“What’s a product or service you should NEVER cheap out on?” asks redditor Kill_Dr_Phil. Thousands of redditors have answers. We’ve collected some of the most thought-out answers.
- “Anything meant to protect you,” says She_Likes_Cloth. “Helmets, work boots, sporting equipment, etc.” Shartweekondvd points out that protective work clothes (or any clothes usable only for your job and not elsewhere) are tax deductible.
- “Trash bags,” says bukanir. “Trust me, you don’t want the regret of lugging a bag full of rotten produce and cat litter to the dumpster, trying to swing it over the edge and feel it tear apart in your hands on the upswing.”
- “Anything that’s a minor annoyance on the regular,” says Portarossa. And anything, such as a spatula, where the decent version is just a few bucks more than the cheapest version.
- To the same point, Jellyfizzle says: “You can get a 6 month supply of the finest Q-tips known to man for $3. Why do generics even exist?”
- In some categories, where you might not yet know which tools you’ll end up using the most, you should start with a cheap version of everything, then upgrade the best version when something gives out or annoys you. Ziapelta recommends this approach for all your kitchen gadgets, and grumpskin says the same for hardware tools. For example, you might find out that you don’t actually need good measuring cups, but you do need a high-end whisk.
- Tattoos, says Introvertedgenius. They’re forever, so examine some portfolios, save up, and (adds Babyblowater) be willing to travel.
- “Inspection of a home you’re buying,” says Notmiefault. “A single missed issue can easily wind up costing tens of thousands of dollars. It’s worth a few hundred extra for the really experienced, thorough inspector.”
- Don’t cheap out on a bra, says chanashan. And go to a good fitter, says mrsbebe. “Victoria’s Secret fitters aren’t exceptionally good at fitting for bras in my experience. Go to the older woman at [a department store].”
- If you build your own PC, Fyre2387 explains why you shouldn’t buy a cheap power supply: “If you cheap out on, say, a GPU, and it fails, you replace it. If you cheap out on your power supply, it could take the entire PC with it when it fails.”
- Same with cars: Always think about the components that can ruin other components, like any car part that can make you wreck the car. To that end, foshjowler says: “Tires. It’s the only thing connecting your 4000lb missile to the ground.” But, says Hansj3, better to get cheap new tyres than keep the same old ones on for way too long.
- “As I just had to find out: (white) wall paint. The cheap stuff is grey and translucent,” says Seiche. “And don’t believe them when they say the paint includes the primer. Learned that the hard way!” says vaseydaisy.
- Lawyer electric_emu says, “A cheap lawyer is still expensive, and can create messes that will require you to hire a more expensive lawyer to fix. If you ever doubt your lawyer’s judgment, it’s 100% worth it to seek a consultation elsewhere if only for a second opinion. You are under no obligation to tell your current lawyer if you decide to stick with them, and many lawyers offer free consultations anyway.” (But check your retainer agreement and local law first.)
- As a side note, goof_schmoofer_2 suggests that on a camping or hiking trip, you buy your backpack last — after you’ve figured out how much stuff you need to put into it.
So what can you cheap out on, asks walkingdeer? Some redditors’ answers: Generic medicine, store-brand food staples, most wires and cables, and things you’ll definitely only use once.
And even when you aren’t cheaping out, you don’t always have to buy something high-end. You just have to avoid the versions that are only so cheap because they barely (or don’t) fulfil their actual function.
This story has been updated since its original publication.