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Spending more to save money  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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I hate shopping, I hate shopping more than I hate just about anything else in the whole world, except perhaps eggplant - that stuff is just not edible to me. My parent's taught me not to use the word 'hate' as it's a super-strong and powerful emotion. I HATE shopping!

Recently I read Paul's story about Fred and Gert. Somewhere, someone mentioned that Girt (our permaculture protagonist) buys expensive things, and saves money. This I think is a financial strategy that is sadly neglected.

I'm not rich. My income is well below the poverty line for my country. Even worldwide income, I don't think I make "middle class." I know a bit about saving money. Hating shopping is the first step.

What I do has two parts (and I warn you, if you adopt this strategy, your friends will call you snobbish, elitist, and probably ask you for money, then get upset when you don't give them any, then not be your friend anymore): Want less and buy better.

  • modify my wants

  • This is probably the most difficult thing of all. There are some things we just don't want to live without (my morning cuppa coffee - you don't want me to live without that as I'm a huge grumpaloo). But other things are pretty easy to live with less. Clothing, accessories, luxuries, cable TV, &c. Chances are if you are having trouble saving money, there is something you can cut back on. Transform your leisure (consumer) time into a productive (producer) time of day and make items you can use and/or sell.

    Doing this, I find I spend less and less. For example, instead of wanting to eat out, I want to eat what I grow. In the city, I had a tiny allotment which cost me $50 a year and saved me $100 a week on food bills. Now I have access to land, I need even less to eat gormet.

  • buy better

  • When I do cave in and buy something, I think about it long and hard. I don't do debt, so I have to save my money for a purchase, this gives me time to research and think about what I'm getting. When I do buy something, I do so with the intent that it will last a long time. The longer it lasts, the longer until I have to go shopping.

    For example, I use a fountain pen: The pen costs $50 to buy new, price for ink so far about $10, I expect to spend about $40 more on it for the rest of the pen's life... which consequently I expect to exceed my own. The usual alternative is a ballpoint pen. I would need to buy at least 12 a year for the amount of writing I do, at... let's pull a number out of the air because I haven't bought one in decades, let's say one dollar. That's $12 a year, plus price and time to buy it. So, let's say $15 a year. $150 every 10 years... which is already $50 more than the total life cost of my fountain pen.

    Another example: I like sandals. Every day it dosen't rain, and sometimes when it does, I wear sandals. My sandals were looking a bit grubby lately. I clean them, but still, you can tell they are getting old. The goal was to buy the same type of sandal for wearing in town and retire these old ones to farm use. Nearly $200 later, I have new sandals. However, when I showed the old ones to the guy, he said they hadn't sold them in over 12 years. Has it really been that long with these? Yes, at least that, probably longer. I don't remember how much I paied for the original ones, so we take the replacement cost: $200. 12 years divided by price, equals ... um... math brain won't work, but about $16 a year.

    My friend buys new sandals every 6 months. That's how long they last her. New sandals at the shop she goes to cost $25. She's not fashion conscious, so she's not trying to keep up with the style. Her sandals were out, she gets new ones. That's $50 a year, that's $600 over 12 years.

    $600 is more than $200. However, my friend won't buy long lasting sandals because they are too expensive. My friend makes almost five times as much income as me and is in debt.

    That may not seem like a lot of money, but think about it. $30 more a year on sandals, about $100 more a year on shoes, $100 more a week on groceries... it all adds up.


    So there you have it. My style of frugality: Hate shopping, tranform consumption into production, spend more.


    It works for me, but I'm wierd. It probably won't work for anyone else. ... then again, this whole 'buy for life' movement I keep seeing is very much my style.
     
    wayne fajkus
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    If you have the discipline to hold onto the pen. I get cheap pens cause I know I'll lose it
     
    Todd Parr
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    wayne fajkus wrote:If you have the discipline to hold onto the pen. I get cheap pens cause I know I'll lose it


    Same with sunglasses
     
    Todd Parr
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    R Ranson wrote:


    Good post.
     
    r ranson
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    I use pencils if I'm away from the writing desk, but I inherited rather a large collection of stubby pencils that someone had "creatively acquired". I go through one about every 15 months.

    I think part of the key to making this work is that I have very little so I treat the things I do have with care. If I loose my pen, I can't afford to go out and buy another one. $1 for a cheap pen, that's more than I spend on one meal. Save up for a new good pen...on my income... you don't want to know how long that would take. Losing my pen is not an option.
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    Dillon Nichols
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    Great post.

    This is a subject I spend a lot of time thinking about, generally when I have decided I want/need an XYZ, and must decide which brand/model of XYZ to buy...

