5 Items Worth the Extra Money

The following is a guest post from Kyle James at Rather Be Shopping. If you are interested in guest posting at Club Thrifty, please see our guest posting guidelines.


5 Items Worth the Extra MoneySome items in life are just worth the extra cost. I didn’t always have this attitude and was typically willing to exchange quality for a lower price. But as I have gotten older and had kids of my own, my views, while still frugal by nature, have changed to a more balanced approach when it comes to quality vs. price. Here are five glaring examples that come to mind.


Items Worth the Extra Money

As a guy who loves to tinker in the garage, fixing bicycles and doing small home repair, I love my tools. But over the years I have learned to not skimp when it comes to buying hand tools and power tools. Afterall, they don’t call me “Stump” for nothing. But seriously, as someone who would always buy the cheapest tool available, I can honestly say that I would spend the same amount of time getting the tool to work correctly as I did in actually using it productively. Tools that come to mind include skill saws, cordless drivers, and pressure washers. When it comes to shopping for tools, I say spend the extra money to do it right.


Child/Baby Car Seat
When my wife and I had our first child over 10 years ago we naturally went out and bought a baby car seat. We were on a shoestring budget and opted for a cheap brand. I still have nightmares of me trying to fit that thing correctly into the back seat of our car. I couldn’t get it to fit tightly, and then when I did it get it tight, it was so crooked I thought our kid might actually fall out of it. I finally threw up the white flag and bought a Britax brand car seat. It was over twice the price, received an excellent score from Consumer Reports, and was the best $250 we ever spent. It fit perfectly on the first attempt and eventually kept all three of our children safe and comfortable.


Small Household Appliances
My wife and I received a kitchen mixer as a Christmas gift a few years ago from my parents. It was an off-brand that I was not aware of, but we were excited none-the-less to get our bake on. The thing lasted about 6 uses before the motor blew on it. I realize that generics and off-brands are not all bad and often provide great value, but when it comes to small household appliances, I will gladly pay extra for a name brand with solid user reviews. We ended up returning the mixer and paid the extra money to upgrade to a KitchenAid mixer which is still running strong 5 years later.


Shoes, Any Shoes
Whenever I have skimped on a pair of footwear I have regretted it. Not only do they not last as long as I think they should, but the comfort level is horrible. I know a cheap pair of shoes not by what they look like on the outside (I could care less), but how they feel on my feet after wearing them for a few hours. I don’t go all “Queen of Versailles” and spend $17,000 on a pair of boots, but I do spend a little extra money to buy a quality pair.


A Good Mattress
You’re going to spend a third of your life on it so don’t go cheap. Your back, muscles, and long-term health will thank you. I’m not suggesting you have to opt for a $3,000 sleep number bed, but at the very least don’t buy a bed just because it’s a great deal. Being frugal is great, but I have had friends who have bought a mattress at Costco and have regretted it terribly. Luckily Costco has a great return policy. Do your own research and go to a mattress store that has employees who can guide you through your options and let you lay on them for as long as your heart desires. Make sure to bring your pillow. Also, make sure they have a good return policy (at least 30 days) in case you’re not completely satisfied.


My philosophy these days is to research items thoroughly before making a buying decision to make sure I am getting the quality I am comfortable with at a price I can afford. After all, there is no sense buying lesser quality if it means you are going to incur replacement costs in a few months. I’d rather spend a little more upfront and avoid the headache.


What “stuff” in your life has ended up causing you the most frustration because you opted for price over quality?



Kyle James owns and operates a website called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which specializes in online coupons and coupon alerts to over 800 retailers. He also has a blog, where he writes about frugal living, creative ways to save money, and the adventures of raising three active kids.




  1. says

    I agree pretty strongly regarding tools and shoes. Once I decided to stop buying cheap shoes, I was amazed at how much longer the more expensive ones lasted.

