Don’t Skimp on the Quality of These 17 Things

When you are shopping for goods and services, do you tend to look for the cheapest? If so, you may want to re-think your approach. Buying cheap items can save money in the short term, but one truth about money is that a long-term mentality pays dividends.  So rather than saving money, you might be spending more by purchasing multiple cheaper items rather than purchasing one high-quality item from the start.  Let’s take a look at 17 items and services that you should never skimp on.

1. Home Improvement & Repairs

Man fixing the tiles
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Home repairs shouldn’t be ignored as they can lead to bigger, more expensive problems.  However, they shouldn’t be fixed cheaply either, as you may end up paying for the same repair twice. When you hire professionals, you pay for their services and their knowledge. The materials used should be high-quality as well, as you don’t want to use items that need to be replaced quickly, either. If you take the less expensive choice with a home repair, you have to be prepared to pay for it in the long haul.

2. Home Insurance

House exterior
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Cutting back on a cheaper home insurance policy could cost you a lot of money in the long run.  Don’t settle for less when it comes to protecting your home and its content. Make sure to get insurance that has replacement-cost coverage. If disaster strikes and you were to make a claim, an actual cash value plan would reimburse you only for your belongings’ depreciated value, and that’s not enough to cover the costs of replacing everything.

3. Medical and Dental Care

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Your greatest wealth is your health, and you should treat it as a valuable asset. Don’t hesitate to spend money to take care of yourself.  That includes getting your monthly medications, regular check-ups, and paying for a quality health insurance plan. The peace of mind of being covered for emergencies such as accidents, broken brackets, or toothaches is priceless. Money is important, but your health should be a priority.

4. Car Insurance

car on road
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Owning a car is expensive. Be ready and prepared for the worst scenario by getting car insurance. When choosing a plan, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of the coverage options you have. Cheap policies may seem captivating but make sure you are covered for your specific situation. Know the company’s policy and set a meeting with an agent to discuss what promotional savings are available without affecting your coverage levels.

5. Heating and Air Conditioning

Air conditioner
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Don’t skimp while maintaining your heater, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Unfortunately, issues pop up from time to time in your home but prevent the ones you can with proper HVAC maintenance. You’ll regret cutting corners to save money if you’re left without heat or air conditioning.

6. Food

Variety of food on table
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Let’s all be honest; there are times when quick meals are our go-to food whenever we are late for a meeting or school or have a midnight craving. Fast food restaurants are everywhere, available 24 hours a day, and are often cheap. Of course, healthy foods can be a bit more expensive in the short term, but studies show that a healthy lifestyle saves you money over the course of your lifetime.

7. Flights

Aeroplane in sky
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Who doesn’t love traveling? Going to new places, trying new food, or learning about new cultures, even for a short time. When traveling, we want to stick to a budget and save as much as we can. Getting a cheap flight can feel like winning the travel game but picking a low-cost airline that charges for carry-on luggage fees or seat selection can erase savings.

While it’s tempting to select a cheap flight with a layover or a very early departure time, those flight choices can significantly impact a short weekend trip. If you’re flying with a baby, a cheap red-eye or late-night flight is rarely worth the cost savings.

8. Car Seats

baby in car seat
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Forget about cheap children’s safety products.  Instead, opt for products with significant safety features. For example, while car seats can be costly, picking one that can grow with your child from birth to ten years old can save you money in the long term without sacrificing safety.

9. Baby Items

Baby accessories
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Having a baby is priceless, but The Cost of Raising a Child is $233,610, according to the USDA. So while it’s tempting to pick cheaper diapers, formula, and gear, leaking diapers, diaper rash, a gassy child, or items that don’t hold up won’t be worth it.

10. Skincare

Lady with skin care items
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Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so make sure you’re taking care of it. It’s unnecessary to spend hundreds of dollars on effective products when a wide range of dermatologist-recommended, clinically proven skincare is an option. High-quality, reasonably priced products are widely available at drug stores, Target, Walmart, and even Amazon.

11. Tools

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If you’re into do-it-yourself projects, you know how critical the proper tools are to complete a job. Having an expensive toolset is not just for a show. Its durability can save you in the long run. Having the proper tools can be the difference between doing the job yourself or hiring an expensive contractor with high-income skills for projects repeatedly.

12. Appliances

Modular Kitchen
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Whether you’re moving to a new home or replacing broken appliances, the quality and durability have a massive impact on their lifespan. Therefore, major appliance purchases should be considered with a long-term mentality.  For example, new eco-friendly machines can mean a lower electricity bill and cashback through rebates.

13. Door Locks

Door with lock
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Door locks are essential for our homes; they provide security and peace of mind. However,  a shabby lock doesn’t give any certainty that it will last for a long time, or it can hold up from an intruder’s efforts to get into your home. For safety measures, choose the one that gives safety and security for the long term.

14. Gadgets

Laptop on table
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Gadgets are pricey. There’s no doubt about that. However, does the cheaper model provide the features you need? For example, if you’re purchasing a phone to take high-quality photos, will the quality meet your expectations? While there are computers you can purchase for half the price as others, if it doesn’t meet your needs or breaks, you’ll be back at the store before you know it.

15. Smoke Detectors

smoke detector
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The America Red Cross reports that home fires are among the biggest threats to families and young children. Did you know that 80 percent of children sleep through standard-issue smoke alarms? While alarms that allow parents to record an emergency message are more expensive, they are three times more likely to wake sleeping kids.

16. Pet Food

pet food
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Junk food exists for pets too! Unfortunately, 70% of dog owners don’t know what’s in the food they give their dogs. Cheaper ingredients aren’t good for your dog and can lead to expensive health issues, just like in people. Ask your vet for advice and then shop around at big box stores or online to find a quality product that’s reasonably priced.

17. Eye Glasses

eye glass
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The average cost of eyeglasses in the U.S. is an eye-popping $196. So while you could buy basic easy readers from the dollar store or under $10 from your local pharmacy doesn’t mean you should. Cheaper eyeglasses do not have the same quality and protection compared to their more expensive counterparts. In addition, if you’re not professionally fitted for eyewear, you could be prone to headaches and harmful light rays.

While not all cheap things are bad, when it comes to health, safety, and long-term durability, don’t be stingy with your purchases.  There will be other opportunities to save money and cut discretionary spending.


Radical FIRE is a personal finance platform that is all about financial independence. At Radical FIRE, you will learn to save money, make more money, and invest to optimize your way to freedom. We want you to reach your financial goals and have fun while doing it!

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