Sense & Centsibility Blog

When Being Cheap Can Cost You

It's a great feeling to get a good deal when you're shopping. And there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of coupons or sales; however, buying something cheap is way different than buying a quality product for a cheaper than normal price. Below are 5 times when it's better to spend a little more on quality instead of buying cheaper versions.


Unfortunately, our oven and other appliances don't last forever. When looking for a replacement, be sure to look at reviews and compare brands. If you buy the cheapest possible refrigerator, it may break down faster, forcing you to shell out money for costly repairs or even a replacement. With that said, you don't need to buy the fridge (or any other appliance) with all the bells and whistles. Just try to find a brand with high ratings and one with a good warranty if you can.

Winter Coats

In northern Minnesota, we have days where it's so cold you don't want to leave your house. But most of us have to. A smart investment is a nice, warm winter coat. Shop around for the best prices and deals, while making sure your coat of choice will keep you warm and will last. I have a couple winter coats that have lasted me years because they're durable and well-made.


I've learned the hard way that buying cheap shoes is a waste of money. While $20 sure was a steal for a cute pair of heels, they weren't that comfortable and after wearing them just a few times, they were already looking rough. On the other hand, I purchased a high quality pair of walking shoes and they have lasted me at least a couple years so far. Also, check into shoe inserts and powders/sprays to help your good shoes last even longer. (The exception to this is if you are buying for growing children, then cheaper and low quality probably doesn't matter.)


I think we've all had a futon or other type of cheap and uncomfortable piece of furniture that is really only good for dorm rooms. While you don't necessarily need the best leather sofa money can buy, look for furniture made with high quality materials. If you're worried about the kids or pets ruining a nice sofa or chair, find a cover for it. Even if it gets spilled on, durable furniture will help you avoid paying for regular replacements. Think about your bed and how much time you spend sleeping (or trying to sleep). A nice bed is more conducive to a better night's sleep.

Pots and Pans

If you've used cheaper cookware before, you know that clean up can be a pain and the pots can scratch pretty easily. You don't need to buy a massive set of cookware; determine your needs and what you cook or bake with the most. Then, find well-made and durable versions of only what you use regularly. Be sure to check online and/or in department stores for sales and to compare pricing on those quality items, too.

Find well-made, durable items that will last you a long time and help you avoid costly repairs and replacements.

Author Elaina Johannessen is Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.