I’ve started to realize that, while I love couponing and getting really inexpensive or free items, there are certain things for which quality matters more to me than price. I’m still going to seek out deals and ways to save on them, but I’ll be more concerned about the price I pay relative to its real value than the amount I pay out of pocket.

Here’s an example: on Saturday, I went thrifting like crazy. A. was out of town for MSU’s homecoming (I had to stay in town for a work event on Friday, which was fun and went really well), so I decided to take a girl day. I headed over to the west side of town to check out two thrift stores I don’t get to much because they’re a bit farther away. I was looking specifically for jeans. I didn’t find any at either place (though I did, of course, find some other things, including 2 cardigans, hah), so I headed east to Decatur to check out a second Salvation Army and a consignment shop I had known of but hadn’t visited yet. The consignment store was AWESOME. I ended up getting two pairs of jeans there for about $28. It was definitely more than I would have paid at a thrift store, but they’re both in pretty pristine condition. I looked them up on their respective stores’ websites, and each pair is worth over $50. SO, getting both for less than one pair new would be is still quite a bargain, and I would rather have those high quality jeans than jeans I could get new for less.

I feel the same way about haircuts. I have an arbitrarily chosen amount I like to spend, so I’ve started getting creative to hit that amount while still being able to visit higher end salons. I’ve taken advantage of Scoutmob twice here in Atlanta by finding salons nearby that are offering 50% off with the app, and I recently bought a Living Social certificate for $25 that provides me $50 worth of services at a third local salon. (That’s about how much a haircut costs there.) I’d rather do this and get the pampering experience of a ritzy salon than go to a cheaper barbershop or mall salon where I might not have as good treatment, even though it means that I salon hop and don’t get to build a relationship with any single stylist. (I’ve also experimented with the cosmetology school route and chosen to forego it.) Again, it’s more about the quality and value that I’m getting relative to what I pay out of pocket rather than the specific amount.

This is definitely a personal decision, and it’s taken me awhile to solidify it for myself. On some things I’m all about rock bottom lowest price, but not on everything. I don’t even know what what all of those things might be, but I do know haircuts and jeans are two of them! I feel like this is where the line between “frugal” and “cheap” starts to show. It is not less expensive in the long-run to buy low-quality products just because they’re cheap, because if they wear out more quickly you’ll have to spend more sooner to replace them. My two new pairs of jeans will replace pairs I have had since early college or maybe even high school. Those jeans have had good, long lives. :-)

Do you have certain things for which quality and value matter more than price?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman