18 December 2014

spending the big bucks, or not

Unless it lives in gorgonzola cheese, I am staunchly anti-mold. I loathe it almost as much as the smell of melted butter during my first trimester, which is to say, a lot. The nasty stuff likes to taunt me from the corners of the bathroom. I've tried a number of high-end shower curtains that advertise themselves as "mold repellant." But they always get pink and black streaks along the bottom within a month or two, and sometimes they don't even come clean with bleach.

Finally I gave up and bought a couple of super cheap curtains at Target-- and behold, the cheap curtains stayed mold-free every bit as long as the fancy ones did. When I washed them with hot water and bleach they looked good as new. So you see that spending more money does not always pay off in the long run.

The Moneylender and His Wife by Quentin Metsys

Two things that are worth lots of pennies:

Tea. I am snobby about my tea. (And even expensive tea is cheaper than coffee, so I can still maintain a sense of smug superiority to my coffee-addicted husband.) Lipton tastes like grass cuttings, Bigelow is almost uniformly repulsive, and don't even get me started on Tazo, which I believe is composed of factory floor sweepings. I will drink cheap tea in a pinch-- I'm cold and I need caffeine and this is all I could find in the hotel lobby-- but my own stash consists of the good stuff: Yorkshire Gold, Twining's, Harney and Sons.

Actually, come to think of it, the nationality of the tea company seems to matter more than the price point. Moral: American tea bad. English tea good.

Shoes. Expensive shoes-- so long as the expense means quality and comfort, rather than name recognition-- reward the investment. I've thrown out countless cheap shoes that squeaked, slipped, and fell apart long before I wanted to buy replacements. Meanwhile, a pair of Bass snowboots purchased early on in college are trekking on valiantly. I'm still wearing my wedding shoes five years later and they are in near-perfect condition. I get a new pair of Dansko professional clogs every couple of years for everyday wear, and even after they are scuffed beyond rescue, they stay structurally sound and just turn into my weeding/painting/running-errands-on-a-rainy-day shoes.

The other advantage of only buying pricey shoes is that you end up with fewer pairs and need less storage space. ;-)

Two things that are not:

Pillar candles. Buy them from IKEA! They're pretty and they don't sputter or give off tons of smoke! And because they are so cheap, you can get tons and burn them all the time without feeling like a wastrel.

Wrapping paper. You can find adorable prints for a million dollars at Anthropologie. When the paper costs more than the gift (and gets tossed out anyway), who really wins here? Just go to the dollar store and get simple paper. Add pretty ribbon, maybe a free printable tag or two. Tada!

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on the shoes! I've been wearing the same sneaks everyday for 3 years. Skechers.
    And I've also had the same giant roll of wrapping paper that I bought at Costco 6 years ago!

    - Amanda