Saturday, April 28, 2012

Frugal or Cheap?

My grandpa (Poparino) had 5 daughters, so if there was one thing he knew it was the importance of saving a buck whenever and wherever he could.  But he always said that there were two things you didn't by generic... toilet paper and Kleenex.

I'm taking his sage wisdom and adding a few things of my own.  I've learned from experience that cheaper isn't always better.  Sometimes when you buy cheap, you end up spending more in the long run... Keep reading for the

Ten things you should never buy on the cheap... 

1.  Paper towels - I hate when my paper towel is so thin that when I get it wet, it disintegrates in my hand.  Isn't the whole point of paper towels to clean up spills???

2.  Sheets - Have you ever bought sheets that felt like sandpaper?  Go for the higher thread count - it's worth it!!

3.  Scentsy wax - OK!  I get it!!  I have spent a small fortune on the cheap wax from Wally World and other places.  They don't melt and the smell doesn't last.  It's just a better deal to buy the actual Scentsy ones! (And no, I'm not a dealer, but I know one if you need anything!)

4.  Crayons - I mentioned in another post how much I love to color.  And there is something about generic crayons that just doesn't work.  I don't know if they are too waxy or not enough color or what, but they are awful!!

5.  Pencils - Have you ever purchased a pack of themed pencils for a party or event and then could never get one sharpen because the lead kept breaking?  Soooo frustrating!!  I know they are cute, but the trauma it causes when the kid can never use it is so not worth it!

6.  Bath towels - Aaaacccckkkk!  I bought some new towels at Wally World to coordinate with our bathroom.  My amazing hubby hates them.  They don't absorb water - at all! 

7.  Tennis shoes - Really.  I know.  My kids go through shoes like a duck through water. But it is worth it to spend a little more.  Their little feet need the support (my feet need the support).  And if you want any kind of traction, you'll need something beyond the ones in the discount bin...just ask my friend Sasha!

8.  Diapers - Any mom who has ever had to change sheets in the middle of the night will agree with this one.  It isn't worth it!!!!

9.  Curling/Straightening Iron - In order to get my hair straight (or curly), my iron needs to get really hot.  But I also need it not to fry my hair, so it needs to be ceramic. To get both of these qualities, you will need to spend a little more.

10. Tires - I got new tires on my car two years ago.  I just got new tires again.  The sidewalls were collapsing on the previous ones (three of the four).  When safety is an issue - NEVER go cheap!!!

Disclaimer:  I know of many store-brand products that you can purchase that have the same excellent quality (and sometimes better quality) as the name-brand items.  I am not talking about store-brand.  These remarks are aimed generally at dollar-store items and from years of purchasing experience!

If you have found quality items for cheap - please let us all know!!  I love it when I can get something I need/want for waaaay less than expected!

And, if you would like to add anything to this list, please feel free!  Help us all be more cautious when purchasing items.  

Love you all,



  1. I agree with every single item you named except scentsy wax because I don't buy wax. But apart from that: I back you 100%.

    I'll add one more item that I WILL not go cheap on is a good hair cut/good highlights. If it costs a few bucks more to get someone who actually knows what they're doing, IT'S WORTH IT!!! Life is too short to have bad hair, done on the cheap.

    Visiting you from SITS!!!

    1. Susan, that is a Great addition to the list! When we were newly parents on one income I got highlights done at the beauty college... NEVER AGAIN!!!! Thanks for stopping by! Come back and visit again!!!

  2. I teach pre-k and I can definitely relate to #7. A good pair of shoes- regardless of your age- are KEY. But I believe it should be expanded to everything from tennis shoes to pumps! Visiting from SITS!

    1. Tina - I agree with you, I should have expanded it to ALL shoes. Sometimes it doesn't matter how cute/cheap they are, it's just not worth the pain!!! Thanks for popping over from SITS - come back anytime!!

  3. I did read this but it didn't let me reply at the time. Totally totally agree and so proud you remembered the story about Paparino

  4. I'm definitely with you on the Wally World bath towels. Mine are long gone or used as household rags now, but they started getting holes and discoloring.