Wednesday, September 2, 2009

6 Things That Are Worth The Extra Money

Before I forget (yet again), happy belated 40th birthday to friend Stephanie! Girl, you are gorgeous...and I have loved having you in my life. (Not to mention singing next to you!) Take a look at Stephanie's blog, Life on Prescott Avenue.

And here's a very nice lunch bag pattern , if you've thought about making one. (Thanks, Almost Frugal, for pointing me in the right direction.)

In all the haste to ride the Frugal hamster wheel, it's easy to forget that some things are worth spending extra for. Here, for equality's sake, are six I can think of:

*Aerosol whipped cream. The tubs of whipped topping are cheaper -- but they taste 'like dung,' as Crocodile Dundee would say. And we never seem to finish them up before they spoil. I'll take a squirt of spray whipped cream any day. It lasts for months in the can use as little or much as you want...and it tastes great. (Now if I could only get Daughter #2 to quit squirting it directly into her mouth...)

*Appliances, vehicles, furniture, etc. you're going to use practically daily. This is a lesson the Brick has finally taught me, over years of trying. Pay a little more for a good brand...or workmanship...or quality. A cheapo Walmart grill will last a season; a Weber or Jenn-Air grill, a decade or so. A leather couch that's well made will take any amount of kid-jumping-on, and still look good when they're teenagers. Buy quality-made stuff secondhand, if you can't afford it new. In the long run, you still come out way ahead.

*Good jewelry. Instead of five pairs of costume jewelry, buy one classic pair of gold hoops. They look better and last longer. I remind myself of this every time I look at my gold wedding band, which has lasted 28 years, and is still going strong.

*Good quilts. Instead of five 'sort of good' quilt tops on sale, spend the extra for one Really Good quilt. Its value will hold far longer than the sale stuff you've just grabbed. (Yes, I've learned this the hard way.) The $400 quilt -- at a time when that amount represented far more than it sounds -- has octupled in value, while the $25 stained quilt top is still worth...well, $25.

*Thrift shop clothes -- within certain limits. I would much rather spend a little more at the thrift shop on a classic wool sweater, than spend less on that season's quickie version at a department store. Why? Because when winter ends, the classic piece is ready to store for next season -- while the quickie is shapeless and pilling. Look for good labels (L.L. Bean, for example), good workmanship, good condition. If it's worn well for them (the donor), it will keep doing it for you.

*Museum admission, a last-minute tour...when you're at the destination you've always dreamed of visiting. Don't talk yourself out of stopping at that little cafe, or taking even a quickie visit to the local museum or cathedral or WHATEVER, on the grounds it's extra money, or time, or effort. Do it. You may never go there again...and the extra you spend will be nothing in the overall scheme of things.
I will never regret the long, hot walk we took for a brief look at one of the ceremonial wells at Chichen Itza. Our schedule was limited, it would have been more fun to drink lemonade at the restaurant, and at the time, I wanted to do anything but trudge down yet another dusty trail. I'd read about maidens being sacrificed to the greenish depths back in elementary school...looking at that spooky place was like becoming a child again.

Now it's your turn. What things do you believe are worth extra?


ladybug43 said...

On museums: I drug my kids kicking and screaming into museums when they were little. Now they're not only appreciative, but I think a little proud that they saw the King Tut exhibit (8 hours in line) and a real mummy in the Boston museum.

I was in Indianapolis for a Sweet Adeline convention, and found online that they had a quilt exhibition of Japanese quilts. I have never seen such exquisite work: tiny piecing, tiny quilted stitches an inch apart. I will NEVER do that kind of work, but it was great to see it.

My mother, in a poor household, saw every free museum possible in Colorado on their vacations every summer. Her dad was one of these who read each plaque thoroughly and became a source of of impatience for his wife and three daughters, now a story told with pride and affection. They ARE truly a value. Thanks for turning me loose on that one.

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Right now I can't think of a thing although I heartily agree with your thrift store classics! Everything I can think of right now is free: a sunrise, a sunset, the smell of fresh mowed grass...

Sue Cahill said...

baked goods from a real bakery, just can't find supermarket stuff that comes close. Here there are many italian bakeries whose bread are to die for.

Sue Cahill (sbonetsue at yahoo dot com)

Melisa @ Sweet Home said...

I agree about the whipped cream, and I am as guilty as your DD about squirting it directly into my mouth. Good thing no one else in the family likes it!

My worth it purchase is also food-related -- REAL market-sliced bacon! Around here it is about $6 a pound, but there is just no comparison in taste and texture!

Melisa @ Sweet Home said...

I just thought of the obvious (I am a quilt shop owner, after all!): quilt-shop quality fabric! Makes all the difference in the quality of the finished product!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Good and well-fitting shoes!!!

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