Sometimes It Pays To Not Go Cheap

by Kyle · 7 comments

in Online Coupons

I’m back. Thanks for letting me invade Almost Frugal yet again!

Today I wanted to talk about the perception of the word ‘Frugal’. I personally have some extended family members that assume a frugal person means a cheap person. I could not disagree more and I have actually discovered that there are times when it pays to spend more money for high quality products. Unfortunately, I have learned this the hard way. The cheapest option is not always the best because in the long run you will end up spending more in either repair or replacement costs. Here are some glaring examples from my own personal experience.

~ Furniture. Once my wife and I bought a coffee table that was a ‘put-it-together-yourself’ special. Once I finally got the thing together it only lasted a few months. Every time you put your feet up on it, the wobbling and shaking began. It felt like it was going to collapse right under your feet! The sad thing was we only had to spend an extra $50 to get the table that we have now that will last forever. Another tip: Old furniture is often very high quality and worth getting re-finished. Keep your eye out at garage sales and thrift stores for vintage furniture as it often still has a lot of life left in it.

~ Small Household Appliances. Two that stick out in my mind include our old coffee pot and clothing iron. Unfortunately, we went cheap when we first got married and we got burned. Specifically, burnt coffee and a burnt shirt.

~ Clothing (Especially Shirts). As a taller guy, I try to avoid buying no-name shirts. The reason is because after a couple trips through the washing machine and dryer, they end up looking like the popular half-shirt from the early 1980’s. I will happily spend a little more to buy Hanes or Jockey shirts that will actually maintain their original size.

What are some things that you will spend a little extra money on to insure decent quality?


1 Jenna June 11, 2010

My iPod – definitely splurged there, but I use it all the time!

2 Skuld June 12, 2010

I understand what your saying, though I will say that my smaller household appliances were all pretty cheap (coffe machine – 10euro, food processor, 30 euro, blender, 25 euro) and have all lasted a couple of years so far. It can be hit and miss though. I think common sense – does the thing look sturdy? How many moving parts are in it? (these typically break first) How often will you use it? (a blender used to make some touch pastry every other day: pay more. the occasional cake: pay less) – plays a big part

3 Laura June 12, 2010

I totally agree that it can save you in the long run to buy quality, and spend a little more for it.

I don't think though that you can always depend on a "name" any more to provide quality. All except one of our kitchen appliances, and our washing machine, have needed repairs in the time we have owned them–less than 5 years. They were rated highly by Consumer Reports, and are a "quality" brand, but I won't buy this brand again.
.-= Laura´s last blog ..Food Waste Friday: What a Lemon! =-.

4 Jenn@FFP June 12, 2010

Well said! Cheap and frugal don't always fall in the same category! My family doesn't get it either!

I've found this is the case in relation to SOME types of foods. Higher quality may cost more, like whole grain, but requires less to fill you up so which do you choose??? The cheap stuff that requires a pound of it to fill you up…OR…the better quality, slightly more expensive items that require a fraction of the quantity to keep your tummy satisfied longer.

For me I like to buy the whole grain, when it's on sale but I'll go with enriched when the whole grain isn't discounted. It's a budget balancing act!!! ;D
.-= Jenn@FFP´s last blog ..Red Baron Pizza Giveaway Ends Today!!! =-.

5 MP June 12, 2010

shoes, shoes, shoes. I can't stress enough, don't scrimp on your shoes. Your feet will thank you. But it also means I don't have a lot of shoes….

6 Bucksome Boomer June 12, 2010

Like you I think there's a big difference between being frugal and being cheap.

We were buying cheaper coffee makers and they didn't last very long. Finally bought a good one that's working years later.
.-= Bucksome Boomer´s last blog ..Debt Collectors: I am not Antonio S. =-.

7 nopinkhere June 12, 2010

Shoes are definitely where I spend more. But I don't have tons of pairs either. And these are not pricey stilettos. I just buy things that are good for my feet. It's worth it to me in terms of pain and suffering.
.-= nopinkhere´s last blog ..Parental Abuse? =-.

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