    The lovely thing about your phrasing is that 'spending more' doesn't have to be money; it might instead be time. The patience to wait for a good deal or to find an item used for a steal, or the forethought to buy something very cheaply a year before you need it, vs the immediate purchase at full sticker price.


    I much prefer to buy the $200 sandals, and have them last 12 years. I think knowing that they cost $200 helps with a careful mindset, vs something cheap/'disposable'.

    It doesn't always work out the same way, though, so it's an interesting game to get the best value for a given niche. In my experience a carefully chosen $30 flashlight is at least 95% as good as a $150 one, but a $20 knife is never going to be a hair on a $75 one...

    Thank FSM for the internet, doing this mall-crawl style would kill me. Hate is not a strong enough word for how I feel about shopping. I abhor, despise, detest, loath it. I once dated a girl who was a shopping genius; I would describe my ideal article of clothing, and at some random later date she would direct me to a store where exactly the item I desired could be found. Wasn't her very best attribute, but it's certainly proved the hardest to find anyone else with this mystical power!
     
    Rachel Dee
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    I'm a fan of this method. I've never had much money to spend, so the money I do spend is well spent.

    Where we're living right now, there are no used clothing ctores. I usually buy all of our clothing there, but it's just not an option for us here. The only option available is to go to a fast-fashion clothing store and buy some cheap shirts for cheap prices. I did this once, last year, because my huge pregnant belly would not fit into any of my other shirts. The 4-5 shirts might have cost me $20, but they're all done-done-done now. Useless as rags since they weren't cotton. What a waste.

    When going to the used clothing store, I go for the higher quality items. While on a trip, I had found a winter coat for $50 in some sally-ann kinda store, and I decided to buy it. I've seen these coats at specialty mountain-equipment style stores costing $600+, so the $50 seemed worth it. I never had a complaint about it. Much of my pregnant winter (in -40 temperatures for a couple weeks), I would just put it on top of my inside shirt, no sweater, or else I'd be way too warm.

    Now, I'm looking into getting lifetime-guarantees objects that I know I'll be using.

    I found clothes pins with this guarantee- $20 for 10. Anything happens to it, you get a free replacement for life. I'll probably have to buy 50 of them. I'm looking at $100 of clothes pins, but this is for a lifetime of a sound-quality, no problem, can-hold-my-wet-wool-blankets-up-by-the-edge kind of clothes pins.

    I also found lifetime guarantee socks. I must throw out 5-6 pairs of them a year because of holes. This company sells these at around $30 a pair. Anything happens to them, they stretch out too much, you get a replacement. Normally, we buy used military-surplus wool socks at $3-$5 a pair. I throw out $25-$30 worth of socks every year this way.

    Other high quality items I'm always looking out for - Wool pants (my partner always manages to make holes in the knees within a year), non-electric kitchen appliances, general clothing, underwear (both panties and wool long underwear), furniture.

    I'm not on my personal computer, but I have a list of companies that offer these lifetime guarantees on everyday objects that I know we'll use. I would like to replace every cheap item that we have in our household with one of these high-quality ones.

    Another thing that we do - cloth diapers. $500-600 for a full set for a kid for 2 years. Disposable is $2000 through those same years, but at $25 per pack at a time. One diaper is $25 when using cloth. We got lucky and were given 3 sets, so I didn't have to buy anything new for my first kid. With this new baby, I'm starting to buy one at a time, even though I'm just 4 months pregnant.

    Most of the time, it's just so friggen hard finding something that is truly quality. Marketing and consumer-based economy confuses the hell out of me - I've seen way too many high-priced low-quality items to trust in the price (washers, big-store furniture, fridges). These break down in less than 10 years, yet would make a huge dent in my wallet!
     
    Dan Boone
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    I first came to understand the concept of spending more to save money when I read the "Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness", which appears in one of the Discworld novels (Men at Arms) by the late lamented Terry Pratchett:

    The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

    Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

    But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

    This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Rachel Dee wrote:
    I found clothes pins with this guarantee- $20 for 10. Anything happens to it, you get a free replacement for life. I'll probably have to buy 50 of them. I'm looking at $100 of clothes pins, but this is for a lifetime of a sound-quality, no problem, can-hold-my-wet-wool-blankets-up-by-the-edge kind of clothes pins.

    I also found lifetime guarantee socks. I must throw out 5-6 pairs of them a year because of holes. This company sells these at around $30 a pair. Anything happens to them, they stretch out too much, you get a replacement. Normally, we buy used military-surplus wool socks at $3-$5 a pair. I throw out $25-$30 worth of socks every year this way.


