The following is a blog swap post from Joe at Retire By 40, where he writes about his journey to early retirement and other fun stuff along the way. Check out my post I Don’t Mind Paying Full Price For Experiences at his site today!
What are things you never go cheap on and why? This is a pretty tough question for me. The crux of the question is the definition of cheap. If cheap means paying less than full price, then I go cheap on pretty much every product I purchase.
We buy generic brand groceries because it’s cheaper and the quality is the same. The only thing I buy at full price is Colgate because I don’t like the taste of the cheaper brands. Oh, I buy microbrew beer but I only buy a six pack/month so it’s really negligible. Other than those, we pretty much don’t care about branding. The same story goes for clothes, furniture, electronic, and other consumer products. I always try to buy these things on sale and avoid paying full price.
The next thing I thought about was baby products. We just had a baby this year and we probably didn’t go cheap on him … or did we? Actually, I think we are being cheap here too. Most of his clothes are gifts or 2nd hand. His crib and stroller are used. He drinks Kirkland brand formula instead of Enfamil. Although, if I find out Kirkland formula is inferior in any way shape or form, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for Enfamil.
There must be something we are willing to pay full price for. After a few more hours of going over the bills in my head, it hit me. We are not willing to compromise on safety and health related expenses. Sure, I buy generic drugs instead of brand names, but I wouldn’t skip my prescription. We consider health insurance a necessity and would never risk going without. If the doctor recommends a procedure, we would not hesitate to go and get it over with.
We also just purchased a new car seat for baby RB40. We could have stayed with his 2nd hand infant car seat for another 6 months before he grows out of it, but the expiration date is coming up in December. I hadn’t known there was such a thing when I purchased it last year. Now that I know car seats do not perform as safely after the expiration date because the plastic wears down, I will always buy new or very recently used. A real cheapskate (my dad), would ignore the expiration date and keep using it.
Do I consider myself cheap? Yes, I do because I avoid paying full price as much as I can. I put off purchases until I find a sale and often I lose the desire to own that particular thing. However, health and safety come first and I am willing to pay for them.