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Too frugal for your own good?
Old 12-10-2008, 08:15 PM   #1
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Too frugal for your own good?

I used to buy good quality items, but since I denounced my frivolous spending habits a last few years ago, I have purchased a few items that were close to worthless and ended up spending more money to buy the better quality items I should have purchase in the first place.

Have you done that?

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.)

Also, I realized that even if the items have good review ratings on amazon, it doesn't necessarily mean they work great for what you may want to use them for.


tmm
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:19 PM   #2
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Depends on what kind of stuff you need, tools? Machines? what?
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:01 PM   #3
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Depends on the product.
Guns - spend to get a good one. Buy a cheap one and you will spend more on ammo to get it sighted in or become accurate with it vs a good one.

Pocket knives - some very good ones at $25 while you can easily spend $75 for one that isn't too much better.

I usually try to save money on my basic operating costs - gas, home heating/cooling etc and spend money on the things that are important to me.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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I bought a food slicer that was only $50 (the other ones were so much more expensive), but this was pretty much useless for slicing home-made bread.
I bought a $1 pruning tool, and that was useless too (didn't cut well at all).

I don't need anything right now, but I wanted to mention that I shouldn't be too cheap just for the sake of being cheap!

tmm
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
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My choice tends to quality. The cheapest is frequently not worth bringing home no matter how low the price. It really bugs the crap out of me that we can not find durable goods at a reasonable price. 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?
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:45 PM   #6
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I want to learn to buy good quality stuff CHEAP!
That is indeed the trick. Buy the good stuff... for less. I use Ebay, I shop at antique / consignment / second hand shops for china, silverware, furniture, etc... I wait for sales such as back to school for jeans, black friday for small electronics, white sales for bedding, etc... This allows me to buy top quality and brand name items for less and sometimes much much less.

This is a picture of my dining room table set for Thanksgiving dinner. Almost everything in the room is second hand (except textiles). I buy the sterling silverware (from renowned silversmiths) often at pennies on the dollar compared to list prices. The most expensive item in the room is the Mahogany butler desk (which we use as a china cabinet) and we scooped that beauty for less than $1200 in the back of a second hand shop. It was covered with dust and full of junk. After a bit or restoration work to enhance the wood grain, it looks great. The china is fine quality, hand painted bone china, the matching pieces were found here and there at second hand shops and on Ebay. The chandelier is bronze/crystal, I bought it on ebay for almost nothing given the fine quality of the piece. I just rewired it for safety reasons.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:05 PM   #7
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My choice tends to quality. The cheapest is frequently not worth bringing home no matter how low the price. It really bugs the crap out of me that we can not find durable goods at a reasonable price. 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?
I've got garden tools that date back to the 30's and they are good for another 50 years of more. One even has WPA stamped on the handle.

What I see today is that Lowes and Home Depot have brands that are made special for them to meet their costs and market. Even though they are name brands they are not always the top of the line that a manufacture makes. We have a Moen kitchen faucet that I bought at Lowes and it's the biggest pain in the neck of anything I've bought in recent years. We have a house full of Moen faucets and it's the only one that gives me trouble. It's just a cheap design. My BIL and SIL have the same faucet and the same complaints with theirs.

I did a little snooping and found that particular Moen faucet is only sold at Lowes and Home Depot. I found out the hard way I didn't get what I didn't pay for.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:56 PM   #8
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With a name like mine I had to post!
I've been too frugal with specialized sports clothing. A swimsuit from Costco is no good for doing laps - because it's designed to be worn sitting by the pool.
Cheapo bicycle shorts make you hurt in all the wrong places.
At my age exercise is difficult enough without self imposed obstacles.
I buy most things other than food and exercise clothing secondhand whenever possible. There are some decent thrift shops here in town so I don't have to do the Ebay or Craigslist thing too much.
Except I just remembered that my best bicycle shorts, I purchased used on Ebay. But just barely used. My wool jersey is 32 years old and still perfectly good.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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FIREdreamer,

Very NICE!