    I found these socks and (I think) clothespins, too. The clothespins are on my birthday list and baby registry, in hopes that someone else will by them for me. But, the Darn Tough socks I bought are AMAZING! I, too, was burning through socks. I would get socks at Grocery Outlet and they'd have holes in a month (or less). I got Costco's wool socks, and they had holes in 3 months. I would try darning them, and they would just make new holes around the darns, and so I gave up darning them. I got Darn Tough socks almost a year ago, and none of them have any holes or thin spots, and I haven't even needed to return any of them! I cannot speak too highly of these socks. Also, it pays to check Amazon for these socks periodically. I got my son two pairs of Darn Tough socks at $7/pair, and paid the same amount for about seven pairs of socks for me. I haven't seen such a deal on Amazon since, and I wish I'd bought more socks for my son as they fit so well. But, I keep checking back in hopes that the prices will drop again!

    On the topic of shoes and boots, it really pays to also check reviews on the shoes and remember what type of shoe they are. My husband went to our local Work & More store to buy work shoes. He ended up paying, I think, $150 for a pair of Merrel shoes...that wore out in less than a year because they were for running and were not waterproof and pretty much rotted. I guess people expect to buy a new pair of quality running shoes every few months (boggles my mind!). It really pays to think about what the purpose of the work shoe is, because it's price does not necessarily mean that it will last a long time or work well in your scenario!
     
    r ranson
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    Those socks sound great!

    If you have any links for these buy-for-life products, please share them. There are a few things I need to get soon, that I would really love not to have to get again (socks for example). If you find a good product, please share.
     
    Kyrt Ryder
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    R Ranson wrote:Those socks sound great!

    If you have any links for these buy-for-life products, please share them.

    Based on Nicole's post, this site seems to be the homesite for the for-life socks in question, though she found her best deal through an amazon sale.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Kyrt Ryder wrote:
    R Ranson wrote:Those socks sound great!

    If you have any links for these buy-for-life products, please share them.

    Based on Nicole's post, this site seems to be the homesite for the for-life socks in question, though she found her best deal through an amazon sale.


    Yes it is! Thank you! I'll see if I can edit my original post to put the hyperlink in there, too. (And, here are some other sites I check for clearance Darn Tough Socks: Backcountry and Socks Addict)

    And, I think these are the lifetime guarantee clothespins that Rachel is talking about: Extreme Clothespins via Amazon. I got a set of them for Christmas, and they seem very durable and wonderful. They come in different colors, too, and the stainless steel ones are $22/20 clothespins. They really pin clothes to the line!

     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:

    And, I think these are the lifetime guarantee clothespins that Rachel is talking about: Extreme Clothespins via Amazon. I got a set of them for Christmas, and they seem very durable and wonderful. They come in different colors, too, and the stainless steel ones are $22/20 clothespins. They really pin clothes to the line!



    THESE ARE THE COOLEST THINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN

    My husband is always giving me grief for not putting away the clothespins (because laziness, and ain't nobody got time for that) - maybe with these I can stop getting lectures.

    We cloth diaper, so I'd need like 100 of them to keep up, but heck, if it's the only time I have to buy them...
     
    Liz Gattry
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    Is there a thread for items/stores/manufacturers like these already? I think it would be a good resource to share. I would really love to learn from other people's experiences regarding this. For instance my clothes iron just broke and I don't trust the reviews online for new ones as they don't talk as much about durability.
     
    Lorinne Anderson
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    I too hate shopping, loathe malls, and hate paying full price.

    Amazon has become my new best friend, and by paying for the "Prime" membership 95% of stuff is shipped free (including returns) and most items arrive in just a couple of days to door of our rural acreage by UPS, or, if sent CanPost items small enough to fit in mailbox are retrieved there, some dropped at the door, some to be fetched from post office.

    Three tricks I've learned to maximize savings from Amazon: 1) place items of interest on my wishlist - its easy to monitor for price decreases. 2) always check first in the "warehouse" store where items are returned goods and often sell at 50-75% cheaper with the same guarantees. 3) Amazon sales are shortlived, and often, limit the total number of items available at the discounted price - shipping is free for most things so I now buy all on offer (usually no more than 5), if I don't like it, or it is lousy quality, I return it for free. Nothing drove me crazier than having something arrive, I love it, but go to order more and they have doubled or tripled in price - soooo frustrating! I am in Canada, so prices are higher here, but I just bought 70 gallon Rubbermaid Stock Tanks (watering troughs for livestock) for $116.00 (reg $200-$400) each, and the 50 gallon one for $96.00 delivered to my door! I will not be using them to water livestock - I may use them for my fish, or as raised beds, or rainwater storage, a whelping bed, or temporary caging for injured critters...... I could see baby chicks, kept in these, used as cooling spot for dogs, paddling pool for a child, the possibilities are endless and at that price, they were too good to pass up! I did not have to go to the store, shove them in my vehicle, or lug them up my stairs. Free shipping, and two days after ordering they magically appear ON my front porch, gotta love it.
     
    r ranson
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    Liz Gattry wrote:Is there a thread for items/stores/manufacturers like these already? I think it would be a good resource to share. I would really love to learn from other people's experiences regarding this. For instance my clothes iron just broke and I don't trust the reviews online for new ones as they don't talk as much about durability.


