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View Full Version : Cheapskate or Spend-O-Matic ?



Ltlabner
12-02-2008, 04:35 PM
When it comes to spending, what is your mindset?

Do you feal low price is always the most important consideration, that saving a few dollars is more important that product features and you'd be willing to settle for a lesser quality product if it cost less?

OR

Do you feal that you get what you pay for, have to pay for top-quality and you'll take a name-brand over a no-name any day of the week (even though it costs much more)?

Got to thinking about it after a comment in a different thread.
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I lean towards the "spend money to get good quality" side of things. I'm not beholden to name brands, but price is usually way down the list of considerations when buying a product. Depends on the item too. If it's a can of beans, I'm not paying a premium to get Kroger Navy Beans. But if it's a refridgerator I'm not buying no-name brand of the month because it's $75 cheaper.

My father-in-law, on the other hand, is obsessed with price. Doesn't matter if the tool blows up the first time he uses it...he "saved" money. When we go out to eat, he actually reads the price of the meals out-loud and typically ends up getting a senior meal with water.

bucksfan2
12-02-2008, 05:38 PM
It really depends with me. I often spend more than I should on clothes for a couple of reasons. If I am buying work clothes I want to be comfortable. I do a lot of outdoors stuff in the winter and will buy the better brand because it is worth it and it sure beats being cold.

With big ticket items I feel it is often better to spend a little more than go on the cheaper side. I am not talking about buying top of the line stuff but reputable stuff instead of the discounted stuff.

As for grocery food I will often buy the cheaper brand as long as it is offered.

Falls City Beer
12-02-2008, 05:44 PM
Spend-wisely-o-matic.

GAC
12-02-2008, 08:44 PM
It depends on the item.

At the grocery there are certain items I prefer brand name. And others I have no problem with generic. We hit Walmarts, Krogers, and Aldi. But I gotta have good bread to make me sandwiches. None of that off-brand stuff that is stale in a couple days. It's gotta be Pennington or Swebels baby!

When we bought appliances for the house that get a lot of use I go with products that have a reputation of durability/reliability. Our washer and dryer are Maytag Neptune front loaders.

So I don't mind spending extra for quality and longevity.

It's why my cars are Hondas. ;)

RedFanAlways1966
12-02-2008, 11:08 PM
Things I live by:
(1) Nothing is free.
(2) You get what you pay for...
(3) If it only sold on TV, it is crap.

AtomicDumpling
12-03-2008, 03:45 AM
I am not the cheapskate type that buys everything generic. But I don't get suckered by marketing pitches either -- that is why you won't see any Bose, Apple or Dyson electronics in my house.

As a general rule "you get what you pay for" is accurate, but there are lots of exceptions. That is why companies spend billions of $$$$ on marketing. Perception is more profitable than reality.

My strategy is buy the good stuff and work a little harder to pay for it. My parents were "savers" and I decided early on I would be an "earner". Some people spend so much time and effort trying to save money that their time would instead be better utilized by working some extra hours to make more money.

Redsfaithful
12-03-2008, 06:40 AM
Dyson as in vacuum? Man, we have had one of those for a couple of years now, I love the thing. But then I have an Ipod touch also, so what do I know? :)

I actually tend to spend when I buy something. I'd like to think the things I buy will last a good long while, and I'm willing to pay a premium for durability and longevity in general. But when it comes to more disposable things, like food, etc. I have no problem buying store brand.

OldRightHander
12-03-2008, 09:37 AM
I have a Mac and a pair of Bose headphones. Worth every penny.

bucksfan2
12-03-2008, 09:51 AM
I am not the cheapskate type that buys everything generic. But I don't get suckered by marketing pitches either -- that is why you won't see any Bose, Apple or Dyson electronics in my house.

As a general rule "you get what you pay for" is accurate, but there are lots of exceptions. That is why companies spend billions of $$$$ on marketing. Perception is more profitable than reality.

My strategy is buy the good stuff and work a little harder to pay for it. My parents were "savers" and I decided early on I would be an "earner". Some people spend so much time and effort trying to save money that their time would instead be better utilized by working some extra hours to make more money.

I have a Dyson vacuum and it is great. If you use a normal vacuum and then go over the same area with a Dyson it is scary how much crap is still on the ground. As for Bose I really like the sound it produces. I have used the Bose airplane headphones and they were great.

Johnny Footstool
12-03-2008, 11:01 AM
You get what you pay for -- and sometimes you're paying for a label.

I have a yearly membership at ConsumerReports.org, and it pays for itself every year. It helps us find quality products at decent prices, and it saves a ton of research time.

Dom Heffner
12-03-2008, 11:28 AM
I like to get nice things at discounted prices. You can get great things used on eBay or on sale. I try not to pay full price for anything, and experience has taught me that it pays to spend more for some items.

Falls City Beer
12-03-2008, 01:20 PM
I like to get nice things at discounted prices. You can get great things used on eBay or on sale. I try not to pay full price for anything, and experience has taught me that it pays to spend more for some items.

Precisely.

And I'd echo the statement that there are a TON of brands where you're just paying for the label. Uncountable in fact.

I actually think it's crazy to pay thousands more for many mid- to economy-level foreign cars, like the Yaris, when something like a Focus is essentially the same car. Yeah, you get what you pay for with cars like the Accord, but I think the "foreign" label gets people to commit to paying 17 grand for a Yaris, when you can get a Focus for 9500. I guess the Yaris will last a little longer, but the driving experience is the same (uncomfortable with poor pickup--in other words, something you won't want to drive around in for more than a few years). To me, that's just being suckered by the foreign "benefits."

