Don’t be frugal with your money, but spend wisely. The only time you need to be frugal is when you’re contemplating buying something you don’t need or won’t ever use. Instead of finding ways to pinch pennies, focus on ways to earn more pennies. Don’t overspend or live beyond your means. Debt leads to stress, worry, and unhappiness. Spend wisely and treat yourself to nice things that last longer, smell better, and/or look and taste better.
Don’t skimp just to save a few bucks. The money you save today will come back to haunt you. What do I mean? Cheap products are usually made with the lowest quality parts. That being said, they break easily or wear out quickly. You’ll be stuck replacing that item over and over until you finally upgrade and spend more money.
Value is the monetary worth when speaking of money. Price tags aren’t always reflective of an item’s true value. High prices don’t always equate to being the best. Some products or brands have high prices just because they’re greedy. Other products have high prices to be perceived as being great.
How do you determine value? Market comparison. Amazon is a great way to determine value because it allows you to perform deep research on just about everything. Let’s take mouthwash as an example.
I usually tend to shop known brands but Amazon usually has its own line of basic products and some unknown brands tend to be good. If I do a search for mouthwash, I get results based on Amazon’s sorting system. That’s fine. They usually place some of the best options on the first page. The very top row is sponsored which means companies pay for that slot so don’t give them priority consideration. They usually show up within the regular results anyway.
The results for mouthwash include single bottles and multiple packs of 2 or more. You may only need one bottle but don’t ignore the rest and I’ll explain why in a minute.
Decide what’s important to you when it comes to mouthwash. Do you have a preference for a particular color or a particular benefit such as cavity protection, whitening, enamel protection, etc.? You can actually filter your results if you have one of these preferences by using the checkboxes under Mouthwash Product Benefits. I’m not going to have a preference for this demonstration. I’ll keep it simple.
If I look at the single bottles, I see price ranges around $2.67-$14.95. The Amazon brand is $2.67 for a mint antiseptic mouthwash. A brand called Oxyfresh sells a lemon mint oral rinse for $14.95. Various other brands like Colgate and Listerine are somewhere in between. If you don’t have a brand preference, check the ratings.
If you shop by multiples, you’ll probably save more money by buying bigger quantities. Use the same system when comparing prices for the same sizes and number of bottles. Don’t buy more expecting to save, do the math and make sure. If companies think they can fool you, they’ll try every time.
Browse By Ratings
Oxybrand has ratings around 4.6 with 3,000+ ratings. Amazon has a rating of 4.5 with 2,500+ ratings. Amazon’s Choice is worth considering as well. They recommend Crest Pro-Health with a rating of 4.7 and 8,700+ ratings for $6.97. When it comes to ratings, Listerine Total Care is a 4.8 with 60,000+ ratings for $7.49. I scroll through the first page only since I’m not looking for anything specific. I’ll make a decision between Amazon because of its price and Listerine and Crest based on the number of ratings.
Read the Reviews
The review total doesn’t tell the entire picture. A brand could have good reviews in the beginning and then decline or vice versa start off bad and improve later on. Read the questions and answers to get a feel of how the product performs and its basic features. Read the best reviews and the worst reviews of each product before you make a decision. You need to be aware of what to expect good or otherwise.
If all the reviews stack up pretty equally make a determination based on price. If one product has reviews that make you feel confident, make your determination regardless of price. Make sure to check the sizes of each product to make sure the prices aren’t based on the amount of product you’re purchasing.
Check Sizes and Quantities
In this case, Amazon is 8.5 oz, Crest is 31.99 oz, and Listerine is 33 oz. If we round Amazon up to 32 ounces, we’re paying about 4 times more or about $10.60. That’s more than the other 2 brands. Cross them off. So Crest is $6.97 for 32 oz and 8,700+ ratings. Listerine is $7.49 for 33 oz and 60,000+ ratings. Make your determination based on benefits and ratings.
So based on this example, we find value based on consumer reviews and benefits. The prices are a little high but the cheaper options don’t have the popularity and satisfaction to be considered. These two examples probably have the best benefits for their price range.
One of the best reasons to shop for value is that companies tend to stand behind their product offerings and guarantee great results. I shop for high-value items and some have broken or stopped working, etc. I think about all of the money I paid and contact the companies immediately for a solution. Guess what? I’ve been overwhelmed with great service. I’ve always been upfront even when the fault lies with me. They always replace or refund the price. No hassles. Most times, i’ve never called and had to speak to anyone. A simple message is usually the most I’ve had to do. Most times I don’t have to provide proof such as pictures etc.
Don’t Be Frugal But Spend Wisely
Cheap products don’t usually have warranties or guarantees because they know they’re made cheaply and can easily be repurchased. Don’t fall victim to the cycle of constantly replacing the same thing.