    Funny you should ask this...

    Hopefully, I'm not giving too much away saying this, but I think there is something in the works.
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    Rachel Dee
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    I found this -

    List of Lifetime warranties brands

    And the clothespins I was referring to were these : Kevin's Quality Clothespins I really like that they're a small business, making wooden clothespins.

    Also, I was thinking more homestead-like; I much rather invest on buying a few hives (with can be 300-600$) instead of having to buy honey. We use our hives as a medecine cabinet - propolis for anything skin or oral related, apitherapy (bee stings) for my partner's arthritis, wax for anything made with wood, candles, making soaps, and so many more uses. It's also entertainment, educational, wholesome.
     
    Joel Bercardin
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    This topic relates to many areas of homestead or frugal self-reliant life. When you wrote the following, it reminded me of something.
    R Ranson wrote:If I loose my pen, I can't afford to go out and buy another one. $1 for a cheap pen, that's more than I spend on one meal. Save up for a new good pen...on my income... you don't want to know how long that would take. Losing my pen is not an option.

    A while ago I learned about something called a clutch pencil. I bought one to use for carpentry, woodworking, and handyman things. This is the one I got:
    http://www.amazon.com/Art-Alternatives-Pocket-Clutch-Pencil/dp/B000JQSV7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463355910&sr=8-1&keywords=Art+Alternatives+Pocket+Clutch+Pencil
    Okay, it cost eight bucks plus shipping - would have been less if I found one of comparable quality at a local art-supply store. But the cost was money well spent. Sure, you can get those flat carpenter's pencils at a cost of several for a buck. But the pencil I bought is comfortable to hold, makes a nice fat line if you want that, has a build-in sharpener for the lead, and comes with extra leads and a metal carrying case. When carpenter's pencils are down to stubs, almost all carpenter's discard them. Not only do I keep my clutch pencil, but its self-contained sharpener means I don't have to use a sharp chisel or knife to sharpen the lead, as you do with a wooden carpenter's pencil.

    I know from experience that two particulars make the pencil something I won't lose: the cost of it and the carrying case (a recognizable place to put it away). The replacement leads are standard, so when I run out of the originals, I can get more from an art-supply or stationery store.
     
    Deb Rebel
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    Everything is weighing the cost and benefits. Over years I have collected things that will last. My spouse leaves it to me when we need a tool or the like, I will research and look for the quality that will make it perform and last. We've been where the single quarter is precious too. Overall though, with careful choice spending more now can save a lot down the years. Some of my stainless cookware and utensils are a good 20 years old and still going. It 'hurt' when I bought them but they have held up well.

    When living off grid or on fixed income, you do what you have to. Someone mentioned pens... here our county fair in the fall, one vendor (a utility) always hands out flyswatters (oh are they needed here) and some good pens. Others offer pencils. I am not the only one that talks nicely, thanks them well and with sincerity, and get a reuseable tote, pens, pencils, and some flyswatters. Go a few times during the 5 days and get a tote and a few supplies every time. (they get my business, I am in town and on grid). At the holidays a lot of places give out calendars, pens, pencils, also. If you do go into town, those are two places to help you out in that regard... Pens, I bought two fisher space pens in college, and still have them. You can still get refills for them. They are some of the best ballpoints I have ever used. They will write upside down on a butter wrapper. They stay at my desk (36 years and going strong).

    Your clutch pencil, Joel Russ, is what we called mechanical drafting pencils, I have a whole bunch in my drafting supplies. They take a heavy thick lead and can be sharpened to a really fine point. I ended up buying 0.3mm lead mechanical pencils, one for each lead hardness I used. I took drafting back before computers... I'm not sure if you can buy them at a university or college teaching engineering anymore, they were pretty reasonable there. Or at art supply stores.

    Clothes I had a recent reeducation about... I went from size 22 to 10 in just over three months. I recycle clothes anyways (dumpster, thriftstore, rummage/yard sales) but having to overhaul the wardrobe has been quite a lot of work. Still. There is a thread about mending, and I am well versed in redoing clothing--it's something I normally do in evenings or when I'm ill or have to hide because of weather. I have good sewing machines, that helps, and I spent the money on something that would last there too.
     
