Sure You’re Saving Money? “Cheap” Purchases That Cost You More In The Long Run

August 28, 2015  |  
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Buying in bulk and when things are “on sale” isn’t always the best way to save. To shop smart, know when to invest and when cheap purchases will actually cost you more.

Cheap Plane Tickets

Airlines like Spirit charge less for their tickets, but you may end up paying more in baggage fees and other hidden costs. Make sure you calculate all the costs (and time lost in layovers) to make sure you’re really saving.

Those Daily Deals

Groupons can be great, but you have to read the fine print. Some services are priced higher before the steep discount, but usually don’t cost so much. And others come with hidden fees that will cost you more in the long run.

DIY Relaxers

Going to the salon is expensive, but DIY styling can cost your hair big time. You’re better off finding a cheaper salon with deals (some salons have specific days where they offer discounts) or an Instagram stylist with a good reputation.

Skipping Out On Your Favorite Activities

Cutting out certain entertainment can be a good way to save money. But don’t go cold turkey. Most of us feel so deprived we end up splurging (which costs more in the long run), or abandoning the savings plan altogether.

Sale Items

Coupons and big sales have a way of making us buy things we don’t even really need or want (i.e., Black Friday). Not only do you end up wasting your money, but you don’t even use what you bought. Focus on what you need to avoid spending frivolously.

Buying In Bulk

Costco memberships are good for some things. But if you can’t use certain things before they go bad, those savings actually cost you. Still love buying in bulk (and free samples)? Split perishable purchases with a friend or family member.


By the time you replace a cheap pair a few times, a quality pair will still be kicking. Invest big bucks into shoe staples like classic pumps and winter boots. Save inexpensive purchases for seasonal styles that will be “out” next year (and probably already falling apart).


Same formula. Quality pieces will last you a lifetime. Go cheap on those pastel skinny jeans you aren’t quite sure about.


Those cheap Ikea mattresses are a fraction of the cost of quality beds. They also last a fraction of the time. Your back will thank you later if you choose to invest in a quality mattress sooner.


Particleboard build-it-yourself furniture is cheap, but unlikely to last a move. Invest in quality, solid-wood furniture and it will be around for a very long time. Plus, high-quality furniture has a great resale value, and can be repaired if you break it.


You know what they say: Invest in healthy, organic food now — or invest in a doctor later.


Cheap pots and pans are fine for your first dorm. But once you’ve obtained your first place, it’s time to stop replacing rusted and scratched pots and invest in quality cookware. Treat cookware right and it will last long. Long enough that you can pass it down to the next generation.

Buying The Cheapest Product

It’s the cheapest for a reason. And that reason is usually because it’s going to fall apart, it’s watered down, or it’s usefulness will be short-lived, and you’ll be buying another one soon. Buy something midrange (or top of the line and on sale) instead to get more life and value out of your dollar.

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