meat used to be served as an accent to the meal, or a special occasion. It’s only very recently that it has become the star of the show instead of the understudy. Suddenly organic, grass-fed beef becomes a lot more affordable when, instead of buying 12oz steaks for four, you’re buying one 12oz steak to use in a beef stirfry.

Click here to see how Organic Mommy does it.

Life Insurance

This is definitely something that depends on your family situation, but in the right circumstance it is absolutely worth it. If you are single with grown children it might not be for you, but what about if you have young children at home? What would be the financial impact of your death? I know that if my husband died and we had no life insurance for him, I would be in a terrible financial state. That is why we pay a total of about €60 per month to cover the two of us. Sure, that money could be used elsewhere, but again, better safe than sorry.


1 mannequin July 14, 2008

Most definitely a resounding yes! on that life insurance. Mr. Man is also a stickler on the rechargeable batteries. This is one area where I had been “pound wise, penny foolish”.
I think buying an APPLE computer should be on that list!

mannequin’s last blog post..Think Geek Giveaway

2 Today's Budget July 14, 2008

Great list and reminders on life insurance. I pay mine on an annual basis to get an additional 3% discount. It's tough to come up with the money once a year and I have to sock away for it.. but I do!

Today's Budget's last blog post..iPhone 3G – Monthly Fee Calculator

3 Michelle July 14, 2008

You've got me thinking about that toothbrush thing… I've never used an electric myself, but always wanted to try!

4 Budget Mama July 14, 2008

I agree on the insurance and the organic food. We definitely try to purchase organic whenever we can, especially on the dirty dozen.

Budget Mama’s last blog post..Thanks for the Save-O-Meter Financially Simple

5 My Journey From Debt July 14, 2008

I have considered getting some sort of solar charger but haven’t thought them worth the money yet, and don’t know how well they actually work.

My Journey From Debt’s last blog post..Gas ‘n Go

6 Ann at One Bag Nation July 14, 2008

I’m with you! My daughter and I share the electric toothbrush base; we just switch heads. They come with colored rings you attach to remember whose is whose.

I too buy organic when I can, especially for my daughter. The prices can take your breath away, but the thought of the pesticides in her body scares me more.

Ann at One Bag Nation’s last blog post..Wear Your Clothes!

7 Shevy July 14, 2008

A really good flashlight in case of emergencies instead of a dollar store disposable one! Actually I recently bought a package of 2 Faraday ones. They’re the kind you shake for a few minutes and then you don’t have to worry about whether the batteries are getting old or whatever.

And, in the same vein, I have a radio that works both by cranking and by solar power. In a disaster there might be no power for days, but you could still listen to the news. I like the idea of a solar recharger for my BlackBerry too, so I could still access the web.

Shevy’s last blog post..Comfort Food

8 Life Insurance With No Physical Required July 15, 2008

Life insurance is not only for own good but for you family future. Nobody can ever tell when will be the end of our life. It can be today, tomorrow,next month or next year. It’s a great feeling to see your family to be financially secured. So it’s better to think for our family future and be ready. Like what you said “better safe than sorry”

9 Mrs. Micah July 16, 2008

I agree. Having watched my dad go through years of dental surgeries due to some real damage he inflicted on his teeth when he was young (much drinking, less brushing), I can say my teeth are 100% worth it. The surgeries cost more (even with insurance) than good toothbrushes would have and the pain…wow. He needed new implants to hold in his false teeth because the kind you glue on wouldn’t fit in his very small mouth. Something about fragile bones.

The others are good ideas too. I haven’t seen solar rechargers for sale in a while.

10 Frugal Trenches July 16, 2008

Couldn’t agree more! I’m going to link to this in an upcoming post if that’s OK!

Frugal Trenches’s last blog post..Learning To Wait

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