    Marco Banks
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    The key, in my view, is to move from a perspective that views frugality as deprivation, to understanding frugality as freedom. The former looks at stuff and feels that if they don't buy it, they will be missing out on something important in life. What will they be missing? Perhaps they'll be seen as more relevant if they wear the latest clothes, drive the latest car, and carry the latest technology. Thus, not having the latest and greatest is felt to be deprived.

    I look at my lack of many of these things, and the debt free life that accompanies it, and I feel freedom. I like nice things. Particularly tools. If I'm going to buy a tool, I expect it to last for life. It should only get better with use. My land is my investment, so purchasing new trees and the equipment I need to tend to the land is a long-term investment. But just accumulating stuff to fill some void within . . . that's not freedom, it's bondage.

    The existential question has to be: am I content? If the answer is no, but I feel that the solution is in the accumulation of more stuff, I will never have enough.

    I agree with the original premise of this thread: it makes far more sense to buy quality stuff that will last for years, rather than continue to outlay money on cheap stuff that constantly needs to be replaced. Yet better still is to not have to buy all kinds of stuff in the first place.
     
    Deb Rebel
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    Marco Banks wrote:The key, in my view, is to move from a perspective that views frugality as deprivation, to understanding frugality as freedom. The former looks at stuff and feels that if they don't buy it, they will be missing out on something important in life. What will they be missing? Perhaps they'll be seen as more relevant if they wear the latest clothes, drive the latest car, and carry the latest technology. Thus, not having the latest and greatest is felt to be deprived.

    I look at my lack of many of these things, and the debt free life that accompanies it, and I feel freedom. I like nice things. Particularly tools. If I'm going to buy a tool, I expect it to last for life. It should only get better with use. My land is my investment, so purchasing new trees and the equipment I need to tend to the land is a long-term investment. But just accumulating stuff to fill some void within . . . that's not freedom, it's bondage.

    The existential question has to be: am I content? If the answer is no, but I feel that the solution is in the accumulation of more stuff, I will never have enough.

    I agree with the original premise of this thread: it makes far more sense to buy quality stuff that will last for years, rather than continue to outlay money on cheap stuff that constantly needs to be replaced. Yet better still is to not have to buy all kinds of stuff in the first place.


    I will say that No Mortgage and No Car Payments are the best in the world. The rest is so much more manageable.
     
    Dale Hodgins
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    I like shopping. I like good quality, expensive things. I don't necessarily like to pay for things.

    Luckily there are yard sales, free piles and thrift stores everywhere. There is only one thrift store that I frequent very often. It tends to sell things for a quarter what they would be at other thrift stores. They almost always have some things that are half of their regular price. I shop only those items. When pants are half price, I only look at the pants. When shirts are half price, I look at the shirts. I average about a $1.50 per item.

    Many of my tools and other belongings come from my jobs. People leave many valuables behind when they move out of houses to be demolished. I sell what I don't want and keep what I do.

    These awesome Rockport shoes cost $3. My German made draw knife cost $5. Probably half of my hand tools were acquired for free. I have 11 bench vises including a couple of the very expenive Record brand. All were free to me. Time for a sale.

    I like having top quality yard and garden tools. Two months ago I decided to buy the best cordless electric lawn mower available. I always go into these things knowing that I don't have to pay for them, my customers do. The new mower pays for itself with every 15 hours of use. It will last for years.
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    frank li
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    Great post and thread! Same here, people freak if i tell them that my shoes cost $300 a pair, i cannot afford to by cheaper shoes and usually have a new pair in the "bank"/shelf. The same for tools and other equipment. Sometimes we do without an item that we need or would like to have, for months or years, before we save up, source well (no slave labor at the least) and make the purchase.

    I cannot state how much the addages, "get what you want the first time laddie, dont buy twice" and "poor men cant afford cheap tools" mean to me and reading this thread is a great confirmation that people are demanding better.

    Socks! When i see people wearing cotton socks, i pitty them even though they are usually much more well off than i, as far as money. We have a treasure trove of wool socks, the best we can afford, and they wear for years.

    So glad everybody here is raising the standards of goods by purchasing only or mainly, Quality. It is important.

    There was a book, The Art Zen And Motorcycle Maintenance. That book has a nice play on "Quality" that has stuck with me. Anybody remember that?!
     
    Amit Enventres
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    Buying quality, buying things that = net gain, repairing, using on-site resources, free stuff. Sounds good to me!

    In the area I live, if you work a 9-5-er you miss basically all the good free stuff/dumpster diving. Even the yard sales are hit and miss.

    The thing that I found good for saving is a deep freeze (aka chest freezer) to store harvests and sale meats in.

    Other good savings:
    Cloth on sale at Jo-Anns.
    Keeping all scrap wood.
    Composting.
    Growing own.
    Saving seeds.
    Sharing and sharing alike with friends.
    Figuring out the businesses that don't advertise their scraps, but drop them in the dumpster.

    As for pens and pencils, I have a theory of saturation. It goes like this: Pens like to wander. It's in their nature. Pencils too. However, they eventually wander back. Therefore, at a certain point of ecosystem saturation, you will always have a pen. Thus, I have gone years without buying pens after initial ecosystem saturation. I think this works with socks and underwear too.



     
    Todd Parr
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    frank li wrote:

    There was a book, The Art Zen And Motorcycle Maintenance. That book has a nice play on "Quality" that has stuck with me. Anybody remember that?!


    "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". One of my all-time favorite books. I pick up something new every time I read it.
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    Randie Piscitello
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:
    Rachel Dee wrote:
    I found clothes pins with this guarantee- $20 for 10. Anything happens to it, you get a free replacement for life. I'll probably have to buy 50 of them. I'm looking at $100 of clothes pins, but this is for a lifetime of a sound-quality, no problem, can-hold-my-wet-wool-blankets-up-by-the-edge kind of clothes pins.

    I also found lifetime guarantee socks. I must throw out 5-6 pairs of them a year because of holes. This company sells these at around $30 a pair. Anything happens to them, they stretch out too much, you get a replacement. Normally, we buy used military-surplus wool socks at $3-$5 a pair. I throw out $25-$30 worth of socks every year this way.


    I found these socks and (I think) clothespins, too. The clothespins are on my birthday list and baby registry, in hopes that someone else will by them for me. But, the Darn Tough socks I bought are AMAZING! I, too, was burning through socks. I would get socks at Grocery Outlet and they'd have holes in a month (or less). I got Costco's wool socks, and they had holes in 3 months. I would try darning them, and they would just make new holes around the darns, and so I gave up darning them. I got Darn Tough socks almost a year ago, and none of them have any holes or thin spots, and I haven't even needed to return any of them! I cannot speak too highly of these socks. Also, it pays to check Amazon for these socks periodically. I got my son two pairs of Darn Tough socks at $7/pair, and paid the same amount for about seven pairs of socks for me. I haven't seen such a deal on Amazon since, and I wish I'd bought more socks for my son as they fit so well. But, I keep checking back in hopes that the prices will drop again!

    On the topic of shoes and boots, it really pays to also check reviews on the shoes and remember what type of shoe they are. My husband went to our local Work & More store to buy work shoes. He ended up paying, I think, $150 for a pair of Merrel shoes...that wore out in less than a year because they were for running and were not waterproof and pretty much rotted. I guess people expect to buy a new pair of quality running shoes every few months (boggles my mind!). It really pays to think about what the purpose of the work shoe is, because it's price does not necessarily mean that it will last a long time or work well in your scenario!


    camelcamelcamel.com keeps track of the price of items you can buy on amazon over the last year. You can put in your item and see how low the price has gone, and then you can put in an email alert if you are trying to get it under a certain price. I've done it with several big ticket items that I can wait a bit on.
     
    Linda Secker
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    My first pair of darn tough socks arrived today cost £10 and another £5 delivery so ...ouch.... but I've got them on and they feel lovely!!!

    I always have cold feet, year round, and increasingly, I find my feet are getting tired and feel bruised on the bottom.

    I'm hoping the wool construction and the padding on the bottom are gonna change my life!!

    So thanks for the suggestion!

    Linda
     
    Deb Rebel
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    Linda Secker wrote:My first pair of darn tough socks arrived today cost £10 and another £5 delivery so ...ouch.... but I've got them on and they feel lovely!!!

    I always have cold feet, year round, and increasingly, I find my feet are getting tired and feel bruised on the bottom.

    I'm hoping the wool construction and the padding on the bottom are gonna change my life!!

    So thanks for the suggestion!

    Linda


    Linda, go have your A1c (blood sugar related) checked. It's a blood test. My first warning of diabetes (type II) was cold feet THEN being tender, sore, fluid retention and bruising easily. Just do it to be safe than sorry.

    Wool socks always keep your feet warm, even when wet, if they are thick/tightly woven, so an excellent choice.
     
    Sunshine McCarthy
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    Todd Parr wrote:
    wayne fajkus wrote:If you have the discipline to hold onto the pen. I get cheap pens cause I know I'll lose it


    Same with sunglasses


    If my husband spends $95 on sunglasses he is very careful with them and they last 3 to 5 years. If he buys $20 ones they last about a month until he looses them. if something is valuable you take care of it, whether the value is monetary or sentimental doesn't mater. As much as I dislike placing great value on items, if you don't value and care for what you have it goes to waist.
     
    Deb Rebel
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    Sunshine McCarthy wrote:If my husband spends $95 on sunglasses he is very careful with them and they last 3 to 5 years. If he buys $20 ones they last about a month until he looses them. if something is valuable you take care of it, whether the value is monetary or sentimental doesn't mater. As much as I dislike placing great value on items, if you don't value and care for what you have it goes to waste.


    Here I buy Z87 rated safety glasses that wrap around and also come in three tints-clear, a light grey tint, and a full blue/grey dark tint. The light greys I started buying several years ago as driving/day glasses as they cut the glare plus as default, they are safety glasses. We have several pair of each kind around here, the clear are used in the shop, and depending on what you're doing, the other two tints are worn. Last fall a merchant had the clear and light tint on very very cheap and I bought 20 pairs of each. They were supposed to be put in storage but spouse managed to get in there and has opened and lost most of them already. (a pair lasts me six to twelve MONTHS before they're too badly scratched up normally). I totally recommend switching to them as an all purpose sunglasses alternative.

    http://www.amazon.com/3M-11330-Anti-Fog-Gray-Frame-Gray-Lens/dp/B0006PJHM6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00 the dark ones, these have always been the most expensive
    http://www.amazon.com/3M-Virtua-Protective-Eyewear-Anti-Fog/dp/B00166OALC?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00 the totally clear
    http://www.amazon.com/3M-11328-Virtua-Safety-Glasses/dp/B0006PJHLM?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00 the light greys, my favorites

    These range between $2.96 and 4.12 right now, and if you have prime do know they're 'add ons'.
     
    David Madrigal Ortega
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    Nice thread (although I arrive late)
    I would say that it's true, you really save money buying quality things and I would add: community living also saves you a lot of money; the more we lend/borrow our tools, cars, clothes, baby stuff, etc, the more we save for us and the environment.
    At least for me, thinking that it's not only me the one who is going to use it makes me far less guilty when I spend some good money in something.
    And it also makes me happy to think that when something is used by some and not just one person I'm fighting consumerism and capitalism in some way... (errr, sorry if I speak against Holy capitalism, I hope nobody feels offended)
    In fact, I really would like if TAV's were proportional to the time the goods are guaranteed and their lifetime: it would make people more sensitive (by force!) of how important is to make good and long lasting products
    Cheers!
    By the way: Hello world! I've been following this for la ong time, but this is my first post, hehe (and sorry language mistakes)
     
    Todd Parr
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    Nicole Alderman wrote: But, the Darn Tough socks I bought are AMAZING!


    Nicole, you're my hero for the day. I love these socks and I might never have heard about them if it wasn't for you and this thread. I paid almost full price for them, but they are worth every penny. I bought 8 pairs in 3 different styles. I don't think I'll ever have to buy socks again
     
    kay Smith
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    Quality matters. We wear wool socks. They hold up better , are healthier for your feet and can withstand the abuse of a7 year old child.
    Almost all of our clothes come from the thrift store. Again, we shop quality and our thrifty finds last. I wear professional clothes m-f. We do however buy new underwear shoes and swimwear.
    The family car has 130k miles on it. My goal is 200k.

    FUN!! people spend so much on food and entertainment. This Saturday we are going to a local watering hole with water so pale turquoise you just wouldn't believe it was in Alabama. Later that day we will be attending an upcycle reclaimed art festival. That night we are listening to the Alabama orchestra play in a park under the stars. Free day except for our family's gas and picnic lunch and dinner.

    We highly value frugality. It's efficient! It makes sense. It facilitates our family being more apart of our community even.
     
    Emily Smith
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    Dan Boone wrote:I first came to understand the concept of spending more to save money when I read the "Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness", which appears in one of the Discworld novels (Men at Arms) by the late lamented Terry Pratchett: 

    The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

    Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

    But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

    This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.


    There's a special spot in my heart for Sam Vimes. 
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    Dan Boone
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    Deb Rebel wrote:Go for stainless everywhere you can on your cooking accessories, even strainers/colanders.


