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Old 02-11-2016, 01:37 PM
Status: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." (set 2 days ago)
Location: City Data Land
15,527 posts, read 8,986,536 times
Reputation: 30690


I've just started reading a book with this title and thought about how widespread the idea of the value of low prices and thrift is in the American culture. I thought about how that value has rubbed off on me, courtesy of my deceased grandmother, a Depression baby, who believed that no matter what the item/service was, if it was available somewhere cheaper, the cheaper item was better. I have learned the hard way that cheaper isn't always better; as a matter of fact, cheaper can often be far worse, in terms of time, energy, and future monies expended correcting the deficiencies of the inferior quality item purchased. But I am still tempted to buy the cheapest thing, not only because of my limited income, but because my tightwad self naturally believes, "It's cheaper, therefore it MUST be better!" I have to mentally pull back, think for a minute and consider my favorite TV judge's sage advice: "The cheap comes out expensive." Because many times it does.

I am curious to know, what items do you feel is OK for you to go cheap on? Do you buy generic or used items? What items would you rather spend more money on? Do you have any stories of good or poor purchasing decisions based on these criteria?
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:19 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,617 posts, read 20,774,393 times
Reputation: 17022
I buy cheap, generic paper plates (I only use them to line the microwave tray .
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:31 AM
24,503 posts, read 35,971,486 times
Reputation: 12847
I don't mind going cheap on most consumables as long as they are reasonable quality and made in the U.S. or Western Europe.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:19 PM
21 posts, read 14,516 times
Reputation: 25
I never specially search for cheap items. I also do not see on brands or something like that. I just looking for well-made quality items and than think about the price. If I consider price is good for such item I buy it.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:44 AM
2,157 posts, read 2,747,053 times
Reputation: 2782
I don't buy expensive stuff unless it's electronics. I spend good money on electronics. Most food, I can live on off brand or lower quality meat cut. I avoid processed or cook food 90% of the time to cut down on costs. Almost cutting processed food and fast food chains out of my diet is good, helps my odd against cancer. I can not help but think of all those man made chemical in processed food plays a part of our health.

I don't mind buying gently used stuff either like dining tables, sofas, shelves, lamps, cars, and even clothes. Why spend $50 on a dress shirt when I am patient and I can find a brand new donated one at a thrift store for $10 or less. I've gotten a dozen or so brand new pairs of pants and dress shirts this way in the past year alone. All brand new, all brand names and all under $10.

Over the years, I found amazing deals on barely or gently used furniture. One extremely elegant marble dining set being sold for $900, it was once purchased for over $5,000. Another gently used hand crafted dining set being sold for $800. That was purchased new over $3,500.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:40 PM
Location: U.S.A., Earth
4,621 posts, read 2,999,626 times
Reputation: 4193
I used to go to IKEA, but where I'm at now, it's too far away to consider, so I've just go to Big Lots and Walmart instead.

Part of it was I was moving a good deal. It sucks if you have to move on your own dime (which happened in one case... I left most of my good stuff behind ). Buy a table, set it up next to your desk, and you now have a mega-desk!

It's perfectly functional. My concern is any girlfriend may find it tacky, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:32 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
30,858 posts, read 56,252,221 times
Reputation: 32848
For major items like clothes, shoes, appliances and electronics I go with the best, but watch for sales. For example, we got a new $3,200 Samsung French Door Ice in Door stainless Fridge for $999 on clearance.Places like Target and Walmart are only good for name brand items at a lower price. Most of our food (including meat) and my clothes come from Costco. Dress shirts are only $16 with good quality and selection, and I love their $13 jeans. My wife buys most clothes from Amazon and other online places but also some at Costco.
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:07 PM
Location: too far from the sea
20,687 posts, read 19,639,903 times
Reputation: 35627
I'll go cheap on second hand clothing that's like new in a thrift store. Same with a dish or a mug from a thrift store. Even a lamp or a nice rug. I look for quality though in all things. Furniture can be second hand at a good price. I would never buy the junk they sell at Walmart or Ikea. I want real wood even if it's old.

I won't skimp on food. I buy pretty good food and cook it at home. If I eat out it's at a quality restaurant with decent, healthy food.

I don't skimp on shoes because cheap ones can mess up your feet but I do buy them on sale from a good shoe store or even online.

I won't skimp on a mattress because you can hurt your back with a poor quality one and of course, I only buy them new.

As for electronics, I buy what I can afford. Not the best but good enough for my purposes. Car--old but reliable.
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:38 PM
664 posts, read 509,569 times
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I've bought quality furniture at thrift stores and in the scratch-n-dent section of furniture stores (I don't mind if there is something wrong with the back of the sofa that goes against the wall). But I spent a fortune on a sleep number bed (I have spine issues) and it was the best investment I ever made (despite the fact that when it's opened up and you see it, it's just a cheap looking thing) - but even on that I waited for a $500 off sale and free delivery/set-up.

I've spent an obscene amount on a "discounted" blender, but can't find a decent toaster for any amount. So, no, in cheap I do not trust, but in quality at a discount.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:55 PM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
40,074 posts, read 48,974,742 times
Reputation: 112142
If you want to go cheap try estate sales and/or re-sale stores, good quality at super low prices these places.
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