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Old 12-11-2008, 11:41 AM   #21
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tiuxiu,

I totally agree with you on pots and pans. I used to get semi-cheap pots/pans from Ross and alike, but they all burned easily even at a low heat. I got one stainless steel All-clad sauce pan (saucier) as a gift one year and I just fell in love. Food does not burn - I can actually brown food now! Heat distribution is even and cleans easily (no soaking!). I was actually pretty amazed how a good pan makes such a huge difference in cooking.

tmm
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:56 AM   #22
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I cook a lot, and have nice stuff for that.

I buy good tools, a lot of them Craftsman, (lifetime warranty)

I buy good quality clothes, usually at TJ Maxx or Lands End.

I don't scimp on liquor, high quality booze goes down better and you drink less.

Everything else, I am the low cost king.......
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:05 PM   #23
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We just dont buy a lot of things. If we need something we get the best value for our dollar. I wouldn't necessarily label myself as frugal though..
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:14 PM   #24
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Same here, while a lot of our stuff is second hand, we decided to go for top quality pots / pans and kitchen utensils. It was pretty expensive upfront but, while we bought most of that stuff 7 years ago, it is still in pristine condition despite very heavy use. The investment was definitely worth it.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:36 PM   #25
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I generally go pretty cheap on clothes, but hate the way cheapo t-shirts have hems on the bottom that want to face up, defying gravity just to irritate me.

I think grocery items are hit-or-miss. I'll try switching to store brand for just about anything and sometimes it's same same, other times can tell the difference to back to brand. One example is corn beef hash the Kroger brand is liquidy crap man, what a terrible product compared to the rest.

We talked about in another thread the store Sprouts. I love that place man veggies are usually about half as much as at normal grocery stores, hell last week they had artichokes 2 for a buck! Artichoke heaven man.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:06 PM   #26
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I am now trying to get the *right* product for intended jobs the first time around, without spending a bundle. Small learning curve here for me on frugal buying . I want to learn to buy good quality stuff CHEAP! (eBay so far has been working pretty good for me.)
We bought manual tools for the first few years because power tools were either too expensive or too hard to find (overseas) or too likely to go "missing" during a move. Once we knew what jobs we were likely to tackle more often, we'd buy power tools one or two levels below contractor grade. But we still haven't gone pneumatic yet.

You just can't churn through routine tasks without a good chop saw, drill, electric screwdriver, reciprocating saw, pole hedge trimmer, gas-powered weed whacker...

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I grew up on a farm and we had gardening tools that lasted 30 plus years. Now a premium Home Depot or Lowes shovel or rake is only good for a couple of years. WHY?
People don't want to fix stuff. They buy the cheapest tool for the immediate job, and if it breaks then they buy another one. The rate of improvement has really accelerated over the last 25 years, too, so we've been trained not to hold onto the old stuff for too long.

It costs more to fix stuff than to replace. My two-year-old electric pole hedge trimmer, adequately made, burned out its brushes. I know how to replace a set of brushes. I don't know how to find replacement brushes for anything less than a day's research and $20-$40. Then it'd take me another hour to replace the brushes, seat them, and get back to work. (If I can get the molded-plastic body off the tool without cutting.) I bet in two years I'd be replacing another set of brushes, too.

Meanwhile a new, longer, heavier-duty pole trimmer is on sale at Home Depot for $99, which I bought with a gift card that I found on Craigslist for half price. I'll let the Salvation Army fix the brushes.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:02 PM   #27
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Items that require maintenance or that have a long expected life should not be bought solely on the purchase price, but on the estimated life cycle cost.

e.g. buy a great car for $30K and drive it for 18 years, versus buy a poorly built car for $20K, have multiple repairs, and replace it every 3 years at a cost of $10K per replacement...well, you do the math!
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:38 PM   #28
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I have a set of La Creuset pots that I got as an engagement present in 1969 and I still use them . The dutch oven is the best . Good pots and pans are a must . I've had some cheap ones and what a difference quality makes .
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #29
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I'm sort of in the middle. For example, I have been an "audiophile" (stereo nut) most of my life, and this is an expensive hobby! Ebay is great. Most of my system has come from (or been re-sold) there. Leaving aside the question of whether you need it or not (grin), I usually only buy new if they aren't available cheap (or relaible) on line. For example, I recently bought a NEW digital camera (around $100) at Wal-mart, because you can't get them much cheaper on Ebay. I bought a stereo processor (new) on Ebay, but there were few to no used ones to be had, even though the unit had been on sale for several years. On the other hand, I currently have 4 pieces that were bought used (one pre-dates ebay even), and each was probably bought for 1/2 to 1/3 the original retail price. I've re-sold a lot more stuff, some times for a fraction of what I paid (new), but usually for a good fraction of what I paid for it used. Usually with good luck, but one item needed a repair. I bought a subwoofer for about $700 (new was probably around $1100 ten years before); technically it worked, but i broke it a month on, and repair was about $450; at least I have a warranty now. Anyway, this is an example of how you can indulge an addiction at reduced prices. I guess some folks make money selling on Ebay, not me though. I'm the guy that buys a working semi-antique tube radio (stereo even!) for $10 at an estate sale. I fixed it, and I think it brought $2.50 on ebay. * SIGH *
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:36 AM   #30
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Too frugal for your own good? I found this blog about a couple who experimented with living on $1 a day, each, for food. They did this for a month, blogged about and now are writing a book.

http://onedollardietproject.wordpress.com/

The actual month of the experiment was September, 2008 and the blog starts here on Sept. 1. Click on the date to read the whole daily entry.