    You don’t need to buy an expensive mattress. Almost all mattresses have springs made by the same company – Leggett and Platt. I did some extensive mattress research a while ago and the overall conclusion was that most mattresses are pretty much the same.

    • says

      The great thing about shoes is you can find quality brands at discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx and save a ton.

      Having slept with a cheaper mattress for years I would have to disagree, so would my back! We now have a Temperpedic and I have slept like a baby for 3 years with no more sore back in the mornings.

  2. says

    I can completely agree with all of these! Now that I’ve been married a while and had a house for some time, I can tell you: When you buy “the cheapest” item out there, you’ll be replacing it within a year or two (especially on the appliances!) Always check the user reviews and go with a reputable, dependable brand – don’t base it solely on price.

  3. says

    It sounds like you’ve learned good lessons. You can certainly go the cheap route in every instance, but there are almost always other costs associated (at least with some items).

  4. says

    Completely agree Kyle! I’d much rather spend to have quality that’ll last us much longer than something that is much cheaper. Those car seats can be expensive, we’ve bought a few of them ourselves, but it’s well worth the cost to get something safe as well as good.

  5. says

    Good post.. I agree with all the points (especially matress – we bought a memory foam one and it is incredible) except the shoes. Sometimes, more money does not mean better quality / longer life. I have had a couple of cheap pairs of shoes that have lasted longer and that are more comfy than pairs 3 times their price!

  6. says

    A sleep number bed would be incredible! Unfortunately, I don’t see that in my near future 😉 I do agree that spending more for a good mattress can definitely be worth the investment, though I did sleep on a twin bed for almost my entire life, until I got married : )

  7. says

    Especially agree on the mattress. Sleep is SO important. For me it’s been random household things like a bathroom scale, or a cheap blender. They end up crapping out and then you end up having to buy a new one.

    • says

      The price of a good mattress was hard to justify at first because of the intangibles. My wife and I were sleeping OK on the old one and it seemed like a luxury at the time. But we quickly realized how much better we felt in the mornings and it was totally worth the extra cost.

  8. says

    True that! I especially agree on the shoes, babyseat and kitchen appliances. All of my shoes are good quality shoes that cost some more than cheap ones, but what`s so great about that is that the quality shoes lasts for many years, which means that when I buy some nice quality winter boots one year, I know that I won`t have to buy any new ones for at least 4 years. Which I thinks is very much the cheapest deal in the long run! In my kitchen there`s a Kenwood Major which is now 4 years old, and still runs just as smoothly as it did back then.

  9. says

    Cheap clothing gives me frustration when colors wear off on the first wash. And I spend more money on kitchenware too, to avoid spending half an hour scrubbing a sticky pot or pan it is worth investing in quality non sticky ones.

  10. says

    These are some good ones Kyle. I completely agree with Tools. Since I use my tools when working on my project car, I know the value of a good tool. You can buy the cheap brand any day and you will end up paying more for a better one. I agree with a mattress and shoes as well. Just pony up the cash and you will be happier.

  11. says

    I definitely agree with shoes and a good mattress! Shoes are very important and an uncomfortable ones are worthless. I spend ($3-400) a lot on shoes because I will keep them for years. and they need to be comfortable. I usually find the mattress I like and find a way to buy it for less.

  12. says

    I have very strong color preferences when it comes to buying tools 😉 They pretty much have to be yellow or teal for me to consider them (unless they’re in a more specific genre, like Porter-Cable red for air compressors and such.) Maybe one day I’ll be able to afford light green, even (I wish!!).

  13. says

    One thing I hate doing is spending money twice. I have a thing for buying quality when it’s something that I want to last. If it something that I could care less about I’ll be frugal but otherwise money spent once is better than twice any day of the week.

  14. says

    Agree wholeheartedly, Kyle! Sometimes being “frugal” can backfire. Quality definitely needs to be taken into consideration. As a woman, I was particularly thrilled to see we should spend money on shoes, then saddened to realize I couldn’t spend $17k. I jest, I jest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *