Cheap versus good value - MoneySense

Cheap versus good value

There are some things that you should never buy cheap.


When my children were young, they both had “funny” feet so I always bought good quality boots. I found if I went with the discount department store option I’d save money but  they ended up not walking properly in them. And I don’t skimp on outwear; I hate that cold that turns you numb!

However, there are definitely things that I’d never pay big money for because I know I can get a cheaper version at a discount department store or even at the dollar store: gift bags, those scarves and mittens that seem to just disappear into nowhere land each winter, and novelty items that I’ll use only once or twice.

To me, it isn’t really about how much you pay, but more about how much you pay by use. So if I’m going to use something a lot, and I need it to last, I’m prepared to hunt around for the best price on something that’s of higher quality. If it’s a once-and-done use (or there ‘bouts) hey, cheap will do me fine.

While the old adage, “You get what you pay for” is hauled out a lot to justify spending more, sometimes it’s just an old adage. I’d no sooner pay $500 for a handbag with a name on it than punch myself in the face. And while you can try to convince me that the quality is better, on a per use basis I don’t see the value.

Besides, it is the very people who have a $500 purse who also have 4 or 5 purses of equal “quality.”  There’s $2,000-$2,500 I’d rather contribute to my kids’ educational savings plans or my own retirement savings plan. I’m not really into becoming a bag lady!