Monday, February 5, 2018

20 Things I Don't "Cheap Out" On

On many frugal discussion boards you can find all kinds of ways to save money.  Some are rather brilliant while others, not so much.  Even though I am generally frugal (I happily buy all of my clothes at the Goodwill and cook my meals at home) there are some things I simply won't skimp on.  Usually this is learned the hard way by buying crappy, useless items in an attempt to save money, then ending up having to toss it and buy a replacement way too soon.

  1. Pans.  I bought my first (cheap) set of pans when I got my first apartment and promptly burned everything I cooked.  Turns out I wasn't so much an awful cook as I had awful pans.  Nice, heavy bottom, good quality pans are what I use now.
  2. Shoes.  Good quality shoes last a long time and make my feet happy every time I wear them!
  3. Knives.  The difference between a cheap knife and a $100 quality knife is mind-blowing.
  4. Can openers.  Dollar Store can openers are terrible and frustrating.  Buy a quality one of these.
  5. Backpacks (all outdoor gear for that matter).  High quality backpacks and outdoor gear are well worth the money in quality (some items have a life time guarantee), weight (much lighter than cheaper gear), and overall use (easier and more functional to use).
  6. Toilet paper.  Only the Costco stuff for me!
  7. Cleaning products.  The cheap sort of cleaning products (dish soap, grease cleaner, etc) are watery and simply don't work.  Quality products do.
  8. Tech products (cell phone, laptop, ear buds).  While I don't go ultra high end on these things, I tend to buy as much quality as I can afford--the difference in performance can be astounding!
  9. Certain foods.  Butter, not margarine (Kerry Gold at that), pure maple syrup, pure raw honey (the cheap stuff is honey blend--mostly sugar water), a T Bone or Porterhouse not sirloin...
  10. Sheets.  1000 thread count or higher.  Cheap sheet feel like sandpaper.
  11. Razors.  Those cheap disposable razors at the Dollar Store?  Never again!
  12. Chocolate.  Milka or other European chocolates only thank you very much (there really is a significant difference between quality European chocolate and most American crap they try to pass off as chocolate).
  13. Flights.  In many cases I am happy to pay a bit more for a better airline (no Spirit or Allegiant), or better flight options (non-stop instead of multiple connections; a flight that gets me where I need to be at a certain time, etc).
  14. Tires.  The new, good quality kind instead of the cheap retreads I used to buy when I was a teenager with my first car.
  15. Pens and paper.  I'm really picky about the quality of both.
  16. Hotels.  When I was young and poor I would stay at the cheapest hotel I could find.  Now I would never do that as I would rather pay more to be comfortable.
  17. Furnace filters.  You can buy a $2 furnace filter but it won't filter much.  The more expensive, higher quality filters do.
  18. Small appliances.  There is a significant difference between a $10 blender and a Blend Tec.  Ditto more expensive waffle makers, coffee makers, etc.
  19. Paint.  With my first house (when I was flat broke) I would paint the rooms with the cheapest interior paint I could find...then I'd have to do three coats just to get marginal coverage.  Quality paint is so much better to work with.
  20. Cars.  We could buy cheap, used cars, but I am much more comfortable buying a well-reviewed new car and keeping it until it dies.

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