SunDeck
12-03-2008, 01:29 PM
Supporting a family makes me and my wife pretty spend thrifty. However, it is also a philosophical point; we try to buy what we need, which is a much smaller list than what we want. We both believe in living relatively simply. That, and I was raised by Cincinnati Germans, who understand that guilt and debt are the same word in the mother tongue.

When it comes to actually purchasing something, I would like to think we are wise consumers. Price comes in to play, but we don't always buy the cheapest thing if it means sacrificing quality.

And by the way, I"ll quote my dad on the comment about not paying full price for anything (Dom). He always says, "The price you pay IS the full price."
I don't really know what that means, but it sounds so pithy and authoritative. Especially when coming from a battle hardened salesman like my dad.

Ltlabner
12-03-2008, 05:20 PM
I actually think it's crazy to pay thousands more for many mid- to economy-level foreign cars, like the Yaris, when something like a Focus is essentially the same car. Yeah, you get what you pay for with cars like the Accord, but I think the "foreign" label gets people to commit to paying 17 grand for a Yaris, when you can get a Focus for 9500. I guess the Yaris will last a little longer, but the driving experience is the same (uncomfortable with poor pickup--in other words, something you won't want to drive around in for more than a few years). To me, that's just being suckered by the foreign "benefits."

Unless your Focus breaks down a bunch and racks up a ton of repair bills and hassle while the Yarris runs like a top. Then the cost difference isn't so great.

The Focus might be wonderfull and the Yaris crap. That's just a hypothecial to illustrate that sticker price alone isn't the only cost involved in a product.

That's what bugs me about hyper-sensitivity to price alone. Sure...save $100 now in initial cost to spend $500 in repars and down-time later. Doesn't make a lick of sense.

But I do agree that because something has a label doesn't mean it's better. I'm willing to pay more for a label, but only when it's the right one (i.e. the product is actually better).

SunDeck
12-03-2008, 05:33 PM
Unless your Focus breaks down a bunch and racks up a ton of repair bills and hassle while the Yarris runs like a top. Then the cost difference isn't so great.

The Focus might be wonderfull and the Yaris crap. That's just a hypothecial to illustrate that sticker price alone isn't the only cost involved in a product.

That's what bugs me about hyper-sensitivity to price alone. Sure...save $100 now in initial cost to spend $500 in repars and down-time later. Doesn't make a lick of sense.

But I do agree that because something has a label doesn't mean it's better. I'm willing to pay more for a label, when it's the right one (i.e. the product is actually better).

Buying a Lexus when a Toyota will do may have been a better illustration of the point. But I agree, generally; it makes sense to buy quality at a somewhat higher price than junk at the absolute lowest price. I think Walmart's success proves that many, many people don't think that way.

Rojo
12-03-2008, 06:48 PM
Always on the lookout for the best value/price ratio. I buy generics for small purchases like canned food and toothpaste but for bigger purchases, its tougher.

I've never bought a new car and probably never will.

Scan craigslist for furniture and hardware.

For consumer electronics, I buy new but look for middle-end. Low-end is usually crap and high-end is just the middle-end with bells and whistles.

I've learned to pay a little more for clothes lately. I used to never want to go over $20 for a shirt. But I'd buy three and wear one. So now I just buy one for $4O and look damn good. :cool:

I also bought Ford at $1.35.

AtomicDumpling
12-03-2008, 08:27 PM
I have a Mac and a pair of Bose headphones. Worth every penny.


I have a Dyson vacuum and it is great. If you use a normal vacuum and then go over the same area with a Dyson it is scary how much crap is still on the ground. As for Bose I really like the sound it produces. I have used the Bose airplane headphones and they were great.

I agree that Macs and Dysons and Bose are good products. It is just that you can get better products for less money if you know what to buy.

This is true for Bose especially. Their radios and speakers are nice, but you can get much better radios and speakers for half the price from several other brands that are not household names.

Just think how much money Bose and Dyson and Apple spend on commercials and advertisements. Hundreds of millions of dollars. Every bit of that money is just added to the price of their products. Their technology is not unique or superior, but their marketing skills are fantastic.

Red in Chicago
12-03-2008, 11:34 PM
As others have said, I will buy the brand name item when it comes to appliances and other big ticket items. Haven't had much luck with the off brands, so saving a few bucks in the beginning, only to have to replace it a short time later, doesn't really work for me.

When it comes to groceries, I mostly buy name brands, but that's because they taste better. IMO, nothing compares to a Coke (Zero), Heinz Ketchup or Bounty Paper Towel. That's not to say that I won't buy store brands. I buy lots of the Kirkland products from Costco (my favorite store).

This past year, I decided to put aside all the money saved from clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. As of last week, I had saved about $550. While it may not be much, it's money that would have been given to Jewel (grocery store) or Target.

bucksfan2
12-04-2008, 09:29 AM
I also tend to look at it this way. If I am going to buy something that I need to be durable or something that I want to last over a number of years I will spend more. If I am buying a winter coat I am going to spend more money on something that will not only be warmer or last. I will look around for the best deal on a particular coat but I am not going to buy a cheap one to save money.

remdog
12-04-2008, 09:54 AM
This past year, I decided to put aside all the money saved from clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. As of last week, I had saved about $550. While it may not be much, it's money that would have been given to Jewel (grocery store) or Target.

I think that's pretty good. There are a lot of nice things you can do or buy with $500+. :thumbup:

Rem

SunDeck
12-04-2008, 12:34 PM
I just bought a new furnace. It ain't a Trane, but guess what- the same company that makes Trane makes mine. And I got a better warranty with mine for about 15% less.

And here's the kicker about furnaces; after doing a couple months of research I learned that the single most important factor in furnace life is whether the installer knows what they're doing.