    I actually learned something at a garage sale yesterday.  When I was growing up my mother always had an antique Foley food mill for juicing stuff and making applesauce:



    The one she had, and every other one I ever saw, was an antique, with a dark color and patina like an old galvanized garden bucket, with a few rusty spots.  They are still manufactured, and modern ones on Amazon are stainless steel as Deb recommends.  Awhile back I picked one up at a garage sale for a dollar that looked just like my mother's: dingy and dark colored with rusty stains.  Imagine my surprise when I found another one at a garage sale last month -- also for a dollar -- that was completely and thickly plated with bright shiney nickel, as high quality kitchen implements used to be, before stainless steel caught on.  I now imagine that the old dingy ones probably were nickel-plated also, but the plating mostly wore away during decades of hard use.  Anyway, I'm pleased to have the bright beautiful nickel one, and would not swap it for stainless steel if offered.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Speaking of Amazon, the  Instant Pot Pressure Cookeris only $69.99 today (almost $50 off).

    This thing is awesome. I've had the older model for over 2 years, and it's still working great. It slow cooks, pressure cooks (quick & easy bone broth, here I come!), makes yogurt (mine doesn't but the newer ones do), steams, makes stew, cooks rice. It's also stainless steel (unlike most pressure cookers/slow cookers, which are coated with teflon or made of ceramic of unknown origins).

    It's also great because it doesn't require the user to know anything about pressure cooking or PSI, etc. I throw my food in there, push the closest related button (soup, rice, beans, chicken, etc). It then shows me a recommended cooking time, which I can change (and usually don't, and it's usually works great) and then starts pressurizing. It's really easy, energy and heat efficient, and is one machine to do many jobs. I love mine!



     
    Destiny Hagest
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    I've been so close to buying one of these stainless steel manual food mills so many times, but really what I need is a stainless steel manual food processor.

    I have this plastic one right now, and while it kinda sorta does the job, such a high impact tool being made out of plastic is just, well, kinda fuckin' stupid. The plastic notches that are supposed to hold the container in place while you crank broke long ago, so I have to hold everything together while I crank - wildly annoying.

    Somebody needs to start a Kickstarter for a stainless steel and glass manual food processor, I would be all over that.

    Food processors are so freaking handy, but they are energy sucking loud monstrosities, and I just can't bring myself to buy one.
     
    Casie Becker
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    I keep staring at the Darn Tough socks. I have a tendency to buy socks when they go on clearance. Honestly it's close enough to an addiction that I've had to ban myself from buying any  more new socks until I start wearing out the overflowing medium/large laundry hamper full of matched socks. Luckily my nieces are just reaching my foot size, so maybe some day I'll be allowed to buy more socks.

    We're working now on training the girls to think it's worth spending the money and then taking care of a quality item. I buy fairly expensive, good quality backpacks for the girls and each year I don't have to replace their backpack they are allowed free range to pick whatever school shoe they want. We started this early in elementary and explained that the reason we could afford to not put a spending limit on the shoes, was that we didn't have to spend money on a backpack. With the price of good shoes, I'm not actually saving any money, but this is the first year in which I've had to replace a back pack. Incidentally, we've not had a pair of shoes fall apart since this started either.

    Pyper's going to get a different lesson in buying quality this year. She fell in love with a backpack because it had a cheap pair of headphones included, and so spend some of her summer job funds on buying it for herself. The headphones have already broken. She's gonna get to see the cheap products break while we still have the several year old backpack on hand to replace it. And since she upheld the letter of the agreement (we didn't have to spend money on a new backpack) she still gets to go shoe shopping today.
     
    Joel Bercardin
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    C. Letellier wrote:Now the tools discussion I fall middle of the road.  There is a place  high quality tools and there is a place for cheap tools that are "good enough"  At times having the right tool for the job or having the tool close at hand for the job is more important than quality.  I have a few tools that are handed down from a great grandfather that are still in use.  By the year that tool didn't cost much.  There are places for the best tools you can afford to buy.  But there is also a place for seed tools.  A cheap hammer is still mostly a hammer.  Every vehicle and tractor should have one.  They will get lost and stolen so you don't want much in them.  Even with the occasional handle failure of cheaper tools having them at hand always has a time saving value.  Cheap tools cost you time and money at times.

    When it comes to tools, there's sometimes another option besides "good" new, "good" from yard sales, or "cheap/poor-quality".  And I should add that for many tools, I like professional grade, not weekend handyman grade.  There are many outlets across the North American map for reconditioned tools.  These days, as somewhat different from the past, reconditioned tools very often are offered by outlets within the system or the orbit of the manufacturing company - e.g., Bosch has a system (perhaps via contracted technicians?) for reconditioning Bosch tools, DeWalt for reconditioning DeWalt, etc, etc.

    To illustrate, here's what I turned up (a sort of overview or 'directory') with a simple Google search: https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=reconditioned+tools+outlets

    These companies will stand behind the reconditioned tool - unlike the terms under which one is usually buying at a yard sale.
     
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