“Cheap” is either an insult or a point of pride, depending on who you direct the descriptor towards. However, even proud, meticulous savers realize that there are some purchases you shouldn't pinch pennies on. When you choose to buy one, get one, or accept 50% off on certain items, there's an above-average chance you will regret the decision deeply and quickly.
If you're an audiophile, travel frequently, or work in tight quarters with others, a great pair of headphones will pay for itself within the first year. Whether you're drowning out screaming babies (or opening airplane doors) on an airplane or appreciating the intricacies of a John Coltrane ballad, Bose is always worth the extra hundred dollars.
The more shoppers read about the synthetic ingredients in their food, toxic fertilizers, and other sketchy practices, paying a bit more for grass-fed beef and local vegetables seems like a no-brainer.
You can't put a price on health, and life's too short to put regular gasoline in the high-performance vehicle that is the human body.
3. Your Mattress
Does any single item besides your CPAP machine impact your daily quality of life more than your mattress? Poor sleep can knock years off your life. One snore, rollover, or walk to the sink for water at a time. A mattress that supports your back suits your unique snoozing needs, and begs you to sleep in on Saturday morning could be a true life-changer.
If you shop for a mattress at the thrift store, you're Serta making the wrong decision and should Tempur-(Pedic) your sleep-related expectations.
The potential downsides of bargain shopping for shoes include foot pain, rolled ankles, and defects that render the shoes useless in a handful of months (if that).
You don't have to buy Air Jordans, but trying to save too much money on shoes (especially active footwear) is a mistake most people make only once in their lives. There is a reason Payless ShoeSource is a figment of the past, and it's because cheap shoes never last.
A car isn't permanent. A house isn't even permanent. That tattoo you commissioned the “affordable” artist to imprint permanently within your skin—you know, the one that reads “No Ragrets?”—that is permanent.
6. Safety Equipment
First-Aid kit for your house? Fire extinguisher for your office? Hard hat for the worksite? Whether you're the one purchasing safety equipment for yourself, your family, or your employees, go with something other than the cheap, sketchy option from a location of unknown origin. Save money when it's time to buy a new television and spend the saved money on your kid's car seat.
7. A Desk Chair
If your desk chair feels like a contraption you'd see in a dungeon on Game of Thrones, you likely went with the cheap option rather than the right option. Especially if you work from home, your lumbar will thank you for spending an extra hundred bucks or two on an ergonomically sound chair.
8. Toilet Paper
You get what you pay for, and when you wipe with ultra-thin, dollar-store-brand toilet paper, you get a handful of something you never want to have a handful of. If you're feeling extravagant, you'll even pay for a few packs of baby wipes to supplement your rear care regimen.
9. Car Components
You don't need a Rolls Royce or even a BMW to be somebody. Warren Buffett reportedly waits about a decade to buy a new $45,000 car, and he's a darn billionaire! However, you can bet that the Oracle of Omaha doesn't go with the cheapest option when the mechanic replaces Warren Buffett's brake pads or tires.
10. Garbage Bags
“What is that brown liquid spilling from the torn garbage bag onto the brand-new white sheepskin rug?” — Thoughts nobody should ever have to encounter.
We know how tempting store-brand garbage bags are. Half the price? How bad could they be? They're that bad, and the stakes of an unrecognizable foreign substance leaking on your floors are simply too high not to spring for Hefty.
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