2008 September One Dollar Diet Project

I haven't read every entry yet but they were concerned about scurvy and started drinking Tang for the vitamin C.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:03 PM   #31
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Too frugal for your own good? I found this blog about a couple who experimented with living on $1 a day, each, for food. They did this for a month, blogged about and now are writing a book.
I read a few entries. They sure seem to eat peanut butter sandwiches, or half sandwiches, frequently. Also I noticed that oatmeal, rice, beans, or potatos were big favorites. Quantities seemed small and I am sure I'd lose weight pretty fast on those menus though I would be concerned with malnutrition due to the repetitiveness of the menus (at least, those that I saw seemed to be lacking in variety and short on fresh produce). I would probably develop a permanent dislike for peanut butter.

On the other hand, I am used to spending about ten times what they spent in a month for food! Hope that doesn't sound like I'm bragging about my lavish expenditures. I just don't choose to cut corners on healthy food and cut back elsewhere in my budget when needed.
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:20 PM   #32
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I wouldn't even try $1 in someplace like Bangkok or Delhi where it's possible. I think I'd rather live in a lean-to in the woods and have good food & drink.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:01 PM   #33
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We go for quality in everything we buy, but we've found that "quality" is not necessarily associated with "price." So we use quality as the first determinant of what to buy, and price as the second. For example, we like DeWalt and Makita tools; for any given tool, I'll look for one of these brands and then buy the less expensive of the two.

I'll also gladly spend more for things I know will get a lot of use. For example, I've worn the same pair of shoes nearly every day for the last three years (they were Keen mary janes and the most comfortable shoes I've owned). They're about worn out now and I'm ready for a new pair. I'll happily pony up the $100 for a new pair because I know I'll get serious mileage out of them. But a new pair of heels to wear with a skirt (occasionally) will have to come in under $40 for me to consider them.

We also don't hesitate to spend for quality when it comes to food (we buy organic, local and non-gmo when we can), medical care, cars, cookware, appliances and furniture. We use our things on a regular basis and hold on to things for a long time, so I'm willing to spend the money for something durable and well-made.

I also hate cheap pens. My favorite pen is a Waterman fountain pen I bought while I was an exchange student seventeen years ago. It still writes beautifully and gives me pleasure every time I use it. By now I'm sure it's paid for itself several times over in savings, even accounting for ink cartridges.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:29 PM   #34
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I’m also one who searches-out traditional quality goods over cheap, new-fangled goods. Once I find a pair of shoes, for example, that fits that definition, I’ll go ahead and buy 2-3 pairs at a time. Yes, hopefully they will be on sale when I do, but their lasting, timeless value is what is most important to me, not their price.

Maybe that pair of shoes that look like alien space-ships might be cheaper than the stodgy but sturdy pair of traditional shoes, but I don’t care. By my definition, “cheap” means of lower quality than the price reflects, while “frugal” means of better quality than the price reflects. I’ll take the latter at three times the cost any day.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:25 AM   #35
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I have a set of La Creuset pots that I got as an engagement present in 1969 and I still use them . The dutch oven is the best . Good pots and pans are a must . I've had some cheap ones and what a difference quality makes .
I bought a set of these about the same time. About 8 years ago the enamel started cracking on the inside of two of the pan bottoms. We had been cooking beans in them almost daily for years, and I think maybe the acid finally got to them. I took them back to Sur Le Table where I had bought them 30 years earlier. The clerk apologized for the color and styles being slightly different, and handed me two brand new pots over the counter.

I don't eat so many beans now, so it will likely never happen again, but I was sure impressed. I use one of these pots pretty much daily.

I also would like to put in a plug for Global knives. I have their 10" chef, and can do almost anything with it. I bought the manual sharpener that is designed with the correct bevel for Global. It is the easiest most effective sharp knife system I have ever used. I would like to buy their filet knife some time, but I don't really need it as the chef does that pretty well.

One of my uses is to buy a steak and filet it into two thin ones which I fry super hot and fast in butter. Nice and brown outside, but very rare inside. I also like to slice thin slices off a boneless top-loin pork roast and make pork scallopini or pork Marsala. This knife does this beautifully.

Ha
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:31 AM   #36
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My two favorite frying pans were 50 cents and 0 cents at garage sales. The free one was from a garage sale at a fancy restaurant -- everything was free at the end of the day. I've had it for years now.

Garage sales are perfect for kitchen stuff. The two-dollar mixer we bought in 1992 is being used by DW right now. I could buy 50 of the commercial stainless steel blenders I got for $1 for the price of one new blender.
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:22 PM   #37
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I got an electric skillet from Home Dumpster in 1978. I use it to make the absolutely perfect pancakes ... all-even golden brown.
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:08 PM   #38
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Too frugal for my own good? DW thinks so sometimes.

Well, currently I'm saving tons on labor installing our new wood floors myself. Had to buy a new $150 table saw I've been too cheap frugal to buy for years anyway.

Just will have to subtract a little from my savings due to that little incident where I knicked my fingertip on the new table saw!

(So far $100 ER co-pay & 15% of whatever the surgical ends up coming to - insurance co. informs me that the getting sewed up part will be covered in the ER copay for next year - so I suppose I should have waited till Jan to try & cut my finger off)

Still, I'm still going to save a bundle when all is said-and-done.
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