Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cheaper isn't always better

Let me give you a little background about me, before I start with the actual post. I was born & raised in Cape Town, South Africa. My parents both worked in clothing factories. My dad had a nice position as a department manager. He did all the paperwork for stores, before goods were shipped to them from the factory. So he taught me all there is to know about store markups, fabric quality, how everything has to go on sale at some stage. How often stores mark down clothing/shoes/accessories, so they can make room for the new season's fashions. I was introduced to fashion at a very young age and still like to look good. By nature, I'm an extremely picky person, and it's not just with clothes. I'm picky about everything. My friends always say that I have high standards, and I agree with them...lol.  It's not just me, it's pretty normal for South Africans to dress well. Please don't believe the crap they show you on tv. We have many European ways. If you google Cape Town, you will see how beautiful the city is (surrounded by 2 oceans), mountains and the botany is something to rave about. My husband always tells people how cosmpolitan we are, and it's true. So yes, I like nice things. I was surrounded by it. I'm not gonna apologise for who I am or for my tastes.

This doesn't mean that I don't know anything about frugality. I just don't talk about frugality, because (growing up), it was a lifestyle to us. Nobody considered it to be frugal. It was just a way of life and still is. I still laugh when people talk about brown bagging, car pooling etc. We did all those things and thought nothing of it. We have a balance between frugality and enjoying the finer things in life. When you're just into either super saving mode or super spending mode, you are out of balance. I'll stop for now. I just don't want people to judge me, because they think that all I do is spend. If you keep following the blog posts, you will see how I'm able to afford nice things, without breaking the bank. Yes, it takes some work, but it's something I enjoy. I started hustling (man, I hate that word) at a very young age. We were taught to work hard for whatever we wanted. There were absolutely no hand outs.

Now with the pleasantries out of the way (lol) on to what I originally wanted to talk about.

My dad always used to say 'sometimes you have to spend more, to get a better quality product'. I couldn't agree with him more. Buying the cheaper item that you would have to constantly replace, might end up costing you more in the long run. I've learned to apply this to our clothing/shoes too. I'm all for quality vs quantity.


A few years ago, I fell in love with Frye boots (I'm a shoe, especially boots lover). Frye is a western brand. Their shoes are all genuine leather and it costs a pretty penny. I'm talking about $400 for a pair of boots. Now I would never spend that kind of money on boots. No way, no how. The above one is my favorite pair. It's real suede boots (suede is another favorite of mine). A few years ago, I got an email for an extra 50% off clearance items from Country Outfitters. I checked the site and saw that these boots would cost $99 after discount, so I grabbed a pair. No sales tax was charged and I earned $8 back through Ebates. Score! These boots retail for around $350.

Why do I think it's a good deal? It's real suede (not the faux stuff). This means it will last for years. I can wear these boots for the next 10 years and it will still be in great condition. When I decide to get rid of it, I can sell it for around $70-100. That's the real win for me. By the time I get rid of the item, it will be a retired style, which means you can charge more for it. Anyone who's really interested in the item, will pay your price. So I could even make a profit on something I got good wear out of.

I used to buy the cheap boots at Kohls BF sale for $20. These boots had retail prices of $100-120 (overpriced if you ask me. That's the reason why stores are able to mark it down by so much). The boots would scuff and get cracks easily and I'd end up having to replace it every year or two. If you do the math, it translates to $100-200 cost over a 10 year period. Why would I want to buy a cheap item, when I can get the real deal, that I can turn into a profit at the end of it's use?

I do this with many items. I used to buy the designer purses too (at a deep discount of course), but noticed that these items weren't made of real leather. So I've decided to keep an eye out for a genuine leather purse. One that will last for a good number of years.

A few years ago, I started buying my own Christmas gift. DH hates shopping (especially for me, because our tastes are so very different). So I've started to buy my own gift and then DH pays for it. He doesn't have to make a special trip to the store to shop, nor does he have to worry about what to get me. I get something that I like and I save us a bunch of money, by purchasing the item on clearance. I also earn cash back through Ebates. So we both win. With that being said, I buy myself a new pair of Frye's every year.

I recently found Frye boots at over 60% off and bought some (Christmas gift). It's been a very spendy month (too spendy for me), but more on that in a next post. The good news is that we're still in the black. Phew!

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