Once upon a time, I preferred “cheap.” I preferred cheap clothing, cheap shoes, cheap baking utensils (one notable exception being my beloved KitchenAid mixer). I think it was mostly me being penny-wise and pound-foolish. I don’t know when it finally occurred to me that being cheap was expensive, wasteful, and just plain irritating.
It’s expensive because even though I can go to Wal-mart and buy 487 tank tops for $1.50, they only last through one or two washings before they’re so misshapen that the Munchkins couldn’t wear them. But, paying a few dollars more, and I have tank tops that have lasted me through 4 or 5 summers now. The material has held up, they’ve held their shape. In the long run, cheaper.
I hate waste and trash. I try to reduce-reuse-recycle whenever I can. But cheap things tend to wear out faster than the more expensive. Cheap things end up in the landfill, creating more waste. We have a Dyson vacuum we paid over $500 for about 12 years ago. We still have that vacuum. Sure, we’ve had to do a few repairs, but the vacuum is built to be repaired when something’s broken. I only have to throw out a part of the vacuum rather than the whole thing.
And cheap is plain irritating because I don’t like to shop. So the more I buy cheap stuff, the more I have to shop. The caveat to this is when I buy vintage or second-hand things, they can be less expensive sometimes, but just as good quality-wise. I try to buy local or American-made when it’s feasible. It might be more expensive, but I look at it as an investment into the environment and into the future.
“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”