What about those chairs? They look like Aaron Chairs from Pottery Barn that I've been drooling over! Where did you get them? How much did you pay for them? (I apologize if I am too direct/rude with my questions...)

tmm
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #10
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My most prized item so far is a once-used toaster oven (retail price $100) from craigslist. I am still waiting for a Pottery Barn swivel chair to show up on craigslist. Sometimes, eBay gets too expensive if too many people are interested. If I were already retired, I would have time to shop at GoodWill and other second hand stores but finding what I want that route seems to take too much time right now.

tmm
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #11
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FIREdreamer,

Very NICE!

What about those chairs? They look like Aaron Chairs from Pottery Barn that I've been drooling over! Where did you get them? How much did you pay for them? (I apologize if I am too direct/rude with my questions...)

tmm

They are indeed from Pottery Barn. I did not include them (or the dining room table) in my description because.. they didn't cost us a penny. They were a wedding gift from my parents. Otherwise we would surely have bought the table and chairs second hand too.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:30 AM   #12
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Very nice picture, Firedreamer!

My weakness is with clothes. I tend to buy too much 2nd hand clothes that look OK but not stellar by any means. Now I have so much mediocre clothes, but I don't really want to get rid of them because they are perfectly good conditioned clothes that fit me. So I look mediocre everyday. That's OK.

For things that will be around for a long time (furniture, etc.) I prefer to buy quality. I don't want to feel cheap every time I have company. But that's just a recent change. I am still an Ikea/Goodwill girl at heart.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:12 AM   #13
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Haven't had this happen much, you just have to do some research to make sure you aren't buying a cheap and crappy product by looking at user reviews.

One of my best finds was a chef's knife at a garage sale for $1. It cuts food better than Cutco knives or really any other knife I have ever used.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:45 AM   #14
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We've gotten burned several times recently buying a breadmaker, computer printer, and telephone answering machine at garage sales that the seller said "they work, just got tired of them"... so we actually may buy these new... Our love of garage sales etc has not diminished, we just needed to be more careful. Our latest great buy was a bassett chair and a half w/ottoman, literally still had the new chair (as opposed to the uncle charlie used chair smell) smell we bought for $100, they retail for over $1000.

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Old 12-11-2008, 07:59 AM   #15
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Very nice picture Firedreamer . You can get some great buys on ebay . I sold my vintage chintz dishes just because I was tired of them at a fraction of what replacements .com was selling them for .
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:08 AM   #16
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After dicking around with various cheaper types I finally spent the money on really good knives & pots+pans a few years back, and wish I'd done it much longer ago as they'll probably hold me for a very long time.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:25 AM   #17
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I always support the DW decision for purchasing the best cooking utensils etc. She is so good at using them, I don't mind saving by eating with my hands. I have been tempted to put this on the current weight related thread becuase I also feel the effect around this time of year.

I often feel frugal or just out right cheap, but know there are plenty of others making up for me. At the end of each golf season I am alway plus one five gallon pail of ggod balls I found!
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:44 AM   #18
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I learned from my father to not buy cheap tools, or anything else for that matter. He often bought the cheapest tool for a specific job, then found it wouldn't work right or broke on the second job. So depending on my intended usage I'll often buy professional level tools figuring those will last the rest of my life.

Of course, sometimes the problem is finding them....
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:14 AM   #19
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Junk shops, estate sales, what-not and true antique stores, and good ol' garage sales -all abound where i live in the country.
i get more well made and durable items at these places than anywhere else. everything new is cheap and breaks too easily, or more expensive than it should be and breaks soon anyway.
all of my household furniture is solid wood, all secondhand except for 3 things.
my kitchen stuff has to be ergonomic. this is where i spent a lot over the years. i invested in a full collection of OXO Good Grips items, Henckel knife set, Revere pots and pans, and a KA stand mixer. these all will last me a lifetime.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:21 AM   #20
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"buy the best and cry once"~~saying
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